Editor’s note: To fill up your closet with plenty more online shopping picks, head here.
We all love a great pair of classic dark denim, right? Surely, it’s fun to switch up your denim wardrobe with slim white jeans during the warmer months, but there’s something about the changing of the leaves — any day now — that calls to mind the desire with more rugged style in mind. That starts from the ground up with tough leather boots, and it carries through to a #menswear staple that can seem intimidating at first — selvedge denim. There’s a whole lexicon and a significant subset of the digital menswear community that reveres this type of jean, and with good reason. It’s made with more attention to detail and skill than non-selvedge denim, as it’s constructed with the ‘self-edge’ (outer) part of the fabric — creating the distinctive detailing on the inside of the outseam. It’s prized for its durability, toughness and plain cool looks — plus, who doesn’t love to cuff a pair of selvedge denim over broken-in leather boots? So, that’s a little history for you. What makes it better than plain dark denim? It’s a matter of preference, to be sure — but the sturdier weight and feel of selvedge helps it break in over time, last longer and create some very neat selvedge denim fades. Again, that heavier construction lends itself perfectly to fall and winter — particularly with pairings like a shawl cardigan and a classic chambray shirt. With that being said, where to begin? Start with The Style Guide’s picks below for the best men’s selvedge denim for fall (and beyond!). Catch more menswear inspiration on Twitter or Instagram, too.
#1. Raleigh Denim Workshop Jones Slim 211 Selvedge — $225 (Available via East Dane)
Tracking down great selvedge denim can be tough if you’re just starting your search — it’s helpful, then, that Raleigh Denim Workshop does such a great job crafting slim, stylish denim right here in America. The fact that they’ve got other stylish men’s denim options available via East Dane is a bonus if you’re deep into denim shopping, too. While the Jones Slim 211 Selvedge (which you can also find via Raleigh Denim) are a bit pricey, the quality, durability and longevity are absolutely on-point. They’re about as classic a pair of selvedge as you can get, right down to the red chainstitched hem, the textured white weft fabric that’ll break in over time.
#2. Levi’s Red Tab 511 Selvedge Jeans — $128 (Available via East Dane)
Where else to start in your search for stylish selvedge denim but Levi’s? The Levi’s Red Tab denim line is a premium take on the brand’s classic styles, yet you still get the excellent fit, comfort and quality for which the brand is known. The 511 is a, you might say, a classic jean around The Style Guide for its slim fit and reliable durability, so upgrading to a sleek selvedge pair is only a logical next step. Black selvedge might seem out of left field at first, but know that if you only have to buy one pair of black denim, this is as good a place to start as any.
The hunt for sturdy, tough selvedge denim can take you high and low — that goes for the price, as well. Luckily, Flint & Tinder has done a stellar job on its new fall menswear line, from its easily wearable marled henleys to pieces like the handsome-looking All-American Slim Tapered Jeans. For starting out making boxer briefs and hoodies, the expansion of the line is an admirable one, and it means you could get dressed head-to-toe in Flint & Tinder (including the brand’s Inventor Socks, of course). This pair of selvedge should last and last while teaming with other stylish Huckberry essentials — if you’ve got a fall wish list going, that’s a very good thing indeed.
#4. 3Sixteen CT-101x, $220
You know a jean has some cache in the marketplace when it’s named using letters and numbers — much like the brand 3Sixteen itself, as it were. They’ve developed a cult following for their ridiculous level of attention to detail, dependability and style (let’s not forget style). Now, it’s certainly open to debate as to the “must-buy” pair of denim from 3Sixteen (plenty also like the CT-220x), but the CT-101x has gotta be high on that list. It’s got a higher rise yet a tapered cut — that means a fit and feel that’s a little more old-school. The denim should still be a reliable pick to wear all kinds of places, including to your next rock concert with your favorite pair of leather boots (once you break the denim in a bit).
The thing about denim shopping is that, of course, it’s all about fit. Not every guy can slip into the Levi’s Red Tab 511 or something similar. J. Crew helpfully recognized that last fall, and introduced a better-fitting addition to its denim line — the J. Crew 770, a jean built with the athletic-minded guy in mind. They feature an excellent deep blue resin rinse, signature selvedge detailing and fit that offers more room to move in the seat and thigh. If that checks all your denim shopping boxes, toss these jeans in your cart. This is a pair of denim that’ll fit in at your next football tailgate or at the office when paired with a fall blazer.
Was that enough of a crash course in stylish selvedge denim? It’s a somewhat daunting universe, with plenty of specific terminology and devoted fans to make anyone’s head spin. Yet, learning even a bit more about selvedge can be a beneficial experience — you might only need to buy one pair of selvedge before you won’t want to wear anything else. There are also excellent places you can go for visual inspiration — that is, styling tips and tricks, plus information on new brands. My Instagram pal Marvaments crafts a beautiful feed featuring selvedge denim, chinos and rugged boots galore. And my fellow Instagram bud Ryan Cascarano frequently features some standout selvedge — and boots, of course. Give them both a look, follow along and if you’ve got any questions about selvedge denim or styles to shop for, shoot me a tweet or drop a comment below.