Although popularized in the days of the American gold-rush, denim has been around far longer — used in clothing since at least the 17th century. The modern version of jean pants were named after the Italian city of Genoa, a place where a cotton corduroy named jean was manufactured.
Denim’s tough — and it’s expected to be. There’s a famous gold rush story about a miner who wrote to Levis Strauss to complain that his jeans had fallen apart after wearing them every day for only two straight years in the California gold fields. His last pair had lasted three years. He got a replacement.
Jeans have sure come a long way, from the Wild West to workers uniforms to a symbol of youth rebellion and a modern fashion staple. Everyone has them. But as in anything some jeans are better than others. The right jeans will keep you going season after season, year after year. The wrong ones will make you look a throwback to the 1990s.
Here’s the thing, plain simple dark-wash jeans will be the workhorse of your denim collection — they go with pretty much anything — T-shirt and sneakers, dress shirt and brown brogues. You can dress them up or down and make them suit work or play. Black jeans can offer a different contrast with various outfits and work well for night-time looks.
Light-wash jeans tend to be seen as more casual. Maybe light equals less serious, who knows, but that’s the general consensus. As such it’s good to have a coupled of pairs for all those non-serious occasions such as sports games, barbecues, weekends — anything where “casual” is the name of the game.
Avoid super skinny cuts. It doesn’t look good when a guy’s jeans look tighter than their girlfriend’s leggings. Likewise nix the super relaxed fit. Baggy was for the 90s. It didn’t look so good then and won’t now. A slim, straight or boot cut is simple, middle of the road and always in fashion.
Think plain styles in solid washes. Ripped, manufactured distressing and strange color washes can date pretty quickly depending on what’s cool from season to season and are less versatile with fitting to other clothes in your wardrobe.
Know your size length and get it right. Rolling up the legs of jeans doesn’t always look so classy. Most jeans come in different lengths, but if you can’t find exactly the right length — then tailors offer professional hemming services where they can easily reduce the length and make it appear like new.
It doesn’t matter if you’re a cowboy, a rebel, a hippie, or rock star, chances are you’ve worn and looked great in a jean jacket.
The first denim jackets appeared in the 1880s after being designed by denim guru and Levi's founder Levi Strauss. By the 1900s it was worn extensively as workers wear because of its toughness and durability. Today it’s simply a rugged piece of outerwear, which works well in place of a blazer as an intriguing layering option for various causal looks.
Style wise keep it classic and clean. Avoid jackets with printed designs or brand names stamped on them, or otherwise out there style elements. A good quality jacket speaks for itself, and remember you want something that works with the other items in your wardrobe.
If you’re going to wear a jean jacket with jeans, mix up your denim a bit. The way to avoid looking like you’re wearing a uniform is to contrast your top and bottom half. This simply means either wearing a dark wash jacket with light wash jeans or vice versa. Always contrast different washes and shades.
Big baggy jean jackets are best left in the 90s like their pant counterparts. A tailored fit is always the best way to go in jackets and the jean kind are no exception.