Pure jeanius: the best denims out there for men

From a 1970s revival to the resurgence of raw denim, there are many options

Vintage 1976 501 jeans, €240, Levis

Vintage 1976 501 jeans, €240, Levis

 

Jeans – they are the cornerstone of our wardrobes, the fail-safe we turn to in times of need, a staple that transcends seasons, age, and style. Indispensable and versatile, the go-anywhere, do-anything nature of jeans means they cover the bulk of your casual-wear needs, but can still be smartened up for a dinner, or pulled on for a Sunday without much thought.

But just because they are such a timeless classic doesn’t mean you can’t experiment with fit and styles, and jean trends that pass the longevity test don’t come around often. And while you could just buy, on repeat, the same pair for years, you eventually might want to update your look.

On the catwalks, the message was clear – it’s all about standout styles. Denim ran the gamut, from embellished with appliquéed flowers at Andrea Crews, to smart suit sets in the hard-working fabric at Palm Angels. In the real world, there is a dizzying array of more wearable cuts, washes and fabrics to upgrade, ever so slightly, your denim wardrobe.

For a while skinny cuts were the uncontested champ of denim, but now the straight-leg style is the new contender. A modern classic, it’s a simple and smart upgrade to leg-hugging skinnies.

Tapered Fit, €135, Reiss
Tapered Fit, €135, Reiss

If you haven’t embraced it already, then you should try a tapered fit, which sits between a slim fit and skinny style, and is perfect for guys with thighs. Wider at the top and narrower at the cuff, they won’t swamp you in excess denim.

Straight-leg jeans, €99.90, Tommy Hilifger
Straight-leg jeans, €99.90, Tommy Hilifger
Loose-fit denim jeans, €59.95, Massimo Dutti
Loose-fit denim jeans, €59.95, Massimo Dutti

Working on the same principle as the tapered is relaxed-fit jeans. A laid-back silhouette, they are ideal for rolling up and teaming with trainers.

Blame it on Once Upon A Time in Hollywood with Brad Pitt and Leonardo DiCaprio, but boot-cut jeans with their flared fit, are popping up everywhere. Opt for a slimmer thigh and sharp taper to keep it out of seventies’ territory.

Boot-cut jeans, €120, Diesel, Brown Thomas
Boot-cut jeans, €120, Diesel, Brown Thomas

Washed-out denim has also emerged from fashion’s obsession with throwback trends. The trick to making a lighter wash work is to keep the rest of your outfit simple and sleek, in darker colours to counteract the faded hue.

Further down the pale scale comes white denim, but if that fills you with fear, you could try a darker neutral; channel Steve McQueen with cream, ecru, or even tobacco jeans.

Neutral jeans, €120, Gant, Arnotts
Neutral jeans, €120, Gant, Arnotts

On the opposite end is raw denim which, while showcasing its roots of construction and robustness, has made an unexpected comeback. But it’s not just down to fabric, work-wear inspired detailing is also giving an authentic-looking appearance.

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