Guys, here’s the jeans that fit your thick & athletic thighs

Whether from lifting weights, nature, or cheeseburgers, you’re a guy who has thick thighs.


…except you can’t find jeans that fit properly.

When they fit your waist you can’t get them past your 25” thighs.

So, you’ve resorted to buying baggy jeans…

…essentially hiding the body you’ve work so hard for or looking bigger than you actually are.

Fret not.

This is your ultimate shopping list and necessities guide on finding & understanding denim. As a personal stylist, I’ve dressed tons of men but this is for any man with thicker thighs, muscular legs, large quads, or an overall big, strong leg situation.

This article will answer the following:

  • What simple, specific styles that are extremely likely to work for you

  • How to buy the right size

  • Why you’re not fitting into the jeans you do own & how buy smarter

  • Why wearing baggy and other denim jeans is killing your style

  • Post-purchase best practices to keep your look on point

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mark walhlberg baggy pants.png

What most men do

Mark Whalberg’s legs are swimming in his baggy jeans.

(Don’t get me started on the cell phone clipped to them.)

(Although, I do love the daughter moment with American Girl dolls and hand holding.)

Step 1: Shop purposefully & try-On specific styles

Even though it seems helpless, many cuts and styles are made for a thick-thighed guy. Certain denim designers have you in mind.

  1. Take this list, head to the store or shop online with quick searches.

  2. Try on two to three sizes of each style, in various washes, until you find a few that work.

  3. Stock up in various colors and varieties.

  4. With proper care and multiple in rotation, jeans will last for years.

Your Jeans Shopping list

Adriano Goldschmied: The Graduate Jean


One client of mine was a rugby player and these fit perfectly.

  • Comes in denim in a bunch of different washes and fabrics.

  • This classic trouser cut has a relaxed fit through the waist and thighs.

  • Is tailored through the bottom of the legs to provides a slim - not tight - fit.

  • Invest for a quality product that is fashion-forward.

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Bonus: The Graduate comes in a luxe brushed cotton (a soft cotton-stretch blend) in a bunch of colors. Buy a taupe, navy or gray shade to have comfortable-yet-dressier pants too.

Adriano Goldschmied: The Everett Jean


These look surprisingly too slim for a thick thigh, yet provide enough room for many athletic guys.

  • This 5-pocket jean is cut in a slim straight style, but with slightly more room in the waist and thigh than most skinny jeans.

  • Suitable for a slimmer athletic build (not The Rock thick, but require more room in the thigh or butt)

  • Opt for the super stretchy style (2% elastane) for a chill fit you can appreciate.

  • Come in fantastic summer weights and lighter colors.

Levi’s 541 Athletic Fit Jeans

The name says it all.

Jeans for athletic guys
  • A roomier seat and thigh area gives way to a straight leg.

  • Accessible price-point lends to stocking up on multiple washes.

  • Cut can run a little big, with many clients taking a size down for optimum fit (see below for notes on stretch).

  • Colors can be a bit bleh; to ensure a sophisticated style, only choose super dark indigos or black.

Also Try: women’s stretch jeans

…stay with me!

If you have a built posterior and legs (from lifting, genetics, or both), the tailoring of many women’s jeans fit the shape of your athletic legs.

Due to their curvier shapes, women’s denim offers cuts for a thicker thigh and butt ratio. This, plus the stretch and various cuts for women’s bodies, you get a wider range of options to find the correct fit.

If you’re still struggling in the men’s department, give the following women’s Levi’s a-go:

505 west coast

552 horizen

512 slimming

505 city scraped

515 stretch fit jeans

  • Look for boyfriend and straight leg cuts only, and is labeled “mid-rise”.

  • Dismiss anything else but the descriptions that say mid-rise/straight leg or boyfriend.

  • Stick to dark washes

  • Bring a female with you to help go incognito if you are feeling a self-conscious.

2. Consider raw denim

If you’re really tired of denim not fitting properly, go bespoke with your own body.

As you wear selvedge denim, your movement and body shape molds the jeans and creates fade patterns personal to you and your lifestyle. (Be prepared, unlike the other recommendations here, raw denim requires a little more work than buying pre-faded denim.)

Raw denim enthusiasts can spend a lot on their jeans, but given they last until threadbare, the cost per wear boils down to a few dimes. My favorite selvedge denim store is Blue in Green in Soho, but The Unbranded Brand has a good entry price-points .

See below for more information on raw denim.

3. Fit hacks when shopping for jeans

Stretch Denim

If denim has elastane in them (read labels: 1% is a little stretch, 2% is a lot of stretch).

Stretchy jeans should be tight when you try them on.

Only buy stretch jeans when they fit snugger than you’d prefer.


