Taste, style, fashion, call it what you will, we as humans all like different things when it comes to the way we dress. There are the flashy types, the conservative types, the cool kids and the dapper gents. There are men who like to wear baggy clothes and men who like to wear tight clothes; men who work in offices who like to wear joggers and men who work on building sites and like to dress up in suits. Yet no matter the difference in the cut of our clothes, you can pretty much guarantee every male colleague or friend of yours owns a pair of jeans.
Jeans are without question a must have for any man, they are essential to our wardrobe and can be worn with all manner of outfits. Jeans can be casual, they can be work wear, where them with a crisp, white Oxford shirt, a good pair of brogues and relaxed blazer and you are good enough to go out for dinner with the in-laws.
Just like our other clothing choices however, the cut and shape of how we wear our denim varies enormously. Jeans are all about fit. I used to work in men’s boutique where the owner would often tell prospectivce customers “jeans aren’t about reinventing the wheel, they’re about getting the correct fit.” It is paramount that when you choose your jeans you are aware of your own body shape. I realise that may sound ludicrous and many of you reading this will go “well of course I know my own body shape” and yet it never failed to amaze me – when working in the aforementioned boutique – just how wrong men who should know better would get it completely wrong.
When it comes to choosing the right style for you, of course it is very much a personal preference, think about how often you wear jeans, the cuts you like – tapered, straight leg, loose, skinny etc etc – and most importantly what you feel comfortable with; just because you’re skinny doesn’t mean you should wear skinny jeans.
I also suggest getting yourself in to a decent clothing shop where the staff no their denim and shapes and can get you to try on a variety of styles. The internet is great for shopping and once you have found a style and/or brand you like use e-commerce sites until your heart’s content but to begin with, nothing beats a bit of personal assistance and expert advice. Something computers are never good at.
The world is also awash with brands and while we all know those classic American brands Levi’s, Lee and Wrangler, here are three denim companies who know there denim inside and out, quite literally.
Forget the American’s, it is the Japanese who lead the world when it comes to high quality denim. Ok, so we all know the history of Mr Strauss et al but from the 1950’s onwards it is the Japanese who have been producing some of the best denim you will see around the globe today. Edwin are very much part of that new breed, producing a multitude of cuts and washes that will have you wondering why you’d never previously heard of them. Check out their ED-55 cut – roomy in the thigh and tapering through the calf and ankle, this is a great starting point for discovering which Edwin’s are best for you.
Ok, so I have cheated somewhat, these are part of Levi’s but bear with me here. Bike enthusiasts, couriers and anyone who wants a well constructed jean to last longer than a few months, these are the jeans for you. Coming in numerous cuts, may I suggest the slimmer fitting but not too skinny 511, it is the added features which really sell these jeans to the cyclists amongst you. Hidden U-lock loop, reinforced crotch, water repellent denim and reflective stitching on the turn-up, Levi’s have outdone themselves with this excellent range of jeans.
If you are walking around with a pair of Tellason jeans on, all the above is futile because you clearly know and love your denim already. A denim aficionados dream, Tellason are a brand who eat, breathe and sleep great quality denim. Based on (and named after) styles worn by Joe Strummer of The Clash, the quality of the denim, the painstaking detail and the time that goes in to producing these jeans really is incredible. Once you have tried a pair of these on, there will be no turning back.
The world of denim really is vast and stepping into it can feel somewhat treacherous to begin with but trust me, once you have tried on good quality denim made at some of the best factories in the world, you really will appreciate it. Whatever your style and whatever your body shape, to try out the three brands I have discussed and to get the perfect denim introduction to denim.