Shrinks denim

Fits! 11 tips for the perfect jeans purchase. Plus: how to wear them properly!

Photo: Levi's

When do jeans fit perfectly? To answer that, you have to do more than look at your bum in the mirror!

Eleven tips for denim? Sounds pretty complicated for a pair of jeans that actually want to be the most uncomplicated piece of clothing in the world. People like to talk about the “perfect jeans”. That means the pants go perfectly with everything ?! Absolutely, but above all it means: it should fit perfectly. Before you have found the right jeans, you have to go through the textile hell - that is, through countless shops and hundreds of pants legs. Meanwhile, you bravely endure the pinching, squeezing and chafing of poorly fitting jeans that would probably not be comfortable even after ten years of wear, and annoying, indigo-colored fingers.

All of this is automatically forgotten when the perfect pair of jeans clothe your legs. It doesn't sound so bad anymore to memorize the following eleven tips if they make the search for the perfect jeans easier!

Jeans Guide: 11 tips for buying jeans - and how to wear them properly

1) The fit of the pant legs

Photo: PR

A pair of jeans that consistently ignores trends: the 503 '93 straight from Levi's

With a straight leg, which is English and jeans-speaking for a straight leg, you are immune to constant new trends. This classic doesn't fit too tight anywhere, but surrounds the whole leg in the right width. As a rule, you don't have to worry about body shapes. Levi's has just reissued one of the most popular models from the 90s: the501 ‘93 straight.

2) The waist height of the perfect jeans

Somewhere in the middle, between the hips and the navel, called: Mid-Rise. And what about low-rise? The jeans, which have slipped far down on the hips, look without question for daredevils. Those who originally wore the jeans showed solidarity with the prisoners in American prisons whose belts had been removed. Nobody buys that from you in Loewe designer jeans these days anyway, so go for a mid-rise!

3) The Right Denim - Part 1: Selvedge Denim

Jeans made from selvedge denim are for men who appreciate good trousers. Because selvedge denim stands for quality, recognizable by the selvedges on the inner side seam of the jeans, which are marked with a red weft thread. It's the old-school method of denim-making - the looms are narrower, production takes longer - that was the norm until the 1950s, after which it was found to be too inefficient for a lot of profit.

4) The right jeans fabric - Part 2: Denim from Japan

Ever since American soldiers dumped their jeans on the Japanese black market after World War II, the Japanese have been crazy about authentic American denim. The market for American vintage jeans by Levi‘s from the middle of last year is still booming today. At some point the American denim producers switched to new, more efficient looms, so that the supply in Japan became even scarcer. The Japanese therefore began to produce denim themselves. Today one of the highest denim quality comes from Japan. The best is said to be in Kojima, four hours southwest of Tokyo, where selvedge denim is produced on American vintage looms.

5) The weight of the perfect pair of jeans

The range of denim ranges from 113 to 425 grams per square meter of denim. Levi's explains that mostly medium-weight denim - that is, between 297 and 354 grams - is supposedly particularly good for wearing in. Light denim, on the other hand, is a good choice for summer.

6) The amount of stretch in the perfect pair of jeans

For real denim lovers, stretch is a no-go. After all, it didn't look like a cowboy or James Dean, but rather ready for an aerobics class. In the meantime, however, the technology has developed further. For the Comfort stretch From Citizens of Humanity, for example, the stretch component is woven in with the warp thread so that the pants can be stretched in length instead of in width. The fabric still looks like pure cotton, but is a bit more comfortable for the bent knee.

Photo: PR

Looks like pure cotton, but has some stretch: the jeans look Comfort stretch by Citizens of Humanity.

7) By what percentage does perfect jeans shrink?

It is no coincidence that there are so many pictures of people in jeans in bathtubs in the 1970s: Originally, jeans were sewn from unwashed denim that shrank when it was first washed. So if you really wanted to wear the jeans skin-tight, you sat in the bathtub with lukewarm water for a quarter of an hour and then let the pants dry on your body. In the meantime, jeans have been sanforized and only shrink by a maximum of five percent. Those who prefer to take a bath today can buy the jeans shrink-to-fit, fitting at the waist and two sizes larger in length. If you let the jeans dry on the line instead of on the body after the first wash, you buy two sizes larger both in the waist and in the length. Then the jeans are nice and stiff - and must be properly registered.

8) This is how new jeans should look when worn

Photo: Getty Images

You have to register a pair of jeans yourself in order to look as casual as James Dean!

Jeans lovers and grandparents alike will forever be puzzled as to why one should buy jeans that look like they have been worn and washed for ten years. Those who love their jeans build a personal relationship with them by wearing the raw denim until it has adapted perfectly to their own body shape and also to those of their wallets, cell phones and crumpled receipts. Washing is of course strictly forbidden during this time.

9) How ripped can a new pair of jeans be?

Not at all! Jeans with tears and holes are only for children who destroy everything anyway. Or for people who make their money on one reality show after another. A wonderfully ironic alternative to this used look was presented by Alessandro Michele for Gucci in Milan: jeans with grass stains.

Photo: Imaxtree

An ironic implementation of the used look: jeans with grass stains at Gucci for autumn 2020

Those who turn jeans up love either their jeans or their shoes: Anyone who rolls their jeans up to their ankles several times wants to draw attention to the sneakers they are wearing - and for which others would have to pay an absurd amount at StockX. Those who only turn the jeans over once, on the other hand, show connoisseurs the selvedge of their high-quality selvedge denim.

11) Jeans for every occasion?

There are jeans for every occasion - except for occasions with a formal dress code. Please note: Where a bow tie or narrow tie is mandatory, jeans are a no-go.

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