The Denim Guide

Denim is one of those fabrics that have a place in all of our wardrobes. Whatever your age, shape and style, denim is quite often an outfit-building starting point for most people and given its unrivalled versatility, that comes as no surprise.

Our love for denim started back in 1873, when a certain gentleman named Levi Strauss created the first pair of blue jeans in San Francisco. These jeans, which were originally designed for gold miners, soon became adopted by other groups in the States – think cowboys and farmers in the 1930s – and it was only a matter of time before they became a covetable, fashionable piece of clothing.


Jeans have been associated with cultural, historic and societal change through the past century like no other apparel has (just read ourHistory of 501s article), and will continue to do so. Despite being such a staple and classic garment, jeans can prove to be one of the hardest things to buy; is the fit right, the style, the wash, the brand? Are skinnies finally, officially over? (Yes, step away and move to slim or straight legs for a more streamlined silhouette).

At Coggles, our first port of call for denim naturally goes to Levi’s. The original and still the best, Levi’s will always create a quality jean that manages to be both contemporary and timeless. But we also love Japanese brand Edwin – the first company to create ‘stone washing’ and thus revolutionising the entire denim industry – continually producing some of the most premium fabric around. Then there’s Gothenburg-based Nudie Jeans, a younger brand compared to other denim heavy-hitters, but with its strong ethical principles and exceptional quality, it’s not to be overlooked.


You can distinguish a pair of Levi’s by the number it’s given. 501 is the original; it’s straight through the seat, thigh and leg, and sits just below the waist. Then there’s the new 501CT (or Customised & Tapered) which is tapered, relaxed through the thigh version of the original 501. For a stretch, skinny fit that sits below the waist and is extra narrow through the leg and to the ankle, 510 is your style, while 511 is a slim, skinny-but not-as-skinny fit. Another new style to add to the Levi’s range is the 522; a slim fit, slim tapered jean with a fitted waist – think the 511 but with a higher rise and a bit more room in the seat and thigh.

Shop the full collection of men’s Levi’s on Coggles >>


Edwin jeans styles come in everything from slim tapered to regular loose, and are marked with numbers too. Look to ED80 for a modern slim fit and slightly tapered leg, ED55 for a relaxed tapered fit and mid-rise, ED75 for a fit that sits between the two, and ED85 for a slim tapered fit with a low crotch (aka the new skinny).

Shop the full Edwin collection on Coggles >>

Nudie Jeans

Never ones to follow the crowd, Nudie distinguishes its jeans styles and fits through names rather than numbers. First up, there’s Lean Dean, a straight slim fit with a normal waist and tapered leg, whereas Grim Tim is a straight slim fit with a narrow leg opening. For a tighter, narrower fit, choose Long John which sits low on the hip and is made from power stretch denim – or Thin Finn, which is slim from the hip and tapers down to a narrow leg opening. For a more regular fit, Steady Eddie has a normal rise and regular waist, with a straight leg that tapers slightly at the leg opening.

Shop the full Nudie Jeans collection on Coggles >>


Still not sure what to go for? Read our guide to buying jeans online and shop the Denim Edit on Coggles.

Clare Potts

Clare Potts


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