Ditch the Dad Jeans

Fashion B*tch is a weekly advice column for the stylistically impaired.

Dad Jeans Obama Tom Selleck

Like keeping the same haircut from the eighties, out-of-date fashion ages you. And nothing says “I’ve thrown in the towel on all things cool” like stone-washed, hiked-high Dad Jeans—especially when they’re accessorized with running sneakers and a cell phone clip.

Not sure if this pertains to you? Quick—measure the point where your jeans are sewn together in the crotch to the top of your waist. If you’re edging toward 11 inches, you’re rocking a high rise. (See the accompanying photos of the president, David Hasselhoff and Magnum PI for visual evidence.)

But rest easy. The fix is simple. A proper pair of jeans should sit above the hips, not above the belly button. And darker washes are always better, really dark if you want to wear them out to dinner. (See? Now you’re sporting the much hipper mid-rise look.) The biggest lesson the Fashion Bitch can impart: You don’t have to be cutting edge, just presentable.

Besides, what could possibly be your excuse for not wanting to go from dork to DILF? Certainly not the lame justifications below.

I’m really cheap.

I get it. Dad has a big boat to float. The mortgage, ballet lessons and Mommy’s trainer can break a guy. Still, we’re talking denim not Gucci. So even if Walmart or Target is your usual haberdashery, it shouldn’t set you back more than 30 bucks.

I have no clue about fashion.

But the cute sales girl at your local denim shop does. Plus, when was the last time a pretty young thing paid attention to your ass? Be forewarned, however: No matter how many times she bats her eyes to make a sale, you are too old for skinny jeans, over-stitched pockets and tattoo-printed styles. My advice: Start by looking at premium denim brands such as Rock & Republic and Joe’s Jeans.

I only care about comfort.

Well then, pick a pair with a little added spandex for stretch—a la 7 For All Mankind’s Austyn 36″ Long and Adriano Goldschmied’s 5 Years Dark. Whichever the cut, try things on, take them for a test drive and ask if alterations are possible.

I’m a loyal Levi’s guy.

Hey, the Bitch gets loyalty. And Levi’s—it’s a great brand. So feel free to stand by your 501s, just choose a darker wash.

I don’t really care what I look like.

You should. The kids are making fun of you, and Mommy’s trainer ain’t rocking the Dad jeans.

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