Bentley Caldwell

SEPTEMBER 2023: Carpe Demin!

Each month Nashville #1 Men’s Personal Stylist, Bentley Caldwell will weigh in on the latest trends and answer men’s styling questions. His partner in crime, Carson Love will share her style tips for women.


His Style: Carpe Denim

QuestionWhat is Mario and Luigi’s, from Super Mario Bros., favorite fabric?

AnswerDenim, denim, denim. May have to say that one out loud, but you’re welcome.

In its inception, denim — a cotton twill fabric — was considered a work-wear fabric, due to its durability. Nowadays, whether it’s shirts, jackets or jeans, denim is one of the most versatile fabrics a man can have in his wardrobe. For the sake of this article, let’s focus on jeans!

Check the Tags

I always tell my clients to splurge on their denim. It’s what we live our lives in, so a good pair of denim should last you for a while. Aim for a darker wash in the fall, and be forewarned: Not all denim is created equal. Stay away from denim that contains high amounts of synthetics — rayon, polyester or nylon. These are essentially denim sweatpants. The high levels of synthetics undermine the integrity of the jeans. 

I always steer my clients towards selvedge denim. It’s higher quality, better made and will mold to your body over the course of its lifetime. Look for jeans that are 96 to 98 percent cotton and are otherwise elastane — for stretch. Who doesn’t love a little bit of stretch?

Fit, Fit, Fit

Generally speaking, there are three fit types for men’s jeans: Slim, straight and skinny. I tell my clients, “Don’t worry about the ‘S’ words. How do they fit your body?” Men hear the phrase, “Skinny jeans” and automatically assume they need to have side swept bangs, wear guy-liner and listen to Fall Out Boy. Incorrect.

If you have thinner legs, skinny jeans are a great fit for you. If you have thicker legs, wearing straight leg jeans is the way. Dress the body you have. Now, if your jeans are so tight that others can count the change in your pocket, you may want to consider sizing up or trying a different fit. 

We can all agree, though, that JNCO jeans should never make a comeback. Correct?

Take Care

Denim care is just as important as the quality of denim you buy. Typically, it is suggested that you wash your denim about every 10 wears (or longer), inside-out, and in cold water with like colors. This will keep the dye from fading or transferring onto your other clothing. 

Hang-dry your denim to extend its lifespan. Fabric softener and the excessive heat of tumble drying can damage the fabric and cause shrinking. If your jeans become odorous between washes, toss them in the freezer for 24 hours. It’s sorcery! Or the cold temperature kills bacteria. But I’m going to go with sorcery.

Fall has finally arrived, gents. Carpe denim!