There are few garments that people have relationships with more than denim. Long-lasting, comfortable and always stylish, our jeans take on the tale of how we wear them as they fade and rip over time. A well-worn pair of jeans is like an old friend: you never want to say goodbye.
With that in mind, we’ve assembled a list of tips and tricks to help your denim live to see another day, no matter how much you beat them up.
1) Invest In Quality
This is important, because there are huge gaps in terms of the quality of denim you can buy, and the kicker is that price has surprisingly little to do with it. When purchasing denim forget the brands and the hype and consider these few important things.
– Denim weight: 6-10oz’s is light, 11-15oz’s is medium and 16oz’s+ is downright heavy.
– Buy ‘Raw’: this means that the jeans haven’t been treated or distressed in any way. They haven’t even been washed. Sure a pair of pre-distressed jeans look cool right off the rack… but you’re basically paying someone to shorten the lifespan of your denim, and you don’t even get to have the fun of wearing them in!
2) Get The Right Size
When you’re buying a quality pair of jeans, it isn’t time to squeeze yourself into something with vanity sizing. Be honest with how a pair fits you (you should always be able to easily slip an index finger between the waistline and your waist).
3) Wash Your Denim
Yes, for many this is sacrilegious, but the fact is that moderate washing increases the life of your clothes. Hardcore denimheads may be able to go years without washing a pair, but normal people should wash their favorite jeans anywhere from once a month to once every six months, depending on wear and use.
– Always hang dry and avoid heating the fabric, which weakens it.
– Cold water and natural detergents.
– If you’re worried about losing your carefully worn fade, add a few tablespoons of salt to the wash to clock in the color.
4) Repair Your Denim
Sure, a lot of like the rips and tears that start to form on our favorite pair, like badges of honor, but careful attention should be paid to signs of distress to ensure they don’t undo your favorite jeans.
– Jeans where the warp (horizontal threads) are town but the weft (vertical threads) are still in tact are OK.
– Any full-blown holes should be stitched up using a sewing machine. Most local tailors will do this, or many major cities have denim-specific repair services.
– Any wear in structural areas like the crotch or seat of the jeans should be attended to. Failure to do so means risking a blow-out
5) Give Them A Rest
If there’s any single clothing item we could wear everyday it would be our favorite pair of jeans, but this is a surefire way to shorten their lifespan. Clothes, and especially denim, absorb a ton of our sweat, oils and dead skin cells when we wear them. It’s kind of gross, but it’s true, and it means that your jeans can use a break after a long day.
Generally, it’s best to hang them up in a well ventilated area for a day or two to allow that moisture to dissipate and to prevent the breakdown of the denim itself. Our tip? If you find a make and style of jean that you absolutely love, but two pairs. Good jeans, even at a high cost, are seldom a bad investment and with these tips you’ll be sure to get your money’s worth.