What's the difference between cheap and expensive men's jeans? What makes one pair more valuable than another? Is expensive denim worth it?
In this article, we explain the difference between cheap and expensive men's jeans. Use this knowledge to find the perfect pair of jeans for you.
You will discover:
- Price vs. Value – Is Expensive Denim Worth It?
- Difference Between Cheap And Expensive Men's Jeans
- What Are The Characteristics Of Denim?
- Denim – Left Hand Twill vs Right Hand Twill
- How Is Denim Usually Dyed?
- What Is Pre-Washed Denim?
- Best Jean Brands For Men – Is Expensive Better?
Price vs. Value – Is Expensive Denim Worth It?
The price you pay for a pair of denim jeans doesn't always equal value. You can pay $500 for jeans but if they don't fit you properly or they won't last for a reasonable amount of time, then they're a waste of money.
True value is when you buy a pair of men's jeans that look great and last for an extended period. But a pair of denim jeans that perfectly fits your body and made from high-quality denim will be more expensive.
Difference Between Cheap And Expensive Men's Jeans
For many years, blue denim was made from all cotton fibers. In the last 10 -15 years, blended fibers have been used to create a more comfortable garment.
The yarn used determines the weight of the fabric. The average weight hovers between 10 and 24 oz but the more expensive materials can go as high as 24 oz.
The heavier the weight of the fabric, the more expensive the jeans are.
Denim fabrics come in a variety of widths which also affect the price. The narrow widths use more material, and therefore the cost of production increases, followed by the price.
On some narrower-width denim fabrics, you can find a contrast thread interwoven along the hem, adding value to the garment through a unique feature.
Let's break that out into more detail…
What Are The Characteristics Of Denim?
Denim is durable and made from a unique twill weaving process where the dyed yarns run the length of the fabric (called the warp), and the white or undyed yarns run across the width direction (called the weft).
The weft threads are a thicker and coarser yarn that may contain slub fibers. Slubs will cause natural variations in the weave, making the blue denim fabric more unique when it's washed down.
Slubs create more significant highs and lows in the fabric, which cause more abrasion during the washing process to the highs and minor abrasion to the lows allowing a more considerable contrast within the blue jean garment. The value comes from the unique characteristics this process creates.
Unique characteristics like this have a similar effect to the price tag as a label. Specific trademarks and other notable features will elevate the price of a garment, but not always the value.
Denim – Left Hand Twill vs Right Hand Twill
A feature that will impact the value (and the cost) of a pair of jeans is the direction of the twill in the weave – called a left or right-hand twill. These are recognized by the upward direction of the diagonal twill on the face of the fabric. The right-hand twill goes up from the lower left toward the upper right. And vice-versa for the Left-hand twill.
Left-hand twills are more desirable due to the strength and durability of the finished goods. Right-hand twills tend to stretch out and stay baggy until washed. Washing acts as a reset of the fit but also can lessen the longevity of the jean.
The fabric of a right-hand twill is more forgiving. It makes up a more comfortable garment that will more easily conform to the wearer's shape but will have a more insufficient recovery to the garment's original shape.
A left-hand twill naturally can lock the weave in place, allowing the yarns to have more of a north and south-east to west directional weave. Since the threads twist to the right and the fabric weaves to the left, it creates a more securely woven fabric.
How Is Denim Usually Dyed?
The yarns in denim fabric are colored with a natural dye made from the indigo plant, which gives us the purplish-blue hue that is most common. The color doesn't always penetrate the yarn's core, which can create some of the more dramatic fadings in the prewashing process.
Today, there are fewer denim fabrics woven with yarns using the natural dye process. More and more synthetic or artificial dyes became popular to color the fibers, making the dyeing process more cost-effective, reflecting in the price.
What Is Pre-Washed Denim?
Cheaper men's jeans may not go through any of the specialty wash processes. They may only have a rinse or bleach. In some extreme cases, over-processing can cause flaws, and sellers will discount jeans with obvious flaws for quick sales.
A designer pair of jeans may include a specialty wash or multiple processes that require trained personnel and additional equipment or chemicals to complete. More time, more care, and more precision go into the prewashing of a designer pair of jeans, causing the production cost of each garment to increase.
Best Jean Brands For Men – Is Expensive Better?
There are a lot of denim brands on the market these days. It can be tough to know which ones are worth your time and money – especially if you're on a budget. In this blog post, we will outline the top 20 denim brands for men, and whether or not they offer good quality for the price. We'll also take a look at some expensive jeans brands that are worth the investment, and why.
