I think this is my longest TGIF post ever. And it also includes a complex and objective rating system, that you can feel free to disagree with, modify, or use for your own ratings in the comments. But my hope is that it is the perfect post to secretly scroll through on your phone during a stressful family dinner. Oh, and I know this should be updated and new people added, and some photos refreshed and so on, but the good John photos are still here and that’s what really matters.
I am going to try to have objective expert opinions on this one. Because I am an expert on jeans, thanks to having been born in America, Land of Jeans. And I have a very very specific requirement before I consider a man wearing jeans “correctly”.
When looking at a man in jeans, I look for 3 things: Fit, Attitude, and Style.
First, Fit. Ideally, to my mind, jeans should fit tightly at the hips and thighs, and then slightly looser below the knee. They are stretch fabric, they are supposed to stretch, not just be loose and baggy everywhere. VERY IMPORTANT: you should not need a belt with your jeans! They should stay on your body thanks to the tightness around the thigh/hip area, and not be gathered, or even tight, at the waist itself.
Moving on, Attitude! Jeans are supposed to be working clothes. You need to wear them like you are ready to go to work. Hard manly work. Not intellectual thoughtful work. And you are not some little boy just going out there to have fun, but someone who has done stuff and knows how to do stuff and so on and so on. And you are too much of a Man to really think about the clothes you are wearing, so you wear your jeans casually, let them do the work for you, not you for them.
And finally, Style! Jeans are supposed to be work clothes. Too much embroidery, artificial wear spots, artificial fading, belts (as previously mentioned), and it is ruined. That whole “I’m here to work” attitude goes away.
So, let’s rate some men!!!!
I’ll start with a nice basic image of Shahrukh for me to begin my rankings. Much much too loose around the hips and thighs. Not as bad as it could be, they aren’t exactly baggy, but still not good. Fit: 5 out of 10. Attitude, though, Shahrukh has about the perfect jeans attitude. Attitude: 10 out of 10. And finally style, there are those slight fake fade lines, which makes it not perfect, but the overall cut of them plus the rest of the look is just perfect. Style: 8 out of 10.
Fit is better here, partly because his thighs are flexed since he is sitting. 7 out of 10. Attitude, still 10 out of 10. Style, still 8 out of 10.
Fit: 7 out of 10 (the hands are creating an illusion that it fits better, but it’s not that big of an improvement). Attitude: 8 out of 10 (hands in pocket is a little too boyish for the right jeans attitude). Style: 8 out of 10
Fit: 6 out of 10 (still too loose) Attitude: 10 out of 10 (casual shirtless hands on hips is very good) Style: 6 out of 10 (faded, fake wear spots, slight fullness at the ankle that brings up bellbottom flashbacks)
Fit: 8 out of 10 (that’s what I’m talking about! Same pants as before, but seem to have shrunk delightfully). Attitude: 10 out of 10 (air guitar and blue jeans, very USA). Style: 6 out of 10 (same pants as above)
Fit: 4 out of 10 (late 90s baggy is good for no one) Attitude: 10 out of 10 (jeans are there to make you comfortable while you rule the world) Style: 4 out of 10 (baggy is just NO)
Fit: 10 out of 10 (Farah knows how to dress him) Attitude: 9 out of 10 (I feel a slight awareness of how he looks which is un-jean) Style: 6 out of 10 (that waistband is stupid)
Fit: 7 out of 10 (don’t like the looseness at the calves, but again the flexed thigh muscles are making the top just right) Attitude: 10 out of 10 (looking at us all “yeah, I make denim on denim work!”) Style: 2 out of 10 (bellbottoms with a denim jacket are a big no-no)
Fit: 10 out of 10 (further evidence in the “does his booty go pop-pop-pop?” debate) Attitude: 0 (a man in jeans is not eager to meet a woman, he lets the women come to him) Style: 0 (belt, fake fade, little doohickeys all over the place, NO!)
