The Five Commandments Of Men's Jeans, From Rye Brook’s Z Life Denim Lounge

Adam Zuckerman lays down the definitive rules for guys who wear jeans.

Thou Shalt…

…Not Fear Slim-Fit
Until recently, says Zuckerman, “fits were out of control” in casual menswear. Now, “Clothes are cut slimmer and are much more flattering”—and have only gotten narrower. So get with it: “Even big guys” become fans, he contends, “once we get them on him.”

…Go to Thy Tailor
“Unless you’re 6’ 2”, you’re not walking out [of the store] in them,” says Zuckerman about the jeans you just bought, which, unless they’re premium-brand, probably don’t have a graduated inseam—meaning their length is universal regardless of size. While Zuckerman is pro-cuffing extra fabric, non-hem-rollers need to make friends with their local tailor, ASAP.   

…Acquire More Than One Style 
If you’re still wearing a single faded pair from the mid-’90s, accept that there’s more out there now. “Every man should have a slim dark pair in his closet,” says Zuckerman. Avoid heavily washed or whiskered styles—a clean, dark rinse is winsome—and too much back-pocket “jazz” for places like the office. Also, “We’re selling a lot of colored denim, with brighter colors in spring,” as well as lighter washes. 

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…Not Over-Wash
To keep jeans in top condition, Zuckerman says, “go the longest possible time without washing—until they walk away by themselves.” When you absolutely must, he says, wash inside-out and cold, then hang dry. 

…Pair Thoughtfully
What to wear with them: plaid button-downs, bright wovens, and knit Henleys for spring (along with solid V-necks and worn-out graphic tees). “Sneakers are coming back in a big way,” too, says Zuckerman, like Nike Flyknits with slim, dark denim. What he’s into most this season? Chukka boots with espadrille soles.

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