Mens Jean Guide – Quick Tips

Posted by the dood on Sunday, February 3rd, 2008

Buying jeans can be a stressful task, and that’s often when you don’t know what you are looking for. A systematic and methodical approach to jean shopping is your best bet. Usually when I buy jeans, there are four things I look for:

1. Wash
2. Cut/Fit
3. Pocket Detail
4. Hardware/Stitching

Wash is probably the first thing people notice about your jeans, and consequently the most expensive part of the jean production process typically. When there is a lot of hand distressing taking place it can raise the price of manufacturing the jeans substantially. This is noticeable with some brands such as True Religion when you look at the price of two different washes in the same cut.

Nowadays distressed jeans are still popular, and still look good. Obviously the level of distressing is imporant, and you don’t want to overdo it. This pair of True Religion Bandits have a lot of distressing but is still tasteful if you match it up with some provoking tops:


Light jeans are not as popular in the last couple of years, so a dark jean is a safer bet. Also allows for a dressier look. With a darker jean you might even be able to get away with a small amount of distressing and still keep it looking dressy.

There is also something of a jean subculture that is really into the Raw denim. This is denim that has not been washed, but is really dark and rigid. You wear them until they start forming to your body and lightening naturally to how you wear them. A lot of japanese brands are popular for this such as 45RPM. A more accessible brand for North American buyers is Nudie Jeans.

This is probably the most important thing about the jean, and will make or break whether or not the jean looks good on you. For a taller thinner build, you might be able to get away with a skinny straight cut jean, but for most people you are going to have the best luck with a Boot Cut or slightly Flared jean. For me I have to go with a Boot or Flared jeans simply because it looks horrible otherwise. Lowrise also looks better now, giving you that lower waist, without the hanging crotch section reminiscent of your homie days.

Some good bootcuts out there are:
True Religion Billy – Boot Cut, fairly roomy. Size down.
True Religion Joey – Twisted seam Flared, fairly roomy, but less so than the Billy.
Diesel Zantham – Boot Cut. Fits true to size.
Energie Stevensen – Boot Cut, Fits a little bit smaller.
Rock & Republic Henley – Boot, Fits small.
Armani Exchange Low-Rise-Boot – Boot Cut, Fits big.
Gap Low-Rise Boot – Boot Cut, Stretches a lot with Wear, so Size down.
American Eagle Low-Rise Boot – Boot fits Big, size down, also stretches with wear.

The boot cut will be a lot more flattering for most guys and will just give that extra bit of style. A baggier fit sometimes just makes you look like you are swimming in your clothes. Slight taper in the knee area to give it a better fit, and then a 2-3inch flare out to the ankles is usually sufficient.

Pocket Detail
This is where you get to have some fun. Some really nice stuff coming out as far as pocket detail is concerned. Rock and Republic has some of the most recognizable stuff out there with their Signature pockets. Look to Ed Hardy jeans and Affliction for some really cutting edge pocket graphics as well. Take a lot at what’s out there:

Rock and Republic:


Ed Hardy (I have these!):

So you can see there are lots of choices out there as far as pocket detail. Yes, pocket detail is in again for those of you that remember the early 90’s.

High quality jeans usually use high quality rivets and hardware. You will notice with luxury brands that the hardware is bigger and thicker. Just take a look at the buttons on a pair of Rocks or Trues (Though some would call these high-priced but low-quality brands..). Hardware goes a long away, not just for lasting long, but looking good. Pocket flaps with buttons look cooler when you have a fancy button.

Rivets with detaling on them like the ones used by Energie are very cool. Rock and Republic, True Religion, etc all of those brands used branded fancy rivets on their clothing, and just adds that final bit of polish to the look.

Stitching is where a lot of brands have been branching out to lately, with True Religion leading the pack. Rainbow multi-stiching and their signature Super T and Big T stiching is starting to surface amongst other brands as well. Keep an eye on it!

Hope this was useful for you guys 🙂

Leave a Reply