Fit: 8 out of 10 (thighs look great, but slightly bunchy at the waist, I feel like they could have fixed that) Attitude: 7 out of 10 (trying a bit too hard to look intense, men in jeans don’t try, they Do) Style: 8 out of 10 (again, those fake wear spots)
Fit: 10 out of 10 (nice and tight, and then just loose enough to tease us with a hint of calves) Attitude: 9 out of 10 (just missed a 10 out of 10 because his pointing is a bit affected) Style: 7 out of 10 (points off for the belt, and the stonewash)
Fit: 9 out of 10 (I might want slightly tighter in the calves) Attitude: 5 out of 10 (if you want to sit around dreaming of the girl, wear a dhoti, not jeans. Jeans are when you go get the girl) Style: 8 out of 10 (no visible belt, but still stonewashed)
Moving on! Strike me down if you must, but Salman actually has a better jeans body than Shahrukh. He fills them out more, and he is willing to wear them tighter. Fit is consistently good with him. The rest of it, however, not so good. The problem is, he’s just too nice! A jeans attitude doesn’t fit well with a “I just want to play with babies and puppies” attitude.
Fit: 10 out of 10 (notice how his thighs actually fill it out and make use of the stretch fabric?) Attitude: 6 out of 10 (his casual stance is good, but then he’s too smilely for a jeans man) Style: 4 out of 10 (big belt, really obvious fake wear spots)
Fit: 10 out of 10 (length is just right, tightness is lovely, doesn’t even bunch too much at the waist) Attitude: 0 (what is with this dreaminess and lack of gogetter attitude! NO! Put on a dhoti until you are ready for jeans) Style: 8 out of 10 (stonewashed)
Fit: 10 out of 10 (the man has lovely legs) Attitude: 9 out of 10 (slightly aware of how hot he is, but otherwise just right) Style: 7 out of 10 (white, belt, no)
Fit: 15 out of 10 (YES!!! THIS IS WHAT I AM TALKING ABOUT!!!!) Attitude: 2 out of 10 (way way too showy) Style: 8 out of 10 (everything would be perfect if only they were a different color)
Did you know John Abraham did an ad series for wrangler back in the day? It is quite quite good. I had a hard time limiting my selection. I skipped the one where he is masturbating. Although, I am still going to have to grade him a bit harshly in some aspects.
Fit: 7 out of 10 (excellent in the waist and hip and thigh, but a bit too loose at the calves) Attitude: 9 out of 10 (yes, he is all sex toy looking, which isn’t very jean-like, but the way he is staring straight at the camera says “yeah, I’m just pretending to be a sex toy, because it’s my job”) Style: 9 out of 10 (stonewash, my nemesis)
Fit: 8 out of 10 (slightly looser than I would want at the hip) Attitude: 8 out of 10 (still staring at the camera like he is in control, and without the soft look in his pose) Style: 4 out of 10 (I hate the belt)
Fit: 10 out of 10 (almost Salman like in his perfection) Attitude: 10 out of 10 (almost Shahrukh like in his casual confidence) Style: 2 out of 10 (I don’t mind this belt as much, I am still anti-belt, but leather is the most acceptable. However, the fake distressed look is way way over the top here)
fit: 9 out of 10 (Wrangler really knows what size to put people in) Attitude: 7 out of 10 (he isn’t completely selling me on not knowing/caring how hot he looks) Style: 5 out of 10 (the belt on it’s own knocks the whole look down)
Fit: 10 out of 10 (John should maybe start a second career as a jean sizing consultant) Attitude: 10 out of 10 (now, this is less “I am so proud of how sexy I am” and more “You know I am sexy, I know I am sexy, but it’s not a big thing”) Style: 4 out of 10 (what kind of wear is supposed to put little holes in the back of the thigh? NO!)
I think he problem may be that, generally speaking, models don’t know how to wear jeans. Because you need an attitude of “clothes are just clothes, my job is more important”. But if your job IS clothes, that doesn’t really work. See, look how Siddharth struggles too!
Fit: 10 out of 10 (nice fit in the backpocket region, but still loose enough to just give us a hint of thigh) Attitude: 4 out of 10 (he was going to be just a 2, but the guitar gave him a few more points. I still don’t like the dhoti-dreaminess, but at least the guitar is kind of cowboy) Style: 9 out of 10 (I’m taking a point off for the lighter color, but otherwise it is excellent)
Fit: 5 out of 10 (loose at the hips, NO!) Attitude: 5 out of 10 (hesitant smile and all, NO!) Style: -5 out of 10 (DRAWSTRING????? What is this ABOMINATION?????)