In as little as a few mines to a few hours, elastane stretches permanently after it’s worn.

Once that stretch forms, it stays there.

When you buy a stretchy jean that fits “comfortably”, it feels like the right choice at the moment, but you are buying the wrong size.

They will stretch out and then be too baggy.

When you buy a tighter size, the jeans stretch a small amount to conform to you body well, but when you buy a “comfortable” size they often stretch up to a whole size (or more) and end up too baggy.

Non-Stretch Cotton Denim (NO elastane in the

These jeans stretch out too, but don’t require such a snug fit because the size expansion takes more wear and is limited. When trying, think tailored and close to the body, not snug like a stretchy style.

To sum, with wear and washing, all denim expands but doesn’t retract. The original shape is lost forever once stretched out.

…& the dryer doesn’t solve anything. It’s temporary. I cover that in depth here.

For the love of all that is: STOP SIZING UP

More often than not you’ll be in too big a size and looking like a boy who played in your dad’s closet.

If you really can’t help sizing up (i.e the waist is way to tight - see below for details), please apply the notes on tailoring and stretch above.

4. Questions to ask Yourself while trying on

stretch denim

Can you easily fit your entire hand down the pants?

Too big.

Waistband should fit a finger.

Can you stretch the waistband more than an inch or so from your waist?

Too big.

The more you can pull it, the smaller the size to go down.

Can you fit ONE finger in the waistband and comfortably move it side to side?

Good waist size.

The waist fits well, but the thighs are still super tight?

Cut is too “slim”. Try an another cut option. The Everett instead of The Graduate, for instance.

The waist fits perfectly, and the legs are comfortable, but you still worry it’s too fitted around your thighs (as in, it’s snug like women’s jeans or when men wear skinny styles and you don’t want that look)?

It’s the right size. Do a squat. Hold it down there 30 seconds. Come up & feel how the stretch opened the leg up.

Realize the jean will relax and the they will fit even more comfortable with more wear.

Trust the process.

Cotton denim / no stretch

Can you easily fit your entire hand down the pants?

Too big.

Waistband should fit a finger. You should never need a belt.

When you squat does it skim along your leg?

It should. You should feel the denim along your leg, not like a loose pajama.

Can you fit ONE finger in the waistband and comfortably move it side to side?

Good waist size.

The waist fits well, but the thighs are still super tight?

Cut is too “slim”. Try an another cut option.

5. Post-Purchase NExt Steps


Please know that almost everyone has some sort of fit challenge. Short people, tall people, skinny, fat, thick thighs, short waisted, broad shoulders - you name it, someone has it.

Get over the dream of always going shopping and finding pieces that fit fantastic.

Embrace the pain in the ass, but amazingly effective tool, that is alterations. Go here for some good NYC locals.

Once your jeans are purchased, make sure the length is suitable for you. If they do stretch out or get a tear bring them to a tailor to get repaired.

A few minor tailoring tweaks can bring a stretched out favorite back to life.

On Care & Washing

Denim care is simple: wash rarely (if ever) and never ever put them in the dryer.

If they don’t smell or have a stain, don’t wash them.


It is not necessary to use a dryer to shrink denim back to an original shape. The dryer actually breaks down the elasticity and material composition of your clothes.

After washing, jeans relax to a stretched out version in one wear. Repeating the cycle.

If the denim has no stretch, the dryer still eats away at the cotton and stitching.

Simply avoid washing and hang dry when you do.

6. Denim to avoid + Stop wearing

Eliminate these styles out of your closet and you’ll take one giant step towards having a wardrobe filled with your best looking jeans.

  1. Embellishments and/or heavily contrasted stitching


Unless you’re on stage in a costume, not many men can pull this off. There should be nothing on your jeans besides fabric and thread.

2. Don’t buy bootcut

(I don’t care what the rumors say about it coming back.)


Both of these people are wearing bootcut jeans. Think of it this way: bootcut denim enhances an hourglass figure really well.

Look at the image on the left (above and below). The accent of her hips, then tailoring into her knee, followed by a flare at the ankle adds curves to the silhouette.


Do you want to add curves to your silhouette?

Don’t wear bootcut jeans.


3. if you’re a style newbie, avoid light-washed jeans.

Light colored pants or brushed cottons are okay, but any denim in a very light shade is unlikely to flatter due to the uneven coloring from the fading.

…and you run the high risk of trying on jeans like these:


Rather than wonder, keep it simple for now and only try dark washes or black jeans.

There ya go! The ultimate intro to men’s denim and how to find jeans to fit your thick thighs.

For more information on the matter, below are is some other reading on the matter.

How big guys can wear skinny jeans


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