White Denim Season
I have one pair of white blue jeans – some 501s not unlike the ones above – and this is the time of year they come out. Despite their weight, they actually wear reasonably cool, and end up being a great option on days when the sun’s out and it feels like summer, but it’s not quite hot outside.
Our friend CBenjamin’s in the picture above, and his outfit has a lot going on. He pulls it off well, but I find that I have good luck pairing my jeans with very simple compliments. Even as simple as a plain navy t-shirt and canvas sneakers. White-on-white is a little to Andrew WK (though Andrew always looks great).
White jeans also make a nice compliment to a summer blazer. With tan bucks, like CB is wearing, and a pale blue shirt, you have a relaxed look that’s surprisingly pull-off-able.
One note: CB’s white 501s, and mine, are tapered slightly by a tailor. This will cost you about $ 20, but I find that a trendier, slimmer fit is more appropriate with a jean like this. It helps drive home the point that you’re wearing white denim on purpose.
Should You Take a Bath in Your Jeans and Other Common Denim Questions
Denim Lore with Kiya Babzani, Part II
Yesterday, we talked with Kiya Babzani – co-owner and founder of Self Edge – about whether or not people should really wait six months before washing their jeans. Today, we’ll explore three other common beliefs in the denim community, including the one about taking a bath in your jeans when you first bring them home.
Derek Guy: It’s commonly advised that jeans should always fit extremely tight when you first buy them – to the point where you can barely button them up. Is that true?
Kiya Babzani: Definitely not. There are two deciding factors when buying jeans: does it look good and does it feel good? If you’re stuffing yourself into a pair of jeans two sizes too small because that’s what the blogs and message boards tell you, you’re doing it wrong.
DG: Isn’t the idea that some jeans will heavily stretch over time?
KB: If you’re a 32 and you buy a pair of jeans in a size 30 to account for stretching, you’re going to look like a stuffed sausage and have red slashes at your hips for weeks. That’s neither comfortable nor attractive. Also, most decent jeans don’t stretch that much with wear. The maximum is about 1.5” or so unless you get them extremely tight when new.
DG: How about the idea that you should first wear your jeans in the bathtub while letting them soak?
KB: People like to overcomplicate the wearing of jeans. The idea that you should wear your jeans in a bathtub is a terrible idea. It’s not only uncomfortable, but it stretches out the jeans in unnatural ways. It creates knee-bagging and pulls at the hips, giving you hip-flare.
It’s true, however, that you should always soak unsanforized denim before wearing (you don’t need to for sanforized denim). If you’re buying them from a store, you should find the fit you like then buy one size up and do a 30-minute hot water soak once you bring them home. If you’re buying online, just buy one size/measurement up from your true size.
You need to soak unsanforized denim so that the shrinkage is gone before you start the fading process. The jeans will also last far longer if soaked before wearing. You don’t need to do it while wearing them in the tub, however. Again, this will just create unnatural stretching in areas such as the knees and hips. Just throw them in a tub, sink, or bucket, and let them soak.
DG: OK, let’s do one last bit of denim lore. I’ve read that raw denim will mold to your body. Is this actually true?
KB: Yes, all raw denim will mold to your body, but sanforized denim only slightly molds, while unsanforized denim will take on the shape of your figure. If you take two pairs of jeans in the same fit and size, one sanforized and one unsanforized, soak them both in water for five minutes, put them on, and let them dry (not something I recommend doing, by the way, for the reasons mentioned above). This will quicken the process of “molding.” Afterwards, you can take the jeans off and lay them down. You’ll then notice that the sanforized pair will be nearly like they were before, while the unsanforized pair will look like you’re still wearing them.
DG: Thanks for taking the time to speak with us, Kiya
KB: Thank you.
(Photo credit: Farhad Samari)
Clothing doesn’t make you another character, as Patrick Swayze is never laced into a pair of jeans. It doesn’t connect you with the past, you’re not suddenly imbued with proletarian sentiments when you wear old selvedge. It doesn’t make you cool (duh, duh, and duh). Clothing makes you fictional. You are still you. But you’re projecting a fiction to others.
That’s why clothing is so cool.
– John Lugg (via jhilla)
J. Lindeberg jeans, blazer and scarf. Rapha dress shirt, Stubbs and Wooten slippers and Persol sunglasses. Dents driving gloves
hey there! i enjoy your blog and your twitter loads. i admire your style a whole lot. i was wondering if i could ask for advice if it’s not too much? i’m 18 years old, residing in NYC for college. i’d like to start dressing a bit older, a bit more formal. right now, my tomboy style consists of nothing but men’s clothes/shoes (with the exception for women’s skinny jeans) and i seriously need to stock up on some nice women’s tops/shoes that fit me, haha. know where i can start? thanks!
Hey! Thanks! For basic tops Club Monaco and J. Crew are both great. For shoes, it really depends but I’d go for quality because in NYC you’ll walk A LOT. But to start: A good pair of sneakers (I like tretorn nylites). A pair of flat high boots (I like riding boot silhouettes because they don’t go out of style). A pair of cool black ankle boots (i’m kind of obsessed with these right now). And a pair of super comfy loafers. A lot of people will say black flats but i just dont wear them so I’m the worst person to ask about that but I’m sure there are a gazillion options out there. Hope that helps . – M
The sort of formal jacket I’d wear casually with jeans.
“I never have to do laundry because I have a pair of jeans.”
– Mike Birbiglia
Blacksmith Jeans by Rising Sun. Made in Pasadena, CA.
I’ve been wanting a pair of these since we first saw them shooting the pilot of our show. Bought my wife a pair of Rising Suns at their sample sale, and they’re absolutely gorgeous. I don’t need jeans now, or I’d be lining up at RiSun to give them my money.