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Hi. I've tried to read LA's Ten Best Jeans (Style Forum) religiously, and never knew there was so much to buying a good pair of jeans.

My problem, however, is that I live in Manila (capital of the Philippines), and all the brands being mentioned are completely alien to me.

Another problem is that from what I understand the regulars of this forum like heavier, rougher denim. I am a big fan of durable jeans that will last a lifetime, but I live just a few degrees north of the equator. Thus, I've come to prefer thinner jeans, the kind you'd wear in maybe a Florida summer (the kind I'd wear all year round).

I've tried Levis and definitely prefer the lighter Italian denims. (Levis are the only brand I recognize in this entire forum).

I was also surprised that most of the recommendations are for jeans in the $200-250 range. My personal favorites in Manila are the Italian lines Marlboro Classics and Replay, and the regular jeans of both are about $70. (There's also Versace and Trussardi available for twice that price and up, but I've never tried them).

My favorite pair right now is a dark indigo from Replay, which I picked up because everyone is wearing something sandblasted. The artificial fade looked nice and subtle when I bought them, but I'm not sure if I regret it now because after some wear, it's like I have two white streaks on my legs, while the back of the shins are the original indigo.

My favorite pair ever was a medium blue from Marlboro Classics (still the best now if you don't go for all these washes and sandblasting). Twelve years later, they have a very beautiful natural fade around the knees. They also look like they have grain instead of all the striations I see now.

They're too small now and I've called a cousin going to college soon to pick them up from the house.

Anyway, I was hoping the experts could tell me:

1) How exactly to tell if denim is good, especially since I'm looking for lighter, thinner denim and am dealing with completely different brands (and have to wade through a lot of imitations from Bangkok)

2) What fit is good for short Asian men who just can't do the low rise thing (I stand a head shorter than the average white American male, it seems, and got carded in every bar when I visited the States at 25 years old)

3) What color and wash/no wash is good (I think I like darker indigo because it looks dressier, and I wear leather shoes and boots instead of sneakers)

Links to good resources would be appreciated, especially this washing with vinegar method.
 
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