Although Jeans has been one of the most widely worn staple across generations (roughly half of the population are wearing), it’s also one of the most basic yet the most challenging style item when it comes to execution.
Before I became more conscious about style and fashion, my shopping guidelines for jeans were pretty primitive:
- As long as the jeans fits my waist,
- As long as I like the style.
It’s similar to how most men learned how to shave – we just follow and learn on our own. Most of us weren’t really taught about how to pick the right pair of jeans that really accentuates our physique.
While the style-conscious ones eventually learned the tricks, some men are still left overwhelmed and confused by the cheer number of choices and jargons introduced by the labels.
what is a perfect jeans?
The easiest way to begin is to know what is not a perfect jeans. Here are some examples of the less flattering:
The jeans style a man prefers is totally personal (e.g. some men prefer hip-hop baggy, rocker super-skinny, or rugged torn jeans) but sometimes your favourite styles might not work for you.
If you prefer a more refined and dapper style (like I do,) these are what we called the “perfect” jeans:
With the right pair of jeans, you can still look impeccable regardless of your age.
As I learned along the way of deciphering the genius behind all these stylish men, I realised many men are somehow poorly educated about jeans (including me,) and that there’s a learning curve before you can eventually pick up the right pair with ease.
So in this post, I’d like to share with you on what I’ve learned in choosing the perfect jeans. Of course, I’m far from denim experts but these guidelines have served me well and it would be a good reference for those who’re starting out.
How to Start
In order to get the perfect jeans for your body, the first thing you need to do is to get to know your body – that is, your body shape. Secondly, bear in mind that you’re going to need to do some experiments with jeans and that will require some effort.
Question: “Why do I still need trial-and-error when I already have the guidelines?”
The truth is, your body is biologically unique, and jeans are manufactured based on a series of mannequins. It’s impossible to find the perfect jeans without trial-and-error. These guidelines are results of my shopping experience and research, but without putting them to test, you’d never figure out what’s best for your body.
1. The Brand
Though paying more sometimes means higher quality (read Cost-Per-Wear), a more well-known brand doesn’t always mean it should fit you better. The fact is that every brand has different cutting and shapes. Wrangler may fit you better than Lee, and it may be otherwise for your friend.
This is where the experiment part comes in – Don’t limit yourself to certain brands. You just have to try on all the different brands. If you still haven’t found the one that fits you well, keep looking.
2. The Right Jeans Cut
There are too many jeans cut out there with too many different names and jargons, but they are mostly the variations of these classic cuts:
Jeans should be selected based on your body shape, so here’s a graph that summarises the general pairing:
- Skinny men: Slim, Straight, Boot Cut
- Lean men: Slim, Straight, Boot Cut
- Athletic men: Straight, Boot Cut
- The Big Guys (Stolky): Straight, Loose
Having said that, those are just recommendations, and it is always best to first try all the styles before you limit yourself to the recommendations. In reality, some men just can’t be sure of what body type they have, because many men are of hybrid type. Certain parts of our body may not fit the cookie-cutter definition.
In case you wonder, skinny jeans isn’t in the graph because I think form-fitting skinny jeans doesn’t look good on most men. Slim fit is the better alternative.
3. The Right Jeans Rise
There are high rise, middle rise and low rise, and personally I love low rise, BUT, I’d rather go by the actual measurement than by the naming given by the brand because every brand’s rise is different.
Here’s my rule of thumb:
A perfect jeans waistline should sit 1 or 1.5 inches below your belly button.
As long as the jeans doesn’t slip when you’re walking, sitting and squatting, you’re good to go. High rise is definitely a big no.
4. The Right Jeans Style
The style of the jeans refers to the colour, the wash and the stitching pattern and pocket design of the jeans.
As the goal is to find a refined and versatile jeans, the jeans should be of dark colour, minimal or no wash and without fancy design. When you keep your jeans simple and clean, the attention will naturally focuses on how the jeans accentuate your legs and body (which, is the main point) instead of the design. Moreover, busy designs are not easy to mix-and-match.
Rule of thumb: Always look for the brand’s original style.
These are the tips that I’ve learned and they work on me, so I believe they will work on you as well.
Now that you have a better idea, I hope your next jeans purchase will be fruitful and a lot more enjoyable. Do share with us your thoughts and your experience. :)