Ten Best jeans. The latest GQ did this, but they have commercial interests. Â I have none. Â The following are what I consider the best jeans on the market under $250 in the past 5 years, in no particular order. Â You can always get 45RPM, but I don't know too many people who actually do. 1.\tPaper Denim GTO 1-year. Â The fit and color are key. Â The pinnacle of the of the bootcut jean, coming out just as that trend reached its finest hour. Â Slightly flared, low rise, a dark but not rigid denim with a very subtle black undertone and just the right amount of distressing on the upper thighs for an interesting visual effect. Â 2.\tPaper Denim ICN in Clone wash. Â The most democratic of jeans. Â The relaxed, slightly bootcut leg looks good on everyone; and the slash pockets and squared back pockets made it suitable for both downtowners to wear with hoodies and army jackets and uptowners to wear with button downs. Â And the grey blue wash, just amazing, and different from everything else when it first came out. 3.\tJ.P. Da'mage Rekko. Â The rigid denim jean for the guy who doesn't want to start from scratch. Â Only slightly rinsed, with the faintest of distressing on the upper thighs, and "nearly rigid" denim everywhere else. Â Plus the fit is great. Â The mid-low rise will fit nearly everyone, and the butt and thighs are at once slim and relaxed. Â There is a slight bootcut at the end; but less so than the Paper Denim. Â The color is rich and dark - a true blue. 4.\tDiesel - Kratt in flattened wash - the ultimate summer jean. Â A light/medium colored Â denim with some whiskering but mostly just faded on the front. Â Doesn't sound hard, but I get compliments even now, after 5 years of laundries thinking up more and more ways of Â processing jeans. Â The mid-rise, relaxed fit, and what used to be called a bootcut but would now be considered a straightleg is perfect for easy living on a summer day. Â Wearing mine a little low, so that the crotch is a little lower than usual helps me up the look a little. Â Plus, the denim is tough as titanium. 5.\tNudie - Regular Ralph in rigid Grey Cast. Â No, they are not selvage unlike some other Nudie cuts. Â But the greycast blue dye fades amazingly as you wear them in. Â No other jean has such a distinctive color. Â And the easy bootcut fit, not unlike the Da'mage Rekko make it an easy choice. Â You can say you just went to Europe or something too. 6.\tAPC Anglaise. Â Low cut, baggier fit, rigid denim, just like the official website says. Â Nothing fancy. Â But after a month of wearing and maybe one wash, the ultimate baggy but not too baggy jean to wear. Â Fits a little like the Kratt. 7.\tCorpus Morphy bootcut jean in rigid denim. Â Incredible details cut start from the super stylized back pockets to the terrific denim. Â And the baggier bootcut looks just amazing on all but the most corpulent. Â The jean for the people in the know who don't even need other people in the know to know. 8.\tRogan Original jean in Ethanol wash - I know I've blasted Rogan in the past, and I still don't personally wear the stuff, but I can't deny that the cut is great. Â Doesn't require you to have a perfect body (though that helps), and the wash is terrific, as are the details like the red cotton used to make the pockets which will eventually show through as the thighs wear out (and they will.) 9.\tLevis 501's Â - because they are the original. Â There is even a guide telling you which pair to get for what fit. Â Your regular size if you want a tight fit. Â Two sizes larger for a relaxed, straightleg fit, and 4 sizes larger if you want a baggy fit. Just make sure you get them vintage, pre 1980's. 10.\tEarnest Sewn - Hutch in Max Dark. Â Terrific, terrific jeans. Â The wash and hand distressing is amazing, as are the hand details. Â The denim is a little too light for a semi-rigid denim - my only gripe. Â The mid-low bootcut works well for most bodies. Â Let the super skinny guys go for the Filson straightcut model. Comment, disagree, or just bow down to this list of great jeans. Â Notice that except for Nudie, APC, and Diesel, the former two of which were instrumental in the rigid jean and processed jean trends, all these are American companies, and a lot of them use LA laundries. Â Not a concidence, since San Francisco was the birthplace of the jean, and Americans, and New Yorkers and Angelenos in particular, understand jeans like no one else. Â Honorable mentions: Helmut Lang bootcuts - the only designer with real jeans credentials, Evisu for reintroducing selvedge rigid jeans into the mainstream, and Denime for their recreations of classic jeans.
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2/23/05 at 5:14pm