My own story of denim starts out as a bad one. It all starts from when I was a kid, going to a Primary school with no uniform meant I could wear what I wanted, and in my first few years that meant a couple of pairs of jeans. Sitting with your legs crossed in assembly was the most uncomfortable thing in the world! Add to that I used to go out and play football with my mates, it meant that I developed a hate for denim at a young age. I always hated jeans as a kid, denim was always simply too uncomfortable to wear, and restricting. I never got into denim until my very early twenties, where I invested in my first pair of premium denim, it was a pair of light blue Evisu Selvedge soft denim jeans. They were so soft and really nice to wear.
Jeans are the obvious go to piece of clothing to wear on your lower half. They can be both smart and casual, unless you’re going formal there’s nothing more versatile than a good pair of jeans. There’s so many types and styles, as well as colours and washes, but you don’t need to own every single type, and likewise, you don’t need tons of pair of the same colour or type of denim. If you’re on a budget, or you just want a condensed capsule wardrobe, there’s five key colours of denim you should have.
Indigo jeans are your base. They’re versatile, they can be dressed up and down for casual or smart casual occasions. Indigo is the dark denim colour which I love, and I own many, probably too many jeans in this wash. The best thing about this colour is the fact that they look really smart, and can go with pretty much anything you throw at them. Any coloured shirts, T-shirts, other tops and jackets, they’re never going to look bad.
You can look at Indigo as an investment piece. Don’t be too afraid to splash the cash on a pair of dark blue denim. These will never go out of style, they’re suitable for all seasons and buying a good pair means they’ll last you for years to come.
Black is a colour which you can look at as an alternative to indigo. Just like dark blue, they can be seen as your smart pair of jeans, and they will go with anything. Since they’re black, they’ll make other colours on your upper body pop, which will emphasize them. Wearing with a white T-shirt will make it look really bright, and you can quite easily pair these with a smarter shirt and jacket which will create a really smart outfit without the need for more formal trousers. You can wear these all seasons, but they’ll be particularly favourable in the cooler Autumn and Winter months, when you’ll be layering.
I have never really been the biggest fan of light blue denim, but it’s always a good idea to keep or buy a pair of this classic wash. They’re seen more casual than the previous two washes, and are a good choice when you want to brighten up an outfit in the Summer months. Light blue will add a variety to your wardrobe, and be a perfectly fine variation on an everyday pair of jeans for day to day wear.
As you’ll know I am a fan of white jeans, I real do like the colour and you can read how to style white jeans in another post. They’re good because they really brighten up your style, which is key for the summer. You can wear these with a pastel colour shirt or tee which will keep your style looking bright but understated, or colour block them with a darker colour such as black or navy which will make them really stand out. Although I think white jeans can be wore in any season, you’ll get most use out of them in Summer, and you’ll probably wear these on selected occasions, rather than every day. If that’s the case and you don’t want to spend a great deal of money, you can always buy really nice high street white jeans from brands such as H&M, ASOS and Mango, all do very nice jeans at a good price. If you’re looking to spend a bit more, you can’t go wrong with Nudie.
Ripped jeans are somewhat of a trend, and sometimes they’ll be in, and sometimes they’ll not. For the past couple of years they’ve become favourites once again, I covered them in my ripped jeans for summer guide, and they’re still as popular now. They are usually casual, but it depends on how ripped and how distressed they are. You can usually get a pair of ripped jeans in most colour washes, and as we’ve covered above the darker the wash, the smarter they’ll be.
When it comes to denim washes, these are your five go to pairs of jeans you should be looking to own. This does not cover the cut and fit of the jeans, or the style of denim such as dry and selvedge, both of which are optional depending on your own style and budget.
Check out more advice in the men’s fashion tips blog, where you’ll be able to find out how to style these jeans to keep your look fresh.