Jeans! There’s nothing as comfortable and iconic as a pair of denim trousers. A few decades ago, we had a few basic styles, and guys could easily decide which one works best. In the 70s, for example, the question generally boiled down to straight or bellbottoms.
Today’s shops, though, are bursting with endless styles, fits, fabrics and colours. Let’s face it; it can get overwhelming! But don’t you worry. We’re coming to the rescue! Here’s the ultimate guide to men’s jeans.
Most popular fits
There are a few styles that have gained the most popularity among the endless cuts and fits. And it makes your choice that much easier!
Straight jeans. Your classic, regular jeans with trouser leg falling straight from the knee to hem and through hip and thigh. The leg opening is quite large.
Slim jeans. A little tighter than straight jeans, slim jeans are straight cut but have a narrower leg opening.
Skinny jeans. Beloved by younger guys, skinny jeans have a tighter fit and a tapered leg opening. They’re skinny from hip to hem.
Relaxed and loose jeans. Not fitted to hug the body, these jeans are usually much roomier and are mostly worn in a casual capacity.
Getting the right fit
When buying jeans, you should pay special attention to the fit of the trousers. It’s much easier if you remember the four main features – the rise, the length, shape of the leg and fabric.
The rise is the distance from the middle of the crotch seam to the top of the waistband and determines where your pants sit on your body, creating the perceived waistline. There are also four categories of the rise – low, mid, high and drop crotch. The most common for men are mid-rise jeans as they’re the most comfortable and easiest to style.
The general rule for the length of the jeans is that they should end where your feet begin. Using different lengths, you can achieve different looks and create optical illusions.
Other popular trends are cropped legs, cuffs or rolls (this will make you look shorter) and stacking where the fabric bunches up above your shoes.
The good ole jeans were originally made for 100% cotton that was stiff and not too comfortable.
However, since then, the technology has developed, and now we have elastic and stretchable jeans. This means you can bend over without worrying about the trouser ripping. Modern jeans are also softer to the skin.
The main difference in looks and comfort is how much elastomer (the stretchy material) the particular jeans have. The more elastomer jeans have, the less classic they look – no rugged cowboy vibes there.
It means you need to compromise, whether on comfort or style.
Colour & fading
Yes, you can get jeans in any colour these days, but the classics are classics for a reason. Blues and blacks are always in, and the only thing that varies through the years is the hues, fading and the general look of the trouser.
Among the most popular fades is “whisker fade” with streaks of fades and “train tracks fade” which creates two distinct fades that look similar to train tracks.
You also have your “honeycomb fade” with the faded lines behind the knee cap and “stack fade” on your stacked jeans rolling up the shoe.
It’s best to allow your jeans to fade naturally, but if you’re going for a pre-faded pair, opt for something subtle (no-no is bright contrasts or particular ornaments).
What to avoid
Now you know the main types of jeans, you can easily decide which work best for your taste and lifestyle. But we have a few more tips about what to avoid.
Avoid the latest trends with multiple details such as wholes, rips, colour patches, too much distressing and other elements that will go out of style in 2 weeks. These types of jeans will also not be suitable for any even remotely formal occasions.
Too tight jeans. Even if you have the best buns in town, avoid skin-tight jeans. It’s not only tasteless, but it’s also very uncomfortable; it could easily rip, create twisting and cramming.
Too loose jeans. Some guys like to overemphasise their lack of interest in fashion by wearing supposedly comfortable jeans that actually are just ill-fitting. You don’t need to wear slim jeans, but make sure you avoid looking sloppy at any cost.
Bad styling. Even if you have the best jeans out there, you need to make sure you style them right. Beginners will never go wrong by pairing classic denim trousers with simple, high-quality basic tees for men, like the ones from Fresh Clean Tees.