How to Find the Perfect Pair of Jeans
We chatted with Jason Trotzuk, founder and creative director of the Canadian label Fidelity Denim, and asked for his top tips when it comes to choosing a new pair of jeans
1. Don’t be afraid of the price tag.
‘When it comes to buying jeans, I generally say you get what you pay for,’ says Trotzuk. Buyers should take into consideration where the garments are sewn and produced, and the quality of the fabric, sewing and fit. Think of it this way: If you spend $200 on a pair of jeans that fit you well and look nice, they could easily turn into your favourite pair, which may mean you wear them every couple of days. You’ll get hundreds of wears out of them, so the price per wear is small. ‘Don’t be scared of seeking out a good pair of jeans ‘ it will be well worth it.’
2. When and why will you be wearing the jeans?
Are you buying for functionality, fashion or for performance (work wear)? Consider washes (light or dark), the cut (skinny, flared, boot cut, etc.), and fabrics used (jeans made with elastane, a stretchy fibre, lend themselves more to comfort than those without). ‘You can now find jeans that feel just as soft and comfortable as some activewear,’ says Trotzuk. ‘When it comes to the yoga pant craze, although they are functional, jeans are the item that people will always fall back on. Exercise wear can never feel as luxurious as denim can.’
3. Don’t forget that denim is often a reflection of an era.
‘Jeans really meant something in the ’50s, ’60s and ’70s. For example, skinny, ripped up jeans are reflective of the punk movement of the late ’70s, early ’80s. Super-tight, dark jeans with a flashy pocket signal the disco era. When you buy denim, you’re buying different feelings and moods. With jeans, you’re buying a reflection in time, a movement, an era.’
4. Consider what jeans mean to you, today.
In the late ’90s, everyone wanted premium denim, but the skinny jean killed that once the 2000s hit. ‘Denim quickly became tucked in boots, worn with a tunic ‘ jeans got covered up and were no longer a focal point. The jeans had to actually start playing with the rest of your wardrobe.’ Denim is now a mainstream staple, and what it has lost in ‘rebellious edge,’ its gained in its wearability. ‘Denim really is important. I don’t want to complicate buying jeans, but the legacy of denim is so deep and rich in history, that there’s no other piece [of clothing] that touches it.’
5. Don’t be afraid of the washing machine.
Some ‘denim heads’ buy vintage denim and won’t wash them for months (or even years!) at a time. Trotzuk says that’s fine, but nowadays jeans are made to be washable, since they are ready to wear and some come with character: pre-washed, pre-shrunk, pre-distressed. ‘I’m not a big proponent in not washing jeans. Personally, I wear my jeans three or four times before a wash.’
The bottom line? ‘If jeans don’t feel or fit right or make you feel good, you won’t wear them. You can wear other pieces of clothing for show, but when it comes to denim, it’s a deeply personal rooted piece.’