Ultimate Jeans guide – men

A good pair of jeans is the holy grail of a man’s wardrobe. They can be dressed up or dressed down and can pretty much be worn to any event from the boardroom to a barbeque, but you have to get a few things right to make sure they look good. Here’s how to find the perfect pair of jeans to suit you. 

Find your rise

Apart from picking the style the next important consideration when buying jeans is the rise of the jeans and sizing. This is basically the measurement from the crotch to the top of the waistband. These are the most common rises in men’s jeans.

High rise – This rise is great for larger men as they are worn above the belly button. Best to avoid tucking in your shirt with this rise of jeans.

Medium or mid rise – These jeans are great for men who prefer to tuck their shirts into their jeans as the waistband skims the belly button.

Low rise – This rise offers a casual fit and give a more relaxed appearance, worn below the belly button.

Low crotch – These are basically drop-crotch pant, saggy at the hips, seat and rear and are worn low on the waist.

Find the right size and length is negotiable

Sizing on jeans refer to two measurements. For example, on a 32 x 34 jean, the 32 refers to the waist size and 34 refers to the inseam length, the measurement from the crotch to the floor on the inside of the leg of the jeans. Don’t forget you can change the length. Making adjustments to the inseam is a minor alteration so you can easily get your jeans altered if they are too long.

Find your wash

Acid wash, stone wash and vintage wash are the most common washes that produce a pattern and shade on jeans. However, jeans in a classic wash are the wardrobe staple and are easiest to wear on a regular basis. These are not overly faded just that classic blue hue. Dark blue is another classic wash of jeans as they can be worn with most items in your wardrobe, from a sweatshirt to a blazer they will always look smart.

Other factors to consider when buying jeans.

The weight of the denim will affect the breathability and how the jeans drape on the body. The best buys are jeans that are in the 200-250 grams weight bracket for comfort and longevity. Remember that denim stretches to full size during the first 10 to 20 wears, so always buy down when buying a new pair. Before committing, do a test run. Stand in front of a three-quarter mirror to see how they look from the behind. Then sit on a chair, do a squat to ensure there is no discomfort, that the denim doesn’t stretch out.  

Care tips

Always wash jeans less and always wash in cold water as it will help to keep the colour you love. Turn your jeans inside out pre-wash as this helps to cut down on friction created during the wash cycle and prevents fading. Always air dry as dryers or heated drying rooms are the natural enemy of jeans.

Find your fit

First you need to understand the fit as this gives an indication of the body types the jeans are designed for. Here are the most popular ones to look out for.

Relaxed fit

A loose fit from the waist to the leg opening, a relaxed fit style of jean will not hug any part of your body.

Tapered fit

Perfect if have chunkier thighs and are a muscular man as this fit is wider at the top and more drawn in at the bottom. A great middle ground between slim-fit and skinny-fit jeans.


A baggy fit, these are the roomiest fit of jeans and provides plenty of space in the thighs, legs and bum for men who need it.

Regular fit

This style of jean is for a man who likes a more classic silhouette. Typically, straight leg jeans are a laid-back with room in the bum and thigh and have a mid-rise and the leg falls straight from the knee to hem, with a fairly large leg opening. They are straight through hip and thigh and perfect for everyday wear.


Slim fit, they are not too tight and not too loose. Generally mid-rise with a zip fly and straight through the hip and slim through the thigh they have a narrower leg opening.


If you’re after a close-fitting jean that shows off the very shape of your thighs and calves, then a skinny fit jean is what you need to go for. This style is a tighter fit with a tapered leg opening and generally low to mid rise with a zipper fly and skinny from hip to hem.

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