5 Steps to Choosing a Jean

Hey, fellas! Are you thinking about buying a new pair of jeans, but don’t know where to begin? Don’t worry — we know it can be a little overwhelming. Follow these five steps to help you determine what jeans are best for you.

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1. Virgin or Washed

Generally speaking, jeans can be divided into two categories: washed and unwashed (or virgin denim). Washed denim is available in hundreds of colour options, from shades of grey and white to iconic indigo, blue and black. Think of washed jeans as “pre-broken in” for you; special treatments like stone washing, sanding or lasering are used to create effects like whiskers, honeycombs and stacks. If you’re looking to buy washed denim, consider:

  • Dark wash: has a slimming effect and are probably the most versatile; they can be easily dressed up or dressed down.
  • Light washes and greys: are perfect for summer months.
  • Black: is an everyday basic, great for year-round wear.

At the opposite end of the spectrum, unwashed denim has a dark, indigo look since it’s never gone through a wash or treatment. You’ll have to break it in and build your own wear pattern over time. True denimheads prefer this option because it’s 100% one-of-a-kind.




2. Choose a Fit

Once you’ve decided if you want virgin or washed denim, select the fit that’s best for you. Click here to see DENHAM’s fit guide.

Remember: raw denim will stretch out a bit as it forms to your body and breaks in. Washed denim will likely maintain its shape or potentially shrink slightly, pending how you launder it.

Our Fits

Razor - Slim Fit

Bolt - Skinny Fit

Blade - Slim Fit with Straight legs

Skin - Slim Fit

Forge - Relaxed Fit

Crop - Loose Carrot Fit

York - Slim Carrot Fit

Crossback - Cinch Back Style




3. Choose a Weight

The ounce (oz) weight of denim literally refers to how heavy the fabric is when measured per square yard. The heavier the yarn and the more densely it’s woven, the heavier the fabric becomes.

  • Lightweight: below 9 oz. Often preferred for summer months, because (you guessed it!) it’s breathable and easy to move in. It doesn’t take long to break in this fabric, and it’s generally quite comfortable as it’s lighter on your legs.
  • Mid-weight: 9 to 12 oz. The most common denim weight is in the mid category, as it’s best for year-round wear. Because the fabric is thicker, it’s also likely to last longer.
  • Heavyweight: 13 oz or more. Almost always virgin or Japanese denim. You’ll have to be committed to breaking in the fabric, but it will be worth the effort. Click here to read about our “virgin to vintage” experience.



4. Selvedge?

Selvedge (UK) or selvage (US) refers to a narrow, tightly woven band on the edges of denim fabric. You’ll have to roll up the cuff at the hemline to see if the fabric is selvedge or not.

A selvedge finish can only be created by an old school shuttle loom, which is more time consuming and expensive (hence why selvedge jeans tend to cost more). The selvedge is usually white and has a coloured thread in the middle, which was originally added to help manufacturers recognise the different qualities that they were producing for various clients. Although red thread has become synonymous with selvedge fabric, DENHAM styles often feature special selvedge weaves in other colours.

Shop all selvedge jeans




5. Buy & Try!

Ultimately, the final step is to give ‘em a try! We’re confident you’ll be blown away by the quality of our denim, when you feel the fabric and see the level of craftsmanship we put into every pair. DENHAM now offers free shipping and free returns on all orders, so it’s easy to order as many as you like and try them in the comfort of your own home.

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