Life Skills

Jeans Dos and Don’ts For 2024

  • Mar 28, 2024
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Jeans Dos and Don’ts For 2024

Jeans are a true cornerstone of modern menswear. They’re one of only a handful of garments that truly deserve the often overused label of ‘wardrobe essential’. But while their presence in menswear is long-standing and ubiquitous, there are still many ways to get them wrong.

Simplicity and functionality are a big part of what makes jeans great, but getting them right still takes a little thought and a bit of knowledge. Following a few rules can help ensure you stay on the right track with your denim choices, avoiding any sartorial faux pas and remaining relevant from season to season without straying into fashion-victim territory.

If you find yourself confused by fit, unclear on washes or out of the loop when it comes to leg length, this article is for you. Below you’ll find some key style advice to help keep your denim game on point in 2024.

Skinny Is Dead

It’s not exactly breaking news at this point, but in case you haven’t picked up on the signs, skinny jeans are well and truly a thing of the past. Squeezing yourself into a pair of elasticated drainpipes may have been the legwear modus operandi through much of the 2010s, but these days it’s looking more than a little dated as pants in general move in a looser, baggier and altogether more comfortable direction.

It’s the about-turn your testicles have been eagerly awaiting, and who are you to deny them some well-deserved room to breathe? So cast out the skinnies and welcome some more relaxed-fitting jeans into your life instead.

Long Live The Straight Leg

Baggy jeans may be all the rage among the zoomers right now, but banishing skinny jeans from your life doesn’t have to mean drowning in denim instead. For us, the happy medium is a straight cut. It’s been the default setting since the dawn of denim, remaining consistent and reliable – steadfast against the ebb and flow of fashion, and the coming and going of trends.

Straight-leg jeans are classic, timeless, comfortable and versatile. They’re also loose enough to keep you on-trend yet slim enough to keep those who’ve spent the last decade in drainpipes from feeling too self-conscious.

If you’re weaning yourself off skinny jeans, we implore you to give them a try.

Comfort Is Key

Alex Mill

With the exception of brand-new raw denim, jeans shouldn’t be uncomfortable. If yours are, that’s a good indication that they’re too tight, and you should perhaps be looking for something a little looser.

You should be able to sit, squat, kneel and stretch those legs out without feeling like you’re about to bust a seam. So, stop buying jeans purely based on what they look like, and start paying some attention to comfort too.

Ultimately, you’re far more likely to look good if you feel good.

Keep Washes Seasonal

Chances are you select seasonally appropriate colours for the rest of your wardrobe, so why not your jeans, too?

It’s widely accepted that dark colours work best in winter while lighter shades are more at home in the summer, and you can apply this same thought process to your denim.

Save pale, light washes for the warm weather and keep your richest indigo for the colder, darker portion of the year.

Earn Your Rips

Nudie Jeans Re-Use Program

Buying pre-distressed jeans will never be as good as simply wearing your denim out yourself. Shop-bought ripped jeans with artificial fades and tears tend to look like exactly that, which might make your outfits seem a little contrived. If you want the authentic look, you’ll have to earn it through extended wear.

If you really want to, you can do things to speed up natural wear. For example, you can make sure to wear your jeans daily, use them for manual jobs around the house or garden, and even use a cheese grater or rock to start some fraying.

That said, we’d recommend simply embracing the process, wearing your jeans the way they were intended to be worn, and allowing the fades to develop over time.

Fade Away

Similarly, if you want fades, skip the pre-faded high-street jeans and invest in some proper raw denim. If you wear them a lot and only wash them for the first time after a few months, you’ll be left with fades that are unique to you and your lifestyle.

Granted, not washing your jeans for a few months is a little bit disgusting, but there are measures you can take to keep them sufficiently clean in the meantime. We’d recommend spot-cleaning them with a damp cloth to remove stains and dirt, and either hanging them outside or popping them in the freezer now and then to neutralise any unpleasant odours.

Double Up

Buck Mason

Telling people to avoid double denim is lazy advice. Sure, head-to-toe denim can look terrible if done wrong, but there’s a simple cheat code that will allow you to nail it every time. As long as you stick to it, you can’t go far wrong.

The secret is to create a clear contrast between top and bottom. If you’re going for a dark indigo denim jacket, ensure the jeans are a relatively light wash and vice versa. Of course, it is possible to create cool outfits using denim pieces of the same shade, but it’s a lot trickier, and this approach takes all of the risks out of the equation.

Quality Over Quantity

If it’s a toss-up between a couple of pairs of cheap jeans and one pair made with high-quality denim, always go with the latter. Yes, it’s going to cost you more in the short term, but over time, a well-crafted pair of jeans made from good material will last longer, age more gracefully, and probably fit better than a cheaper alternative.

If you’re taking your first steps into the world of ‘real’ denim, we suggest coughing up the cash for raw, unwashed indigo and Japanese selvedge denim. You don’t have to go for anything too heavy if it’s your first pair – around 14-15 Oz should do the trick without being overly uncomfortable.

Wear them well, and watch the fabric develop a unique patina over time.

Cuff/Crop Accordingly

Buck Mason

Whether to cuff, crop or let your jeans stack naturally depends on several factors: the fit, the footwear and personal preference. Generally, we’d say slim-fit jeans usually benefit from a bit of a cuff or a cropped leg so that they end just above the shoe.

Consider the footwear for anything wider. If you’re wearing low-profile shoes like Converse, tennis shoes or minimalist sneakers, a slightly shortened leg is usually a good option so that the shoes don’t end up looking lost in excess fabric. However, for chunkier shoes, you might find it looks better if the jeans stack naturally on top of them.

Disclaimer: This story is auto-aggregated by a computer program and has not been created or edited by menshealthfits.
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