Jeans

Discussion in 'General Attire & Accoutrements' started by Blackgrass, Oct 14, 2005.

  1. Mr Badger

    Mr Badger Practically Family

    Messages:
    545
    Location:
    Somerset, UK
    My wife was a skeptic about selvedge denim, despite my addiction, until she picked up a pair of high-end Seven 'boyfriend' jeans that were on sale in a Memphis designer shop earlier this year. Suffice to say, she's a convert...

    The thing I don't really like about 'modern' denim is that it doesn't get the same wear marks as the narrow-loom stuff. However, several friends of mine do still swear by the old school Levi's shrink-to-fits. Just buy 'em a size too big, wear hard for several months to get the creases across the top of the legs going, then wash inside out using hand wash solution in tepid water and you'll get the best of both worlds on a budget. Vintage look with nice 'feathering' marks, dark colour and good fit.

    if you don't want to spend a lot on selvedge jeans, Uniqlo do Japanese denim pairs for £50, in both black and raw blue, and apparently they're a nice trad fit and a good balance between fabric weight and wearability. Some of the high-end brands' denim is like armour, making the first few months akin to breaking in a new horsehide jacket!

    The stock on the Uniqlo selvedge jeans appears erratic cos they're so popular, but check 'em out here. They also do a Japanese slim fit version, which is here.

    If you want really 1940s-style jeans, these Freddies of Pinewood ones look pretty darn good for £55. No selvedge but they do have a buckleback, belt loops and suspender buttons. They also do some 1940s-style ladies jeans.
     
  2. The Good

    The Good Call Me a Cab

    Messages:
    2,363
    Location:
    California, USA
    Just received my order of new Levi 505s to replace my other pair, that is too large on me now that I've lost more weight. I bought it the same way, "Rigid," presumably unwashed or washed-once denim in a dark indigo color.

    Does anyone else own a pair of rigid 505s? If so, how do they compare to Levi's shrink-to-fit 501 models?
     
  3. Lonny

    Lonny One of the Regulars

    Messages:
    105
    Location:
    Winnipeg, Manitoba Canada
    For the longest time I would only wear trousers and sweat pants until about a year or two ago when I picked up a couple pairs of Lucky brand jeans, they are pretty decent, but I don't know if many others have even heard of them, nobody I know has.
     
  4. Mike1973

    Mike1973 A-List Customer

    Susie marshaling in her Freddies at Goodwood Revival last year (she's there again this year) Nice dungarees.
    [​IMG]
     
  5. fluteplayer07

    fluteplayer07 One Too Many

    Messages:
    1,844
    Location:
    Michigan
    How does one order a pair of Edwin Jeans (as mentioned earlier in the thread) here in the U.S.?

    And what's this about not washing selvedge denim? I thought I also heard about it earlier in this thread?
     
  6. cptjeff

    cptjeff Practically Family

    Messages:
    564
    Location:
    Greensboro, NC
    It softens and fades the denim, as well as shrinking it back to it's original size or smaller. The denimheads will buy jeans in a far too small size, never wash them, so they stretch out in some areas but are much tighter then they were intended to be in the legs. Leaving the denim raw (and thus less soft) for a long time also creates higher contrast fades, which is considered fashionable these days.

    For more info, look at superfuture or the Streetwear and Denim forum on Styleforum.

    Basically, I would recommend completely ignoring that advice. Wash regularly.
     
  7. Mr Badger

    Mr Badger Practically Family

    Messages:
    545
    Location:
    Somerset, UK
    Well, the people who buy jeans too small and never wash them are just silly.

    Basically, selvedge, non-Sanforized jeans will shrink for the first three or four washes. About 1-2" around the waist and 2" in the leg length. Therefore, some manufacturers advise buying a size larger/longer than your regular (Levi's) to account for this. Other brands (Lee, Edwin) build the shrinkage allowance into the stated size so that, after a couple of washes, the jeans will be the same size as stated on the label. Wrangler 'Blue Bell' repros are Sanforized so, in theory, will not shrink, although they do lose around 1" in the leg length in my experience. Simples...

    As for washing, if you're happy for your selvedge jeans to shrink a considerable amount and lose quite a lot of colour, by all means use regular laundry detergent and a washing machine. If you'd like them to stay dark, use handwashing solution and cold water then air dry on a line. Or get them dry-cleaned but remember to specifiy that you don't want creases ironed into them!

