The 22 Best Cheap Jeans Deliver Great Denim for Fewer Dollars

We've done the work to separate the good cheap jeans from the cheap
22 Best Cheap Jeans for Men 2023 The Sub100 Denim We Love

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We're in a golden era of jeans: big baggy jeans, Japanese jeans, expensive designer jeans. But a rising tide has helped the best cheap jeans for men get better than ever, too. The under-$100 category now has subtler rinses, more styles, and nicer denim than a decade ago. Of course, there's also more cheap jeans than ever, and telling the good cheap jeans from the cheap cheap jeans takes a keen eye. So we've dug through piles of denim (literal and metaphorical) to find 22 pairs of mens jeans under $100—across a variety of fits, styles, washes, and colors—that we love.

The Best Cheap Jeans Shopping Guide

Before we get to our picks, let's set some expectations for the best cheap jeans. You can count out many of the details that make denim freaks and fictional chefs go googly-eyed: no ultra-super heavyweight denim or artisanal touches like hidden rivets, single-piece flies, vegetable-tanned leather patches, or lined rear pockets. And nothing too wild in shape or silhouette. Cheap denim isn't runway denim. And that's fine.

That said, we were pleasantly surprised to turn up a few cheap pairs of mens jeans made from selvedge denim, the slow-made version that's often woven on increasingly rare shuttle looms. We've included a handful of wallet-friendly selvedge options in the mix below.

As for the other bells and whistles—they're just that. At sub-$100 prices, your two biggest concerns should be fit (based on your body and preferred style) and wash. You'll want the latter to be as simple as possible. That means no Jersey Shore-style bleach-heavy fades or intensely fake “whiskering” (the lighter lines across the thighs). The best cheap jeans should look like you broke them in yourself—or dark enough that you can break them in yourself.

Below are our favorite all-around best cheap jeans for men under $100—most of which you can pick up, right now, at your local shopping mall.

The Best Cheap Jeans, Overall


501 Original Fit Jeans


501 Original Shrink-to-Fit jeans

Levi's invented the jeans category—the begetter of blue jeans!—and thanks to the 501's straight-leg fit, it's every bit as relevant today as it was when it debuted in the late 1800s. You can choose your fighter.

The OG Shrink-to-Fit model asks for some DIY energy to grant you a flawless fit. Size up 2-3 inches in your waist, put them on, and go sit in a tub of warm water (seriously). After 10-15 minutes, get out and let the Levi's dry on your body. They’ll shrink down to your normal size, forming to your body. Technically you could skip the bath and just wash them before your first wear, but you miss out on the stupid story and denim molding head-start. From then on, wear your 501 Shrink-to-Fits as hard as you can and wash 'em every couple of weeks. (Definitely not with whites, and definitely don't put them in the dryer.) Eventually, they'll probably end up as the best-fitting, best-feeling pair of jeans you own, at any price.

Or, skip the shrinking and buy the standard-issue 501s. They don't come in the same super-dark version, but there are plenty of rinses, all pre-shrunk and ready to wear out of the box.

The Best Stretchy Jeans That Won't Stretch Out


Organic Cotton Slim Fit Jean

What sets apart Everlane's elastane-enhanced jeans from its comfort-focused competition is that they’re also surprisingly sag-resistant: you can wear them Monday through Sunday, and it'll be a long, long time before this pair loses its flattering lean shape. That's great, because the subtle wash cements these as the most office-appropriate pair in our cheap jeans round-up. Everlane's pristine indigo look is simple enough to work with anything, at any time. If you're looking for a weekday business casual suggestion, try them with a tweed blazer, knit tie, and equally-crisp white sneakers for a fit that’ll take you from a meeting with your boss straight into post-work drinks with your most gossipy colleagues.

The Best Cheap Selvedge Denim Jeans


Stretch Selvedge Slim-Fit Jeans

It's rare to find selvedge denim under $100, but Uniqlo remains a hero to fans of high-quality, low-cost jeans. Selvedge denim takes longer to make than regular denim—and as a result, usually costs more—because it's woven on looms that leave a densely-woven, non-fraying self edge (that tell-tale stripe on the outer leg seam, usually white and red, and flexed with an upturned cuff). You should care about selvedge for at least one reason, maybe two: because it's pristine denim that you get to wear in yourself, and because denimheads will see it and give you a nod of approval.

