Goodbye Dad Jeans: How Do I Wear Denim the Right Way?

In this edition of Help Me Dress Myself, a stylist runs through all things denim, from jeans to jackets.

Goodbye Dad Jeans: How Do I Wear Denim the Right Way?

Are you one of those guys who wants to look stylish but finds it doesn’t come all that naturally? We feel you. Don’t fret: With some advice from LA-based stylist Rayne Parvis, we’re all going to learn how to dress a little better. In this edition, we’re improving our denim game.

Step #1: Get Your Size Right

“Men tend to buy jeans that are too loose,” Parvis warns. “A great way to prevent this is to try on both the size you think you are and the size just below that.” As a rule of thumb, you should only be able to fit two fingers into the waistband of your jeans―anything more than that, and they’re too big for you.

Step #2: Know Your Cut

“Unless you’re a 21-year-old or a rockstar [or both], you probably want to ditch skinny jeans altogether,” Parvis recommends. “Instead, go for either a slim leg or a straight leg cut.” If you’re looking for something with a little more leg room, Parvis says relaxed fit jeans are just fine for running errands and going about your day―just put on something a little more slimming when it’s time to put some effort into your appearance. Or, Parvis says, you can get the best of both worlds by investing in a pair of stretchy jeans that contain either elastic or spandex.

Step #3: Avoid Embellishments at All Costs

Jeans with bedazzled or embroidered pockets are a major no-no, according to Rayne, as they’re outdated and draw a lot of attention to a potentially unflattering area. “Sometimes you’ll also see dark blue jeans with bright yellow or read threading, which you also want to avoid,” she says. Remember: When it comes to jeans, less is more.

Step #4: When in Doubt, Go Dark

Dark-colored jeans, like navy blue or black, are always a better choice than light-colored dad jeans, according to Rayne. Not only are dark colors more slimming, they also don’t show stains as much. Oversized dad jeans, on the other hand, “send the message that you don’t pay attention to detail because they don’t fit properly,” Rayne says. Which is never a good thing when you’re trying to look good.

Step #5: Avoid Denim on Denim

“Unless you’re extremely into fashion, I’d avoid wearing jeans with a jean jacket,” Rayne says. “It’s just too hard of a look to pull off.” That said, jean jackets look great paired with chinos, a T-shirt and either desert boots or a casual sneaker, according to Rayne. Just make sure to get the fit right: “The jean jacket should sit right around your waist,” Rayne explains. “If it’s too long, it will look like an untucked shirt, and if it’s too short, it will look feminine.”

There may be many jeans (and jean jackets!) in the world, but armed with these tips, we’re confident you’ll find just the pair for you―your soulmate, or jean-mate, rather.

If you have any questions about getting the look you want—fits, cuts, colors or anything else fashion-related—leave it in the comments and we’ll have a stylist answer it in an upcoming post.