Chances are, if you’re reading this, you’ve noticed the popularity of the “dad jeans” trend. For years, young women have donned their mom’s old jeans — or at least jeans designed to look like them — that feature a generous inseam with a high waist and gave them the appropriate name, “mom jeans.” Naturally, men hopped on the trend and started sporting their dad’s old, rugged jeans.
With trends like dad hats, dad shoes even dad colognes riling up the vintage aesthetic, dad jeans have become a certified fashion trend that won’t be going away any time soon. As we move away from skinny jeans, the best men’s denim involves looser and looser styles, and so the dad jeans trend is right on time.
What Are Dad Jeans?
A hallmark of dad jeans is the looser, more generous fit than other denim styles on the market. These jeans usually feature a tapered leg design and sit higher, often resting on the natural waist. With the current modern aesthetic of jeans trending looser and baggier, dad jeans have gotten a baggier twist than those your dad actually wore. While the fit may have been updated, the washes still feel like something your dad would’ve worn to cut the grass or water the lawn back in the day.
How To Style Dad Jeans
With dad jeans being one of the biggest trends for men’s denim at the moment, it’s easy to style these jeans with clothing already in your closet.
Wear this look with simple styles like a T-shirt and your favorite athletic sneaker for a casual, relaxed look. Or, for a more refined appearance, pair these jeans with a button-up shirt and a sleek boot. You could also style dad jeans by wearing a tucked-in polo shirt and a belt for a dad look that feels modern and refreshed. If you’re looking to achieve a layered look, sport this jean silhouette with a tucked-in tee and an open button-up shirt, and tie it all together by adding a belt.
Styling this jean style can be minimal and effortless, depending on the look you’re trying to achieve.
Below, we’ve rounded up some of our favorite dad jeans for men to wear in 2021. This list includes modern versions and vintage variations of the jean silhouettes to match just about anyone’s aesthetic.
1. Levi’s So High Slim Fit Jeans
You’re not a regular dad; you’re a cool dad. At least that’s what everyone will say when you show up rocking these super high-rise jeans from American icon Levi’s. Levi’s is the undisputed authority for all things denim-related, so it should come as no surprise that the 168-year-old jean juggernaut has the best option for those looking to nail the dad jeans trend without looking dumpy.
2. AE Dad Jeans
BEST BLACK WASH
American Eagle is known for creating durable denim that is both comfortable and stylish. This pair comes in a black wash that’s chic and modern. They come in a classic 90s fit and have extra level durability by including a handmade finish.
3. Polo Ralph Lauren Hampton Relaxed Straight Fit Jeans
BEST RELAXED LOOK
This option from Polo Ralph Lauren features a neutral wash that complements many aesthetics. Featuring extra legroom for a comfy and loose fit, these jeans sit slightly below the waist with a relaxed rise, an easy fit through the seat and the thigh, and a full straight leg. They also feature a Polo Ralph Lauren leather patch on the back upper right of the jeans.
4. Carhartt Relaxed Fit Tapered Leg Jean
BEST TAPERED LEG JEAN
Carhartt creates effortless and durable workwear that doubles as casual wear and these jeans are no exception. The classic five-pocket style denim lovers know well sits at the natural waist and features reinforced belt loops for dependable wear. Available in two classic washes, these jeans even come in big and tall sizing, ensuring as many men can rock them as possible.
Read More: Most Comfortable Jeans for Men
5. BDG Dad Jean
This modern option from Urban Outfitters features a sleek yet baggy look in a light wash that’s on-trend. Made from 100% cotton denim cut in a relaxed fit with a slightly tapered leg opening, these dad jeans feature classic five-pocket detailing and a zip fly with button waist closure.
6. Madewell Relaxed Straight Authentic Flex Selvedge Jeans
If you’re looking for a slouchy, stretchy, and casual option, take a look at these from Madewell. They feature authentic Japanese denim with 2% stretch, which ensures both quality and comfort. The vintage-inspired rise, wider leg opening, and slightly cropped length give this particular pair of parent-inspired pants seriously stylish staying power.
Read More: What to Know About Raw Denim (And Which Men’s Jeans to Buy)
7. H&M Regular Tapered Crop Jeans
BEST CROPPED VERSION
Arguably the best deal on our list, H&M provides an affordable option that comes in three washes: dark denim, light denim and white denim. The gently tapered legs combine with a cropped length to create a 100% cotton style that is crisp yet still casual.
8. GAP Cropped Straight Jeans with GapFlex
BEST LIGHT WASH
This classic cropped option from GAP combines authentic cotton denim and GapFlex stretch technology for total comfort with extra flexibility. A staple of the San Francisco-based brand, these have a more modern look designed to go with just about anything in your closet. They fit straight through the leg and thigh, with a slight taper towards the ankle. It’s a roomy fit that’s breathable and built for long days of wear.
9. Levi’s 501 Original Fit Men’s Jeans
It’s fitting we come full circle to the OG denim brand itself to round out this roundup. Levi’s is a heritage denim brand that crafts sturdy and reliable denim wear, so if a new, so high fit isn’t your jam, don’t worry. The 501 jean is the brand’s classic fit that had become synonymous with the term “dad jeans” before dad jeans were even a thing. They feature a regular fit through the seat and thigh and sit at the natural waist. They are the classic Levi’s five-pocket style (the design adopted by all denim brands today) and iconic stonewash blue denim. If you really fancy a pair of 501s, you’re in luck — the brand offers the classic cut in over 10 washes.
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