Everyone owns a pair, but denim still remains one of the most neglected items in a man's wardrobe. But where do you go for information if the (often uninviting) labyrinth of internet forums just leave you even more baffled than before? We spoke to Kiya Babanzi, owner of the denim specialist store Self Edge, to help explain what to look out for.
Look and feel
You should first and foremost look at and feel the fabric before you try a pair of jeans on. It's important how the fabric looks because it'll determine how the jeans will age over time. A great fabric will have a good heft to it and a deep dark indigo colour that will guarantee a great looking pair of jeans over time with regular wear.
Ignore the buzzwords
Selvedge has become a false signifier of quality. We have mills producing selvedge denim all over the world again and most are producing a subpar fabric who's only selling point is the selvedge line down the side seam. A good fabric has many traits and being woven on a shuttle loom is only one of them.
Compare with Japanese
The Japanese have managed to take vintage denim fabric styles and push them in every possible direction from the cotton used to produce the yarn to how heavy a gauge yarn is used to weave the fabric. There is no best, but it's quite obvious what will last longer and be more aesthetically pleasing after a year or so of wear once you compare denim styles from different mills and countries.
I think men should avoid pre-distressed denim or denim that's been treated to lighten the shade. Raw denim is the way to go. Most people wouldn't buy a new car with dings and scratches or a new watch with a cracked and scratched crystal, so why buy jeans that have been beaten, cut, and faded at a factory?
Use your instinct
In the end the wearer should be comfortable in what they wear which, unfortunately, is not always the case when it comes to fashion. Which is why a well made pair of classic jeans is essential in every wardrobe.