You may recall that Mater got me some APC New Standard jeans for Christmas last year. After one year of regular wear, I can wholeheartedly recommend them. First, they fit so well that I don't need a belt. Second, there's something appealing about self-induced "destruction" of denim through regular wear:
Third, like I said, they fit incredibly well. They started out tight (see the Internet for sizing advice--if I recall correctly, I ordered two sizes smaller than my waist as measured) but have relaxed just enough to be perfectly snug around the hip and thigh areas.
And they have all the standard benefits of dark denim: durable, dressy with a button-down and odd jacket, casual with a Ford Mustang T-shirt and Chuck Taylors, a classic American look despite being made in Japan. But then, when you need curated fabric made with an obsessive attention to detail, whom else would you trust before the Japanese?
At $180 or so, they're extravagant up front, but think of them like a suit: they'll last for years and fit you like a glove. You won't need or want to wear another pair of jeans unless you wear boots from time to time, in which case hang on to one pair of boot-cut jeans. I've slowly but surely Goodwilled most of my older denim.
Long live the New Standard.