It’s a fact: A man wears his jeans through just about everything—from Super Bowl wins (or losses) and first dates to casual Fridays and hanging with his buddies. A good pair of jeans is something he can always count on. And every pair should fit like it was made just for him. So we sat down with Nico Peyrache, VP of denim design at Lucky Brand, to find out how you can get the perfect fit, every time.
1. Don’t worry about your body type
Women may have to think about accentuating (or hiding) their curves, but men can look good in just about any denim fit. “It’s less focused around your body type and more about the end use,” says Peyrache. Instead, think about the occasion. A more classic fit lends itself to relaxed activities, while a tailored cut can be dressed up for more formal events.
Try these: $48; us.levi.com
2. Shop a size smaller than normal
A tight waistband can be uncomfortable—but one that’s too loose may mess up your entire look, resulting in bulk in all the wrong places. “As much as women have the tendency to wear jeans too small, guys usually wear them too big,” says Peyrache. Next time you hit the dressing room, grab a size smaller than you normally would, and then once you have them on do the finger check: You shouldn’t be able to put more than two fingers in the waistband.
Try this: $155; jcrew.com
3. Skinny jeans aren’t just for hipsters
Most men cringe when hearing the words “skinny” and “jeans” in the same sentence. But this style isn’t just for Russell Brand or advertising art directors—the average Joe can make a tighter-fitting jean work with the right cut. “A slimmer fit is more refined and sophisticated,” says Peyrache. If you’re a die-hard classic or boot-cut kind of guy, look out for a straight or slim leg, rather than skinny.
Try these: $129; luckybrand.com
4. Check the pockets
Too much detail can draw attention to potential “problem areas” (e.g., butt or gut). Look for a clean thread pattern on pockets. Also, make sure they aren’t too large or too long—these types of pockets will give the illusion you have saggy gluts.
Try these: $225; us.burberry.com
5. Take a stretch
Most jeans have a slight amount (usually 2%) of Lycra or elasticity to them which allows for stretch and comfort. For jeans you can wear all day, check the label for blends that include linen or elastic like spandex. It’ll give life to your slacks and allow for extra movement.
Try these: $290; agjeans.com
6. When in doubt, go dark
Whether you wear your jeans just for kicks or late-night clubbing, dark denim is a solid investment for day-to-night transition—with a swift shirt and tie change. If you only invest in one pair of jeans, shoot for dark denim.
Try these: $145; bonobos.com
7. Dare to experiment
Common misconception: Bright colors and jean cuffing is reserved for preppy men in mansions with yachts. Not true! The warmer months are a great time to push the envelope slightly with your style. Use the beach as an excuse to roll up your jeans and throw on a pair of boat shoes—it says you’re totally ready for vacation. Own the look and the average girl will love that you took an opportunity to try something new. Plus, cuffing jeans elongates the leg, says Peyrache, so you’ll look taller and leaner.
Try these: $248; 7forallmankind.com