Men’s denim is usually listed as Waist size X Inseam. For example, 28x30 or 32x32 are sizes that would be denoted on the jeans in store and online. Now, just like other items of clothing, sizing can vary from brand to brand. The thinner your frame, the easier it might be to find great fitting jeans. However, I have had a lot of taller/lankier customers that have just as much trouble finding jeans that fit as shorter or broader, huskier customers. Taller people usually have a little more luck in finding longer inseam options through brands’ online inventory. AEO sells jeans up to a 36-inch inseam and even up to a 44-inch waist. (I’m pretty sure those jeans come up to my chest FYI). Shorter folks like me who need a 28-inch inseam in combination with a larger waist size are kind of out of luck unless you’re willing to order custom made jeans from brands like Levi’s or have a great relationship with their local tailor. Great news is, cuffing and rolling up your jeans are still fashionable. You can also do pinroll cuffs or cut them yourself, if you’re handy like that. If you have the budget, a tailor can be a great friend to have as well, but it does tend to get expensive if you end up buying a lot of different washes. To be honest, I like the bunched up look on myself depending the denim. However, if you are shorter and wear a larger waist size, it can end up bunching too much and make even your slim jeans fit wider and baggier than they are so stay attentive to those details.
Over the past few years, companies have begun incorporating some women’s denim technology into the fabrication of men’s denim. There are new levels of flexibility in keeping jeans from sagging like the traditional denim of past decades. This can help you even size down in some jeans or try a slimmer cut because the fabrication’s stretch will be able to compensate for the usual tightness. Beware, depending on how tight you’re going, you could end up accentuating your hips, butt, thighs, and/or calves. If any of that is of concern, taking pictures in the fitting room will be helpful to make those determinations. If you’re open to it, also consider taking a friend you trust to give you helpful feedback in appropriate and truthful ways. Selvedge denim is still one of the coolest fabrications you could get in your denim. Warning, they’re also some of the most expensive fabrications of denim as well. The reason for this is in how they are made. Selvedge jeans are made from higher quality, denser denim rolls and are denoted by how they are stitched together. You can find if they’re selvedge in its flat color and on the outside edge if you cuff the jeans’ openings. It’s really interesting stuff if you’re down to Googling it. Selvedge denim is known for its stiffness and will normally fit tighter in your regular size so definitely be sure to try them on before purchasing them.
When trying to figure out what brands to buy, start with the popular places such as American Eagle, Hollister, Abercrombie, Zara, Forever 21 Men, H&M, Aeropostale (they filed for bankruptcy and closing a few stores so check out clearance sales), and PacSun (also filed for bankruptcy and now is run by a privately funded company). J.Crew, Gap, and Banana Republic are little more expensive and for a little bit of an older crowd, but still have great jeans. Any of your traditional department stores will also have a great selection of Levi’s if that’s a brand you’re interested in trying out as well. All these brands are going to fit differently so be prepared to have jeans in different sizes if you’re planning on buying jeans from a few of them. Streetwear brands like Supreme, Fear of God, Naked & Famous, etc. that are labeled as true to size could end up being tighter or looser depending on your body type so be careful when ordering online (always look up their return policies and fees).
Trying On and Buying