After tailoring, denim is your trickiest buy. The exponential options in cut, color and condition are testament to the fact that your jeans as a style have more than a century under their over-sized belt. Take a look at these things that will help you buy the right jeans for you!
1. Crest (AKA Choosing The Right Brand)
First step – set yourself a budget. That number dictates whether you’re looking at an artisan Designer Label or that Indian local brand. Not that the latter means worse results. They are locally made, so the cost decreases significantly.
2. Construction (AKA Know Your Materials)
With denim, cost correlates to longevity. Cheap out and they’ll split quick, so spend as much as you can afford. For cost-per-wear, even spendy denim’s kept its blue-collar roots.There are two main types of jeans: standard and selvedge. The former is woven in industrial quantities on equally enormous machinery, and is perfectly serviceable. The latter is crafted on traditional shuttle looms and is marked out by stitching (often red) on the inside of a turn-up. As ever, that craftsmanship counts, since selvedge is mostly made in smaller batches, from better materials, and used by better manufacturers. That scarlet thread is a signature of quality.
Jeans originated as work wear, so were cut baggy enough to be comfortable without getting in the way. Their transition, courtesy of James Dean, into fashion, subjected denim to some ignominious silhouettes . Slim-fits have dominated recently, but things are finally starting to loosen up. The most versatile is a slim silhouette, which tapers below the knee to avoid excess fabric flapping round your calf. Invest there first, then experiment.
There are 4 basic colors must have : black, indigo, faded and, in the summer, white. Leave coruscating colors to the boy bands.
Within that quartet, the darker your jeans, the smarter they are. And the easier they are to wear. Black goes with anything from a button-down to a crew neck. White treads a fine line between Pitti Peacock and the forgotten half of Wham!
5. Complexion (AKA Look Closely At The Details)
Denim’s devil is in the details. Your dry selvedge can look fine from afar, until people notice your chafe-induced John Wayne waddle. Denim below 14 oz will avoid that. Keep an eye out for contrast stitching and embellishments on the back pocket – fine out of the office, less so with a blazer and tie.
6. Cleaning (Yes, You Will Have To Wash Them Eventually)
Most of the myths around cleaning denim are precisely that. But it’s true that the longer they avoid the machine, the better.
Raw denim – dark indigo jeans that haven’t been washed – lose dye where they crease. These ‘fades’ are the denimhead’s Holy Grail, personalised wear marks that give a history of how you’ve worn them. The spin cycle extracts this dye all-over, so your jeans fade everywhere at once.