The Best Men’s Denim Brands in Philly

A trio of makers with local ties turn out the denim you should be wearing now.


Photo by Claudia Gavin.

A tip for the guys: If you’re going to invest in one thing right now, make it a great pair of jeans. You’ll get tons of wear out of them, they never go out of style, and if they’re made well, they get even better with wear (and no, you’re not supposed to wash them often, if at all). Before you look to Levi’s, consider one of the above – each pair is completely handcrafted, and all have local ties.

You’ve probably heard of Fishtown’s Norman Porter (the brothers have achieved cult status in the local denim scene), but did you know that one of the guys from Commonwealth Proper broke off to launch his own denim line, Gentry x Rose? And how about Asbury Park, the Shore-town-founded company that counts Bon Jovi and the Eagles of Death Metal band as fans? (Look closely: All of the buttons and rivets are designed to look like the manhole covers in Asbury Park.) Here, three top men’s denim brands we can call our own.

Asbury Park Clothing Company
In business for: Four years
Handcrafted in: Los Angeles (but founded in Asbury Park, New Jersey)
Styles: Skinny, slim straight, classic straight
Hallmarks: Leather patches inspired by historic Asbury Park amusement-park tickets; fly buttons and rivets designed to look like Asbury Park manhole covers
Price point: $209 to $289

Norman Porter
In business for: Four years
Handcrafted in: Fishtown
Styles: Slim straight and classic straight
Hallmarks: Single-needle machine stitching; hand-hammered rivets; two-tone-thread colorways; button fly.
Price point: $250 and up, depending on customization

Lapstone & Hammer X Gentry + Rose
In business for: The 100-piece collaboration launches in May
Handcrafted in: Kensington
Styles: Regular slim straight, tapered skinny
Hallmarks: hand-destruction; hand-numbered leather patches; tech elements (two-way and four-way stretch, water-resistant treatment)
Price point: $200 to $300