One of the most common questions that is asked on the forum – alongside “Where can I buy Common Projects on sale?” – is “How do I clothe my athletic thighs with denim?” It seems that, while malls across America are well-equipped to outfit the girthier amongst us and fashion brands like Saint Laurent Paris can clothe kale-eating hordes of models, there is a dearth of denim choices for the mesomorphs in our midst: those who begin and end each day with a strong dose of creatine, and whose Instagrams and Snapchats are riddled with words such as “swole” and “gainz.” Styleforum, alway inclusive, is happy to present the 5 best jeans for men with big thighs: powerlifters, strongman competitors, or those who aspire to be Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson (or just want a pair of jeans with some room in the thigh).
- Jeanshop “Rocker”, $260 at www.jeanshop.com
I’ve visited the flagship Jean Shop store in lower Manhattan, and like many stores who can trace their genesis to the mid-noughties, it looks like ye olde general store, with a lot of wood and wrought iron. The brand is famous for its thick leather jackets (which I once coveted as a broke postdoctoral scholar), and of course for its jeans, which are topstitched with a distinctive orange thread. The owner of Jean Shop, Eric Goldstein, is a big guy (in one conversation with him he told me that he was “not a small guy,” and the cut of his earliest models reflect his understanding that big guys like to wear nice jeans too. The Rocker cut is a straight legged model with ample room through the seat, thighs, and legs.
- RRL straight fit denim – $275 at www.ralphlauren.com
Possibly the most comfortable jeans that I own are a pair of 15 ounce straight fit selvedge jeans from RRL. The denim is washed, and so there is very little break-in time required, which means that even though they have the look of dark denim, they don’t have the stiffness that often accompanies “raw,” a.k.a unwashed, jeans. A lot of guys talk about the thighs on their jeans being restrictive, but if you are doing squats, you are probably going to want some extra room in the seat – which these offer. Ralph Lauren is a billion dollar company, and with that much money, you can afford to hire good pattern makers. This pair of jeans shows that.
- Naked and Famous Easy Guys, in black for $170 at East Dane
One of the most popular styles of jeans right now is a tapered black jean, and this is a relaxed fit pair that tapers down to a neat hem. Naked and Famous, hailing out of Montreal, is the brainchild of Brandon Svarc and is known for putting out crazy denim blends. It’s been a while since I’ve run into him, but he always has a demonstration set up at trade shows – a pair of jean that stand up by themselves, or a pair of jeans in tricolor (all blended into the yarn), or whatever else comes to his mind that season. Behind all of the theater, though, is a family of jean styles designed so that everyone can wear a pair. The Easy Guy is the high end denim answer to those Wrangler jeans commercials, in which guys are playing football in jeans. Why you would want to do that is beyond me – it’s easy enough to tuck away a pair of technical fiber pants or training pants. That said, if you are drawn into that madness, the Easy Guy will carry you through.
- Japan Blue High tapered $127 at www.denimio.com
The “carrot” shape is very in fashion right now, but it can be hard for bigger guys to fit into typical carrot jeans. However, Japan Bue developed their high tapered cut specifically for lifters – apparently being swole has caught on in Japan as well. The jeans feature a higher rise, generous seat and thighs, and a very deep taper. They come in a variety of denim types and weights, from the standard 14.5 ounce denim (linked) show below to a beefy 18 ounce “monster” denim.
- Levi’s 541, 50$-70$ at Levis.com
These jeans really don’t require that much explanation. They are Levi’s standard “athletic cut” and meant for men who need, or just want, jeans that hit at the waist, have a bit more room in the seat and thighs, and have a whisper of a taper. These are jeans with no time for nonsense.