Jeans are a men’s wardrobe staple, a uniform of sorts. Pack for a weekend away or city break, and the chances are that your trusty old jeans will be the first clothing item thrown into the bag. Either that or you’ll wear your favourite pair on the journey. Why? Jeans are comfortable, they suit (almost) any occasion morning, noon or night, and they can be teamed with pretty much anything…with one or two exceptions. This week, we have a guest post detailing a brief style guide on how to pull off the smart casual look with jeans…and few pointers on what to avoid.
Brief History of Jeans
Pick any movie of the last 50 or 60 years and the chances are at least one main character will be wearing jeans. The origin of this wardrobe basic goes back much further than this though…at least two centuries further. Tough and hard wearing, jeans were standard clothing for many American workers in the 18th and 19th century. Their appeal soared in the latter half of the 19th century, after clothing supplier Levi Strauss advertised jeans with copper rivets to hold the pockets securely together. They were later popularized in western movies of the 1930’s, and have become a fashion essential every decade since. Styles may have changed over the years but it looks like the reliable jeans are here to stay.
Smart Casual: Stylish Ways to Wear Jeans
The Daytime Look
When it is hot outside, it’s easy to just throw on a T-shirt with jeans. When buying a T-shirt, the first tip is to choose the right color. Before you head to the changing room, hold the T-shirt up to your face to see if it works for you. If it makes your eyes sparkle, the chances are you have picked the right one. Equally, check out the print. Comedy T-shirts with slogans may make you smile, but it is not likely to go down well on a first date! If you have dark or olive skin, jeans worn with a simple, plain white T-shirt, and accessorized with a black belt is a classic look.
An Evening Look
From a family get-together to heading to the pub with your mates, jeans worn with a smart dress shirt will take you through from day to evening. Choose a well fitting shirt that it is not too tight (make sure the buttons are not straining) and steer clear of dress shirts that are too baggy, as they will drown your shape. If you have a bit of a stomach, try to avoid tucking your shirt in, as this will only emphasize your mid-section, while choosing vertical stripes will help disguise a paunch.
The Layered Look
Layering your tops with jeans is a classic winter look and hides a multitude of imperfections. A jacket or blazer teamed with jeans is a chic choice and can be worn to a work get-together, party, nightclub, or a romantic dinner. Accessorize with a scarf when it gets chilly. Other layered looks include a dress shirt with a T-shirt under, or a just plain, v-necked jumper with a T-shirt. A plain jumper is stylish and fuss free but choose darker colors if you want to disguise your mid-section.
Choosing the Right Jeans
Whichever look you choose, it can easily fall by the wayside if you opt for an ill-fitting pair of jeans. Jeans that are too baggy, tight, short, or too slim in the leg, can be a wardrobe disaster. So, too is the wrong color choice for the occasion. As a rule, a dark wash is more suited to evening events, such as parties or meals out, and stone-washed or distressed jeans are best for daytime and weekend wear.
Pulling off the right look for your body shape is easier than it seems; it is all about creating balance. For example, if you frequently work out and have broad shoulders and a narrow waist and hips, think about investing in jeans with pockets around the hips and accessorize with a belt. If your bottom half is larger, the best bet is to opt for jeans with a wider leg. Equally, if you have a round mid-section, go for loose fitting jeans.
When you shop, try on a few pairs first so you have an idea of what works for you. Bring along a friend, or partner, who won’t shy away from giving you their honest opinion. Don’t worry if your jeans are too long in the leg, as a tailor can always take them up for you. Too short and it will spoil your look.
So there you have a brief primer on pulling off the right look for yourself with jeans – let us know how often you wear jeans and what kind of look you go for in the comments.
Image Courtesy Technorati