In a previous article I discussed the 4 key features to look for when picking out a pair of quality denim jeans. In addition to discussing these features, I also mentioned a few things that you want to absolutely avoid when selecting a pair of denim. In this edition of Style NOPE! I want to explain in detail what you should avoid when it comes to denim jeans and why.
As I mentioned in my previous article, when denim jeans were first introduced they were made to be worn by men working in heavy industry. As such, the initial design of the denim jean was very utilitarian. They were usually cut extra baggy, while some brands even reinforced the stitching with copper rivets. This made sense as denim jeans were not worn as fashion pieces at the time.
However, after the Second World War, denim jeans started to become more popular among the general public. In fact, it became more common and acceptable for people to wear denim jeans as a part of their everyday casual wear. It wasn’t long before manufacturers began experimenting with different styles, cuts, and washes. Since then, denim jeans have come in a wide variety of different designs and styles.
Among the different styles of denim jeans that have been popular over the years, there is a particular style that became popular during the latter half of the 90s and into the 2000s. These were jeans with conspicuous faux distressing and often outrageous stylized designs (sometimes replete with rhinestones and glitter). These gaudy denim jeans started to become fashionable among certain segments of the population at the time.
Needless to say, I never quite understood why gaudy denim jeans became so popular, but they just did. Of course, with all things that are fashionable, they don’t stay fashionable forever and this has been no different for gaudy denim jeans. Although the sun has definitely set on this denim trend, I still see many men wearing them today, especially men over the age of 30. Frankly speaking, men over the age of 30 have no business wearing gaudy denim. I believe older guys often take their cue from younger men on how to dress and so sometimes they wear trendy clothes in an effort to remain young and hip. Unfortunately, the reality couldn’t be further from the truth.
Gaudy denim looks terrible on most men and that’s why we consider it to be a huge Style NOPE!
Although there are several reasons why men shouldn’t wear gaudy denim jeans, the following 4 reasons are the most important in my opinion:
They lack versatility – the biggest problem with gaudy denim jeans is that they simply cannot be worn with many outfits. For example, you cannot pair gaudy denim with a nice blazer and a button up shirt. It just doesn’t work. Gaudy denim can only ever be dressed down, never dressed up.
They are unreasonably expensive – have you ever looked at the price of a pair of True Religion jeans? Most cost on average about $200, while some styles can cost more than $300. Now, don’t get me wrong, I’m all for paying extra for quality, but do you honestly think the cost of True Religion jeans is a fair reflection of their quality. I think not. Remember, style doesn’t have to be expensive.
They make you look like a walking billboard – We’ve discussed the disadvantages of clothing with logos in a previous article, and one of the hallmarks of gaudy denim is the conspicuous use of branding in their design (e.g. True Religion, Ed Hardy/Christian Audiger etc.). Why pay someone to give them free advertising?
Gaudy denim jeans are just plain ugly – when it comes to style simple is often better and nothing throws off your aesthetic more than a pair of gaudy denim jeans. In our article on The 3 Pillars of Style, we made specific mention that clothing is supposed to draw attention to your face. You make this task more difficult when you wear a pair of gaudy denim jeans.
What type of jeans should you wear?
Now that I have made it abundantly clear what you should avoid and why, I’m sure you’re curious what I’d recommend looking for in a pair of denim. My recommendation is to select denim jeans that are simple in design, free from any factoring distressing and fit well. Not only will you get a lot more mileage out of such a pair of jeans, you’ll probably also save money and they will look about a million times better too. Leave the gaudy denim jeans to the glittery t-shirt wearing douche bags and middle aged men who are trying to “keep it real.”
A quality pair of denim jeans can be one of the most versatile pieces in your wardrobe. As such, you want to ensure that you make the right decision when choosing a pair. That’s why it’s in your best style interest to avoid gaudy denim jeans. Although I believe this denim trend was DOA, that hasn’t stopped a litany of men from continuing to indulge in this style vice. Instead, do yourself a favour and keep your denim plain. Remember that having a sense of style is not about standing out in an obnoxious sort of way. Style is all about understatement. The clothes you wear are supposed to speak for you, not the other way around, so just say no to gaudy denim!
Here’s to looking sharp!