Experts Recommend 5 Slim Fit Jeans Made from Selvedge Denim for Any Budget

When we’re talking about jeans fits for men, slim has become the new regular.

Even with the growing popularity of looser fits, slim is the most popular fit category in both Europe and North America.

5 slim fit jeans

With so many options to choose from, I’ve asked four experienced experts who sell jeans for a living about which slim fit jeans they’d recommend if you visited their stores. I’ve also added my own fifth recommendation.

727 La Jolla from Stevenson Overall Co. (US$340 @Self Edge)

Self Edge has been a driving force in bringing the best Japanese and heritage-inspired jeans to the US for over a decade now.

After a rough start with lawsuits against many of the brands that founder Kiya Babzani brought to North America, Self Edge is arguably the country’s leading force in specialist denim retail, in part through Babzani’s business relationship with the founders of 3sixteen.

Today, Self Edge has five physical storefronts as well as a thriving online webshop. One of their most popular styles is the 727 La Jolla from Stevenson Overall Co.

727 La Jolla fit front and back

Who is these jeans for?

La Jolla is for the customer who has dipped his toes into raw denim but wants something truly unique, but not so different that it cannot be worn with various styles of outfits,” Kiya argues.

Stevenson Overall Co. was established in 2005 by Zip Stevenson and Atsusuke Tagaya. The two founders wanted to create a line with the long-lost construction standards of the early twentieth century and the intelligent design content of a modern product.

What are the most important selling points about the jeans?

This is one of the only single-needled stitched production jeans in the world. Normally, a jean is manufactured using anywhere from five to eight sewing machines. Stevenson’s 727 jeans are made using a single needle machine.”


727 La Jolla raw vs faded

Using only one machine gives the stitching and the stitch-per-inch a unique feel and look. And the signature curved back pockets make your rear look nice while giving it a slightly different than usual five-pocket jean look.

How would you normally pitch these jeans to a customer?

It’s the perfect jean if you want to branch out slightly from the regular five-pocket jean. The details and shapes of the pockets, belt loops, and fly are unique to this jean without being too much of a departure.”

On top of this, the denim ages very well, the jean lasts quite a while with regular wear, and with a price of $340 it’s a good deal considering how much work goes into the production of them.

You can get the 727 La Jolla here.

RFR-002 from RJBxTFHxR&H (£279 @Rivet and Hide)

London’s Rivet and Hide specialises in denim of the highest quality and rare brands. It started as an online store 2012 and later expanding into brick-and-mortar in 2014.

And founder Danny Hodgson knows his local market. That’s why he works with leading Japanese denim brands to develop fits for the Western figures.

One great example of this is the collaboration that Rivet and Hide made with Real Japan Blues and The Flat Head, the aptly named RFR-002.


The slim tapered fit that was launched in 2016. In fact, it proved so popular that they’re made a second production run that is expected to hit the store at the end of July.

The RFR-002 is made from Real Japan Blues’ signature 14 oz. denim. It’s available in a loomstate raw, but there’s also a one-wash version for those uncomfortable with the shrinking process.

What are the most important selling points about the jeans?

The denim, naturally. It has the most beautiful rich indigo hue and develops strong vertical falling fades,” Danny tells me.

“Then there’s the fit. It’s one that many of our customers are seeking; it opens up the brand for those who cannot cope with the super low rise of the core RJB selection.”

For the RFR-002, they’ve also scaled back on the ornamental aspects of the regular offering with subtle indigo back pocket arcuates.

RFR-002 fit front and back
Here’s what the RFR-002 looks like after 7 months of solid wear.
How would you normally pitch the jeans to a customer?

The RJB denim and the fit combined are the only pitch these jeans need.”

Due to the popularity of the jeans, Rivet and Hide have been working closely with Real Japan Blues and The Flat Head on a new relaxed tapered fit in the same denim, called the RFR-004. It will be release together with the second production run of the RFR-002.

Click here to see if they’ve still got your size left. If you’d like to be the first to know when the RFR-002 restock arrives, go ahead and subscribe for the Rivet and Hide newsletter here.

M2 Regular from C.O.F. Studio (US$215 @Standard & Strange)

Standard & Strange was established in 2012 by Neil Berrett and Jeremy Smith in Oakland in one of the city’s oldest historic buildings.

What began as a small-scale operation with an emphasis on American-made menswear has since evolved into a selection of brands and makers from around the globe.

