For many, jeans are the most valuable player in your wardrobe. Usually, this isn’t because they’re the most expensive piece of clothing you own, or even the best-looking. Instead, it’s their versatility that’s important, as you can wear jeans around the house, in the workplace, on a date, or on casual outings. Despite this usefulness, however, finding that perfect pair of men’s jeans is never easy.
So what should you look for when searching for that perfect pair of jeans? Aside from price, here are some tips to keep in mind. picking the right pair.
Consider when you’ll be wearing them
It goes without saying that being comfortable in your jeans is the most important thing; after all, even the best-looking pair of jeans will look odd if you’re uncomfortable in them. Nevertheless, keeping in mind when and where you’ll wear your jeans will make the process of choosing much easier.
If, for example, you only wear suits to work, your jeans might be reserved strictly for going out or for lounging around the house, which means you have few restrictions when selecting a wash and fit. If your work environment allows jeans, however, denim might be everyday wear. In that case, you might have to consider more conservative styles, as even in the most casual workplaces, subtlety goes a long way. Either way, always ensure your jeans look good with sneakers, boots or dress shoes.
Look for timeless washes
It’s hard to say what will be in style a year from today at the retail level, but by sticking with tried-and-true denim styles, you can aim for and land a pair of jeans that will remain stylish for years. Here are three classic examples:
Original blue jeans: Evolving from rough-and-tumble work wear, these are now one of the most versatile pieces of clothing you can own.
Slightly faded blue jeans: More casual wear than anything else, these can nevertheless look good with a nice sportscoat and shirt.
Dark denim: You really can’t go wrong with a pair of straight leg dark denim. Wear it to the office with a white oxford and navy blazer or throw on a leather jacket for a street-ready look on the weekends.
Flashier colors, funky washes and excessive distressing are always off-limits in terms of timelessness.
Stick with classic fits
Slim, slim/straight, straight, relaxed, relaxed/straight, classic, standard — do the names of jean styles ever confuse the hell out of you? You’re not alone. Instead of adhering to a common denim language, most retailers release models with their own jargon, resulting in an infinite amount of names to describe, essentially, the same fit. (Tip: If you feel overwhelmed, just ask a sales associate for the fit you’re after — it’s their job.)
A good choice is a straight leg or boot cut. When paired with the classic washes mentioned earlier, you’ll be set. Classic jean fits will give you the most bang for your denim buck because you’ll be able to get a lot of versatility out of them. Meanwhile, steer clear of tapered leg openings or a wide bell-bottomed look.
Get the right fit
No matter how great the jeans, if the fit is wrong for your body type, they’ll look ridiculous on you. First, make sure the legs, crotch and waist areas are not too tight. You must also see if they look good from behind. Remember, if you’re not sure, try other styles.
Also, because jeans are likely to shrink, it’s not a good idea to get just the right inseam. Buying them longer than necessary gives you the opportunity to fold them over or make any desired alterations.
Reproduce your normal wearing conditions
The best way to test the worth of your new jeans is to put them through a trial run. Walk around the store with them and check the pocket space and your level of comfort when sitting down. Can they handle your keys? Wallet? Are they itchy or too warm for certain seasons?
You should also make sure to try them on with the belt you wear most. This will show you where the waist falls on you, if the jeans match your belt and if the loops can hold your belt properly.
Finally, try on jeans with the shoes you wear most often, and keep in mind that aside from seeing if the colors match, you want to know how the pants fall. If the jeans are too long, fold them over to approximate how they would look once hemmed. Remember, the back cuff should be aligned with the top part of the sole.
Make sure they’ve been preshrunk
Everyone knows how irritating shrinking a perfectly good pair of jeans is, especially when you’re forced to walk around with the “ready for a flood” look. Making sure they’re preshrunk will cut down on the damage; any additional shrinking will be minimal. Remember though, it’s always a good idea to get jeans slightly longer than needed.
It’s not always easy to buy the perfect pair of men’s jeans, especially since most would rather go to the dentist than spend a long time trying on clothes. Nevertheless, by keeping some of these tips in mind, and most importantly with minimal effort, you can find that perfect pair of jeans.