How to Buy Jeans
5 Things You Need to Know About Buying Denim
Our panel of denim designers weigh in on how to pick a pair like a pro.
"When in doubt, less is more. Start with a clean, dark one-rinse or be brave and go raw."—Scott Morrison, 3x1 Founder and Designer
Fashion is not that complicated
"Fashion is not that complicated—it's more about proportion than knowing about the newest, coolest shit. A shorter dude, for example, should always wear a tapered leg."—Brandon Svarc, Naked and Famous Founder and Designer
The number one mistake?
"The number one mistake? Buying a jean that fits perfectly. It'll stretch about a full size during your first 30 wears, so always size down."—Matt Baldwin, Baldwin Founder and Designer
Look under the hood and inspect the make
"Look under the hood and inspect the make: The cleaner the seam work, the smoother it'll feel against your skin."—Miles Johnson, Levi's Vintage Clothing and Levi's Made & Crafted Creative Director
Cuff your jean
"Cuff your jean—especially when the fabric is selvedge. One turn or two turns. I cuff mine at about 1 1/2 inches to hit just above the ankle."—Frank Muytjens, J.Crew Head of Men's Design
The Fairer Sex On the Unholy Trinity of Bad Denim
The wrong pair of jeans can easily send a gal the wrong message. For a look into the female psyche, heed these warnings on the bad three.
Logo Crazy"Whenever I see a guy wearing jeans with embroidered stuff all over them, I always think his dick is the size of a baby carrot. Really. Just realize less is more."—Eva Amurri, actress
"Right now it's fashionable to hate men in really tight jeans, but I kind of love them. You know when Slash is playing that solo in front of a church in the ‘November Rain' video? And his pants are basically just, like, a tantalizing layer of denim fondant? That was like the Fast Times bikini scene for women who grew up to be really into weirdos. Just know that I usually assume a guy in really tight pants is gay unless he's also wearing something really heterosexual, like an oversized floppy top hat with a rosary and aviator sunglasses."—Julieanne Smolinski, GQ contributor
Over-Washed Boot Cut
"They'd be okay on some hot-ass cowboy, but not on a guy who sits behind his desk for most of the day—it just doesn't feel authentic."—Eunice Lee, Unis Founder and Designer
Brooklyn Denim Co
A favorite of GQ creative director Jim Moore, BDC's closet runs deep: From that hyper obscure Japanese brand to a replica of a Levi's 1967 505, it's here.
Need SupplyWe've described this GQ 100 vet as a "blogger's wet dream." Need more proof? Almost every pair in stock—from those by Levi's to Tellason to A.P.C.—will run you a solid $50 to $200 a pop.
Self Edge NYC This Mecca for denimheads is loaded with Americana-checking brands from Japan, where the highest-quality selvedge is forged.
American RagThe Cali-based company goes easy on the raw jeans, mixing in lighter rinses and brighter colors. But with brands like Baldwin and Levis' Made & Crafted, denim nerds can still get their fix.
Mr PorterAn emporium of grail-status denim hot off the runway. We're talking oiled-denim oxfords, purple jeans, and Margiela trucker jackets. You know, luxury rap stuff.