Ah denim, where would the world’s wardrobes be without you. The very first pair of jeans was created in Nevada in 1873 as rivet-reinforced pants. Since then denim has been launched into the stratosphere of contemporary fashion thanks to its unique wear characteristics and durability. History lessons are cool and all but do you know what’s cooler? Learning the sharpest ways to rock your denim. In today’s style lesson we’re running you through the intricacies of men’s denim from the fits to the combos to best pair them with.
Selvedge denim is the reinforced version of unwashed or raw denim which gives off clean natural edges that don’t fray. It’s slightly different to raw denim in that selvedge refers to the outer edge of the fabric whilst raw denim is the overall characteristics of the material finish. It’s also a more expensive cut due to these properties and is often identified with red stitching on the weft (inner hem). There’s a host of combos to pair raw denim with from denim jackets to tees to collared shirts to suits.
Most men opt for this cut in denim simply because of its balance between fit and comfort. Those who are new to the denim game should start here and go skinnier or looser based on the feel. Slim jeans have the advantage of following the contour of your legs to form a nice silhouette without strangling your lower half. This nice fit means that slim jeans can be worn with everything from fitted tees to collared shirts and casual suits. Men with bigger legs may find that slim jeans are tighter around their calves or thighs. If this is the case, you can simply go up a size – just make sure to adjust the hem and length accordingly.
The next denim cut on the ladder is the popular skinny fit. Standard skinny jeans are cut close to the legs but with a bit of tolerance (think loose fitting tights). The advantages of skinny jeans is that they can make you look taller thanks to its tapered finish from the top to the bottom. They are best suited to slimmer guys as those with a larger frame will have the unsightly issue of the jeans wrapping around too tight. Given the more tailored look of skinny jeans, they are the preferred choice for more smart casual looks. Think skinny jean combos with knitwear, collared shirts and casual blazers and ties. Of course they can also work with more casual pieces like a simple tee and bomber jacket.
Super Skinny Jeans
Super skinny jeans are not for the faint of heart and are designed to stick to your legs like paint. Consisting of a higher elastane blend to cotton, super skinny jeans are best suited to those who are tall and slim. Large or bulkier framed men should avoid these for the same reason as skinny jeans – the proportions just won’t look right on you. If you are after rock star status though, you’ll need to pair super skinny jeans with tops that are more casual in nature – do not wear these with a suit or in smart casual situations. The best combos that work here are button-up shirts, white tees and chelsea boots. You can also play around with top patterns but remember to keep it casual.
As the name suggests, straight jeans are regular cut meaning the trouser leg falls straight from the knee to the hem. The fit and leg openings are usually looser, too, so what you’ll find is that the diameter at your thighs, knees, calf and ankles remain the same. There are plenty of brands out there that identify themselves with this fit so you’ll often find unique detailing through rivets or the fly arrangement. The best combinations for straight jeans are usually looser fitting layers. You don’t want to go too fitted at the top unless you want to look like a tube of six-week-old toothpaste. Double denim works best here with either denim shirts, layered denim jackets or knitted field jackets. Even looser sweaters will work a treat with straight jeans. The secret here is consistency in fit to ensure the top matches the bottom.