Fashion Newspaper -
Menís jeans that stand the test of time
By Yvonne Yu
Published on 11/13/2008
Blue jeans are the foundation of many men’s wardrobes. What is the basis of this love affair men have with jeans? It probably comes down to versatility. Jeans can be worn at home, on a hike, on the job, or at restaurants, bars, concerts or parties. In fact, aside from black tie functions and weddings, there are very few places that jeans should not make an appearance. What other men’s apparel has this wide a territory? Today there are so many styles of blue jeans, that finding the right pair of men's jeans is always a challenge. Luckily, there are a few guiding principles that can help men select a pair of jeans.

Clothing styles change every year, but some styles of jeans remain timeless and can be worn year after year without appearing outdated. For example, original blue jeans, which have evolved from the age old denim work wear, are very versatile and never go out of style. Slightly faded blue jeans are a staple casual wear style that can also transform into a hip outfit with a sports coat and the right dress shirt. Even more faded, “dirty denim” men’s jeans come in a brown rusty color or dirty blue with stylized designs that can rise above trends with an enduring appeal.

Any more color variation beyond the dirty denim options, however, is too trendy and therefore loses the timeless quality that jeans are prized for. Flashy colors like red should be avoided, and outdated black or white jeans hearken back to the 80s. In addition to color, the fit is a key ingredient. Jeans should not be too tight or too loose, both of which appear out-of-date and can often look ridiculous. A tight fit at the bottom of the leg, tapered pants or wide bell bottoms are styles that can look dated, as well. Meanwhile, the straight leg or slightly-flared boot cut stand the test of time.

Jeans tend to shrink when washed so men should not try to find the perfect length, but rather buy jeans a little longer than needed. This way a pair of jeans may shrink to the right length, but this also provides the opportunity to fold the bottoms or alter the jean legs to the ideal length. Preshrunk jeans are an excellent option, because they minimize the shrinkage impact of the washing machine, but even with preshrunk jeans we recommend buying jeans which are slightly longer.

The usage of the jeans should also be a determining factor when deciding what type of styles should be worn. For example, if jeans are worn in a casual workplace, more conservative styles make a better impression. The atmosphere may be very casual but it is still a place of business, and therefore requires a more conventional approach. When going out, however, the men’s jeans dress code has very few restrictions.

In the end, men are encouraged to look for jeans with style. Just because styles are classic and timeless does not mean they have to be boring.