Men’s Black Jeans Outfit Inspiration: 16 Cool Looks For 2023
Black jeans are a wardrobe anchor and one that you can rely on day in, day out. From smart to casual, here are some foolproof ways to style them.
Black jeans might just be the most versatile piece of clothing you can buy. Perfect for throwing on without thinking about it, but also easy to dress up (more so than their indigo counterparts), black jeans are a wardrobe anchor and one that you can rely on day in, day out.
They’re ideal for wearing with a monochrome fit, but also complement practically any colour under the sun. They work year round, and pair well with smart leather boots, loafers or sneakers, underlining their unmatched versatility.
Basically, if you’re going to buy just one pair of jeans, bet on black and you won’t be disappointed. There are some things worth considering though. From finding the right fit to black jeans outfit inspiration, we’ve got you covered.
How to wear black jeans: key points
As always, fabric is key when it comes to black jeans. While they might all look the same at first glance, fabric plays a huge part in how jeans look and feel against the skin, and how they’ll age.
They aren’t always made from denim. A pair of ‘jeans’ refers to the style of the trouser, which features five pockets – two at the rear and two curved pockets at the front, with one hidden coin pocket on the left hand side. So you can pick up a pair of black jeans made from moleskin or cotton twill, but for the most part they’ll of course be made with denim.
Denim can be rigid and stiff if raw and unwashed, or it can be incredibly soft to touch and feature elastane, giving it a slight stretch. Denim purists rarely touch anything that isn’t raw, as this is the way the denim originally left the mill. Raw denim requires breaking in, giving it a distinctive look and feel after repeated wear that’s all your own. But because of this it’s often uncomfortable to begin with, and unless you wear them to death your jeans will remain stiff for months or until they are washed.
That’s where pre-washed and stretch denim comes in. Far more comfortable straight off the bat, this kind of denim feels softer against the skin, but won’t develop a unique ‘patina’ like raw denim will. If you’re after comfort first and foremost and don’t care about the nerdy, break-in process, this is the way to go.
Get the fit right
As with any colour jean, fit is arguably the most important factor. The leg shape, rise height and hem width all drastically change the look of jeans, so it’s crucial you consider these factors before dropping your hard-earned cash. There isn’t an ideal fit, as such, but there are a few pointers worth taking on board.
Ideally you want your jeans to flatter your leg shape. This means going for a pair that’s neither too skinny nor too wide, and a fit that subtly shapes your legs rather than constricting them. Black skinny jeans can definitely work on the right body type, but typically you have to be skinny yourself, or have the confidence of a rock star to pull them off.
For the rest of us, a pair of mid-rise, tapered black jeans are ideal. You want a bit of room in the thigh so you can walk and sit comfortably, and for the legs to taper gently down to a narrow hem, which will better complement your shoes or sneakers. If you’re after a more workwear-inspired fit then opt for a wide-legged pair, which team well with chore jackets, relaxed-fit T-shirts and equally laid-back outerwear.
Wash makes a difference
You might think all black jeans are the same, but they differ greatly depending on the wash. For the blackest of black jeans, you’ll want to go for a pair that’s raw, or unwashed. As previously mentioned this ensures the denim is as it was when it left the mill it was woven in, and is usually pure black. For more worn in looking denim or for a pair with a bit of fade, you’ll want to source some that have been washed.
Pre-washed black denim rarely goes as light as indigo, but can result in greyish pairs which look as though they’ve been worn for years. Of course, this will give your fit a completely different feel. Lighter, washed black jeans are far more casual than raw black denim, and are better suited to laid back looks as a result.
Black jeans outfits for men
Black jeans with a flannel shirt
A great way to subtly introduce colour into a black jeans look is by wearing a check flannel shirt. This Black Watch example works perfectly thanks to the complementary blue and green shades, as well as the black undercheck, which picks out the black of the sneakers and jeans.
It’s a simple look but one that works well for laid-back weekend attire.