    With regard to wear marks, it's true that leaving 'dry' or unwashed jeans a considerable wear time before washing them will increase the visible 'feathering' across the tops of the thighs/behind the knees when you do eventually give 'em a soak. The stiffer the unwashed denim, the more pronounced the wear marks will be — QED. One thing with this is that, in practice, if you give very stiff jeans a long time before washing, you run the risk of the denim having started to wear through across the creases behind the knees and where you've got cuffs/turn-ups. One friend of mine advised getting very stiff jeans dry-cleaned right out of the gate, which softened them slightly so that this type of fabric abrasion didn't take place, but still kept all of the dark colour.

    As for where to get Edwin jeans in the US, I believe that they're pretty hard to come by. I'd try searching E*ay, or mebbe other FL members can hep you to some US stockists. As I said earlier, Edwin Nashville jeans are heavy denim, great fit and very hard-wearing. And with Levi's Vintage Clothing jeans now at over $200 a pair, the Edwins are great value. I've yet to see a really good pair of LVC jeans since they finished US production some years back...
     
  8. flix

    flix New in Town

    Messages:
    31
    Location:
    Darmstadt, Germany
    Well, I own a pair of 505s but I can't compare them to the shrink-to-fit 501s because I have no experience with these.
     
  9. Jan

    Jan One of the Regulars

    Messages:
    165
    Location:
    Bay Area
    There are sanforized selvedge denim out there, btw.

    Selvedge is a finish, not a wash or coating of any sort. For those who are new to selvedge denim.

    The whole not washing sizing down thing...

    Denim will stretch. When you buy a pair that is your "ideal fit," it'll stretch out to the point where you don't like them anymore. But, denim does also shrink, at least non sanforized denim will. But there are also different types of denim out there, so you really need to pay attention to. Some denim will shrink more than others, by about 2 sizes. Some, a half a size to a size and a half. It all depends on how you care for your denim, ie:

    - Washing. Hot or Cold?
    - Soaking. Hot or Cold? How Long? If you change the water, how many times? (so you can retain a certain temp.)
    - Dry clean or washing in a washing machine or hand washing?

    If you're going to get into denim, there are details you need to pay attention to, or else you're gonna end up throwing out a couple hundred dollars on a pair of jeans you won't wear ever again.

    There's some denim that you have to size up on, because when they shrink, they won't stretch back out.

    Levis, stretch a considerable amount. Most often 2 sizes, depending on how active you are in your jeans. Some people don't bend down to tie their shoes, they sit and then put their feet up on their opposite knee. Which, makes a difference when you think about how much your jeans will stretch. Since you aren't putting too much stress in the waist area.

    It's a long winded discussion, but if there are questions to be asked, I'll answer any and all.
     
  10. In the past I owned pairs of jeans from various big names Wrangler, Lee and Levi's some Cabela's brand and even some Carhart ones. My weight fluctuates and as it changes upward a pair of jeans that fit would of course become tighter. The snug ones tend to lossen up as you wear them by a little bit so they may go from a little too tight to snug but just right. Washing them tended to shrink those back to a little too tight so it was like, once the jeans had shrunk from washing a few times that was their set size but wearing would over time stretch them a little bit and washing would shirk them back to the set size.

    It ties it with what Jan wrote but this is my personal observations.
     
  11. Dav

    Dav One Too Many

    Messages:
    1,701
    Location:
    Somerset, England
    I've never been able to get my head round the wear for several months before washing thing, whenever I wear jeans they're filthy after about a week of all day everyday wear and just have to be washed. I assume when they are worn for months its only for a few hours a day, after work, down the pub sort of thing am I right with this assumption?
     
  12. PhilR

    PhilR New in Town

    Messages:
    37
    Location:
    SF Bay Area CA
    Can one also achieve the fashionable creases in bed sheets by not washing them?

    I can't imagine a well worn six month old pair of unwashed jeans smelling too good. That's a lot of sweat and dirt to be absorbed at street level.
     
  13. Mr Badger

    Mr Badger Practically Family

    Messages:
    545
    Location:
    Somerset, UK
    Depends what you're doing in 'em and how dark they are to begin with - I'm a desk jockey so they don't get that much hard wear.

    I've got a dozen or so pairs of jeans, some nearly a decade old and patched, others in various states from stiff and unwashed to middling. Cos I rotate 'em, and air 'em out, they never really get whiffy. This Summer, I cold washed 'em all in handwash liquid and hung 'em on the line to dry out. Each to their own...
     
