One of our goals is to track (and, when possible, predict) style trends so we can pass that insider knowledge on to you. How do we do that? Through insider connections. That’s why we asked Oliver Pywell, the very cool Men’s Product Director for Levi Strauss SA, for his thoughts on what guys should keep in mind when buying jeans. Sure, denim is timeless, but the fits and styles change regularly. Here’s how to stay ahead of the curve this spring.

Which Cut Flatters Most Men?

Straight- and slim-cut jeans. Unlike skinny jeans, you can keep your pockets filled with money, a cellphone, keys, girls’ telephone numbers, etc., and still sport a slim profile that feels comfortable in the seat and thigh. This fit works for all body types. It’s not severe, and the statement you make is “my pants actually fit me.”

Are There Certain Styles To Avoid?

Stay away from carpenter jeans! Workwear details are fine, but full-on carpenter jeans look ridiculous unless you’re an actual carpenter. Focus instead on darker washes and rigid denims, which adopt a custom feel and colour as you break them in. The key, of course, is to always match your jeans to the occasion.

What New Trend Should I Embrace?

Non-denim fabrics in denim 5-pocket styles are big. I like a fine twill or canvas, (stretch fabrics are gaining more popularity too) in khaki, olive, white, or even dark red – something different than what you usually wear. You can rock a new look and still feel like you’re in your denim comfort zone! Check out these Levi’s chinos below…

How Much Should I Spend On Jeans?

You should be living in your jeans, so spending R1500 or so on a pair of jeans will pay off in the long run.

How Many Pairs Of Jeans Do You Own?

I must own more than 100 pairs, but I am a denim freak. Some are heavily distressed but mostly only rigid and dry-cleaned to keep ‘em shiny and crisp! I only wear Levi’s®, for obvious reasons and the fact that they are the True Original. They are all slim/skinny/tapered or slim straight. That’s it, no other fits count…I choose the tough task of breaking in raw or rigid denim because it ends up fitting the best after a few months of wear. Try some 15oz Rigid Shrink to Fit Levi’s 501’s ® in Selvedge Denim, R1799 to get a taste of how denim was originally worn.

When Is It Time To Trash Them

I just donated probably 40 pairs of jeans I hadn’t worn in a year. So if you haven’t worn them in that amount of time, you probably won’t ever wear them again. Give them to somebody who needs pants!

For more on the hottest denim trends get the September issue of Men’s Health