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What Makes a Good Pair of Jeans?

post #1 of 14
Thread Starter 
I have been reading some posts about jeans here. I am wondering what do you like the most about your favorite pairs? What made you pay $200? The color? The fit? Perhaps the NAME? Throughout the years I have tried them all and always went back to my vintage 501's, (I have about 25 pairs), there is something about wearing jeans that have a story to tell, IMO they are the only ones with a "soul". I realize: a lot of guys can't get away with them (if they are "bottom heavy"   ). They look good with anything a white T-shirt, a designer shirt, a navy sweater, or a Kiton sport coat; you can wear them with Chelsea boots, old school sneakers, Hand-Made shoes, I bet your Cavalli can't do that... Why would someone buy Borrelli, or Brioni denim? I have the feeling most people buy "Fads", when they purchase jeans, they buy PDC, or 7, because they heard it's good, somebody told them Japanese denim is the best in the world. I used to work for DIESEL jeans in Europe, back in the early 90's, they pushed a very agrassive campaign. It was very interesting to see people discovering, that there are different weights of denim,  different washes, etc. they realized that there are things out there other than Wrangler, GAP and Levi's. Perhaps that was a second Jeans revolution? That revolution made Helmut Lang, PDC, Rogan, etc. possible... So, what do you guys think of jeans?
post #2 of 14
Gotta go, but basically I look for the following in a jean, and all the criteria must be met for me to really like a jean. 1) Medium to heavy weight with interesting texture - I personally prefer Italian to Japanese milled denim in this respect. 2) Great fit. I personally prefer a mid-low rise bootcut. 3) Good finishes. I am especially interested in the base color. I like a mid to dark colored jean, and usually like some black or green/brown tint in the dye. Points 2 and 3 are what attracted me to Paper Denim in the first place. MY first pair I got for free in a promo, and liked the denim, but not really the cut (too highrise) or color (too "bright".) The first pair I bought, I actually had some reservations about the lighter weight (the ICN Clone is about an 11 ounce jean, and like most jeans guys, I prefer a 12.5-14 ounce jean), but the grey cast of the Clone wash and the great fit won me over. BTW, I remember the early 90's, when Diesel was the biggest game in town (although the Japanese cult companies (Evisu, for example) already had a big hand in things, as did some French and other Italian companies, as well as Helmut Lang and Armani, who were always ahead of the curve. There were many fewer American and few "premium" denim companies though.) Still have some Diesel and Gas jeans from that period, though I don't fit into them anymore. Still love my Kratt "flattened" jeans from 1998 though.
post #3 of 14
Thread Starter 
I think the two most progressive companies were Diesel and Replay (a group of designers from Katherine Hamnett joined them in the early 90's and they gave them a lot of room to "play around"), Armani Jeans was a kind of "middle of the road" company.
post #4 of 14
I buy PDC or Seven because of the fit. I can't stand anything that tapers. Levi's has some bootcut jeans but I have a slim figure and hip and thighs are usually too big for me. I like the fit of Seven best although I for some inexplicable reason hate girls wearing Seven jeans. I guess I'm being hypocritical but there's just something very repulsive about girls who wear Seven jeans and Ugg boots, and even in some hopeless cases, ponchos.
post #5 of 14
I wear Seven PDC for two reasons: 1. The washes 2. The fit. I am slim with a butt, and it is hard for me to find jeans that fit me in the waist and aren't too tight in the butt. I hate jeans that are too baggy, but at the same time, I can't wear them too tight. I also prefer a wide leg opening.
post #6 of 14
Myself, I look for cut and texture.  My favorite pairs of jeans I have are a couple of Ermenegildo Zegna herringbone jeans that are superb.  They have a very subtle herringbone pattern to them, and are cut perfectly for my thin frame.  Additionally, they are very soft, only 6 oz.  I like that they come extra long, so that you can have them hemmed to your own measurements.  I have made the past mistakes of buying 30 x 32's only to have them shrink to much in the leg, making them feel a little too short.
post #7 of 14
sartoriale: It is a great that you have 25 pairs. If a person wants to purchase a "new" vintage 501s(those with numbers 501XX/501ZXX), they actually cost quite a bit, about the same as many designer jeans that you have mentioned. I find the 501s made in the past 10 years a bit disappointing.
post #8 of 14
Why would someone buy Borrelli, or Brioni denim?
Both have fabrics with a hand, feel and appearance that is unequal. They are extremely confortable. However, it should be noted that the jeans consiglieri do not consider either to be worthy of the "jeans" title.
post #9 of 14
I really like Diesel jeans. I like the fit and feel, similar to a 501, button-fly as I think all jeans should be, but in more interesting washes and textures than 501s. I buy them at the outlet mall for less than half of retail price.
post #10 of 14
I'm a recent convert to the concept of high-end jeans, but here is my 2 cents: 1) Fit - this has become 95% of the choice for me. Putting on my first pair of PDC LTD jeans was comparable to the first time I put on a suit that truly fit. It was a bit of a revelation and I will never go back. Sounds dramatic, but if you find something that works for you, I say stick with it... 2) Denim quality - nothing too distressed, and heavier weight please.
post #11 of 14
I know I'm coming from a completely different place than you guys. To me, anything other than a Levi looks "affected", like you are trying too hard. I know this is probably a function of my age and the fact that I do not dress "in fashion". My favorite jean is a Levi 550, preferably in a deep indigo. The only kind I wear. Until I read this thread I had no idea that there were so many different types of jeans out there and reasons (entirely reasonable) for people buying them. Markus
post #12 of 14
What I'd like next is a decent pair of bootcut jeans.  I don't like low-rise and all of the techniques to wear down one or another part of the jeans (whiskering, etc.) turn me off. Any recommendations?
Most any designer (and by this I mean a standard designer, as in Prada, as opposed to PDC) will be sparse on the whiskering and other "techniques" that make some jeans a bit too much for you. Of course there will be exceptions, such as Cavalli. They will usually be cut with a higher rise as well. So this is probably the general area that you can look for. Check out stuff like Helmut Lang (bootcut is misleading, look at the jeans themselves or get measurements) or Jil Sander. Of course what you want is fairl simple and you can find incarnations of it I'm sure from Levi's as well as places like Diesel, if you just buy one of their more simple washes. Just hit up the nearest store and your more than likely gonna find what you want.
post #13 of 14
I think the two most progressive companies were Diesel and Replay
I think you're right. About a non-distressed, straight leg jean, I would go with A.P.C. The jeans runs just $109, and look great both brand new and worn in.
post #14 of 14
BTW, do not buy Prada jeans. If you are going with any designer, Helmut Lang or Jil Sander do reasonable jobs. They are inordinately expensive for what you get though. BTW, mirror, you are wrong about most "designers" not using distressing. Take a look at Helmut Lang, Dolce & Gabbana, Armani, Gucci, Cavalli (whom you already mentioned,) to name just the most prominent.
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