Jeans are a popular product for men, offering comfort and versatility, and making them ideal for everything from work to first dates. However, buying the perfect pair of jeans doesn’t come naturally to every guy. With seemingly endless styles, colors, cuts, finishes, and more, it’s an overwhelming venture for many men, especially those of you who don’t consider yourselves fashion-savvy. Fortunately, you don’t have to fret. Using this handy guide, you can walk yourself through each aspect of a pair of jeans, ensuring a perfect look and fit every time.
Before you start your hunt for the world’s perfect pair of jeans, it’s best to stick to a few basic guidelines, which will help you narrow down your search and provide better results. The first step is to take a look at the tag. If possible, try to find a pair of jeans that is between 80 percent and 100 percent cotton. This allows them to stretch to fit your body. Jeans made of 80 percent cotton typically add some linen, which will make them feel lighter and more breathable on hotter days.
Another general rule is to stick with the same brand, once you’ve found one that you like. Typically, a brand of jeans has the same feel and fit across their lineup, so if you stick to it, you won’t have to struggle with others to find the look or comfort you want. With a consistent fit, you can save yourself time at the store and the changing room, while also getting a familiar style that you enjoy.
You should also avoid the trendy pitfalls when it comes to jeans. Remember, jeans are a classic look, so you shouldn’t feel the pressure to get styles that are almost certainly fads. Torn jeans, skinny jeans, bejeweled jeans, and bizarre washes are all part of the “do not get fooled into buying” category. When in doubt, go with a classic look that transcends time or other styles. When you do this, chances are you’ll be happy.
How Should They Fit?
Finding the right fit is by far the hardest part of choosing a good pair of jeans. This becomes exacerbated by the fact that every guy has a different shape, weight, height, size, and more considerations. In short, there’s no specific answer to the question of how they should fit. It’s more dependent on tastes. With that said, men’s jeans generally come in five categories:
- Make a mental note that this doesn’t say “skinny jeans.” It says slim fit. This means if you’ve never worn them, you’re going to feel more contact around the hips, thighs, and knees than normal, but the leg opens up around the ankle for some added comfort, and as a whole, these jeans are crisp and clean looking.
- Straight leg jeans have the same cut from top to bottom, providing a more relaxed fit than slim fit jeans. Tight on the thighs, straight legs loosen up at about the knee and end with a wider opening at the ankle.
- If you don’t love a snug fit on the thighs and want a more breathable pair of jeans, opt for the classic cut jeans. These jeans still have a clean look, but they can also allow you some more wiggle room. When buying a pair of these, tack on about one or two inches to your normal jean length. Otherwise, the cut can make these jeans look like bell bottoms.
- Somewhere between classic jeans and a pair of denim sweatpants is the relaxed fit. It’s loose from top to bottom, with a fuller leg and seat. To wear these properly, find a pair that goes at or right around your waist, right above the hips.
- Some might say that loose fit is a fad, but since you can still find them on the shelves at stores, we’ll include them here. This is the roomiest fit of all jeans, with plenty of space in the seat, thighs, and legs. It’s not the ideal look for everyone, and smaller gentlemen should avoid this look completely. On the other hand, larger men will find that these jeans fit wonderfully.
All About the Wash
Now that you have a basic idea of the fits of jeans, it’s time to move over to the wash. If you’re into the straight blue color, you’re a classic wash guy, while vintage wash makes your jeans look like you’ve worn them for a few years. The next level is a dark rinse, which adds a soft, dark touch to the jeans. Perhaps only for purists or those that really love them, a raw or untreated jean is rigid, rough to the touch, and only for professionals or those that want some extra durability.
Remember that your opinion matters more than anything when buying a pair of jeans. At the least, a pair that fits is a battle you’ve won. However, you can add some style to your wardrobe by just trying on a few pairs. There truly is nothing like a pair of jeans that fit so right.