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Jeans style guide for a newbie

Trale

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I'll be the first to admit I know very little about fashion, but I wouldn't mind learning more about it, starting with my favorite every-day wear: jeans.

I have been wearing them forever, and in the past I haven't been very picky about them - I buy whatever's comfortable at the lowest price. I don't usually pay attention to its style/fit or designer - they all look roughly the same. Once in a while a pair of designer jeans with a hefty price tag will catch my eye, and I'm left to wonder "why?".

Case in point: jeans that look like they've been worn for ages, with built-in signs of aging, tears, and fraying. Can somebody explain why these would look good or be considered in any way stylish? I have old jeans that I've tossed that could probably pass for one these hanging in store windows.

Or is it that different jean designs convey different images about the wearer? If so, what are they?

Note: Please restrict your comments to men's jeans. For women's jeans, I actually do easily perceive differences in style. Low-rise, form-fitting jeans on a slim body wins it for me hands down than any other style.
It might have to do with the fact that I tend to pay more attention to women than men.
 

dare-

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Distressed jeans? Raw, non-boot cut jeans, preferably selvedge, preferably dense is what is worn here. Not too low, now too high.
 

Spencer Young

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I think the heavily distressed, expensive jeans carry on from the theories presented in Thorstein Veblen's Theory of the Leisure Class. The basic gist is that if you can afford heavily destroyed/used jeans (in this example), but you clearly did not do it yourself, you are expressing conspicuous consumption. You're showing that you can throw away money on things that give mixed signals. Imagine someone on this forum wearing, say, True Religion - now imagine some rural farmworker wearing them. The effect is completetly due to the person and the context, and ironically not that much with the jeans. Maybe you agree, maybe you don't, just a different way to look at things.

Personally, I think boot cut is safe, style wise. Looks good, won't offend anyone as long as the flare is tame. I've been reading SF for about a year, so my semi-newbie perspective is that tapered/straight leg is either dorky or hip, depending on how the person wears it. If worn unintentionally, I think it can look bad; if you carry yourself as someone who is confident and put-together it works.

As someone who's still building/starting their premium denim collection... I'm quite happy with my APC Rescues. At my school nobody (nobody) has heard of dry denim (much less selvedge), so it's an interesting novelty and quite fun to work on as a project. My perception of the general trend in denim is less bootcut, less ornamental; it seems like 'loud' brands like True Religion and SFAM are oversaturated and seen as such, while more subtle/minimal brands are really putting forth the quality. Then again, most girls are more impressed by a pair of SFAM or Diesels over Earnest Sewn.

Summary: it depends on what you want your jeans to do for you. Do you want to feel good knowing you have a piece of art, do you want some dry denim project, or do you want something that will get immediate gratification from girls but perhaps not be too popular in a year?
 

Luc-Emmanuel

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yeah, I still don't understand this anti lowrise, anti bootcut fad. Distressed over raw is just a matter of choice too.

!luc
 

Becks23

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Originally Posted by Spencer Young
I think the heavily distressed, expensive jeans carry on from the theories presented in Thorstein Veblen's Theory of the Leisure Class. The basic gist is that if you can afford heavily destroyed/used jeans (in this example), but you clearly did not do it yourself, you are expressing conspicuous consumption. You're showing that you can throw away money on things that give mixed signals. Imagine someone on this forum wearing, say, True Religion - now imagine some rural farmworker wearing them. The effect is completetly due to the person and the context, and ironically not that much with the jeans. Maybe you agree, maybe you don't, just a different way to look at things.

Interesting theory...

in my opinion important factor is, what kind of shoes do you usually wear or plan to wear with your jeans?
 

Tarmac

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Well the Theory of the Leisure Class is more like, the more obviously useless your accoutrements are, the more obviously rich you must be.

It reminds me of the first time I ate at a truly expensive restaurant, the waiter had one of those gold crumb scrapers. This tools is completely useless for anything else but it sure is impressive. It's impressive because it represents a lot of effort (gold metal, sleek design, carrying around by the waiter), one specialized utility (scraping crumbs from a tablecloth after meals which produce crumbs), and absolutely no other use.

In this day and age the same could be said for:

Vertu phone
platinum fronts
croc boots
navigation system

etc etc
 

LA Guy

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Originally Posted by Luc-Emmanuel
yeah, I still don't understand this anti lowrise, anti bootcut fad. Distressed over raw is just a matter of choice too.

!luc


Trends come and go. The pendulum swings too much one way, and people react against it. Give it about 5-8 years, and the early adaptors (with astoundingly short memories) will start saying that rises are too high and that bootcuts are more flattering, and we'll start all over again.
 

rnrswitch

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to add to the list:

21 oz selvedge jeans for the office (I am guilty of this... uh well 14.5oz).
 

nairb49

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hehehe


How well does 21oz selvage wear on 2oz kangaroo leather office chairs?
 

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