Denim 101 – The Ultimate Guide To Picking Mens Jeans
If diamonds are a woman’s best friend, jeans must be a man’s best friend. It’s all about the fit – once you’ve found your perfect pair that is cut just right and flatters your figure, you’ll want to live in them, and never take them off.
Finding that perfect pair of jeans, though, is no easy feat. With the abundance of styles available in the market, and the dizzying array of washes that you can get these in, many men are overwhelmed by the choices, and don’t know where to start.
Want to learn more about what kind of styles fit your body type? In this article, we break it down for you and help you narrow down your choices.
Buying Jeans For Men
Before you start shopping, it’s essential to get your inseam measurement right. For an easy tutorial on how to measure your inseam at home, check out this guide. Alternatively, pop into any high-street tailor store, and they will be able to help you with this for a nominal fee.
Other than your inseam, also take note of the rise – this is the distance from the seam of the crotch to the top of the waistband. Depending on what body type you have, you’ll have to look for a specific sort of rise – and this is important to get right, because it can’t be as easily altered as, say, the length of your jeans.
Lastly, if you’re going to a tailor to get your jeans hemmed, make sure that the original hem is kept and that your jeans won’t end abruptly. Shortening your jeans will likely result in a wider leg opening – so request for an “original hem” instead of a “tucked hem” to counter this.
Photograph credits @gq, @hautelook, @macys
If you want to appear taller, avoid low-rise styles like the plague, and also refrain from jeans that are too loose. Whilst many men intuitively think that relaxed-fit jeans might make them appear bigger, these jeans generally have the opposite effect of enveloping them in too much fabric, and making them look smaller instead.
Wash wise, stick with dark washes that will elongate your body when paired with a similarly coloured shirt. The idea is to create an uninterrupted ‘line’ visually – this will make you look taller than if you break it up by pairing your bottoms with a top in a contrasting colour. To further add to the illusion of height, go for a straight-leg design which will make your legs look longer and leaner.
Photograph credits @amazon, @davesnewyork, @nordstrom
One common mistake that larger men make when buying jeans? Simply opting for the smallest size that they can fit in, resulting in the unfortunate “muffin top” effect. To make sure you aren’t a victim, steer clear from high-rise jeans, and look for a low-rise option that sits comfortably under your belly.
In order to get a nice silhouette, your pair of jeans should feature a straight leg and be relaxed in the thigh and the hip. Avoid any ‘skinny’ or ‘painted-on’ styles, and look for a smooth, light fabric as opposed to something thick and boxy that bogs you down. Wash wise, it’s common knowledge that darker colours create a slimming effect – so play it safe and stick to your traditional dark washes.
Photograph credits @hercanvas, @livecreatingyourself
Tall men traditionally have a harder time making sure everything fits right. It’s not just about the rise and length of the pant, but also the drop – which is the distance between the waist and the crotch – so it pays to try your jeans in-person, as opposed to just purchasing them online.
For tall men who don’t want to emphasize your height, give high-waisted jeans a miss and go for mid or low rise denim instead. Skinny jeans and tapered fits are not your friend, because they’ll make your legs appear even longer – so we’d recommend a straight or slim leg instead.
Want to go a step further in balancing your proportions out? Add more bulk to your legs by cuffing or pin-rolling your jeans, and break up your vertical line by mixing and matching such that the colour of your top contrasts heavily with that of your bottoms.
Photograph credits @jensam, @crumbscookiesandcakes, @vtvogue
Skinny men have the most leeway when it comes to trying out contemporary styles. Whilst men with other body types are better off sticking to the safer, classic options, skinny men can get away with playing with a variety of options including patchwork, embroidery, and/or bleaching.
Want to look bigger? Go for a pair of low rise jeans with a roomy cut that doesn’t emphasize your legs. Wherever possible, try to get jeans made out of selvedge denim, or any other thick, rough styles of denim. Paired together with lighter shades, this will help to create the illusion of added bulk, and make you look bigger than you actually are.
Similar to tall men, skinny men should avoid skinny or spray on styles – these will only serve to make your slight frame even more pronounced, and highlight your thinness.
A little extra help…
It’s not just about having the right wardrobe and choosing the right pair of jeans – but also taking good care of your clothes and washing them with care.
Don’t have the time to do your laundry and handwash your extra delicate pieces? Simply download the Lavando app, tap to request a collection, and we’ll be at your doorstep in 30 minutes to collect your items that you need washed. Try it now!
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