“Some things you can skimp on, jeans, belts, wallets you don’t”

This is not only an essential element of your game with the ladies, its also an essential part of your wardrobe and your life.  Perhaps nothing is more important in a man’s wardrobe than his jeans.  Jeans have been around for well over 100 years, when a German immigrant named Levi Strauss partnered up with another man.  They wanted to create trousers with rivets at the points of stress to preserve them from wear and tear.  It’s a fascinating story about their invention that received a patent in 1873 !!   Remarkably the product has not changed that much over 150 years.

Denim is our friend, our best friend.  We already established that some Rugged Males do not know how to dress.  Wearing jeans is good because they are considered fashionable whether you’re a model, actor or the guy sitting at the end of a dive bar eating Chex Mix.  They have an extremely wide application, use and interpretation, so you better know where and how to buy them.  If you don’t have your go-to jeans store already, start looking, and when you find it, make 2 trips per year – Spring and Fall.

My theory has and always will be, Less Is More.  The more decor a jean has the more reason to keep walking!  (Yes, Im talking to you True Religion guy – you’re wearing girls jeans).  Decor is OK if you are going to dinner in Monaco to meet some diplomats from Dubai, otherwise Keep It Simple Stupid (KISS).  Like classic cars and EPMD, jeans are timeless and should look good worn to dinner or a dive bar.

Finding a good place to buy denim is not hard. The best places are boutiques in trendy areas that carry many brands. You will pay more, but you are guaranteed quality. If you are like me and hate shopping, you don’t mind paying 20% more to save a couple hours of your day.  Otherwise check Nordstroms, they carry most major brands.  First rule – never be intimidated by the sales staff.  They are there to help you, and if they start annoying you, politely put them in their place.  A simple – This is not my first rodeo or Listen Hans, I know this fitting room is your dojo and I respect that, but leave me the F alone while I take my pants off.  Be warned, they can be like car salesmen, they will try to sell you more jeans and more expensive jeans.

Establish the price range you are comfortable with and then add 30% to get a real budget.  Jeans are not like tequila, you need to pay for quality.  My point is that there are plenty of tequilas out there that are better and cheaper than that swill Paul Mitchell is peddling. It’s not like that with denim, there are no diamonds in the ruff, better jeans will run from $80 to $250 a pair, and they’re worth it !  Jeans last for years and you wear them twice a week. Some things you can skimp on, jeans, belts, wallets you don’t, because they last.  So in that sense they are economical.

Most of you don’t know how your jeans should fit, you only know how you like them to fit – Baggy, Loose, Bootcut (no skinny jeans!). This is OK if you don’t care about how you look, but if you’re trying to improve your compete in the singles scene or just want your partner to notice the extra time you’ve spent in the gym, then a slightly slimmer (don’t be scared) fitting jean is the answer.  I’m not talking about skin tight emo jeans that look like you raided your sister’s closet, but a straight leg jean with enough room for you and “the boys” that will give you a more mature, sophisticated look.  If slim is not your style, try a relaxed fit, but for the sake of all of us, wear a belt and pull your damn pants up!

There are no shortcuts lads; you will need to spend some time trying on a few pairs.  Do a squat or two in the dressing room to stretch them out before making final decision.  A few things to look for:

  • Gapping:  A poorly fitting jean will have excess space in the back waistband – no bueno!  It may fit everywhere else, but unless you are embarking on a new career in the plumbing arts, put ‘em back on the rack.
  • Growth:  Don’t be overly concerned if a jean is a little on the slim side.  Just like a fine pair of leather shoes, they will stretch out as you wear them.
  • Length:  Most, if not all, stores will alter length for you.  Don’t let that be a factor unless of course your jean has some whiskering.  Brands often try to simulate a vintage style by placing wear marks behind the knees. If the jeans are too long, those “behind the knee” whiskers will be on your calf…again, no bueno!
  • The Denim:  Whether light, heavy, stretch or rigid, there is not a right or wrong when it comes to the type of denim fabric.  Go with what looks good on you!

A good litmus test for jeans is – Can I wear them with a t-shirt and flip flops?  Can I wear them during the day with a dress shirt?  Can I wear them at night with boots and a sport coat?  If you hit 2 of these 3 and they fit well and make your ass look good, head toward the register!   If they don’t, then call over Hans from his dojo to fetch you a new pair!

Brands we like:  G-Star, AG, Hudson, Levi’s & Joe’s

Thanks For Reading!

This article was a collaborative effort with Paul Minestrella, a rugged male with over 15 years of experience in denim manufacturing. He is a partner in a startup men’s brand called Field Scout  – check it out.

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