And now, the total opposite of his previous scores! Fit: 4 out of 10 (much too loose) Attitude: 9 out of 10 (oh yeah! Not even looking at the girl next to him! Still feels ever so slightly fake, thus knocking a point off, but much much better than before) Style: 2 out of 10 (what, did he get caught in a threshing machine or something? How are his pants that messed up without his legs being in tatters too?)
Akshay started as a model, but then moved on to Action Star, which is maybe why he has such a good jeans attitude.
Fit: 10 out of 10 (he’s wearing a belt, but he doesn’t really need it) Attitude: 9 out of 10 (his hair is a bit too teased, but otherwise perfection) Style: 8 out of 10 (a belt with a stupid buckle, but a leather belt, so just one point off)
Fit: 9 out of 10 (slightly too loose around the top of the boots, but that’s partly the fault of wearing boots that push it up) Attitude: 10 out of 10 (see, the key is to be sexy but to treat being sexy like a job. Like “yeah, I know what I’m doing, I can do it right, let’s get down to business”) Style: 7 out of 10 (way over did the fade lines, plus that stupid puckered hole thing right below the knee)
Fit: 8 out of 10 (slightly too loose at the thigh, I don’t like all those wrinkles) Attitude: 10 out of 10 (oh yeah, back to sex as a job to get over with) Style: 6 out of 10 (even more stupid puckered holes than visible in the previous version. NO!)
After that peak attitude from the north, shall we head down south? I had low expectations from our southerners, they have such great Lungi swag, I couldn’t imagine them being able to pull off jeans as well. Shows how little I knew! Starting with the swaggiest, Prithviraj.
Fit: 8 out of 10 (could be slightly tighter in the hips, but pretty close to perfect) Attitude: 8 out of 10 (again, pretty close to perfect! That’s swag, that’s confidence. His sleeves are rolled up a bit too perfectly and his hair is combed a tad to tidily, that’s the only thing bumping him down) Style: 8 out of 10 (finally no fade! But the belt is terrible)
Fit: 8 out of 10 (again, just slightly loose) Attitude: 10 out of 10 (ready to fight and do what needs to be done, clothes are just there to be worn, perfect!) Style: 8 out of 10 (Belt!!!!! WHY????)
Fit: 7 out of 10 (that horrible baggy look) Attitude: 11 out of 10 (yeah, that’s how you do it! King of the world in comfortable pants) Style: 5 out of 10 (baggy and with the holes and all? Blech!)
Moving on, let’s check out some more long-legged southern types! Rana-time.
Fit: 7 out of 10 (slightly too loose at the top and slightly too tight at the calves. Why? How?) Attitude: 8 out of 10 (on paper everything is right, but somehow I just feel he is trying too hard) Style: 8 out of 10 (slightly fade lines, and slight belt. So marked down, but only a little)
Fit: 7 out of 10 (is it possible Rana just has terrible legs? Why are they so skinny and awful looking?) Attitude: 8 out of 10 (not even looking at the camera! very nice) Style: 10 out of 10 (nice basic perfect. If they fit right, it would be ideal)
And now my Rana-faith is restored! Fit: 9 out of 10 (slightly loose, but he is making it work with the thigh flexing) Attitude: 9 out of 10 (I sense a slight hesitation in how he is unbuttoning the shirt, like he is waiting to be sure we like it. Instead of knowing we will like it. But otherwise, good!) Style: 6 out of 10 (once again, accent holes!!! STUPID!)
Fit: 10 out of 10 (the thigh muscle flex is fixing everything here) Attitude: 10 out of 10 (he’s not trying at all, which is perfect) Style: 7 out of 10 (same pants as above, but now they have mud smudged on them, which moves them up a point)
Okay, I know you will be upset if I don’t include Prabhas. But we also know the man has NO STYLE, right? So don’t blame me for giving him poor points, there are just no good photos out there.
Fit: 9 out of 10 (the man has good thighs) Attitude: 8 out of 10 (points off for hands in pockets) Style: -20 out of 10 (I don’t even know what is happening. Was there some kind of science experiment gone wrong at the blue jean lab that fused together 5 different pairs? Also, blue shoes?)
