Of all the shirts and boots and v-necks, t-shirts, jumpers, jackets, chinos and joggers that I've bought over the years, it's denim that's been my apparel adversary.
I'm constantly reminded that double-denim doesn't work, that denim stains, fades and easily rips; that you must wash denim inside out, but then from someone else, that you should never wash it at all. Plus it's all so skinny nowadays, so flesh-gripping, so tight around the bulge.
I've tried-and-tested the full range of brands, and slipped between the cuts and shapping of mid-rise, high-rise and low-slung; turn-ups, relaxed, slim, straight and skinny. Argh, skinny. Skinny that soon became Regular, skinny that flooded the shop floors of denim retailers everywhere until every jean-wearing wannabe indie Russell Brand had a look of tight-fit, spray-on denim.
I could never get skinny. Skinny and I never got along. Skinny wouldn't budge above my knees, let alone over my rugger quads. Skinny became the norm in denim jean options, but it gripped and clung to my calfs, as the Regular cuts of yesteryear faded from popularity.
Topman's new denim collection now gives a greater variety of denim to the modern man. It marks a return of the regular fits, so that those of a more roly-poly, thicker physique has options beyond Skinny and Super Skinny. No longer are you forced to choose between Drainpipe Skinny or 70s flares, now, men have almost as much choice as women.
The Topman re-launch includes the Spray On and Super Spray On Skinnies, the Skinny and Stretch Skinny Tapered Legs, as well as the addition of a Slim Longer Rise and Standard Long Rise. There are also 12 denim washes, ranging from White, Grey and Black, to Bleached, Rinse and Raw.
I was invited by Topman to view the new range and to put together a denim look for me. Having struggled with denim before, it was difficult to know whether skinny still meant skinny, whether I'd find a comfortable fit, and whether double-denim, that fashion faux pas that gives style writers everywhere the heebie-jeebies, could actually work.
Along with the unveil of a wider denim jeans range, Topman have introduced greater variety to their shirts and jackets, offering a better selection of above-the-waist denim. Added to this are blue denim dungarees and overalls, blue and black chambray long sleeve shirts, and two new borg-lined denim western jackets.
I decided on black wide-crop jeans and a dark denim long sleeved shirt. It's double-denim, but not a clash of the same colour. The jeans, with that wide-crop and more of a regular fit, were snug and comfortable, and were easy to put on, finally. Rolling-up at the bottom hem of the jeans, with that wider crop, gave a better reveal of the brogues.
The borg-lined khaki parka completed my look of warm and cosy, denim-adventurer, and when the denim shirt wasn't done-up to the top, I switched between a black Topman crew neck t-shirt and a blue/white stripped t-shirt
Long associated as a symbol of cultural authenticity, as well as social rebellion (think James Dean in his 101 Rider jeans in Rebel Without a Cause), denim has become a fashion item in everyday life. With this in mind, Topman have looked to reach the wider-male market by launching this extended range, and in doing so, have established themselves as a leading denim authority.
With the introduction of a dedicated denim range that encompasses all males and goes beyond just skinny or ultra skinny, Topman have opened their doors to a new kind of customer. Personally, having long struggled with denim sizes, fits and washes, the decision to wider the male denim range and to introduce a far more versatile collection, means that whatever your denim preference - whether you're bony or beastly - you are able to find the fit and wash for your style.
Shop the Look...
Black Wide Leg Crop Jeans, £38.00
Black Slim Crew T-Shirt, £7.00
Ecru And Navy Striped T-Shirt, £15.00
Photos: Olivia Ebeling, Tribe Magazine
Disclosure: Compensation was provided by Topman via Mode Media. The opinions expressed herein are those of the author and are not indicative of the opinions or positions of Topman.