The majority of the posts on this site deal with “corporate” style – things you’re going to be wearing to the office. Judging by the search terms and posts that draw the most traffic on this site, the majority of readers are looking for information about work clothes. But, as much as I enjoy discussing the merits of basted suits and closed lacing on dress shoes, there are such things as Saturdays and Sundays. Which means you need some more casual components to your wardrobe to kick back in and do what even the busiest guys need to do sometimes: relax, while still being able to hop off the couch and go to a bar, cool restaurant or friend’s birthday party.
What is the universal symbol of casual clothing in the 21st century? A pair of jeans. Lately (and, by lately, I mean the past few years), there has been a decidedly positive development in the denim world – a return to natural and raw denim, precipitated generally by our brothers and sisters in Japan. Instead of pre-distressing jeans in a way that somebody in a factory somewhere thinks your jeans should look like after a year of wear, companies are now allowing you to take care of the distressing. The natural way. Over time, and in your own unique manner.
There really is nothing better than a pair of jeans you have broken-in perfectly, a process that can take months of wear. Amongst the best makers of raw (also referred to as “selvedge”) denim jeans is a company out of Sweden named Nudie (which stands for “The Naked Truth About Denim”, a reference to the raw, natural denim they use). Cut in a way that is “slim-ish” but by no means is too slim, Nudies gradually mold to your unique shape and become incredibly comfortable. Plus, Nudies maintain their rich indigo colour for as long as you refrain from washing them (which, I would say is for, at minimum, one year – put them in the freezer occasionally to kill off any bacteria, if you’re concerned). They are made in Italy and I would highly recommend picking up a pair and starting the process of breaking them in. I guarantee that in a few months, they’ll be the first pair of pants you reach for on your coffee run on Saturday morning.
The only issue with Nudie jeans is that they’re a little bit expensive. Given that one of the stated goals of this blog is to promote affordability and economical style, this would seem to be something of an issue. However, given that most people wear denim on a very regular basis, when you analyze the price from a “cost per wear” basis, it will be less than almost all else in your closet. Jeans are something that most men wear almost every day when they get home from work (and almost every day on the weekend). Furthermore, in this casual era, they’re something you’ll wear with a blazer or cardigan to a nice restaurant, to work on Fridays and on many other occasions. Given this, you should put almost as much thought, money and consideration into your choice of denim as your choice of suit (if you’re single, than this goes doubly as women are far more likely to recognize and appreciate denim brands and fits than suit brands). If you’re interested in Nudie, check out http://www.nudiejeans.com/start. Otherwise, head to the store with the best selection of selvedge denim and find a pair that works for you. Finally, this may be one of the only occasions where I would actively suggest that a female’s eye is nearly essential to the purchasing process; for some reason, most men, including myself, have a tough time judging how they look in a given pair of jeans, so keep this in mind. Good luck gentlemen.