My Denim Experiment

   10 April 2008, terribly early in the morning

I used to make fun of Mezan all the time for the stupid money he spent on jeans. Then one day I went to Delphic on Queen and spent a stupid amount of money on jeans. After that, I had to stop making fun of him — about the jeans, anyway. I’ve been wearing a pair of Julian Red California jeans pretty much non-stop since I bought them last November.

These are unwashed (raw) denim jeans; you are supposed to break them in before washing them. Breaking in jeans simply means you wear them a lot. The general consensus is that you should wear the jeans all the time for about half a year: that’s a long time to go without washing your jeans, but who am I to question the denim experts. Raw denim jeans are stiff as cardboard when you get them, they are so full of starch. The indigo on the jeans will also rub right off onto anything White. The idea with jeans like this is that you will loose indigo wherever the jeans crease, so over time the jeans will fade based on how they fit your body. When you wash your jeans the indigo fades evenly. So, after washing your jeans, the areas that you’ve creased will be a fair bit lighter than the areas you haven’t. You should end up with jeans that look like they were distressed just for you.

There were fewer than a dozen days I decided not to wear the jeans out, usually when there was either torrential rain or a snowstorm to worry about. I ended my denim experiment 40 days early, after wearing the jeans for 142 days. There is all sorts of discussion online about how to actually wash your jeans: I simply through them inside out into my washing machine on the gentle cycle with a little bit of Tide Cold Water. When the machine was going to do its spin cycle, I took the jeans out to fold them neatly in half, and then placed them back inside the machine along the inside edge: I didn’t want them to get whipped all over the place. The Julian Reds actually kept most of their indigo. They’ve faded a bit since I bought them, but are still fairly dark in colour. There are spots that have lost more colour, behind the back of my knees, and the tops of my thighs, where my iPhone fits in my pocket, and my wallet in my back pocket, but i’d say this is pretty subtle.

I’m not sure if I should have waited longer or not. I can say it feels good to wear clean clothing.

Update Jul 8th 2008: They’ve actually faded a lot since I wrote this post. These are solid jeans, well worth the 200 bucks I paid for them.



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