#1 Mott & Bow Jeans
If you're looking for a new pair of jeans, Mott & Bow has the perfect fit. They offer washes and cuts that will work with any outfit from their collection of timeless denim jeans. After all, you can't go wrong with a classic fit. Made from quality materials, these jeans will last you through thick and thin, all for a reasonable price of around $110 per pair!
#2 Everlane Jeans
For those looking for a higher-quality pair of jeans that won't break the bank, Everlane's slim-fit denim is worth considering. The fabric used to make them comes from premium 11 oz Japanese millers with 2-way stretch and 98% cotton. They're also easy-care: just machine wash cold or dry clean when necessary!
For $68 – you really are getting a lot of bang for your buck.
#3 Wrangler Jeans
Wrangler jeans are both a popular choice for those in the office, school setting or on a builder's yard. However, they also make an excellent style statement as everyday jeans. Why? Because Wranglers have been around since 1947 and have cemented themselves as an American icon alongside the likes of Levis Denim!
And while we know today that these old-fashioned styles can be matched by newer, more flattering silhouettes, there is no denying how well this brand serves its function: providing high quality and durable clothing whether you're a manual labor worker or a stay-at-home dad.
Expect to pay as little as $60 for a pair.
#4 Levi's Jeans
No list of great denim brands would be complete without mentioning Levi's jeans. After all, they are the original denim company, and have been around since 1853! Today, they offer a wide range of fits and styles for men, all made with high-quality materials.
Most notably, the 501 jeans are a great choice for those who want a classic look with a modern twist. They are also very versatile and can be dressed up or down depending on the occasion thanks to their timeless silhouette.
You can find Levi's jeans for as little as $60 per pair, but I'd expect to pay closer to $100 at most retailers.
#5 UNIQLO Jeans
If you're looking for cheap jeans that don't sacrifice quality, UNIQLO is a great option. Their men's denim collection offers a level of variety that you don't often find at such an affordable price point.
From slim fit to straight leg, UNIQLO has something for everyone.
UNIQLO is a Japanese brand known for its great selection of men's casual wear. When it comes to their jeans, they offer a wide range of washes and fits to choose from. Whether you're looking for a skinny, slim, or regular fit – they've got you covered. And from $40 per pair, these jeans are an excellent value for the money!
#6 Calvin Klein Jeans
CK is well known for their quality tailoring and fragrance – but did you know they're also highly thought of within the denim community? With a focus on style, fit, and comfort – Calvin Klein jeans are a great choice for those who want to look good and feel even better.
Typically, their denim is cut from 100% cotton with a bit of stretch for added comfort. While this can suggest a lack of strength in the fabric, it's important to note that stretch denim is incredibly comfortable and can suit a variety of different body types.
However, CK jeans don't come cheap. A pair of basic, straight-cut jeans will set you back at least $100.
#7 Polo Ralph Lauren Jeans
Men's Polo Ralph Lauren jeans are a great choice for those who want a stylish and comfortable pair of jeans. Made with a blend of American-sewn and recycled cotton, most styles have a bit of stretch for added comfort and a sustainability-conscious weave.
With a variety of washes and fits to choose from, Polo Ralph Lauren offers something for everyone. On many of their styles, they'll even go as far as to offer hand-finished design choices such as sanding and distressing.
In short, whether you're looking for a skinny, slim, or regular fit – they've got you covered. And at around $150 per pair, these jeans aren't cheap but they're certainly not the most expensive option on this list!
#8 True Religion Jeans
When it comes to finding a great pair of jeans, True Religion is a brand that often comes to mind. And for good reason!
Their jeans are made with high- materials and attention to detail – such as their signature stitching and unique washes.
As you would expect from a great pair of pants, their jeans are very comfortable for most men – perfect for those who want to wear them all day long without chafing and other discomforts.
Overall, True Religion makes an excellent pair of men's jeans and is definitely worth the price (as little at $80!). So if you're looking for a great pair of denim that will last you for years to come, True Religion is definitely a brand worth checking out!
I love J.Crew menswear! The quality of their clothing is always top-notch, and their jeans are no exception.
One of the things I love most about their men's jeans is the variety of fits they offer. Whether you're looking for a slim or straight leg, they've got you covered.
Another thing I appreciate about J.Crew jeans is the attention to detail that goes into each pair. The stitching and washes are well designed and premium looking, and I never have to worry about them falling apart after a few wears.
However, one negative I think I should note about J.Crew jeans is that they can be a bit pricey. On average, you can expect to pay around $120-$150 per pair. Considering the other great options on this list – you may be able to find a better quality pair of jeans for cheaper.
#10 Acne Studios
Acne Studios is a fashion house that specializes in men's and women's clothing, footwear, accessories, and denim. They are known for their high-quality products and attention to detail – and they're considered by many to be a luxury brand.
