Bandana newsletter

Bandana Is
Launching Thursday

Japanese magazines are so F*#king cool. The only problem? They're all in Japanese. We have a solution.

The Best Lightweight Jeans for Summer

Best men's lightweight denim for summer 2023

The Best Lightweight Jeans for Summer

Wear these through the warmer months without sweating your ass off

Summer is tough for folks who don’t like wearing shorts. I'll wear a pair out of necessity whenever it's blistering hot out, but I'd always prefer a nice pair of jeans. You might think it's best to put them aside until early fall, but you can wear jeans year-round, as long as they're the right weight, fit and wash.

One piece of advice is to look for a pair of straight-fit or relaxed-fitting jeans. We saw this fit start to resurge last year, but it's on full blast this summer—even seeing some flare and bootcut options, but that's another story. Although skinny jeans are still alive (don't know how), you have to let the boys below breathe a bit—air circulation is key when the weather is this warm. If you're a denim head and only wear selvedge here's some great news: You can wear pre-washed selvedge jeans. Make sure you have a lighter weight to help prevent major sweat down in your undercarriage.

What exactly classifies “lightweight”? It all comes down to the actual weight of the denim. Like most fabrics, denim comes in various weights—aim for around 12 ounces and no more than 14 ounces. That way, they're substantial like real jeans but not so heavy that they weigh you down on humid days. Stonewashed pairs are ideal this time of year—they're soft and breathable right off the hanger. Brands like Knickerbocker, Adsum and Madewell have nailed down the wash to give you that vintage comfort from your first wear. If you want something more unique and fun, some patchwork jeans are definitely having a moment. Here, we've pulled together some of our favorite light-washed denim for summer. Your legs can thank us later.


The Best Men’s
Lightweight Denim
in 2023

Levi’s commemorates 150 years of the 501 with these patchwork jeans. The Japanese motif works well as a one-of-one denim for summer.

501 '54 jean,
$148 by Levi's

Mother Bronco Jean

Bronco jean,
$278 by Mother

Rubato Ecru Jean

These are made in Japan from an undyed red-line selvedge with a slub texture.

Ecru jean,
$295 by Rubato

3sixteen CS-101xs Jean

CS-101xs jean,
$265 by 3sixteen

Madewell 1991 Straight-Leg Jean

1991 straight-leg jean,
$148 / $73.99 by Madewell

imogene + willie Lightweight Rigid Selvedge Jean
imogene + willie Lightweight Rigid Selvedge Jean

Lightweight rigid selvedge jean,
$235 by imogene + willie

Everlane Lightweight Straight-Leg Jean
Everlane Lightweight Straight-Leg Jean

Lightweight straight-leg jean,
$98 by Everlane


Todd Snyder Relaxed-Fit Selvedge Patch and Repair Jean
Todd Snyder Relaxed-Fit Selvedge Patch and Repair Jean

Relaxed-fit selvedge
patch and repair jean,
$248 by Todd Snyder

Knickerbocker K101 Jean

K101 jean,
$225 by Knickerbocker

Adsum Overdyed Five Pocket Jean

Not all jeans have to be blue. This 14 oz. overdyed pair has a relaxed fit and a dusty slate color for summer.

Overdyed five pocket jean,
$210 by Adsum

Kapital Monkey Distressed and Stitched Jean

Monkey distressed
and stitched jean,
$491 by Kapital

TRS Washed Jean

Washed jean,
$79 by Blacksmith Store

Alex Mill Denim Painter Pant
Alex Mill Denim Painter Pant

Denim painter pant,
$175 by Alex Mill


45R 45 Year Tale Sorahikohime Jean
45R 45 Year Tale Sorahikohime Jean

45 year tale
Sorahikohime jean,
$522 by 45R

orSlow Paint-Splattered Carpenter Jean

carpenter jean,
$385 by orSlow

Abercrombie & Fitch 90s Straight Jean

A retro-inspired fit for under $100.

'90s straight jean,
$79 by Abercrombie & Fitch

Keep White Jeans Bright

Summertime attire is lightweight, and colors like white, cream and beige are worn frequently to keep cool. This non-toxic and odor-free spray lives up to its name by working like a shield to protect fabric from drips of barbecue sauce or watermelon juice. Just spray where the stain is, and it dries clear within minutes.

Garment shield spray,
$17.95 / $7.95 by Würkin Stiffs

Want More Style?

Sign up for The Obtainer newsletter. Three times a week you'll get insider intel on what to buy, trusted recommendations and reviews, along with the best deals worth your time and money.

More on