C.O.F. M2 Regular fit

A great example of this is one of their best selling slim fit jeans, which is designed by a Swede and made from Italian denim: the Circle of Friends (C.O.F. Studio) M2 Regular in 13 oz. raw selvedge denim from Candiani.

It’s a slim, but not skinny jean with a little taper below the knee. The leg opening isn’t too wide for sneakers, and it’s not too narrow for boots,” Neil explains.

“The Candiani denim is very soft right off the bat, even when raw. At the end of the day, they’re just a great pair of jeans for a very fair price.”

Who is the target customer for the M2 Regular?

Neil usually puts the M2 on guys who aren’t sure what they’re looking for, and don’t have a specific brand in mind.

He’ll also show them to the A.P.C. or Nudie addicts that come into the store, and even some of his customers that are dedicated to Japanese or American denim now have the M2 in their collections.

The Italian denim is quite wonderful, all woven on 1960s Picanol looms. It does have a wildly different character than the denim coming off American Draper or Japanese Toyoda looms.”

Why does the M2 work so well for Standard & Strange?

I asked Neil how he pitches the jeans to his customers.

“We have a conversation about denim and through that pick out two or three pairs for them to try. Usually, that includes a pair of the M2. Fit is the most important selling point for us, and the M2 fits most people really well.”

You can learn how to find the perfect fit for the most common male body types here.

Neil says the M2 is popular because it’s very versatile; it fits guys across a wide variety of body types. The M2 is also backed up with a great story.

Per Fredriksson, the founder of C.O.F. Studio, has been working in the denim world for over 30 years, and in Italy for the last 18 years. When he decided to start his own brand, it was only natural to pull together his ‘circle of friends’ to produce his jeans. The list of companies involved is printed on the pocket bag of every pair of Circle of Friends denim made, creating total transparency about the supply chain.

C.O.F. M2 Regular pocket print

If the fit works out, then we start talking about the story, and the fabric. If a customer is curious, we’ll dive deep into Per’s history in the denim industry, and get into why we love Candiani denim; organic cotton, great heritage, beautiful hand.”

Standard & Strange also offers the M2 Regular in four different options, making it the most popular fit in the store by far. See the full range here.

SD-507 from Studio D’Artisan (US$178 @Okayama Denim)

The Okayama prefecture in Japan is home to what’s without a doubt the most mythical denim making town in the world, Kojima; the place where the first pair of Japanese-made blue jeans were sewn in the 1960s.

Okayama Denim is a Tokyo-based retailer—run by Mehervan Sehti (who usually goes by Merv)—that specialises in jeans made in Kojima. In fact, everything they sell is made in the fabled town.

When it comes to slim fits, Merv often recommends Studio D’Artisan’s SD-507 to both new and experienced denimheads.

It’s made from a 12 oz. sanforized denim in a true slim tapered fit from one of the most storied brands in Japanese denim,” he explains. The lighter weight makes it perfect for summer seasons and warmer climates.

Studio D'Artisan SD-507 fot front and back

What are the most important selling points about the jeans?

“The SD-507 features top-tier details that one would expect from the best Japanese jeans, including raised belt loops and reinforced back pockets with hidden rivets.”

Considering the jeans sell for less than 200 bucks, you’re getting a lot for your money!

It’s one of the best value-for-money jeans we offer,” Merv argues.

You can pick up the SD-507 here.

Studio D'Artisan SD-507 details
Details of the Studio D’Artisan SD-507.

My Recommendation: ED-80 from Edwin Europe (DKK1000 @Brund)

Along with Big John, Edwin was one of the first jeans makers in Japan. Though it’s the European licensee, Work in Progress (who’s also the licensee of Carhartt in Europe), who’s put Edwin on the map outside of Japan.

They’ve done this by adapting both the brand profile and the offering to European tastes; reasonable prices (made possible by producing in Tunesia) combined with greats fits and iconic Japanese denims.

The ED-80 is a prime example of this; a modern slim tapered fit with a mid-rise, designed to worn a little low on the hips.

Edwin Europe ED-80 black stretch selvedge denim fit front and back

As one of Edwin’s most popular fits, you can get it in a variety of denims, including their red listed 14 oz. Japanese selvedge denim and their proprietary 12.8 oz. 63 Rainbow selvedge. My recommendation, though, is the 13 oz. black selvedge denim that comes with a bit of stretch.

You can get it from my former employer, Brund, right here.

(At the time of publication, DKK1000 equals around US$153.)

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Hi, my name is Thomas, I'm a storyteller. I started Denimhunters in 2011. Today, I help companies in the denim industry market themselves with stories that excite, engage and convert customers.

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