At the top of the American menswear canon sit humble blue jeans. But finding the right pair of jeans for you can be a tricky proposition, given the near-limitless selection of fits and washes you’ll encounter out in the world. Straight, slim, athletic, flared, bootlegged, high-waisted, scattered, smothered, covered—it’s tough to know what works with both your body type and your style.
So for the debut episode of the GQ Recommends Show (right down there), we assembled what we think are the five most essential jean styles of right now, and broke them down point-by-point. You’ll hear exactly why our editors love them and how to style them, and get some moodboard inspo direct from some of the most stylish men on the planet. Give it a watch to determine the jeans fit—or fits, plural—that’ll match up best with the rest of your closet.
And if you see something you like, click the “Shop the Look” button to scope out our favorite pairs of each fit (which are also very helpfully listed out below).
Watch The GQ Recommends Show: Our 5 Favorite Jeans Fits Right Now
1. The Straight Leg Jean
If you’re looking to hit the reset button on your denim collection, start with the original silhouette: not too wide, not too narrow, cut straight from the hips all the way down to the ankle. Try ’em with a slick leather jacket and your toughest boots.
2. The Slim Straight Jean
A touch slimmer than a true straight leg, with the slightest bit of tapering past the knees. Looks great with an equally fitted tee, or cleans up nice with a button-front shirt and necktie on date night or casual Fridays.
3. The Flare Jean
Yup, the ‘70s are back. Whether you’re after an understated bootcut or a full-on hippie bell bottom, flared jeans are an advanced denim maneuver well worth attempting.
4. The High-Waisted Jean
With tucked-in shirts more in vogue than ever, hiking your jeans right up to your navel makes more sense than ever. These pairs, specifically cut for the look, will accentuate the length of your legs and give that fancy new belt of yours plenty of room to shine.
5. The Skater Jean
Even if you’re not out on the streets landing kick-flips, you can still wear and appreciate the jeans designed for doing so: spacious enough to move in, cropped just enough to keep your cuffs from getting caught on your board.