You undoubtedly already own a pair of dark wash jeans, but there’s a good chance you’re wearing them incorrectly.
The time has finally come to talk about what makes dark wash jeans so great and why you must have a pair in your closet.
You might wonder if I truly need dark wash jeans as I recently discussed why you need a pair of chinos.
The answer to this question is affirmative. Chinos are great, but they lack the extra edge that dark wash jeans possess.
What Makes Dark Wash Jeans Great?
What does “dark wash” mean, and why is it so great?
The term “wash” is used to describe a fabric’s unique color when discussing denim.
Dark wash denim has a deeper indigo color, whereas light wash has a brighter, lighter appearance.
One of the things this specific shade of denim is so great for jeans is that it makes both thicker and skinnier legs better than any other color. Consequently, they look fantastic on males of various body shapes.
Also, dark wash jeans can be worn with almost anything. They perfectly complement whatever they’re paired with and can be worn for both casual and smart casual dress codes, whether you’re wearing them with a casual outfit of sneakers and a crewneck tee or a dressier ensemble of sports coats and dress shoes.
At the conclusion of this article, I’ll discuss several examples of how to wear them to demonstrate how versatile they are.
Many guys are turned off by dark wash jeans and jeans in general because they assume they have to wear raw denim, which is thought to be a much tighter and more uncomfortable fabric.
However, many of my favorite jeans on the market today are actually composed of denim that has been combined with other materials like spandex and polyester for increased stretch and comfort.
In fact, there are jeans made entirely of cotton that are incredibly breathable. Although they look like denim, breaking them in doesn’t take months.
When compared to, say, a 100% cotton mix, spandex-denim blends do tend to stretch out and lose their shape, even though they are slightly more comfortable and forgiving in the thigh area. The aesthetic that arises from this is not good.
How to Wear Dark Wash Jeans
You’ve made up your mind to either add to your current collection of dark wash jeans or purchase your first pair.
This brings up the most crucial element in making them look good.
I’ve learned a lot about how a pair of jeans should fit through my work as a stylist. Three fit rules represent my knowledge in its simplest form. No matter your age or body shape, these are applicable to all guys.
Rule number one. You should be able to pinch at least one inch around the thigh area. But no more than 1.5 inches of fabric should be present on either side of the thigh.
Number two rule. Without a belt, your jeans should comfortably fit around your waist. Since the denim will progressively soften with wear, they may perhaps initially be a little snug and figure-hugging.
The third rule. You should always strive to have a tiny break at the ankle and your jeans’ leg should be the perfect length—neither too short nor too long.
I see so many men sporting jeans that give the impression that they are submerged in denim below the calf. Simply have a tailor hem them if yours are too long. It’s a simple, low-cost fashion choice that significantly makes the whole look.
Which particular cut of jeans you should really be going for?
In case you didn’t know, your jeans’ cut essentially describes their unique shape. Depending on your particular body type, you can choose from a variety of cuts.
The most popular cuts are skinny, slim, straight, bootcut, and relaxed, listed in decreasing order of slimness.
Which one should you choose, though?
You should always choose a slim fit denim if you have a slim to average frame. Many men fear that this particular cut will make them appear too thin, although a roomier fit would instead provide a much bigger silhouette, making them appear skinnier than they are.
Slim fit jeans naturally match slim to average builds while skinny jeans are likely to be skin tight.
But be careful to never make straight-fit jeans. These will be extremely baggy in the leg area, and this specific cut is especially unattractive on slimmer guys.
However, if you’re among the larger men, the traditional straight leg is the best option for you. The straight leg jean makes it simple for you to maintain this equilibrium. If you have a larger frame, the key to appearing good is balancing out your proportions to ensure that your bottom half compliments your top half.
Just be careful to stay away from any cuts that taper at the legs, since this can make you look top-heavy. In fact, rather than just your jeans, you should definitely apply this concept in regards to all of your pants.
What if you’re one of those muscular guys with a stronger lower body?
If your upper half is wider than your bottom half and you have larger glutes, thighs, or calves, you need your jeans to balance you out proportionally.
Anything that is too tight will not look good on your muscular body type, so we really don’t want it.
Here’s how to achieve the perfect fit.
First off, you should stay with a straight fit jean if you have all three—glutes, thighs, and calves—as these will have the necessary room throughout the leg.
However, an athletic fit or straight taper fit is the cut for you if you only have powerful glutes and/or thighs.
The reason for this is that it will taper from the knee to the ankle just enough to maintain the balance between your lower and upper halves.
What Shoes Should I Wear With Dark Wash Jeans?
Let’s talk a little bit about the shoes you can wear with your chosen jean cut now that you’ve chosen the best style for your body type.
The good news is that dark wash jeans offer a look that is really adaptable and goes with most of the casual and smart casual shoes you own.
I’m referring to all styles of loafers, sneakers, lace-up boots, chukka boots, and espadrilles.
However, I would advise staying away from certain hues that can compete with the dark aesthetic of the jeans. That will be tans and lighter browns.
You can work dress shoes. Usually, though, I’d advise wearing these with wool pants or a suit pant for a dressier look.
Also keep in mind that there should be a tiny break in the length of your pants where they meet your shoes.
Any shorter will look strange, and any longer will bunch at your ankles and basically throw off your proportions.
Here are a few outfit suggestions for rocking your new favorite pair of jeans, as promised.
The first outfit is incredibly casual and couldn’t be simpler to throw together. We have a stylish set of dark wash jeans, some chocolate chukka boots, and a dark crew neck sweater. This kind of outfit is ideal for the fall or winter in a temperate climate.
The next outfit provides a response to the question of whether dark wash jeans and a denim trucker jacket go together.
The answer is yes, but only if you choose a trucker jacket in a significantly lighter color. You can wear whatever you want underneath. For a dressier look, choose a quality Oxford, a crew neck sweater, or a dark flannel shirt.
The last look is a textured sports coat put over a light Oxford shirt, along with some dark brown dress shoes worn down below.