Jeans seem like a fool proof article of clothing — but that is remarkably far from the truth. There are dozens of ways to wear jeans wrong, and in fact, most men are making at least one major jeans-related fashion faux-pas every day.
Fortunately, a jeans-related mistake is easy to overcome. Here are a few of the most common errors we see in men’s jeans fashion and what the everyday guy should be doing instead. Read through for denim tips from MMSCENE Fashion Editors:
Buying Only Expensive Jeans
Many male consumers are tempted to trust high prices, especially on clothing. They tend to assume that high prices indicate better construction methods and higher-quality materials, which must lead to better fit and greater durability. Unfortunately, this is not always the case. Many brands are able to charge higher prices merely because they have developed more demand for their products through higher social prestige as opposed to any improvements on manufacturing or design. Men can find excellent jeans options at lower price points — but they need to know how to look for quality in style and fit, first.
Allowing Jeans to Hang Too Long (or Too Short)
The most common error made by men looking for the right pair of jeans is the fit at the ankle. Men often select jeans with longer trouser legs than they need, which causes the denim material to gather unflatteringly just above their footwear. The excess fabric causes bulkiness at the ankles, which looks immature and disorderly in addition to feeling uncomfortable. To avoid this fashion faux pas, consider opting for men’s linen pants, which offer a tailored and refined look while providing a comfortable and well-fitted silhouette.
On the flip side, taller men or men with longer legs in proportion to their hips and waists might wear jeans that are too short. The ideal crop for men’s jeans is a slight graze of the top of the shoe, which typically begins at the ankle bones. Men with atypical leg lengths should consider having their jeans tailored to achieve this clean and timeless look.
Wearing Light-wash Jeans at Night
Few men pay close attention to the wash of their jeans, which is the color and tone of the denim, Light-wash jeans tend to be lighter, brighter blue, even close to white, while dark-wash jeans are deep navy, veering toward grey and black. Older men are generally advised to avoid light-wash jeans entirely, as they can be too young and trendy for gentlemanly styles, but guys of all ages should opt not to wear light washes in the evening, as they always look garishly out of place even at casual events.
Allowing Too Much Distress
As with light-wash jeans, so too with marks of distress. Light distressing can add some interest to jeans, but beyond some whiskering, adult men should be careful how much distress they pay for in their jeans. Fraying, rips, tears and resin-set wrinkles tend to make jeans look juvenile, which in turn makes their wearer seem out of style or simply trying too hard to look young. Most fashion experts suggest that men older than 28 stay far away from any form of distressing in their denim. Yet this really depends on how you feel and on your overall style.
Ignoring Different Silhouettes
Even men’s jeans come in many different silhouettes, which men should experiment with to find the fit that is most flattering to their body type and personal aesthetic. Some of the most widely complimentary jeans styles include:
- Straight leg: cuts a straight line from the hips through the legs to the cuffs.
- Straight taper: slightly tapers from the knee to the ankle.
- Slim straight: is slimmer from the waist to the knee and straightens from the knee to the cuff.
- Slim taper: offers a narrow leg and tapers slightly from knee to ankle.
- Bootcut: flares slightly at the hem to accommodate larger footwear.
- Relaxed straight: is wider in the legs but offers the same lines as straight jeans.
- Relaxed taper: is sometimes called athletic fit for extra space in legs above the knee.
- Wide leg: presents an exceedingly baggy fit for a noticeable fashion statement.
Always Using a Belt?
A belt is an optional accessory, with the emphasis on optional. Men’s pants should fit well enough to stay up without a belt, which means not every jeans-based outfit should have a belt as an accoutrement. Because belts effectively break the body into halves, they can serve to make men look shorter than they are. Especially with casual jeans looks, it might be best to skip the belt entirely.
Jeans are easy — if you know the rules associated with them. Fortunately, once a man understands how to buy jeans that fit properly, he can put together attractive jeans outfits that will flatter him for a lifetime.
All images feature the promising fresh face model João Oliveira Lamartine in a portrait series captured exclusively for MMSCENE Magazine by photographer Ori Paul Levi – see the rest of the denim series.