Uniqlo's selvedge is mid-weight, a little crispy, and imbued with a hint of stretch to keep it from choking out your thighs while it wears in. It's sanforized, too—denim jargon for “pre-shrunk,” so you don't have to worry about washing them. Little touches like gunmetal hardware and reinforced belt loops make Uniqlo's stretch selvedge jeans feel more premium, too.

The Best Athletic-Build Jeans


Relaxed Fit Straight Leg Jean Pants

For those riding the menswear Dad Wave™ or for those with thicker-thighed bodies, get yourself a pair of Lees. The fabric is hardy, the fit is boxy and perfect for athletic builds, and the wash is blissfully uniform, without any crazy distressing. Most important, they'll only set you back $30. Because we all know affordability is the sine qua non of a great dad jean.

The Best Slim (But Not Too Slim) Jeans


Slim Jeans with GapFlex

Gap kicked off this whole “quality jeans at a nice price” movement more than a decade ago, and it keeps the party rolling with these medium-wash crowd-pleasers. This pair was engineered to look great on the broadest range of body types: not too snug, not too loose. (Which makes them the rare slim jeans that are flattering for those with plenty of “power” in their legs.) Not for nothing, there’s also a lived-in character to Gap's Slim Jeans that’s hard to come by—they’ll feel like an old friend right from the jump. And who doesn't like spending time with an old friend?

The Best Double-Knee Jeans


Rugged Flex Relaxed Fit Double-Front Utility Jean

Carhartt's been doling out tough-as-nails, real-deal workwear for well over a century. On top of its famed Detroit work jackets and duck canvas double-knee pants, the brand also knows how to engineer some solid denim. The 15-ounce denim on these utility jeans is the heaviest on this list—and that's before you factor in the double-layered knee panels. You'll feel the extra heft—but you can bet that these jeans will last forever and only look better with every wear. Though they'll win your heart from day one thanks to a classic rise (not too high, not too low) and a finely-tuned relaxed fit that's airy without looking messy.

The Best Boot-Ready Jeans


Wrangler Cowboy Cut 13MWZ Original Fit Jeans

This is the jean of choice for Super Bowl stars and real-ass cowboys alike. Wrangler's bootcut jeans have become legends of the range thanks to their hip-hugging top and flared hems, which pool over a pair of boots like a denim fondue. The dense, 100-percent cotton denim comes in a few weights: the lightest is a standard 12 ounces, but most of the Cowboy Cut's options sit at a beefier 14-15 ounces—a rarity for cheap jeans under $100, never mind under $50. If you want to go especially hard, serve them up like a young Harrison Ford: with a western belt, a plaid blazer, and a pair of movie star shades. Or remember that “bootcut” is just a suggestion, and lean into the Wranglers' groovier side with a pair of canvas sneakers and a vintage tee.

Best Vintage Jeans


Secondhand 501 Original Fit Jeans

Levi's 170 years of history means the world is full of vintage denim with plenty of lives left to live. Following in the footsteps of brands like Patagonia and its WornWear program, the first name in denim introduced its Levi's Secondhand platform for buying used and vintage jeans. It's a welcome nod of eco-awareness, particularly considering how much energy and water goes into making denim. And on that immediate gratification tip, Levi's Secondhand is also the easiest way to score sourced-and-stamped vintage when you don't have the time or energy to trawl the local thrift shops. If you've got your own Levi's gear that deserves a new home, you can trade it in for a gift card, too.

Watch The GQ Recommends Show: Our 5 Favorite Jeans Fits Right Now

Plus 14 More Jeans Under $100 We Love


505 Regular Fit Jeans

The 505 shares most of its DNA with the 501, but offers your thighs just a little more room to breathe, then adds a barely-there taper and swaps the button fly for a zipper.


'90s Original Straight Selvedge Jeans

Vintage redline jeans are hard to come by, and will typically cost you a pretty penny—but Gap's are the next best thing. On top of their selvedge denim fabric, they also feature a light wash and tasteful distressing—whiskers, train track fades, subtle nicks at the hems—that lend them the most convincing pre-worn look you'll come across, especially at this price point. If you'd really rather not break in a pair of jeans yourself, these are for you.