Fit: 9 out of 10 (I could go a hair tighter, but pretty darn good. In the Bahubali men competition, Prabhas Thighs > Rana Thighs) Attitude: 8 out of 10 (a real man wouldn’t be smiling a shy little smile, but then he’s also striding along with a cigarette, so it’s still pretty good) Style: 7 out of 10 (At least some of those holes look like they could be actual wear marks, so I am giving him slightly higher)
Fit: 9 out of 10 (he looks so nice and lean!) Attitude: 9 out of 10 (I sense a slight awareness of how cool he looks, which is uncool) Style: NO! NO NO NO NO NO!
First, did you know that if you google image search Madhavan, one of the suggested related search terms is “Adorable”? See, even google knows! Second, the man has nice thighs! Doesn’t even have to try, just fills out the pants naturally. And also doesn’t try in general with his appearance, which gives him high attitude points. And style points. He’s not sexy like “stop traffic and stare”. But he’s very sexy like “suddenly notice the guy who moved in next door when he goes out to do yard work and you go ‘whoa, he looks good in jeans!'”
Fit: 10 out of 10 (I mean, just look!) Attitude: 10 out of 10 (he’s not thinking about his “attitude”, he’s just having it) Style: 7 out of 10 (belt, and a weird gather at his ankle. But otherwise perfect!)
Fit: 10 out of 10 (just right loose/tight balance) Attitude: 10 out of 10 (no attitude is the best attitude) Style: 9 out of 10 (taking one point off for the slight fade, but if these were natural color, this would be the platonic ideal of jeans style. That is, a total lack of style)
I really did not expect this, but even our thoughtful sensitive Malayalam types wear the heck out of their jeans! I guess it’s because they still have some meat on their bones. Check out Dulquer!
Fit: 10 out of 10 (With his height and slim hips, I had low expectations. But he surprised me! There is a nice line to those legs) Attitude: -1 out of 10 (The books, the glasses, the little religious tika on his forehead, this is not jeans attitude, this is little uniform shorts attitude) Style: 9.5 out of 10 (I hate to do it, but there is a .5 off for the belt. It’s the best possible belt, but it’s still a belt, and you have to have standards)
Fit: 9 out of 10 (slightly too loose, but only slightly) Attitude: 1 out of 10 (slightly better than the last picture, but still way too boyish) Style: 9 out of 10 (slight, very slight, fake fade lines, and the lighter color)
And now, finally, the last piece falls into place! Fit: 10 out of 10 (I mean, just look!) Attitude: 8 out of 10 (still trying a bit too hard, but just a bit) Style: 9.5 out of 10 (why doesn’t everyone know to just buy these pants and ignore all the other variations? And same goes for the belt, if you must have a belt)
Now, you may need to take a moment to prepare yourself for this next image. There is Nivin. There is beard. There is tight jeans. There is open collar. There is manliness. And then there are really ugly shoes, and a not great hair look. But in between the two, potentially heartstopping!
Fit: 9 out of 10 (slightly loose at the knee, but otherwise perfect) Attitude: 10 out of 10 (the beard puts him over the top into perfect) Style: 9 out of 10 (slight fake fade lines, but no belt!)
Fit: 10 out of 10 (just plain squeezable) Attitude: 9 out of 10 (very “I am the secretly hot guy from the office who doesn’t know he is hot”) Style: 9 out of 10 (just the slightest hint of a fade, so slight it could even be real)
The jeans aren’t great in this shot, but the accessory is excellent. Jeans should always be worn with a tiny big-eyed child attached to them. Fit: 9 out of 10 (what little we can see, looks good) Attitude: 10 out of 10 (the-small-child-on-lap attitude is very manly) Style: 10 out of 10 (yes, fake distressed, I hate it, that is a negative 2, but then the small child is a positive 12, so it balances)
And back north we go, to end! First with Ranveer, who is all about the attitude.
This is from his condom ad campaign. Not sure how it is supposed to sell condoms. If you have a condom, you will feel able to show off your cute butt in jeans without worrying about attracting women who might become pregnant? Anyway, Fit: 10 out of 10 (definitely does not need a belt) Attitude: Not Applicable (Ranveer has a uniquely Ranveer way of being. In anyone else, this would be trying too hard. But for him, maybe this isn’t trying at all?) Style: 10 out of 10 (good basic pants. No belt, no special marks or designs, just pants that fit right)
While we are on Ranveer, just for kicks, let’s try to grade this image. Fit: 10 out of 10 (at least what we can see, seems good) Attitude: Not Applicable (in anyone else, this would be not trying, but with Ranveer, it feels like maybe he is trying too hard to look like he is not trying?) Style: -50 (My eyes, MY EYES!!!!!)
