Walk into virtually any fashion chain and you will be hit by a virtual blizzard of blue jeans ranging from in the case of the major fashion houses the sublime, to the chain store offered cut price ridiculous. Having succumbed in the past (when I was young and foolish) to the misguided belief that all denim products had been created equal (they’re not) and that the quality didn’t vary (it does, considerably) then it’s worth conducting a little research into what this product of prince and pauper is composed of apart from the obvious and establishing a few ground rules for a successful owner’s manual.
The Cotton Club
Most men make the mistake of diving in and buying denim jeans that they like the look of without necessarily considering the esthetic appeal and not just the practicality. This can translate into guys purchasing the totally wrong style for their body, so do ensure you take a long, hard critical look in the mirror to establish just exactly how those expensive designer jeans look on that vino and pasta soaked waistline. You may not like what you see and better to make a mistake pre-purchase than post.
Keeping your Style Council
Be aware there are several styles to choose from including skinny, relaxed, fitted or straight leg and heaven forbid, the sometimes reviled (Among men of a certain age anyway) flared or bell-bottom. You really MUST ensure you try several different styles on before you buy. Ensure as you try them on you compare designers cut, finish and quality certainly on the basis of ‘you get what you pay for’. This will help eliminate the wannabes from the pack.
Cutting Yourself Off
Denims should ideally be comfortable and not just look good. I’m sure we’ve all seen the BBS or Builders Bum Syndrome. You really don’t need to expose the crack in your world. Do the pinch test by pinching the denim around the top of the thigh (preferably yours) when you’re standing or sitting. There should be a comfortable excess between fingers; if not, then possibly it’s back to the rails and start again.
Any Colour As Long As It’
With the development of superb new steadfast colours and dye sublimation techniques, it’s possible to look great in a multitude of brighter hues than the average tin miner would have thought possible at the turn of the last century. In fact, wearing brighter colours and being careful with patterned denim will enhance the body look with middle-aged guys particularly keen on the ‘Man in Black ‘ look as salvation to hide a sagging waistline. Fawns and pastels can be pleasing on the eye in summer months and if more conservative, plums and greens can be just as effective. Just remember if you are what is politely called ’Bigger Boned ’, avoid creased pattern options or risk derision from your mates in the bar.
Lean and Mean
If you’re the type who uses gym equipment as toothpicks and are blessed with an athletic build, you should be wary of tight or skinny fit denim. By prizing yourself into these styles you risk guiding the eye from the total package and making yourself look like a turn of the century music hall comedian. Better to have a more relaxed or classic style than risk looking like you’re smuggling hams.
If you’re lucky enough to have legs that simply won’t quit, then ensure you don’t go for blood restricting tightest possible cut. Again the danger is you’ll look totally unflattering and take on the emaciated look so beloved of prisoner of war movies. Thicker fabric will detract from the leg shape a little if the overall body package is not head to toe.
Who’s a Big Boy Then?
If you’re stocky and either tall or short avoid like the plague low rise denim or skinny fit. Far better to wear a high rise jean and not suffer the indignity of stomach constriction or what in the medical profession (Or at least down the local bars) is referred to as meat and two veg cut. The jean should sit comfortably across the base of the stomach and the leg should fit comfortably without the constriction of any kind. Just don’t go too broad in the leg unless you want a job in a circus.
A lot of this is common sense and its not a question of vanity, it’s about ensuring you get the best possible designer bang for you’re buck to wear a much taken for granted fashion staple or otherwise you might find yourself mining for tin.