2015 saw men’s wear consolidate its love for selvedge denim jeans. The rawer, darker and sturdier the better. But all that’s about to change. A new crew of jean silhouettes, washes and denim weights has arrived in time for the new season. And frankly, now’s the time to jump on in.
New things, mean new options, which can sometimes be a man’s downfall. So here’s a guide and some advice to assist you into your next pair of jeans. The new year is about a style renaissance. And playing around with these five new denim styles will up your jean game for 2016.
Selvedge denim certainly has prime place in men’s fashion in the new year. From the street-y New Yorker to the preppy Briton, midweight selvedge denim – falling between 12 Oz. and 16 Oz. – is the season’s go-to jean. Why? Comfort and style. The denser weight of the fabric will see the denim fade much better than lightweight selvedge, and they are much more durable. Meanwhile, the thread count is lighter than previous selvedge jean fads, making the denim a lot more comfortable, taking a lot less time to break in.
Play around with selvedge weights depending on your climate – lighter in hot weather and denser in winter. And adjust to your daily needs; the lighter pieces will have more movement compared to heftier threads. Key midweight selvedge jeans include the Orslow 105 Standard in 13 Oz. weight or the 14 Oz. Neighborhood Rigid Deep Narrow cut
Styling is easy: team the dark denim with a white button down shirt and leather lace-ups for casual dress days at work and roll the cuff and lose the socks for the weekend, chucking on a relaxed plain tee and your favourite pair of low-cut sneakers – bold or minimal, depending on your mood.
#2 Daily Commute
In keeping in tune with comfort, commuter denim is peddling out its presence in the new year. Long gone are the days when denim’s workwear origins meant jeans had to be thick and sturdy. The new era of active and eco men has called denim brands to invest in movement-friendly and streamline jeans.
Designed for cycling or walking to the office, the new breed of active jean are considerably lighter and boast more stretch and are water resistant. Some even boast reflective cuff details for safety and spring back into shape post-cycle, just in time to greet the boss as you enter the staff room.
Levi’s Commuter range is a competitive take on the jean while Uniqlo’s Miracle Air denim – available in skinny and regular in range of washes – is versatile and an affordable choice.
Styling is mostly in footwear for the commuter, opting for work-appropriate footwear – be it active-sole brogues, luxury sneakers or pair of leather Chukka boots for perfect smart casual. Never gym shoes.
#3 Crop It Like It’s Hot
We’re seeing less men doing super tight jeans and the cuff roll in the new season. Like the big beard trend, rolled up skinny jeans are facing style fatigue (blame the hipsters). So, what’s an ankle-exposing, skinny denim lover left to do? Crop it.
Buying jeans cropped at the ankle might sound like peddle-pusher territory. But in a wide-leg fit, the style comes straight from the Tokyo streets, and resembles more of a trouser or chino fit then skaterboy jean. A mid-blue wash from Beam Plus suits is very Japanese or for a more affordable version look to Topman and their cropped denim trouser range for a foolproof attempt at the trend.
The look is casual – perfect for night and day. Just adjust the other outfit items: sneakers and a bomber jacket for casual cool or a button down shirt (untucked) and leather lace-ups; a relax-shouldered blazer complementing the tailor-look bottoms.
#4 Get Shredded
In revolt against the cleanliness of raw selvedge jeans, distressed denim will up the ante as 2016 begins. But before you go dragging your jeans through the dirt or slicing each leg thigh-high, distressed is always in the subtle details.
This looks like shredded knees and worn in denim areas where excessive wear-age would naturally fade and lighten the jean. The silhouette is typically skinny to straight when paired with a longline or relaxed fit tee (snapback if you like). Or a more relaxed fit with fading and a series of tasteful rips, paired with a tee and trench combination. Just add trainers.
Black knee-slit jeans from Saint Laurent are a luxury punk option (yet a sure financial investment) while super distressed and faded jean from Sydney’s The People Vs. is a price-savvy denim alternative, inspired by the streets and the beach.
The hardworking denim jean is getting crafty. Again championed by the Japanese, a patchwork renaissance is taking form, interpreting the boro fabric technique which is an ancient cloth made by stitched ‘rags’ of similar indigo tone. While luxury labels were showcasing the quilted, DIY denim on runways last year, more denim-savvy men are living the rags-to-riches dream via the Bobo jean in the new year.