There very few things like a perfectly-fitting pair of jeans on a man (the above British GQ spread of Matthew McConaughey-hey-hey is pretty good proof). And the way you have them tailored — or not — can make or break them. I recently did a jean overhaul with a client, and as we were having them tailored, I realized that even though I’ve already written about how to find a great-fitting pair of jeans, it’s also important to talk about the tailoring.
1. When shortening jeans that have any kind of distressing or detailing along the hemline, ask the tailor to re-use the original hem. That means he or she will remove the hem that’s already there, cut the jeans shorter, and then reattach the hem higher up. And you get to avoid that my-mom-hemmed-my-jeans look that distressed jeans get when they’re just folded under and hemmed normally. If your tailor doesn’t know how to do this, find another tailor.
2. Check the waist — if it gaps when you put a belt on but fits well through the seat and thighs, the waist needs to be taken in. Ideally, though, your jeans should fit well everywhere, so I’d only suggest this for jeans you already own or that are on super sale.
3. During tailoring, wear the shoes you plan on wearing most often with the jeans. That way, you and the tailor can choose the length based on that. Keep in mind that once you’ve chosen a length based on heel height, you’ll be limited to shoes with the same or similar heel height. If you have a broad range of shoe types (which hopefully you do — if not, here’s my post on the 6 essential shoes every guy should have in his closet), then not every pair of jeans is going to work with every shoe — i.e, you’ll have some that will work with flip flops and flat loafers but not with your dress shoes. So it makes sense to think ahead when having your jeans hemmed as to which shoes you’ll be wearing them most frequently with. And once you’ve decided, make sure you actually bring those shoes to the tailor when you go.
4. Taper jeans that are excessively wide-legged. Elephant leg, as we’ve discussed, is not a good look. It can make your legs look short and stumpy — not recommended! This often happens unintentionally when jeans get shortened — the tailor brings them up without realizing that the new bottom of the jeans is unflatteringly wide. So take a good look at the width of the jeans around the new hemline to see if it needs tapering. Some jeans only need a slight taper to just above the ankles, and others need it almost as high as the knee.
Do you have any tips or tricks for how you get your jeans tailored perfectly? Please share in the comments!
Just because you’re not a cowboy, doesn’t mean you should ignore the denim shirt. Sure, you can wear a denim shirt on the ranch, but you can also wear it to the office, on a date, out for dinner – just about anywhere. How rugged vs. fine the material is dictates how dressy you can take it. Also, dark rinses read fancier than light ones.
Here are 4 ways to wear a denim shirt in order from casual to dressy:
1) Weathered with pockets. Wear a different shade of denim on bottom for the optimal Canadian tuxedo. If you need help with the “downstairs” portion of the look, here’s my primer on how to find flattering jeans.
4) Dark rinse with suit and tie. For continuity, your tie should be textured, like a knit, cotton, wool or cashmere (a dressy silk won’t look right on denim). The dark buttons on this shirt make it dressier than the previous three.
Pulling off the denim shirt can be tricky, and you may not have felt confident going there in the past. But hopefully these outfit ideas inspire you to give it a shot. Denim shirts are an excellent way to add versatility to your wardrobe, and it’s a shame not to do it just because you don’t know how to pull it off. Try it, and let me know how you do!
Having good jeans is not hereditary or otherwise beyond your control. But it does take know-how and patience. The wrong jeans can send the wrong message entirely. So this is one you want to get right. Read on for the definitive Rath & Co. guide to shopping for denim.
Just about everyone looks good in a pair of inky blue, straight-leg jeans. This is the first basic pair that I recommend everyone should have. It’s timeless.
What does the perfect pair of jeans look like? Well, that depends on your physical proportions.
Note: Aside from cuts, there’s a huge variety of pocket styles among different types of denim. This is an important factor because you want to make sure that the rear pockets are not too long for your seat. For example, I’ve found that with clients 5’ 8” and under, the pockets on the 7 Standard Classic jeans are too long and end up making the client look misproportioned.
Once you’ve got the dressier dark blue rinse, you’ll want to get a more casual rinse that’s a little lighter in color (see above). These are for weekend afternoons and low-key trips to your favorite watering hole.
Another easy way to add versatility to your denim wardrobe is to introduce colors aside from blue. I’m a big fan of grey, white, off-white (the latter two especially good for warm weather; see above) and other interesting shades like red. If this appeals to you, check out Rag & Bone for an array of unique washes which change each season. Last Fall, I styled a client in a pair of burgundy AG’s and orange suede Louis Vuitton driving loafers. It was a very cool look! Note that if you go with white (a bold, confident choice), make sure you keep them spotless.
Side note: if you like the look of cuffed jeans (see “Washes and Colors” above), you can skip the hemming and roll 1.5″ cuffs.
Not to be dramatic, but please don’t be caught dead in any of the following jean-related offenses: heavily contrasting stitching, (No), obnoxiously-patterned pockets (Double No), very pronounced whiskering or distressing (feels artificial and is not slimming), boot cuts (save it for the cowboys), or black jeans (this worked for the “November Rain” video but little else).
Wash your jeans inside out to maintain the color.
In general, you get what you pay for with jeans – up to a certain point. A $50 pair of jeans from Uniqlo is a good option if you’re watching your budget, but know that they won’t last as long as a pair of Citizens, for example, that cost $175. Do the math: in some instances, it makes more sense to invest in quality up front rather than have to replace inexpensive jeans every year. All of that said, I have a client who had been talked into buying several pairs of $1K plus Louis Vuitton denim by an overzealous salesperson before he started shopping with me. Perhaps you cannot put a price on that which makes your butt look good, but really, it’s not necessary to spend more than $250-$275 to get a solid pair of jeans. Once I started shopping for that client, I found him a whole slew of denim that cost less than ¼ of what he had spent previously – and he liked them better than the super-pricey ones.
Ever wonder if you’re cool enough to rock the jean-on-jean look? Well, you are! You just need to know how to do it. The key to wearing jeans on bottom with jeans on top is to make sure each item is a distinctly different wash from the other. A fail-safe way to do this is to combine a light rinse denim top with a dark, selvedge jean. A light rinse denim top also looks clean and crispy with white jeans.
I know all of this may sound complicated, but trust me, putting a little effort into your jean shopping will go a long way. If you’d like tailored help with achieving denim excellence, contact me.