The Unbranded Brand

UB201 Tapered Indigo Selvedge Jean

Budding denimheads will often be pointed toward The Unbranded Brand as a good option for selvedge Japanese denim on a budget. Not only do these feature 14.75-ounce raw selvedge denim, they also come with rare-at-these-price details like a cowhide leather patch, hidden rivets, and chainstitch hems.


Hemp Denim 5-Pocket Pants

Patagonia's penchant for high-quality gear translates pretty well to the workwear arena, and these hemp-blend utility jeans are proof. They're made with a blend of organic cotton and hemp, which results in a fabric that's tough, but still soft and breathable.

Abercrombie & Fitch

90s Straight Jean

Blue jeans, as we've said before, do not have to be blue. Thankfully, Abercrombie got the memo—the mall brand mainstay gave these brown dungarees a discerning wash that feels naturally lived-in without going overboard.


'90s Original Straight Fit Selvedge Jeans

We are completely aware that Gap's selvedge jeans are on this list twice. But they're just that good, and at this price—not to mention the frequent discounts—you can see why we needed to toss in the pitch black version too, right?


Regular Tapered Leg Organic Cotton Blend Jeans

Let's address the thirsty elephant in the room—denim uses a lot of water. Cotton farming and indigo dyeing consume heaps and heaps of the precious resource but brands are trying to take on the issue in various ways (and to varying degrees of effectiveness). While COS's jeans are still new jeans, they're made with a mix of organic cotton and recycled cotton which keeps the harmful chemicals and water usage down. On top of that, the regular tapered leg is great for dudes with larger thighs who still want that tailored silhouette without feeling like a human sausage.

Calvin Klein

Standard Straight Fit Lime Luster Jeans

Calvin Klein's billboard-worthy underwear gets a lot of love at GQ, but the brand's jeans have been a central part of the CK DNA since the beginning. And even now, Calvin's quietly producing some of the most underrated jeans—particularly this model, which has the old-school logo on the waist and looks damn good with a little extra length.


Astro Loose Baggy Jeans

Weekday's Gen-Z appeal is evident in the range of head-turning denim the brand produces, from coated dirty-faded denim that channels Diesel to gulp-inducing, midriff-baring low-rise jeans. If you know who we're talking about when we say the name “Demna,” then these are your cheap jeans nirvana. They're a baggy, brooding washed-black denim built to pair with combat boots or Doc Martens.


Park Cropped Regular Straight Jeans

Arket spent a few years blessing Europe with impeccably-made menswear staples at feel-good prices, and only recently crossed the Atlantic to offer us the same. These jeans blend recycled and organic cotton into a fit that's cropped at the ankle, right on time for the indie sleaze revival. BYO Chucks or Onitsuka Tiger's Mexico 66 sneakers, slim button-up, and healthy disdain for The Man.

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Uniqlo x Helmut

Classic Cut Jeans

Helmut Lang defined a lot of ‘90s style, and its stripped-back, deceptively sexy basics from the era are defining the era’s fashion comeback. The designer is no longer associated with his namesake label, but you can still see vestiges of his work—particularly his way with denim—in the jeans lining the shelves at your favorite menswear boutique. Brilliantly, Uniqlo went straight to the source, collaborating with Helmut-Lang-the-brand to reissue a pitch-perfect pair of jeans from its archives at a more forgiving price.


1991 Bootcut Jeans

Thanks to a slightly stretchy denim made by the venerable Cone Mills and the gentlest of flares, Madewell's groovy jeans will turn any skeptic into a bootcut believer.


Regular Fit 5-Pocket Jeans

If you like the cut of Dickies' popular work chinos, you'll be a fan of this 5-pocket jean variant.

Ben Davis

Carpenter Pants

Ben Davis is a titan of real-deal workwear, the kind of label you see in shops filled with military surplus gear and goods made for construction workers. The brand's carpenter jeans use a dense and crunchy 14 ounce denim that comes raw and ready to fade just like the high-end stuff. At the same time, though, they're a far cry from fancy fashion dungarees—which means they're definitely not slim and are almost criminally affordable.