Denim, whether jacket or jean, is one of the most enduring pieces of clothing in a man's closet, and for the longest time the style refrain has been the same. For jeans, stay within the vicinity of a slim cut that never crosses into the territory of so-tight-it-reveals-the-contents-of-your-pocket. Also, the color should be in the realm of a nice and even dark. Selvedge is preferable.
Though these still apply, and will no doubt look good on any man, there is a need to update the codes to reflect what is happening now. And what is now, as seen in the latest denim collection from local clothing label Penshoppe, is actually not new, but old.
To reinvent classic denim pieces, old concepts are applied. The colors are decidely not the deep, dyed indigo you are used to, but the very pale blues and chalky mediums of yesteryear. “It's very retro,” describes Joseph Manto, design manager of Penshoppe. “You have stone wash, cloud wash, and very light washes.”
The cuts are also fuller and looser and wide-legged, echoing the brave new world of not-tight pants that menswear has been exploring for several seasons.
A few shapes to consider: Your favorite denim jacket has been redone in a coach silhouette, and to keep things interesting, also printed with red text. There are two versions, one dark and another light—the first Zayn Malik and Jordan Barrett wear, while the latter has more pockets. You choose.
There are a couple of jumpsuits for men here, and these come straight out of the '90s with a faded wash, a relaxed fit, and no overt details as the pieces are already tricky to wear. Joseph advises to go a size up and wear them with one strap hanging loose and with the hems folded thickly to show off your sneakers (another trend).
Elsewhere, there are bold colors, lots of stripes, and prints. Notably, a jacket is covered in newspaper patterns as if clippings were decoupaged onto the fabric. The goal is to make the pieces look as if they were done by you. “We're creating individuality. People like their own take,” notes Joseph.
How denim is worn now also involves distresing and side stripes on jeans and pants. Not saying we should jump on every trend like teenagers doing it for the 'gram, but we shouldn't also look like grandfathers who come from the past.
Find the balance. Choose what feels right: Light washes and roomy fits will do. However, holes are tricky and side tape may be too trendy. Or fun? Up to you.
If you need a visual on how to wear things now, the label has more than enough guiding stars: Aside from Malik and Barrett, model Bella Hadid and Korean superstars Nam Joo Hyuk and Sandara Park are faces of their DenimLab.
Nam and Dara will visit Manila for the Penshoppe FanCon on July 29, and the brand tells us that tickets sold out in just five days. If you missed out, you can always watch this: