Starting five or seven years ago, all your female friends could talk about was their Seven jeans – how much they loved them, how comfortable the little bit of lycra made them. You might have even bitten the bullet and dropped $230 on a pair for yourself, thinking that the girls would love them.
Well, you were wrong. Designer jeans with lycra in them are never a good choice, and certainly if you go any further – opting for distressed-jeans-with-embroidered-pocket-flourishes-and-slight-flare – you’re really in no man’s land. There’s a familiarity-breeds-repulsion thing for women, kinda like kissing their brother: They are grossed out seeing men in their jeans.
Stick to a rock-solid classic look. Buy a great pair and hold on to them for a long time: Go for plain, dark blue selvage denim jeans. Selvage denim refers to a more durable, old-school manufacturing process in which jeans are held together with a single cotton thread (often red), not a whole bunch of separate threads. It means the jeans last longer and are less likely to fray. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Denim#Selvage_denim.
Find the right pair (Levis Vintage XX 501 or RRL Slim Cut – a Ralph Lauren brand – with selvage are the straightest goods I’ve found lately) and wear them to death. Any detail more than the Levis rounded ‘V’ on the back pockets is too much.
Wash them a quarter as often as you think you need to and they’ll last a long, long time. If they ever do start to fray, go to your local small drycleaner and have them patched. I recently spent $60 to have a dear pair of Levis XX 501s fixed. I bought them in Italy 8 years ago and yes, they were $230 new – but they were the perfect fit, colour and its the classic brand in denim style. Now they are distressed in a way that kills any of the fake designer stuff – and they’re the real deal.
Lead image courtesy of Andrew Ng Images.