Denim jeans have always been an important part of a man’s wardrobe. In the early years it was the uniform of miners, lumberjacks and cowboys, and now it’s worn by everyone from plumbers to Presidents (Kudos to Obama and his Dad jeans). Over the years it’s become a fundamental part of men’s fashion and has evolved greatly during this time. You don’t just buy a pair of denim jeans now, you need to make a few decisions before you jump in. Washed or unwashed? Skinny or tapered? Worn or mint-perfect? Here’s a breakdown of your options.
Dry vs Washed
Every pair of jeans starts out as dry denim. This is the untouched, unwashed fabric. To get the softer fit and a more varied colour, the denim needs to be washed. This is either done by the manufacturer or by you at home. The Nudie Jeans example below shows the full timeline of a dry pair of jeans perfectly.
So if you want the original raw denim, buy dry and in 6 months it will look like a completely different pair of jeans. If you don’t want to spend that much time wearing them in, go for a pre-washed pair. These are our favourite dry jeans.
The range of fits are way beyond ‘standard’ nowadays, offering something for all shapes and sizes. About 10 years ago we saw skinny jeans popularised by the Indie bands and EMOs. Now there are styles that are slim with a slight taper, or fits that are wider in the thigh and narrower at the ankle – otherwise known as the carrot fit. It all comes down to personal preference, body shape and style. Luckily we’re stocked up from skinny to regular.
Washed and Worn
Washing lightens and softens the denim, offering a huge array of different colours from stone washed to a true blue. A lighter wash tends to sway more towards the casual appearance and a darker denim is usually associated with that smarter shirt-and-jeans look. If you want to add the casual effect, look at the worn distressed styles that have purposely been ‘ruined’. Dsquared even throw a spot of paint in for good measure.