For those of you who aren't sure what denim weight is, it's literally how much the denim weighs. Sometimes the denim weight is listed with the rest of the product information and sometimes it isn't. At the same time, this doesn't mean that they drop a select pair of jeans on a scale and record the weight. Instead, the weight of denim is figured by weighing a yard of that particular denim fabric and recording the weight.
For example, a typical pair of medium weight (which we will go into more detail shortly) premium denim is 12 oz. This means that a yard of that particular denim weighs 12 oz. The reason why there are people that aren't familiar with this is because most labels or product descriptions will list denim in accordance to Light, Light/Medium, Medium and Medium/Thick.
Light denim is normally your average pair of 10 oz. or lighter skinny jeans or jeggings as some companies now carry. These are normally a great light weight pair of summer jeans. Although the weave of the denim is tight similar to that of heavier weighted jeans, they are just not as dense. Since the denim fabric is super thin from the light weight denim these jeans don't really hide any imperfections.
Similar to light denim, Light/Medium denim is typically not your longest lasting denim since the thread is so fine. This could cause expedited wear or even unraveling but with proper care, wash procedures and never tossing them in the dryer, you can enjoy these 10-12 oz. jeans for quite a while.
Medium is the standard denim weight, normally ranging anywhere from 12- 14 oz. The majority of the premium denim brands out there have mostly medium weight denim jeans. Most of your medium weight jeans are 12 oz. which allows them to be light enough to have a bit of flexibility but still can hide imperfections, while 14 oz. denim jeans are at the higher end of the spectrum.
Medium/Thick denim is your coarser denim with a limited amount of stretch included. This tighter and heavier weave creates a look that lighter weight denim cannot achieve. These jeans hold there shape well and are great for the colder seasons.
Although selvedge denim is traditionally 14.5 oz. and beyond, there are some out there that are lighter but the majority are heavy, unwashed, raw selvedge denim. These jeans are usually the most costly and although they seem super rigid at first they will form to your body after months of wear.
You are probably questioning why there weren't brand names used to help describe each type of weight when the answer is fairly simple. Most of the brands today carry denim jeans in a variety of weights. Yes, some household jean brand names have a majority of their jeans made with a similar weight but it's not fair to any brand to drop them into a particular category when they carry others as well.