Here’s a surprise! I actually like Ranbir in jeans. I think this is the first photo of seen of Ranbir where I feel like he is an actual man, instead of a little boy. Or in other words, dating him wouldn’t be a lifetime of unpaid babysitting.
Fit: 10 out of 10 (doesn’t need the belt to hold them up) Attitude: 10 out of 10 (he’s just walking from one place to another, and that’s the perfect attitude) Style: 9.5 out of 10 (belt, but the best possible belt)
Okay, the jeans aren’t always good for him. Fit: 7 out of 10 (at least, what fit is left after the pants were destroyed) Attitude: 10 out of 10 (he’s still got a good jeans attitude, very “I don’t care”) Style: AAAAAAAAAARGH!!!!!
Aamir and his Clark Kent look! Such an odd period. Fit: 8 out of 10 (I’d go a hair tighter, but that’s it) Attitude: 7 out of 10 (he is standing slightly uncomfortably, a man in jeans should never be uncomfortable wherever he goes) Style: 9 out of 10 (nice plain and all of that)
Now, THIS is good! Fit: 10 out of 10 (check out those thighs! And calves!) Attitude: 10 out of 10 (mustache is very jeanlike) Style: 10 out of 10 (assuming there is no hidden embroidery or anything at the top)
Now, Hrithik! Who has a better jean attitude than I expected.
Fit: 7 out of 10 (slightly loose) Attitude: 10 out of 10 (doesn’t even care enough to open his eyes) Style: 5 out of 10 (fade, fake wear, and a belt)
Fit: -2 out of 10 (All bunched up and baggy like he’s wearing a diaper) Attitude: 9 out of 10 (a bit too aware of how he is standing, but not looking at the camera, that’s good) Style: Burn them BURN THEM!!!!!
Really hard to find good photos of Arjun Rampal in jeans! I think he just isn’t a jeans guy. He is an expensive tailored suit pants kind of guy. Doesn’t like to work with his hands or body, would rather work with his mind and keep his body for beauty and luxury.
Fit: 10 out of 10 (at least he has good legs) Attitude: 6 out of 10 (just somehow too gentlemanly for jeans) Style: 6 out of 10 (fake distressed, belt, not good)
Okay, this is a little better attitude-wise. Fit: 8 out of 10 (a little tight in the thighs, but could be tighter) Attitude: 9 out of 10 (very very good attitude. If only I could believe it fully and not feel like he is just putting on an act!) Style: -4 out of 10 (why would you do this to perfectly nice pants? Randomly put lines on them everywhere?)
And, grand finale, greatest jean shot of all Hindi film history:
Fit: 10 out of 10 (doesn’t even need that top button to stay on, let alone a belt) Attitude: Not Applicable (too sexy to be measured) Style: 7 out of 10 (I see a slight crease, jeans shouldn’t be creased)
Or is this the top shot? Also, have to say, both these guys nail the attitude, the fit, and the style. 10 out of 10 All Around
Now, for final grades:
1st Place for Fit:
2nd Place for Fit
3rd Place for Fit
1st Place for Attitude:
2nd Place for Attitude:
3rd Place for Attitude:
1st Place for Style:
2nd Place for Style:
3rd Place for Style:
All Around Best in Show:
Gotta give it to the Big B and Garam-Dharam in Sholay! You can believe them as two guys who live their lives in these jeans, motorcycle riding or shooting bad guys, these pants have become a part of them, and any wear is the result of hard manual labor, not some fashion designer adding style.
Okay, now for you: Do you agree or disagree with my basic criteria?
Do you have your own rankings and do they differ from mine?
Did I miss a pivotal image that should have been included for one of the entries?
Who is the real Best in Show?
And final question I am just curious about, have you ever ironed your jeans? I never have, but I understand other people do it and I don’t know who these people are or why they would do such a thing.