Black jeans Our stylists’ favourites for you, plus some tips on how to wear them well

Why you need black jeans
Black jeans are, quite simply, smarter than your average blue jeans. The saturated colour makes them impactful and the lack of fading means they look sharp enough for dinner or drinks. Some guys are intimidated by black jeans because they see them as daring and edgy, but that’s not so. They’re easy for any guy to wear well.

Stylist, Shaunie Brett

The icon

The 1957 film Jailhouse Rock spurred Levi’s to launch their first wildly successful black-denim jeans, Elvis Presley Jeans. We reckon Levi’s black jeans could still account for about 30% of their sales.

The fit

Black jeans should be fairly slim, which means you should have about an inch of fabric to pinch in each thigh when you’re standing up—but the jeans will feel snug in the thighs when you sit down.

The difference

“Black jeans make an outfit look more put together—and frankly, more expensive,” says Shaunie. “They’re not actually more expensive than blue, but they look it because they’re slicker and less ubiquitous.”

The care tips

Black jeans withstand stains even better than blue jeans do. Try to wait six months between washes, and either freeze them overnight to get rid of smell or throw them in a cold wash, turned inside out. Never tumble dry; we’ve found it shrinks denim by 15%.

The fading fix

Black jeans don’t fade faster than blue jeans do, but the fading is more noticeable—and easily remedied. Throw Dylon Wash & Dye Powder into the wash with your jeans and they’ll come out blacker. While you're at it, add in a tired white t-shirt to turn it charcoal.

The anatomy

1. Rise: Should be at least 9 inches to make you look taller and thinner.

2. Hem: Jeans should end about a credit card’s width from the floor when you’re barefoot. Any longer and they pool around your ankles, making your legs look shorter than they are.

3. Inseam: Standard is 32 inches, which fits guys around 5’10” to 6'.

The dos

Do wear them with other dark colors like grey, burgundy and navy.

Do wear them even when they’re faded to charcoal grey. This is a nice casual weekend look.

The don’ts

Don’t wear them with brown shoes or belts.

Don’t wear them with white shirts (you’ll look like a waiter) or all black everything (you’ll look like a mime/shadow).

The longevity

Because jeans originated as workwear, a quality pair is resilient enough to last for hundreds of wears. (And black jeans' dye makes them even stronger than blue jeans.) And if they get a hole, they're easily repaired: our stylists post theirs to Manchester's The Denim Doctor, who makes damaged jeans look almost new for around £13.