Denim is something that the majority of us take a little for granted nowadays. The majority of us reach for a pair of jeans whenever we want a casual item to throw on and head out of the house in. But did you know that this wasn’t always the case? Until the 1800s, denim was a staple material for manual workers. In fact, labourers tended to be the only people wearing jeans until tailor Jacob Davis approached businessman Levi Strauss for financial support in realising his idea of adding metal rivets to the pockets of jeans and button flies to the trousers, making jeans more durable. This led to the launch of Levi’s and the steady movement of jeans and denim wear from labourers’ essentials to the mainstream. So, perhaps it’s time to put a little more thought into the denim that we purchase and sport. Here are some basics to help you incorporate the material into your signature look!
While Levi’s may be considered the original, there are now various denim brands out there. Some of the most popular include Wrangler, Lee, Diesel, True Religion, and Guess. Various high-end designers and fashion houses have also tried their hand at creating stand-out denim looks. Each brand has its own feel, which can often vary between different labels and lines. The key to finding what suits your aesthetic and tastes best is window shopping. Look around and try items on. You’ll soon settle on one or two that you favour over the rest.
Colours and Washes
Denim is relatively easy to handle, so though raw denim may take on a dark blue colour, it can easily be treated to take on a variety of shades and finishes. Generally speaking, it’s best to try to find yourself some staple rinse wash or mid wash denim. These have deep blue and mid-blue colours. As they are the most commonly worn, they’re easiest to match to outfits and should be at home in anyone’s wardrobe. Then you can get more adventurous with light washed denim, white denim, grey denim, and even brightly coloured and patterned denim items.
Now to what may well be the trickiest part of choosing a pair of jeans: the fit. A good pair of jeans should make you look and feel comfortable and this almost entirely determined by the cut of the fabric. Here are some common cuts.
Bootcut jeans are considered by many to be the original jeans. They flare out a little below the knee in order to allow you to wear the jeans over a pair of boots (see, there’s logic in the name).
People can often mistake straight cut for bootcut, as they aren’t massively different. The main change in this cut is that the fabric continues at the same width down the entire leg, rather than tapering in at the thigh and out below the knee.
Skinny jeans cling to your legs. This is brilliant for those who want to show off their figure! If a jean is marketed as “legging” cut, they will appear relatively spray-on.
As you can see, there are various things to take into account when buying denim. The key is to practice patience. Once you’ve found your signature look, your buying journey will be a lot more simple!