09/25/2014 05:48 EDT | Updated 11/25/2014 05:59 EST

Darker wash can add dressier touch to men's denim, says style expert Glen Baxter

TORONTO - While men may not have as vast a range of denim selections at their disposal as women do, there are still ways for guys to shake up their ensembles while incorporating jeans into the mix.

Fashion expert Glen Baxter said a cross-Canada survey conducted by Mark's found that the top reason men say they buy and wear jeans is for comfort. Baxter is working in collaboration with the homegrown apparel retailer to help men seeking to transition their warm-weather wardrobe into the cooler months with new denim.

For men in need of an everyday pair of jeans for running errands, Baxter said a well-fitting, medium-wash pair or one in a relaxed fit are likely their best bets. But for a look that can translate to fit more upscale occasions, a darker-hued option may be the way to go.

"If they're looking to improve their wardrobe by finding a dressier jean, then I would suggest a slim straight fit or a straight fit, more of a tapered pant, and also maybe a darker wash," said Baxter. "It's almost like a dress pant but in denim." He counts a slim-fitting pair of indigo blue Levi's among his favourites for fall.

To help further elevate dressed-up denim, Baxter suggested shelving the sneakers and adding dress shoes to the ensemble. Dark-wash jeans could also be teamed with a body-conscious, well-fitted dress shirt that could be paired with a sweater in a crewneck or shawl-collar style, he noted.

"That's also appropriate for the workplace or for going out. That's a great way to dress it up."

For men who favour jeans with more embellishments or details, Baxter suggested keeping the rest of the look more toned down and making the jeans the focal point.

"If you're making graphic tees and mixing very loud clothes with loud jeans, that could be a little much."

While coloured jeans have made a splash in recent seasons, black has emerged as a strong alternative for fall — and one that Baxter sees as a staple.

"I think every guy should own a nice pair of well-tapered black jeans," he said. "They're almost more of a casual version of black dress pants. There's just so much choice and so much variety, but the bottom line — especially when we're talking for men — is fit. And this is the best advice I can give ... is just stay true to your size and find a pair that fits you well, but don't go one size too big.

"Sometimes we tend to go one size too big, thinking we will be more comfortable. But in the end, all it means is you have to buy a belt and tighten it up."

When it comes to finding an ideal cut for jeans, Baxter suggested mirroring the silhouette of pants typically worn as part of a suit.

"Substitute your pants that you're wearing with your suit for your jeans and it kind of gives you an idea of what becomes dressier in denim."

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