It’s time To Upgrade Your Threads – Here’s The Low Down On Denim

Denim is an essential component of any guy’s wardrobe. Find the perfect pair and you’re covered for life

Azeez Jacobs |

Great jeans are man’s (other) best friend — they’re tough, you can take them anywhere and they will never fail to make you look good. If they don’t, you have only yourself to blame. We’ve teamed up with three thread heads to give us the lowdown on their favourite denim.

Dressing everyday is easy for Brad Conlong at Real and Simple Denim: “My wardrobe is basically built around denim”. There are three qualities he looks for in a good pair of jeans: fit, fabric and construction. Master that and you’ve got a pair for life. Brad tends to stick to Antifit or tapered. It’s a style that complements his relaxed attitude. It’s roomier in the thigh area with a slight drop crotch – which gives you more breathing room upstairs – but shapes from the knee down the ankle with a nice taper says Brad. “Invest in a raw denim pair, they are your blank canvas to a good looking wardrobe. The more you wear them, the more they shape and conform to your body’s unique form.”

Related: Here’s How To Debut Your Denim Jacket

The Right Pair: Tapered Fit

R2 999 G-Star Raw, R1 790 Superdry, R1 100 Guess at Edgars

These laid-back denims are cut fuller in the thigh and slimmer in the hem, allowing ample legroom for maximum comfort. Some renditions of this style can be too roomy, creating a sloppy appearance. Tapered-fit jeans cut bigger guys some slack, so legs can flex and move. Avoid this cut if you’re short and skinny.


Meet Angelo, he compares the perfect pair of jeans to a great haircut“. I want to look good and feel comfortable without working too hard,” he says. Angelo wears denim to work — he’s a merchandiser and denim specialist at Blackwood Brothers in Cape Town — and almost always on weekends. “I like the neat and structured look of slim-fit jeans as it suits my built the best,“ he adds. “Unless I’ve inherited a pair of jeans, I prefer raw and unwashed denim they are like empty photo albums; they collect stains and tears that tell a story that’s unique to every pair”. He also factors in weight: lighter 10 to 12 ounce pairs are perfect for summer, but anything heavier is far more durable.

Related: 3 Rules to Rolling Your Jeans

The Right Pair: Slim Fit

R4 400 Replay, R4 399 Diesel, R799 Levis

Slim jeans create a sophisticated silhouette. “They are both neat and forgiving, grazing your thighs and calves rather than hugging them,” says Angelo. Your secret weapon when the invitation says smart-casual. Oh, and every other day of the damn week.


Dennis Chuene, a fashion designer from Joburg, is all about the right fit: “I’ve always loved denim and it’s not a simple item to shop for, but if you find the right fit, jackpot.” His latest denim collection, Vernac Denim, is about construction and statement pieces that make any outfit pop. “Traditional is boring, but you aren’t. Revamp your denim collection with stand-out washes and bold designs”. Dennis sticks with skinny or slim-fit jeans. “If I wear skinny jeans, they should have about 3 percent elastane “. Stretch fabric allows nearly the same freedom of movement as baggier cuts but looks more polished. You will wear it a lot and you shouldn’t wash it often.”

Related: The MH Guide To Good Jeans With NaakMusiQ

The Right Pair: Skinny Fit


R1 790 Antony Morato, R599 Woolworths, R2 299 Scoth & Soda

Thin build? Dive in. Warning: a snug fit shouldn’t put your moving parts on display – aim for a small amount of stretch. Average? The fabric on these jeans can be forgiving, but they can be a tight squeeze for belly-heavy builds. Avoid: if you’re athletic or stocky. The cut can make larger legs look like a pair of stuffed anacondas.

Prices correct at time of publishing.

READ MORE ON: casual denim fashion jeans menswear skinny jeans style

Copyright © 2022 Rodale Inc.
Subscribe for notification