However, that doesn't mean you can expect to pay thousands of dollars for their jeans. While some might consider them a bit pricey, you can pick up a pair of Acne Jeans for around the $200 mark.
What does this get you? In short, Acne clothing is high-quality, sustainable clothing that should last a lifetime. They have a big focus on planet-friendly cotton, which could explain the slightly higher price point here.
After all, we're not yet at the point where 100% organic clothing costs the same as their less eco-friendly counterparts.
#11 Lee Jeans
Lee is an American brand that was first produced in 1889 in Salina, Kansas. Fast forward 100 years, and Lee Denim is making waves across the world. In fact, the company launched Lee National Denim Day as part of National Breast Cancer Awareness Month. Working with the Entertainment Industry Foundation, they managed to raise over $75 million to help fund breast cancer research.
Their men's jeans are tough and hardy. In fact, Lee Jeans is committed to minimising the amount of clothing you have to purchase by producing durable, stylish denim that's designed to last a lifetime.
In general, you can pick up a pair of Lee Jeans for around the $170 mark.
#12 Saint Laurent
Saint Laurent is a luxury clothing company that you may not have heard of before. In general, you can see Saint Laurent clothing featured on runways and in high-fashion magazines.
Their jeans are no exception. Designed with the fashion-savvy man in mind, Saint Laurent's denim offerings are some of the most stylish and well-crafted you'll find on the market today.
Of course, all of this comes at a cost. A pair of Saint Laurent men's jeans will set you back around $600. But what do you get for that more premium price?
They claim that their denim can give you a truly ‘broken in' feel straight out of the box, so to speak. They wash, whisker and fade their denim to give it the same feel as a pair of jeans that you've been wearing for years.
Does this warrant the higher price point? I'm unsure, but they're made from 100% cotton so at least that's a sign they'll be pretty darn comfortable.
#13 Tom Ford Jeans
It's well known that Tom Ford produces some of the most stylish suits of any designer brand on the market. It's also well known that his clothing lines don't exactly come cheap!
A pair of Tom Ford jeans will set you back around $1000 – which for some of you might seem like a ridiculous amount of money to spend on a single pair of pants.
But hold up a second – is there anything to justify this higher price point? Surely for that price you must be getting something that no other clothing manufacturer can give at a lower price?
Tom Ford jeans are made of Japanese Selvedge Denim – a type of denim that's renowned for being extremely strong and durable. In fact, it's often said that Japanese Selvedge Denim will only get better with age as it stretches out and moulds to the body of the wearer.
However, there are far cheaper jeans that also use this fabric technology. In the case of Tom Ford, you're spending the extra $$$ in the knowledge that the clothing you buy is well-sourced and expertly crafted. After all, his pedigree as a menswear pioneer kind of guarantees you'll be getting only the very best in style, luxury and quality.
#14 American Eagle
On the other end of the price scale is American Eagle jeans. They're pretty darn cheap – at as little as $40 for a single pair.
Great right? The cheaper the better?
Not necessarily. While I don't think every man needs to spend his life savings on pants, I do think that quality denim comes at a price.
American Eagle is what I would consider to be a fast fashion label. They produce cheaply made products and sell them at a cheap price. Typically, they're not made to last and you can expect to have to replace them within a year of purchasing.
There's also the issue of production ethics. There have been reports of cheap labour at American Eagle not being paid a livable wage. While that isn't a direct reflection on the quality of their clothing, it does make you wonder whether the jeans they produce are really made with any care or consideration.
If you're after a pair of jeans that will last you through the summer, then maybe buy a pair of American Eagle jeans. However, if you want a pair that you can wear in and enjoy over a period of a few years, then American Eagle may not be the way to go.
#15 Secret Circus (Diamond Sewn Jeans)
Did you know you can spend up to $1.3 Million on a single pair of jeans?
Secret Circus is a brand that gained some attention a few years ago by creating the world's most expensive pair of jeans.
Let me repeat that for you: $1.3MILLION FOR A PAIR OF JEANS!
And here's the thing – these jeans aren't even that stylish. In fact, I'd go as far as to say they're pretty ugly.
So what makes these jeans worth the same price as a top-teir sports car?
As it turns out, Secret Circus Clothing thought it would be a good idea to sew 15 diamonds onto the back pocket of these jeans.
Why? Because they can… I suppose?
Ultimately, these jeans aren't for any regular guy. They're the sort of jeans that someone with more money than sense would purchase simply to show off how insanely rich he is.
Personally, I'd never wear them. They look gaudy, scream pretentious, and give a whole new meaning to the phrase pickpocketing!
What do read next? How to buy the perfect pair of jeans.