The Ever Versatile Black Denim Jeans

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At times in life, we are all introduced to different axioms. They may be offered to guide you in life, introduce new ways of thinking, and/or ground you in reality. One that has stuck with me is “Keep It Simple Stupid (aka. KISS)”. Why distort the beauty of simplicity with the ambiguity of complexity? It is from a simple solid foundation that a multiplicity of paths can flow.

Why Is Black Denim So Versatile?

In my opinion, black denim is such a building block. Why may you ask is black denim such a foundation? Because when black denim is used to make a pair of jeans, it transcends the working class hard labor pedigree of traditional blue jeans. Black denim signifies a bit of class and formality making it a valid option for just about any social environment or occasion from play to work to formality. When I think of black denim, my general rule is that I want it black as night, no whiskers, sanding, acid washes or any other highlighting or distressing. No colors anymore, just paint it black. Of course with any rule, there are exceptions. In this case, the exception is distressed rips or tears if you are a struggling artist/musician.

Now black denim jeans may get you in the door, but style does play a role in what is or is not acceptable attire for the particular occasion. For example, you may wear distressed ultra skinny jeans to a club but it could be out of place if you wore them to your grandmother’s funeral. I’d like to briefly cover a variety of styles and my experience with them for different social occasions. The styles will run from skinny (some may call them extreme skinny), slim (others may call them skinny), slim straight (others may call them slim, and straight (which could venture into relaxed). Before proceeding, it should be noted that just about any style works in a university setting. What works for date night is best left to you and your partner.

What Black Jeans Work For Which Occasion?

I’ve found skinny jeans to work at just about any informal event other than work. I usually pair them with a t-shirt, polo shirt, sweater, or hoodie and layer with a jacket dependent on the weather. My current go to black skinny jean is J Brand’s Maria style.

Once we start talking work environments, what is acceptable can fluctuate dramatically dependent on the nature of the work, the employer, and any associated dress codes. Entry level jobs that aren’t customer facing may be perfectly okay with skinny and distressed skinny jeans. Even in customer facing positions, they may be acceptable for those whose clientele are young or students.

What Should I Style My Black Jeans With?

I’ve found slim and slim-straight styles to work in “most” other work situations whether you work in silicon alley, a retail outlet, manufacturing, back room office support, graphic arts, IT, or R&D just to name a few. A big exception is sales where you most likely need to dress as your customer dresses. Regardless of the jeans, they are usually accompanied with a sweater and/or a collared shirt (dress or polo) and may or may not be tucked into the jeans. My current slim jean style is the PAIGE Lennox, while my current slim-straight style is 7 For All Mankind’s “Slimmy”.

Formal situations such as dinners, theater, weddings, and funerals can be tricky. When attending such an occasion, let your knowledge of your fellow participants guide your choices. For such occasions I tend to lean toward straight to relaxed jean styles. AG’s Protege is a nice middle of the road style with which I’ve had good luck. Most often I pair them with dress shirts, ties, vests, and jackets

For those of you who use black denim denim jeans, which mix or styles and social occasions have you found that work together? As always, we look forward to your insight on this or any other subject.

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J Brand | 7 For All Mankind | PAIGE | AG

2 Comments

  1. Henry Coppens
    November 24, 2016 / 3:28 pm

    Hi ,
    The guy on the left is so utterly cool. Spray on knee ripped black jeans, biker jacket. Very much my style. The only small thing I would change is to wear Chelsea boots with a cuban heel.

    Henry

    • November 28, 2016 / 8:46 pm

      He looks great doesn’t he!

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