With the rise of online shopping over the last decade, there are now more men’s jeans available than ever, literally at the push of a button. In previous years, you would have headed off into town, browsed what was available and opted for the jean that fitted the best and was closest to what you had in mind.
Now, however, every pair of men’s jeans that the world has to offer is staring back at you from your screen and is waiting to be dropped straight to your doorstep. Whilst this is fantastic for those with hectic lifestyles, who don’t have the time to visit every men’s designer clothes store on their high street, it can be daunting for those who really don’t have a clue where to begin.
So, if you’re struggling to find a starting point for your latest denim purchase, our online jeans shopping guide is a great read to get you prepared and raise some important questions you should really think about before delving into the realm of online denim.
First things first, know your measurements! I’m not talking approximate either. Dig out a tape measure and find in inches both your waist and leg measurements. If you have these to hand to begin with, by searching your specific sizing you can instantly narrow down your search to only those pairs which will actually fit.
This will also help to avoid disappointment, we’ve all had those online shopping moments when you spot a pair of jeans you really love, which upon later investigation are only available to purchase two inches too short.
Knowing your measurements also helps on the returns side of things. It removes the need to order two pairs of the same jeans, try them both on to find the measurement which suits and then repackage and post the inevitable unfitting pair.
Secondly, it is a good idea to have in mind a certain style that you’re looking for. If you’re hoping to replace some old favourites which have seen better days, work out their silhouette first so that you don’t end up with search results three quarters full of skinny jeans when what you really want are constructed with a loose fitting straight leg.
Alternatively, if you’re searching for something new, do some research into which styles are popular now as this can change between seasons. Flicking through the current trends will not only provide some insight into the latest looks but it might also provide some inspiration as to what garments to style your new jeans with.
Personally, as well as considering the popular fashionable fits of the season, I think it is important to consider styles in relation to what type of footwear you plan to team your new jeans with. Perhaps you’ve purchased a new pair of trainers recently, a skinny style will show these off better than a baggy or bootcut leg which might conceal your footwear.
Occasion is also a fundamental aspect to consider, i.e. what will you be wearing your jeans for? Jeans can be a main component of any smart casual outfit, but the key here is to keep them simple. A standard, straight fit echoes the fit of a formal trouser and it is definitely recommended that you opt for a solid black or dark raw indigo blue. Any extreme fading or distressed patches could make your look appear more worn and these denims are probably best kept for casual weekends.
However, if your new jeans are intended to be more functional, perhaps for work or a city break (which always seem to involve lots of walking) one thing to keep an eye out for is how much stretch the denim has as this will improve your comfort and range of movement.
Whilst it can be difficult to determine how much give the fabric has without touching it in person, what you can do is make a note of the percentage of fabrics within the denim. A key indicator when looking for a stretch denim, if it is not stated within the name or description of the jeans, is the presence of elastane.
An alternative point for consideration is not regarding the wash or fit of the denim, although for some it will be more important than style and looking good. How ethical are your jeans? In recent years, eco-friendly denim has developed significantly, including through means such as reducing the water consumption used for indigo and bleach washes and using recycled materials to create new denim and thus reducing waste.
If you are conscious about the impact of your purchases, G Star Raw are a great brand for ethical practice, just look at their collaboration with Pharrell Williams for the G Star Raw For The Oceans campaign.
Each piece within the collection is constructed using waste pulled from the world’s oceans, not only helping to clean up our seas but removing it from the waste system completely by using it to craft new products. Another option is to look at styles by Swedish brand Nudie Jeans.
As Sweden is so forward thinking in their recycling habits, it is unsurprising that Nudie Jeans have an ethical element to their production, using Fair Trade and organic fabrics to reduce their impact on the environment and see that those they trade with receive a fair deal.
After you’ve whittled your options down to the desired style of jean and having considered the bigger picture, it is also worth spending some time thinking about the finer details. If you have a preference, make sure to check whether your potential pair of chosen jeans feature a zip or a button fly.
Consider the top stitching, a golden yellow or orange thread will always carry more playful casual connotations than tonal and discreet stitching in black, grey or navy. Do you need your pockets to be secured with flaps or button fastenings which will prevent potential loss of your phone or wallet or is a simple classic pouch pocket more desirable for ease of access?
Giving each of these points some thought really should assist in your search for men’s jeans online, hopefully meaning your time scrolling through multiple pages is reduced and returns are minimised. So go forth and shop, may your experience be swift and successful!
Written by Lucy Jackson