Whether you’re the hippest guy you’ve ever met, or the stereotypical dad that works in IT that still has his cellphone in a nice holster on their belt, chances are you’re wearing jeans at least once a week. Jeans are the workhorse of almost every wardrobe at this point and we all know the struggle of finding that perfect pair to wear. Whether you stick to one brand because they fit you just how you like or you’ve been trying out a few it’s not hard to see that quality denim has seen a resurgence in the last few years. Companies are trying to distinguish themselves from the pack with raw, selvedge and Japanese loom cotton offerings. While I used to be an almost strictly American Eagle guy a few months ago I made the plunge into the dark indigo waters of raw denim with a pair of Uniqlo slim fits during a sale and I could not be happier. Uniqlo may be seen as one of the lower quality purveyors of denim, but that doesn’t mean I can’t enjoy the unique fading and washing of my jeans before eventually trading up if I ever have “Givenchy money”.
So after a few months of wear, and more time than I’d like to admit of not washing them it’s finally time to do a little maintenance I’ve decided. There are loads of myths about how you should wash denim using only a washboard, your left hand and a free flowing natural spring (Eastern European when available). Then of course there are those who think that washing your denim is a sin, and that real denim heads put theirs in the freezer so that they smell like frozen peas and carrots, just like the founders of Levis always wanted. So, throwing out these crazy ideas I’ve decided to do none of the above and simply cold hand wash my jeans inside out in the tub with a bit of vinegar and powdered detergent.
I’ve line dried them, mainly because I love the feel when they’re real rigid putting them on that first time after a wash and can’t be happier. All the small stains I was neglecting to let myself notice are gone and I also didn’t ruin any of my other clothes with the excess dye coming out. Maybe you get a bit blue in the hand from washing them this way but I think it’s a nice way to appreciate something you wear nearly everyday if you’re me.