Tackling cold-weather dressing without ditching your commitment to wearing denim day-in, day-out is no easy feat. As much as it pains us to admit it, our favorite fabric (especially those lighter variations) isn’t always to the best choice for freezing temperatures because the weave just isn’t insulating or windproof enough.
But fear not, dear readers, for we’ve scoured the best resources to find a solution that’ll keep you cosy and stylish. There are plenty of options to consider, from denim blended with wool to more substantial weaving styles and denim weights that go well above the mid-teens.
With the mercury dropping ever lower here in the Northern Hemisphere, read on for the most reliable winter-ready pairs that you can get your hands on.
1) Left Field Atlas Indigo x Black 17oz. Selvedge Jeans
A slim-tapered jean cut with a roomy top block, the Atlas is the ideal jean for those of us with larger thighs who still want a slim jean with a narrow leg opening. This silhouette is actually named after Charles Atlas, a bodybuilder who rose to fame for “Manufacturing skinny weaklings into real MEN!” Such a manly shape, however, requires a little bit more room around the top block.
This pair is cut from a heavier 17 oz. raw selvedge denim, woven with indigo warp and black weft threads. Finished with a red selvedge ID, this is an inky, deep indigo fabric that has tons of potential for high contrast fades. These jeans come with a host of handsome details like American-made bandana pocket bags, American copper hardware, and Left Field’s signature skull logo on the inside of the rivets and tacks.
Available for $175 at Heddels Shop.
2) Iron Heart 1955 Straight-Leg 21oz. Selvedge Denim Jeans
First up is Iron Heart’s 1955 selvedge denim jeans which come in at an impressive 21-ounces. The idea behind these comes from a ‘50s-era Levi’s ‘501’ style, so they have the same generous straight-leg fit.
That means there’s just enough room for a layer of heat to circulate inside, which won’t escape thanks to the weighty yarns. Oh, and did we mention they’re overdyed in black? So by the end of the winter, you’ll not only have saved your pins the chill, but you’ll have some decent fades under your belt, too.
Find them for $375 at Iron Heart.
3) RRL Slim-Fit 12oz Cotton and Wool-Blend Selvedge Denim Jeans
This selvedge style from RRL might be cut from a mid-weight 12-ounce denim, but it’s what’s inside that counts.
Made and finished by hand in the USA, they’re woven from a blend of cotton and wool that’ll do an excellent job of keeping you toasty, and would you look at that weave? A thing to be appreciated not only for its warmth but for its satisfying slub.
Snap them up quickly for $490 from Blue Owl because they’re a highly limited batch.
4) Naked & Famous Weird Guy Tapered-Leg 14.5oz Lord of Nep Selvedge Denim Jeans
Woah, did it snow already?! Nope, this is just another one of Naked & Famous’ cool creations which certainly lives up to its ‘Lord of Nep’ title.
This Canadian-made, specially woven 14.5oz. pair has a red selvedge ID, a cozy, fuzzy interior thanks to the textured yarns and has been pre-washed to reduce the hassle, so you’re free to enjoy the neppy goodness from the very first day they arrive.
Get them for $218 at Tate and Yoko.
5) Japan Blue Theater Straight-Leg Tweed Denim Trousers
As anyone native to colder climes will know, a good tweed is just the ticket for protection against icy temperatures, so Japan Blue’s interesting denim-tweed hybrid is a worthy pick.
Okay, these aren’t jeans, but they do look cool and are guaranteed to shield you from the frost.
They’re available for $184 at Japan Blue Jeans
6) Oni 246 Straight-Leg Natural Indigo-Dyed 22oz Selvedge Denim Jeans
Dyed with natural indigo, Oni’s 246 jeans might be a low tension weave, but the heavy 22-ounce slub denim is sure to keep your stems warm.
They come with some nice little details, too, such as powder-coated copper rivets, enameled steel buttons and pocket bags woven in a pleasing herringbone pattern. These are a special edition produced only for Blue in Green, so head over there to snap them up for $325.
Bonus) Naked & Famous Weird Guy Tapered-Leg 32oz Selvedge Denim Jeans
Another Weird Guy tapered fit, these hefty 32oz. selvedge denim jeans are, according to founder Mr Svarc “guaranteed uncomfortable or your money back.” These unsanforized babies are made from the same thick 1 x 0.5 yarn that’s used for making the sails of boats, so we’d advise breaking them a little before wearing them out, lest you get blown around in icy winter winds.
Available for $545 at Tate and Yoko.
Alas, what to do if you absolutely just can’t give up those perfectly broken-in summer jeans? Try out a base layer of course! Opt for something lightweight and insulating such as Uniqlo’s HeatTech range—its thermal tights come tried and tested, and we can confirm that they’ll sit smoothly under straight-leg denim.
Or you could seek out other styles made from natural fibres such as cashmere, wool or cotton. And if you’re thinking of straying away from denim come winter, then check out our guide to the best fabrics for the job.