If there’s one word to describe New York’s fashion scene, it’s frenetic. Stylish men and women darting from one cobblestone street corner to another is as common as the street style photographers perched ever so patiently waiting to document them. As far as Manhattan is concerned, iconic neighborhoods like SoHo are one of the most diverse enclaves for the cool and collected. With clusters of stores ranging from established luxury players to up-and-coming brands looking to grab a piece of the retail pie through temporary pop-ups, New York is the sort of shopping and fashion mecca that brings locals from all corners of the city together as well as tourists flaunting their own regional style.
The end result is an inspirational mix of styles that’s uniquely New York, and the one staple that brings all these elements together is hardwearing denim. Finding the perfect pair of jeans isn’t exactly the easiest thing to do, and Levi’s® knows this. It’s precisely why they’ve got a range of fits that cater to just about every body and any style.
To put things in perspective, we’ve partnered with menswear enthusiast and Grailed brand director Lawrence Schlossman to get his insight on the evolution of denim, how current trends are reshaping the way guys approach jeans, and to get his take on top fits right now and how to style them.
When it comes to everyday wardrobe choices, what goes into your process when deciding what jeans to wear?
LS: Lately, getting dressed for me personally is all about comfort first and foremost. Obviously, there are aesthetic elements I particular enjoy or broad stroke trends/stylistic notes I tend to favor, but if I’m not comfortable all bets are off.
What’s the most important aspect for you as a stylist when it comes to selecting the right type of denim for clients?
LS: When it comes to picking denim for a client, fit is everything because, obviously, not everyone is built the same. I wouldn’t say there are any “right” or “wrong” jeans—though I don’t think anyone should ever wear bootcut jeans—but there are definitely “better” or “worse” options for a specific person based on their body type. Fit is paramount, and once you figure that out, you can use the overall style you are trying to achieve inform things like wash, style and the little details that can really make an outfit as perfect as it can be.
As trends are ever changing, men are opening up to more fashion forward style choices. How does Levi’s tapered collection help these guys become more informed on current trends?
LS: I think Levi’s tapered collection helps take a lot of guesswork out of the equation. Once you eliminate that barrier of entry, the average guy who doesn’t, say, have access or a stylist or know a ton about fashion, is already, like, 90% of the way there. That on point, straight off the rack fit, so to speak, is really the nudge in the right direction most guys need whether or not they know it. From there you can really personalize things, like pinrolling your jeans to show off a particular fire pair of sneakers you have on. You can really try anything.
You’re obviously a man of impeccable style, which Levi’s fit is your go-to when it comes to personal style and why?
LS: Going back to my desire for comfort, I’m personally a big fan of some classic 501s. The 501 is iconic for a reason—if it ain’t broke don’t fix it. I might casually roll them up or take a scissor to them for a homemade hem, either way they give me room to breathe and go about my day without having to second guess anything.
Levi’s has such a storied history with classic American style, how do you think the tapered collection pushes the brand’s boundaries when it comes to heritage Americana?
LS: I think Levi’s adoption of tapered fits really shows they’re not afraid to innovate or push the envelope while still staying true to their roots. Levi’s will always be the first brand people think about when it comes to heritage Americana, but that doesn’t mean they’re going to rest on their laurels. Styles like the 502, 512 and 541 represent a commitment to the constantly shifting trends within menswear and the consumers of those trends. It’s a “bend, not break” mentality that I find admirable. I think a lot of guys discovering that great new pair of jeans they’re going to wear 5 days a week would agree with me.