How Dark Blue Jeans will Upgrade your Wardrobe

Dark blue jeans with denim jacket

With so many washes, cuts and fits out there, it can be difficult to know which jeans are right for you. Let The Idle Man take you through how dark blue jeans will upgrade your wardrobe. 

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With all the advice out there telling you to rip, dye and shrink wash your jeans (guilty) it seems like the poor old dark blue jean has fallen by the wayside so to speak. Whilst a distressed denim look can inject individuality into your casual day wear, or a lighter wash can be great for Summer, sometimes it’s good to remember that it all started with the original, and in our opinion the best, dark blue jean.

When Levi Strauss & Co. made the first pair of jeans back in 1873 they were dark blue, otherwise know as the indigo wash. Almost 150 years later, it appears we’ve ditched the classic original dark blue jean in favour of its more modern, trendier counterparts. But here at The Idle Man we feel like it’s time to show a bit of love for the jean that started it all, and show you some classic and simple ways of styling it along the way.

dark jeans and loafers
Pin roll your dark denim for guaranteed style – PHOTO CREDIT: Saga

If there’s one pair of jeans every man should have in his wardrobe, it’s the dark blue kind. They’re timeless, versatile and the longer you wear them the better they look.

Date Night

Blue jeans are the ultimate wash to dress up, and what better excuse to dress up than date night? Whether you’ve been with your girlfriend for two months or two years, it’s still important to make an effort but it’s not always appropriate to don a three piece suit. For a smart-casual affair, strike the balance between dressed up and dressed down and opt for a slim or skinny fit pair of dark blue jeans.

Dark blue jeans and blazer
A blazer instantly takes your blue jeans from casual to smart – PHOTO CREDIT: All that I covet

Team with a crisp Oxford shirt, blazer and a good quality pair of penny loafers for the ultimate date night ensemble.

Style Dark Blue Jeans for Date Night

Dark blue jeans blazer oxford shirt outfit grid
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Down The Pub

Don’t let standards slip just because it’s the weekend, after all you never know who you might bump into. Blue jeans are your best option if you want to upgrade your weekend look for weekend catch ups or drinks with your mates.

Dark blue jeans and tan shoes - duggers of london
Tan shoes look great with dark jeans for ultimate smart-casual – PHOTO CREDIT: Duggers of London

The weekends are for relaxing so why not relax your style a little too. If you’re refined to suits all week, but don’t want to go all out casual at the weekend a pair of dark blue jeans is a good middle ground. Pair with a casual plaid or lighter denim shirt and a pair of brogue or desert boots – tan works great for this as it really compliments the indigo wash of your jeans – for a look that strikes the perfect smart-casual balance and will have you feeling comfortable and at ease.

Style Dark Blue Jeans for Down the Pub

Dark blue jeans denim shirt leather jacket outfit grid
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Pin Roll Your Jeans

The best way to show off your shoes is to pin roll your jeans and this works especially well when you’re wearing boots as a nice way to reveal the ankle details of your boot. Pin rolling is also great if your jeans are starting to feel baggy or are a little too long. Follow these simple steps for the perfect pin roll;

  • Grab the inner seam of your jeans and roll away from your ankle and upwards so that the denim overlaps against itself creating a fold.
  • The first step should determine the size of your turn up, so using this as a guide roll the jean again to create a second fold.
  • Continue in this way until you have reached your desired length. The pin rolls can be a neat or as disheveled as you like.

Dress-down Friday

It might almost be the weekend, but you’ve still got to get through another day in the battlefield before you can kick back. That means it’s not time to throw on your joggers assume the position of couch potato for the next 48 hours quite yet. Instead, time to relieve yourself of your stiff suit and rock something more casual instead. Give those dark blue jeans another outing and make dress-down Friday a style success in the office.

Dark blue jeans and white t-shirt
A plain white t-shirt is the perfect accompaniment to your dark jeans – PHOTO CREDIT: WordPress

Keep the fit slim and relaxed and pair your dark blue jeans with a plain white or black t-shirt and a pair of slip on plimsolls. Layer a shirt over the top if you want to keep things casual.

Style Dark Blue Jeans for Dress-down Friday

Dark blue jeans plaid shirt white tshirt outfit grid
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How to Care for Your Dark Jeans.

Prevent Jeans from Fading in the Wash

Just like the dye you may or may not admit to putting on your hair, the dye applied to denim jeans fades naturally over time.

A handy tip to prevent the dye fading in your jeans is to soak them in a bowl of cold salted water for a minimum of an hour before washing; the salt preserves the dye to minimise fading. You can also invest in colour preservation washing detergents that are less harsh on the dyes found in your dark jeans. On a separate note it is worth noting that when hung out to dry, dark jeans shouldn’t be placed in direct sunlight as this will fade the dye.

denim care
Soaking denim in salt water helps preserve the dye – PHOTO CREDIT: Denim Hunters

How to Avoid Jeans Loosing Their Tightness

If you’ve ever put jeans in the tumble drier and noticed after a few months of doing so your jeans are starting to feel looser and looser, good news is you’re not going mad. The bad new is you haven’t all of a sudden lost weight either. Sorry. More than likely, the fibres in your jeans have started to break down meaning they get baggy and start to loose their tightness.

This can be partially prevented during the washing process; the fibres in your jeans can be weakened when washed on a hot cycle so make sure you select a cold setting and air dry them naturally in a cool, dry place. Once jeans are washed, turn them inside out and air dry them on the washing line or leave them hanging over a clothes horse.

wodden clothes pegs
Air dry jeans out of the sun to preserve indigo dyes – PHOTO CREDIT: Photos Public Domain

Don’t Clean Your Jeans Too Often

The more you wash them, the quicker the dye in your jeans will erode and fade. Jeans do not need to be washed after every wear, and actually look better when left unwashed for long periods of time as they mould to your body and acquire natural patches of wear. Music to your ears if you’re a laundry novice

It’s all well and good us telling you to stop washing your jeans but we know what you’re thinking; what about when they start to smell? WHAT THEN? Well we have your answer – freeze them. WHAT? YOU’RE MAD. There are countless benefits to freezing your jeans, some of which I’m about to relay to you so hold your horses.

Frozen jeans illustration
PHOTO CREDIT: Vogue, Illustration Pete Gamlen

Apart from killing the natural odours that occur in jeans when we wear them over and over again (the low temperature kills the bacteria transferred into the denim from our bodies), freezing your jeans means that you hardly ever have to wash them. It sounds gross, I know, but denim isn’t meant to be washed time and time again. A pair of jeans that are lived in, that have moulded to your body and show signs of wear and fading tell stories.

Pop your jeans in a canvas tote bag – this will be breathable and will allow your jeans to reap the benefits of being frozen without picking up any smells that may be lingering – and leave them in overnight. Freezing your jeans won’t shrink them but it will preserve the dye and prevent them from losing their tightness.

On That Note…

If it’s smart and understated style you’re going for, the dark blue jean wins every time. For an off duty look that’s more smart that casual, reach for your trusty pair of dark blue jeans for work or play.

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With so many washes, cuts and fits out there, it can be difficult to know which jeans are right for you. Let The Idle...
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