Black & green
It might not be the first colour that comes to mind, but black works especially well with green. For a simple off-duty look try pairing black jeans and Chelsea boots with a black tee and olive green coach jacket or bomber, which provides a welcome bit of contrast to the sombre lower half.
Black jeans & leather jacket
A leather jacket is a natural pairing for black jeans. The two instantly reference rock stars and the golden age of Hollywood (and the likes of Jeff Goldblum more recently). You might typically wear them with a white T-shirt, but try smartening up the look with a complementary black shirt and loafers, which gives the age-old combo a smart casual edge that’s perfect for a restaurant date.
Black & blue
Many people are of the opinion that you can’t wear black with blue. They’re wrong. Black goes well with a variety of blue shades, from dark navy through to sapphire and ultramarine. To try it yourself opt for a mid-blue crew neck jumper and keep it simple by throwing a white tee underneath. Finish with gum-soled vintage runners and you’re good to go.
For a relaxed weekend look, straight-leg jeans and a hoodie is hard to beat. Keep things monochrome with a black or grey top and finish things off with canvas low tops and white socks, which cements the casual theme.
Unlike blue double denim, combining black denim pieces is incredibly easy to pull off. Try it for yourself with a pair of tapered black jeans, Chelsea boots and a white tee to anchor the look. Then finish with a washed black trucker jacket and you’ve got a fit perfect for wearing out on the town on a Friday night.
With brown leather
There’s no doubt about it, black leather jackets are way easier to pair up with black denim. But if you want to make more of a statement, a brown leather jacket can work when it’s done well. The trick is to keep things as simple as possible. Combine black slim-fit jeans with black boots and a white tee, all of which are pared back and inoffensive, which allows the leather jacket to take centre stage.
Black and grey
Black jeans often look their best when worn as part of a monochromatic outfit. It’s a simple, easy way of dressing, but one that can look smart when you pay attention to the details. For a smart casual look, keep the colour palette on the greyscale and opt for slim-fit black jeans, Chelsea boots and a light grey crew neck, which will see you from office to bar in (neutral) style.
With a white tee
Jeans and T-shirts are two of the most classic garments in existence. Wear them together and you will rarely go wrong. Just ensure the fit of both is on point. With the jeans, keep them slim but not restrictive, and roll the hems so they’re just skimming the shoes underneath.
Black jeans and workwear
You might associate workwear with indigo denim, but that doesn’t mean black jeans can’t work as part of a utilitarian look. Try yours with a Breton striped T-shirt, white minimal sneakers and a navy work shirt.
Black jeans are easier to dress up than blue jeans. This is mostly because you can’t see the fabric in the way you can with indigo denim, and black is inherently more formal than blue. To try it yourself, opt for an unstructured blazer and a complementary black roll neck, which are smart but not too smart. Finish with Chelsea boots.
Skinny black jeans
They don’t work for every body type, but black skinny jeans do look good on those with similarly svelte physiques. If you fit the description, wear yours with a leather jacket and white tee for a classic 70s rock feel that wouldn’t look out of place on The Ramones.
Black & brown
As with blue, there are many that believe you should never wear black with brown. It can be done, however, and is worth a go if you want to channel a relaxed 70s feel with your look. Try a brown work shirt over black jeans and suede vintage runners, and you’ve got an alternative and distinctive casual fit.
All black with a difference
When you’re wearing an all-black look consisting of a leather jacket, jeans and boots, your first port of call might be to finish the look with a black tee. Why not mix it up? A statement shirt worn instead adds a point of difference and keeps you looking fresh long into the night.
Arguably the easiest way to wear all black though is by combining black jeans with a matching roll neck. Sleek and sophisticated, it’s simultaneously smart and casual and will ensure you look sharp in the office or to the bar on that second date.
With mid-century knitwear
It’s difficult to make black jeans look bad, so why not experiment a little? Take your cues from the 50s and try pairing an open neck knit with slim black jeans and suede desert boots for a look that’s both easy to wear and channels a bit of vintage charm.