  14. Dav

    Dav One Too Many

    Messages:
    1,701
    Location:
    Somerset, England
    I do tend to walk the dog and do the gardening in mine so they get pretty grubby.
     
  15. Jan

    Jan One of the Regulars

    Messages:
    165
    Location:
    Bay Area
    As odd as it is, it's pretty easy to deal with any stink the jeans may or may not have.

    Febreze being a popular method. It's just the easy way out, IMO.

    Or you can do the first real universal method, dryer sheets!

    You can also stick them in the freezer, even though I've never really noticed this working all that much, but some people highly believe in this method.

    But the real way, would just to have them hang outside and air out.

    I also think your clothes smell better than way, when drying them after a wash. It just has a more natural scent, and airs them out from the washing detergent smell and all.

    It's a funny "trend," as there are the average joe schmoes out there wearing Sears bought Levis or Lees (as I do as well,) and get some amazing vintage looking wear in their jeans. They don't notice a thing, yet to the people who "specialize" in making the wear and tear in their jeans, they're the holy-grail.
    It's finally becoming slightly different subcultures within the subcuture. Those who want to wear their jeans for the high contrast fades, those who strive to get the more vintage fades and actually put physical labor in their jeans, and those who just wear the jeans to get anything in between, and so forth.
    It's been around for years, but not until the last few years have brands or stores really marketed towards the thought of "wear jeans for a year before washing." Not until it was actually marketed, did everyone start to care or show that they don't care, about fading their own jeans.
     
  16. Jeans for me are work clothes and they get worn 1-5 times depending on how grubby dirty they are and they're in the wash.
     
  17. Mr Badger

    Mr Badger Practically Family

    Messages:
    545
    Location:
    Somerset, UK
    That's pretty true and a bit weird, eh? Makes my experience look relatively 'normal'!

    I got hipped to selvedge denim by a close pal about 12 years back when, by accident, he found a stack of samples of the first Lee 101Z reissues in a store up in the North East of the UK. He got 'em for all of our crowd for, like, £15 a pair. I'd always just bought 'jeans' before, although I really didn't like pre-faded stuff or the kind of bulky, 'furry' denim that we got in the UK during the 1980s-early 1990s. Those Lees ticked all of the boxes for me.

    After that, mebbe a coupla years down the line, I picked up a couple of cheap LVC pairs for £10 each (in the Levi's store on the King's Road, no less) and liked 'em. It's kinda been like that all the way through for me. I've never had the money to spend big money on a pair of jeans. Of course, I know all about the super-exclusive brands and if I see 'em cheap, I'll pick 'em up. But I don't want anything other than a really good pair of jeans that'll last a long time and look good.

    The whole washing/not washing thing is entirely subjective. Mostly, I prefer to buy dry jeans and wear 'em out myself so the stuff I've posted about is slanted towards preserving the size, colour and the fabric of 'em, rather than some fanciful fashion nonsense.

    John's right, jeans are just work clothes, after all! But they can be just as perfect as anything else fiendishly simple in life...
     
  18. kyboots

    kyboots Practically Family

    Lucky Jeans

    Lonny I wore Luckys today. I love them. So someone else has heard of them! John
     
  19. fluteplayer07

    fluteplayer07 One Too Many

    Messages:
    1,844
    Location:
    Michigan
    This is a lot more work than I imagined. I think I can stick to the basics. I'm just looking for a pair with a 'vintage' fit that won't fray two months after I buy them. I found some good ones on sale from Levi. Their shrink to fit 501 line is on sale for $37. Button fly, higher waist, untreated denim. They're very comfortable.

    But what things should be taken into consideration if I were to go crazy and buy the $150 Edwin Nashville? Are they preshrunk? Can I wash them like a pair of mall Levi's in the washing machine?

    Thanks to everyone for their input. It's very helpful.
     
  20. Jan

    Jan One of the Regulars

    Messages:
    165
    Location:
    Bay Area
    If they are sanforized, you are safe to buy your own fitting size and can wash them, without fear of them shrinking too much. They will however, shrink slightly. Everything shrinks slightly if you hot wash and hot dry it!

    Mall Levis are fun. I've been wearing a cheap pair of 514s for a while and they have their own characteristics, as would any pair of jeans you wear over time. I'm still trying to find the "midnight" or whatever Levis 501s. I found them with a 32 length, but I'd prefer a 36-34 so I can have a pretty hefty sized cuff.
     

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