What defines a great pair of jeans? The simple answer: they make your ass look fantastic (and for guys, how it frames and fits your junk). But once this primary and very necessary factor is out of the way, the answer becomes slightly more complicated. There are seasons to consider, color, stitching, fade, quality…enough categories to make shopping for the most basic of dungarees seem nearly impossible. At some point I may dedicate myself to a PHD level thesis on the ultimate pair of jeans, but because it’s winter, and frankly, because black is going to rule absolutely next fall/winter, I decided to compile a list of the very best black jeans available for guys. After searching far and wide, on four continents (fine, I didn’t go to Japan or Australia, but I looked at their offerings), I’ve narrowed it down to four finalists. To be considered for this contest, jeans had to fit four criteria: There had to be little to no branding (bye bye Diesel, Obey, Evisu); the jeans had to be totally black, e.g. no fade, semi-fade, sheen, wash, or other terrible color scheme; they had to be 100 % denim—no blends or synthetics whether it be Lycra, spandex, polyester, or what have you; they had to be black. So what’s so special about the brands below? Well, nothing exactly. With jeans less is more. The rewards come from what they’re lacking, leaving behind just perfect black jeans.