Building the Millennial Closet: Jeans

Jeans are an essential piece of every gentleman’s wardrobe—classy, sexy and versatile. They are your casual friday, saturday dance party, country music concert or every day wear go-to. The best part is that two to three quality pairs are more than enough to complete your closet. So where should you start when choosing the right pair of jeans? Jeans may seem commonplace. However, a gentleman always gives his best attention to detail, and this is especially true with denim.

First, when it comes to your waistline, we suggest choosing a size smaller than you would normally buy. Once on, test out the fit by inserting two fingers in the waistband. Any more than two fingers means the fit is too loose and any less means the fit is too tight. (That is no innuendo, just solid advice). You should try to find a happy medium. Quality jeans have some flexibility that allow for extra movement, so do not expect them to be as snug for too long. Also, your jeans should not require a belt, chain, rope or your hand to prevent them from falling down.

Second, is the fit below the waist. Most guys can fill out a pair of straight-legged jeans, but if you are feeling fashionably progressive, try a pair of slim-fitted jeans for a more refined look. Slim fit jeans should slightly squeeze your thighs, knees, and calves. Straight leg jeans will have a similar fit in the thigh, but fit less close in the knees and calves. When in doubt, go with your instincts, or your girlfriend’s advice, on this one.

Third is the wash. Dark wash is always a safe bet. It has an inky, indigo look that is both timeless and versatile. Ideally, your jeans should be interchangeable with the seasons and with other items in your fashion arsenal—think that badass leather jacket, fitted blue blazer or denim jacket. (This is not an endorsement of the Canadian tuxedo, we’re talking progressive, not crazy).

Fourth, is adornments. When it comes to jeans, too much detail can be a distraction. There is no need to ruin a classy look with excess. Avoid jeans with too many designs, especially around the pockets, as well as jeans that are artificially destroyed or weathered. And, while we are on the subject, avoid crossbones, patches, overt monograms and prominent logos. Try to keep things straightforward.

Fifth, is choosing the right stitching: Blue thread versus golden yellow stitching.This is a matter of preference, but blue thread blends in with your jeans for a more dressed-up appearance and the latter provides more of a contrast, and perhaps a bit more character.

Lastly, is love and care. Once you have these particulars down, finding the right pair of jeans becomes second nature. You do not just find the right jeans, the right jeans find you. They will never mistreat you, abandon you or hold a grudge for being left in a ball on the floor. You will spill things on them and wipe your hands on them. As long as you treat true denim with the proper care, it will keep you confident and looking like a modern james dean. But how is denim different than your chinos? For one, once you find your denim jeans (and every time you wash them), it is suggested that you put them on, commando (without your undies) and sit in a tub filled with warm water for about an hour (take a book with you). This will allow the jeans to form up, hug you and contract in all the right places. Machine-washing jeans should be an activity like going to the doctor: once a year to make sure everything is okay, maybe twice if you think something’s wrong. In between washes, throw your jeans into a ziplock bag and toss them in the freezer over night. Yes, the freezer. This will kill all the bacteria causing that weird smell on the right thigh and not ruin the perfect fit you just worked two months to perfect. The final care tip: Never throw them in the dryer, unless you want them to tighten up in all the wrong places.

So go, search for the long lost love of your closet. Find the jeans that fit you like they were made just for you. They will boost your confidence on the first date, and help you reclaim it after a breakup. Take care in choosing the right pair.