When You Shouldn't Wear Jeans: Essential Rules Distilled Down to an Easy Guide

When You Shouldn't Wear Jeans: Essential Rules Distilled Down to an Easy Guide | On the Street Where We Live (aretherelilactrees.com)  DSTLD, denim, jeans, men's fashion, men's style

I put my pants on one leg at a time, just like everyone else does. It’s only after that where I run into problems. Namely, I don’t know where it is I should wear them. Again, like all of you, I’ve got the leg part down, but it’s how to place them longitudinally that causes me difficulty. I tend to think that I’m wearing them too high; Jen often tells me that I wear them too low; GQ tells me that it depends on the pants and, apparently, that I should buy cooler and more varied styles of pants. The result is that getting some new pants, like I just did when I bought two pairs of jeans, presents some complications. I’m a 5’11’’ guy with drumstick legs, some belly, and not the slightest idea of where to wear my pants. I do though have some inside info on where not to wear jean pants, or “jeans.”


Work Most Days

To afford things like jeans, I work as a teacher. When I was teaching in the U.S., my contract stipulated that I not wear jeans to work. An exception to this was Fridays when teachers would pay $2 to dress down in support of a school club. This is consistent with many but certainly not all workplaces. If your workplace is like this, don’t wear jeans on non-Fridays. It can lead to looks or awkward conversations. Any such looks or conversations should be limited to how you’re wearing your pants too high or too low. (And if from those looks or conversations you discern any insight regarding where on the body to wear pants, please contact me.)


The Beach

There is usually a lot of sunlight at the beach, and sunlight is bad, so you should never go to the beach. If you do find yourself needing to go to a beach, though, don’t wear jeans. You’ll stand out for two reasons: 1) you’ll likely be one of the few people there wearing jeans with the others being old men with big beards and tattoos who are also wearing tank tops or no tops, 2) your jeans will cause you to be hotter and sandier than is normal. Moreover, if you plan to swim, jeans do not perform well in water. For one, they get very wet. You’ll find that there are other drawbacks to swimming in jeans, but you’ll soon forget all of them once you’re out of the water where your only concern will be how outrageously uncomfortable your wet jeans are.

Jeans at the beach are an everyday no-no. Don’t wear jeans to a beach on a Friday and expect things to be cool like at work. The beach has sand, heat, and saltwater pretty much every Friday, so just avoid going there in jeans altogether.


Saving Animals/Fixing Things

When I’m not teaching or avoiding the beach, I spend most of my time rescuing small animals and doing handiwork around town. I wouldn’t say that you should never wear jeans for these tasks, but for the type of repair and animal-saving I do, denim can be constricting or become damaged. When I find myself repairing four flat tires for older women and their dogs, I usually need to be wearing something that can withstand both asphalt and grueling good-samaritanism. Similarly, jeans are not conducive to climbing trees to save kittens or to put baby birds back. If you’ve never done these tasks that I do regularly, I’d recommend wearing athletic shorts. And since you don’t seem to care about people and wildlife, I’d also recommend that you be a better person. It’s not all about you and when you wear jeans, you know. We’re all in this together.



As you can imagine, my days are pretty full with places and tasks and jean-related decisions. This gets me pretty tired in the evenings, but before I turn in, there’s one more of those decisions to make. People always say, “don’t shit where you eat.” When they say “eat,” they mean “sleep,” and when they say “shit where,” they mean “wear jeans when.” This adage is a good rule of thumb to remember when it comes to jeans and bed. I personally don’t wear jeans to bed because they give me nightmares, but there are many other reasons to avoid going to sleep in jeans. Take your jeans off at night and save putting them on until the morning of days when when you’re not working or going to the beach or helping me make the world a better place.



The aforementioned jeans are from DSTLD and are terrific, whether they feel too high or Jen says, “I think your new DSTLD jeans are too low.” I first heard about the company on a podcast a while back and finally bought two slim fit jeans last month. They’re super soft and have a bit of stretch in them, both qualities I’d never found in jeans because I always tended to buy cheaper denim. There is a simplicity and plainness to the design, which I like quite a bit as they fit my sense of (read: dearth of) style. It was not expensive to ship them to South Korea, but it’s completely free in the U.S. The colors I wanted were out of stock for a bit, but when they came back, I placed the order and received my neatly-packaged jean pants shortly thereafter. Even if you’re partial to vowels, DSTLD makes good jeans to own for those occasions that do not warrant not wearing jeans.


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