Slim and skinny jeans are what’s hot right now, apparently. The thing is, not many of us can squeeze our meaty trunks into skinny fit denim. Not every guy is a 29×32, and not every guy has slender bird legs, including myself.

Rather than force yourself to accept eternal discomfort in an attempt to wear the “in” fit right now, EG suggests you make choices that are suitable to your body type, and find fits that complement your bod.

The most common complaint among dudes who can’t fit into super-skinny denim is the lack of room in the thigh and butt area, as well as the rise (the distance between your crotch seam and waistband). This selection should help alleviate these issues a bit.

This is probably a good time to mention:

Only in the market for one pair of jeans? Make it dark, unadorned, not distressed, inky dark blue denim. This is the only pair you really need.

Here are a couple choices from well-known, easy-to-find stores.


Levis 514

514 Slim Straight

The go-to standard. Straight-leg fit all the way down the leg, finishes with a 17″ leg opening while maintaining a slim silhouette. Affordable and available in practically every color imaginable.

Levis 505

An alternative: 505 Straight Leg

This pair has a more relaxed fit (meaning more room in seat) with an 11″ rise and 16.5″ leg opening. It’s a straight leg, so there’s not much tapering and it’s definitely not a bootcut. I’ve heard there are variations of this model (as well as the ever-popular 501) depending on where you buy them (Macy’s, for example, vs. a Levi’s store).


Gap Straight Fit

Straight Fit Denim

A good option from Gap; this model sits low on the waist (but not crack-exposingly low like some other fits) and has a straight silhouette all the way through.

Gap Standard Fit

An alternative: Standard Fit Denim

Sits right below waist and has a similar straight leg through to the opening.


Straight Fit Denim

Sits right at your waist, so there’s less pulling as you sit. The hip and thigh area is roomy but still slim and the leg is straight. You won’t have to worry about your quads suffocating in these jeans.

J.Crew Vintage Slim

An alternative: The vintage slim

This is the model I shop for at J.Crew. The 484 Slim is way too skinny for my body type, and the straight fit model may be a little looser than I prefer, but the vintage slim fits just right. It hits right below the waist and the fit stays slim at the hips, thighs, and all the way down the leg. This isn’t as slim-fitting as your typical skinny boy jean, but it does run a bit more slim than the straight fit.

Don’t forget

Denim will always fit people differently, every time. Even if you take two dudes with similar physiques, you’ll notice inconsistencies in fit. It has to do with how people wear their clothes, and the little measurement differences of each body.

It’s important to try on a bunch of sizes, even if you *think* you know your size. Reason being, all manufacturers size their goods a bit differently. Just because you’re a 32 waist in one brand won’t mean you’re a 32 in all, so head to the fitting room for crying out loud.

Our 5&B Event: A short reminder

Our event is a month away! Have you RSVP’d yet?.

If you don’t have a Facebook and you still want to attend, send an email to info[at]fifthandbrannan[dot]com, and we’ll make sure to get you on the list.

An aside: Apologies in advance if I don’t update EG as frequently over the next month. K and I have a lot of work to do in the final thirty days before our big launch, and I’m spending every free moment upgrading her site, building a new site for the Fifth&Brannan shop, running to meetings and visiting the factory, as well as tying up a whole bunch of loose ends. There’s a ton of exciting stuff on the horizon for us and we’re excited to share it with you, so bear with me, and stay tuned.

I’ll still be on Twitter though, so make sure to follow me there and say hi!

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11 Responses

  1. Chad on

     This article just got you a new reader.  This whole fashion game can be frustrating for normal sized dudes.

    • Barron on

      Awesome. I actually wrote this article so I could convert you. 🙂

      Yeah, I hear that a lot from guys. Hopefully I can help, even just a little.

  2. Ben Eberle on

     What about guys with thick legs and not so thick midsections? Although it’s not as bad as it used to be as I’ve replaced most of my squatting and deadlifting with running, I still have a 29 inch waist and thick quads – it used to be so bad I had to wear loose fit 33’s.

    • Barron on

      You’re too buff for your own good, bro. Yeah, unfortunately clothing manufacturers have to design for the majority, and your ratio is unlike most guys. I have a couple friends with big quads, and one who’s sort of a specialist in denim + big quads. So if I hear of good solutions from them I’ll let you know.

      • Vjstrong68 on

        I used to have that problem…then my waist line caught up to my quads, and now they are both outside the ‘normal’ range of most manufacturer’s measurements. A 44″ waist is hard to come by, and let’s not even talk about my 38″ inseam… But, I am actually happier with the fit of my jeans now than I have ever been… I have them all custom made! It sounds expensive, and maybe even extravagant, but it really is neither. A pair usually costs me about $60, and as for extravagance, what’s worse, taking the easy route of picking up an ill fitting pair at the mall, or putting in a little effort to take a few measurements to get something that will really fit and look good?

  3. Bobby Brooks on

    Re 29×32: Male models are becoming increasingly anorexic. These people are not clothes horses. They’re clothes corpses, the living dead.

    • lanmanna on

      What’s your problem? Why are you attacking people for no reason? Not all of us 29×32, 29×30, whatever are anorexic. Quit generalizing.

  4. A.H on

    i wonder why they only make 28×32 at jcrew instead of 28-30? I’m 28 waist, it’s hard to find clothes that fit. 

    • Barron on

      Not sure? Never noticed that actually. I feel like they’d make a 28×30; you might have to email them or talk to someone on the red phone in the store.