Every time I think about zombie apocalypses, I think about jeans.

What if you only had a few minutes to dress up, pack all of your necessities, and leave your comfortable life for good? What if you had to run away into nothingness to save you and your family from the usually very nice and supportive old lady neighbour, Peggy, who is now smashing your door, craving to eat you alive?

You don't know whether the government will protect you, and you don't seem to be hearing any police sirens either. The only thing that you hear is Peggy relentlessly scratching on the door in search of food. And trust me, she’s not gonna ask for those sweet Russian blinis you once brought her. No, she wants your brains.

Well, we certainly cannot let your zombie neighbour have that. After a well-planned escape involving jumping from the second floor, I guess you’d go into hiding somewhere in the bush, live off land, occasionally scavenging for food in abandoned streets of your town, looting supermarkets and fighting with the rest of the survivors for remaining resources.

But you can’t be wearing your comfortable shorts and Hello Kitty slippers doing that. You need to be dressed appropriately - it is a zombie apocalypse, after all. You would need to wear a jacket with lots of pockets, chunky boots, and a black beanie (for no particular reason, it just seems appropriate). But the main thing you need is a pair of good jeans. And I don't make that statement lightly.

The thing I like most about jeans is that its original design didn't come from a wish to invent a fashion tendency. It came from a necessity. Jeans are probably the most durable type of pants. It is also the most popular type of pants in the world.

That's where you might be thinking: “I don't need to be hearing all that from some dude, who is scared of his old neighbour. I want to make my own fashion choices when it comes to jeans!” But that's where you are wrong. And that's why are you going to get eaten and your brain sucked out. So don't be a smart ass, know-it-all type. Let me be that guy and I’ll tell you everything you need to know about jeans.

Once upon a time there was a tailor. His name was Jack W. Davis and he wasn’t your fancy type of tailor. No, he was making horse blankets, wagon covers and tents. But one day in December of 1870, he was asked to make a perfect pair of pants for a woodcutter. In order to create an especially durable trouser, Mr. Davis used duck cloth, a heavy duty cotton. He had also reinforced the weak points in the seams and pockets with the copper rivets, the very same ones he was using for the stress points of the other sewn items he was making.

After producing a few pairs in duck cotton, Mr. Davis had soon switched the fabric to denim. The newly created pants became so popular, that soon enough the tiny tailor shop wasn’t able to keep up with all the demand. So, Mr. Davis, being a smart man, had decided to approach Levi Strauss, his fabric supplier, with a business proposal. Together, they had the unique features of the pants patented, calling the thing “Improvements in fastening pocket openings”. And that’s how it all started, the birth of one of the most prominent items in the gentleman's wardrobe.

Nowadays we have huge variety of styles, cuts, and treatments for jeans. And this is the main trap. See, today you can get anything: ripped jeans, pink jeans, you can even get jeans with crystals, for God’s sake!

I say: No more! We cannot afford to fall in love with fashion trends. Our children and grandchildren, who'll be looking at our pictures 30 years from now, shaking their heads in dismay, won’t forgive us. And if you are a reputable clothing retailer, you must think even harder, when picking the right kind of jeans.

If you care about your customers, you’d need to keep these three things in mind.

The jeans are supposed to be:

  • No bight coloured details, no artificial fading, etc. There might be a bit of distressed fabric, but don’t go too wild here. Keep it subtle.
  • Well-Fitted. I would go with a slimmer (but not skinny) cut and tapered leg down the bottom.
  • Of a Good Quality. Naturally, the quality of denim, dying process, and the whole production have to be of a high standard - that’s what makes a proper pair of jeans. Remember, they will become better with every wear.

I'd also suggest to stick with dark colours. My personal favourite is indigo, the most popular colour that’s been used for dyeing denim cloth since forever.

Another important thing you need to consider is whether you wanna go with pre-washed or raw denim.

Pre-washed jeans are easy to deal with. You don't have to worry about shrinkage, fading and discomfort during the first months of wear. Just deal with your pre-washed jeans the same way you deal with your cotton pants, and you'll be alright. This is an obvious choice for those who want to go on the J-side but hate to worry about some pain-in-the-neck special treatment.

Raw denim jeans, on the other hand, is quite a different story. You have to treat it with respect, you have to be patient with it. You might need to perform all sorts of crazy stuff as well, involving not washing them for six months, sleeping in them to break them in, etc. All this is needed in order to achieve that unique “worn out” look. I think it's a little extreme, but hey, we all need to overcome different challenges life brings to us. And if life doesn't bring you any, well, then you can buy a pair of raw denim jeans.

Either way, jeans are cool. You need to wear them yourself and you need to have them in your store, so other people can enjoy wearing them, too.  The main rule is your jeans need to look classy, but in a ‘gangsta’ way or is it ‘gangsta’ in the classy way? I can't seem to remember… Oh yeah, they also need to be comfortable enough to kill your zombie neighbour. No more blinis for you, Peggy!

Vlad Tichen
Stylist, Men’s Style Blogger