On the catwalks in London, Milan, Paris and New York, casual is, all of a sudden, king. Where once hoodies, trackies and oversized jeans looked slovenly and silly, now brands such as Hood By Air, Off-White and Vetements have made dressing down in denim a thing again. To help you buy the right pair (or six), we've distilled the best jeans out there right now from distressed and selvedge, to black and bleached, with tips on how best to wear them.
1 | Distressed denim
The AW '16 catwalks were awash with raggedy, shredded jeans — a la The Ramones — and denim jackets. Team yours with sparkling white trainers and soft knitwear for a faultless off-duty look.
Three pairs to consider
2 | Selvedge Denim
Self-finished so the cloth edges don't unravel, selvedge jeans will be the hardest working item in your wardrobe. Like Sean Connery, turn up the hems and wear with trainers or boots, weather depending.
Three to work with
3 | Dress up a denim shirt
Most menswear brands offer a denim or chambray shirt. Don't be put off by the hokey cowboy stigma; wear under a slick suit in a complementary shade — with maybe a knitted tie if you're feeling preppy — and you'll soon be channelling Robert Redford.
Three to consider
4 | White jeans in winter
Contrary to popular belief, white denim works just as well in winter as summer, witness street style don Alessandro Squarzi, above: in fact, the opportunity to layer up makes it even easier. Match with chunky boots, a simple top layer and a contrasting coat.
Best worn with
5 | Double denim
Keep the top and bottom entirely matching — just like Steve McQueen — or ever so slightly mismatching. Too much contrast will look like you don't know what you're doing. If in doubt, opt for indigo, which always looks chic.
Twin these with jeans
6 | Black denim
A pair of black jeans is a wardrobe essential. Go for a slim cut with some stretch in the denim and team with plenty more black for sleek Gallic chic, as shown here by Kanye. Pops of white from a sneaker sole or T-shirt make the layers of black look even stronger.
Best worn with
From left: Black leather Chuck II high-top trainers, £95, by Converse; Black leather Newbridge shoes, £325, by Church's; Black leather Chelsea boots, £520, by Tod's
Taken from the Januray issue of Esquire, out now.
Photographs by Johanna Nyholm | Fashion by Catherine Hayward.