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Everything A Guy Needs To Know Before Buying Jeans

Just say no to acid wash.
09/30/2015 07:00am ET | Updated October 1, 2015

Buying jeans is overwhelming and annoying, for men and women. But today, we're going to focus on guys.

We know that there are so many choices and so many ways that jean shopping can go wrong, but if you keep three major things in mind on your next shopping trip -- namely fit, rise and wash -- you'll be golden. Let's break it down for you:

1. Fit

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First up is fit, which basically just refers to the width of your pant leg. Now there are tons of tricky words out there that can be confusing, like relaxed fit, loose fit or carpenter style, but almost all men's jeans can fit into three categories: Boot cut, straight leg and skinny.

Boot cut: AVOID. AVOID. AVOID. No, but seriously, anything that flares out below the knee is a big no. Just don't.

Straight: This is basically the cut that most guys should wear, which is not to be confused with skinny jeans. Straight jeans narrow below the knee, but aren't skintight. The leg opening is slightly wider than a skinny jean and they have a slightly more relaxed fit.

Skinny jeans: These jeans are the tightest and snuggest fit that's available. They are defined by their extremely narrow leg opening and tight fit around the calf.

2. Wash

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There are a lot of different washes out there, but if you stick to two rules, you can't go wrong. First of all, you always want to go with a dark wash and second of all, you never want any intense whiskering or extreme fading -- this will make your jeans look dated. Any of the washes above are great -- dark gray, black and dark denim are always safe bets.

3. Rise

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Not too low and not too high is what you should be thinking when you're buying jeans. If they come anywhere near your belly button, the answer is NOPE. If we can see your pelvic bones, also no.

In summation, if you pick a straight leg, mid-rise, dark, clean wash, you're set. Just make sure they don't sag in the crotch and for the love of god, get them tailored if they're too long (the sweet spot is between the top of the shoe and the heel).

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