Thursday, March 18, 2010

Men: The New Rules of Denim

Get Ripped

1. Try a pair that comes with a built-in history. But remember, you're going for a few nicks and tears—as if your Jack Russel gnawed on the knee for a night—not something that looks like it has been through a shredder.
GAP ($65),

Photograph by Nikolai

2. AG Adriano Goldschmied ($325),

Photograph by Nikolai

3. Diesel ($250),

Photograph by Nikolai

4. Levi's ($80),

Photograph by Nikolai

5. True Religion Brand Jeans ($216),

Photograph by Nikolai

Repair Shop

6. When that artful rip becomes a gaping hole, turn to Denim Therapy, a mail-order service that can resurrect even the most battered pair of jeans in about two weeks. Broken zippers are replaced, unruly hems fixed, and torn pockets are stitched back to life. And because the company stocks thousands of threads, the weaves come amazingly close to the original.
($7 per inch for holes and tears; $18 for basic hems; and $25 for zipper replacement;

Photograph by Nikolai

Double Dip

7. Denim-on-denim is acceptable, provided you know what you're doing. The right mix is the difference between looking like a rodeo hand and looking like you can handle contemporary style.
From left: Bradley Cooper, Chris Pine and David Beckham.

Photographs: Roger Wong/; Tom Meinelt/Splash News; Noel Vasquez/Getty Images

Head-to-Toe Denim

8. The easiest way to approach head-to-toe denim is to go for the chiaroscuro effect. Pair a chambray shirt with clean, inky jeans. For depth, add a tie like the one shown here, just a shade lighter than the shirt.

Banana Republic

Photograph by Maria Valentino/MCV Photo

Go Tan

9. If you like the idea of going beyond blue denim for summer but just can't do white jeans, a sand-colored pair is an ideal compromise. In shades from dark khaki to dusty beige, these well-worn five-pockets look just as good on a beach walk as they do at a crosswalk.

Top to bottom: Guess ($180), Diesel ($160), George Mccracken ($295), Marc by Marc Jacobs ($178), D&G ($310),

Photograph by Greg Broom

The Next Big Thing: Naked & Famous

10. Brandon Svarc, owner of Montreal's Naked & Famous, is a serious student of denim. He can rattle off historical facts, like why almost all jeans use copper-colored thread (137 years ago, Levi Strauss & Co. wanted something to match the copper rivets) or why the best denim fabric comes from Okayama, Japan (it's the mineral content and pH balance of the town's spring water). And he puts his encyclopedic knowledge to practical use as a designer. In just a couple of seasons, Naked & Famous' straight- and skinny-leg selvage jeans, made in Canada and with fabric from Japan, have become the favorite of the denim cognoscenti and young Hollywood. And this spring, Svarc is introducing a new kind of selvage that is 30 percent silk and 3 percent elastin, for a little stretch, making for jeans that are light and pliable. "You can do hurdles in them," he says.

Photograph courtesy of Naked & Famous

The Opening: Grown and Sewn

11. When we first heard the term Kax, a play on khaki, we were dubious—then we got our hands on the rugged American-made pants. Kax have the weight and feel of chinos with the cut, wash, and detailing (five pockets, antique copper rivets) of jeans. Rob Magness, a former Ralph Lauren designer, launched them as the signature item in his first store, Grown & Sewn, in New York's Tribeca neighborhood. The understated men's shop sells cotton T-shirts, durable canvas bags, and broken-in leather belts, but you're probably going to go straight for the Kax. (184 Duane St., New York City, 917-754-8220;

Photograph courtesy of Grown and Sewn

The Comeback Kid: Evisu

12. Before it became known for oversize streetwear, Evisu was the original Japanese cult jean. Now, thanks to new chief executive Scott Morrison, who cofounded Earnest Sewn and Paper Denim & Cloth before joining Evisu last year, the premium-denim brand is going back to its roots. That means preserving the quality of the cloth while softening the silhouette and surface texture. Spring's debut includes straight-legged fits in authentically faded washes. Even the ubiquitous white seagull on the back pocket has benefited from the makeover, becoming a much more subtle accent. Call it a makeunder. (Available at Barneys New York)

Photograph courtesy of Evisu


Such a well put together stone left unturned!

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