The Do Nots of Taking Care of Denim

by Jaime on November 20, 2009

So, I decided to take this opportunity to teach you ways to destroy your denim (and no, I don’t mean the good ways. If you want to learn how to distress your own denim, you’re at the wrong post). Because, if you’re nothing like me, there’s no point in treating a $150 pair of jeans well… and who really cares about those $250 jeans anyways?!?

Do NOT not hem your jeans. Even I’m guilty of this one every now and then. Sometimes, I just want to wear my new jeans right away. But, doing this will ruin your bottom hem, destroy the crap out of the entire bottoms of your new jeans, and usually end up with you dragging your denim in the dirt. Getting your jeans hemmed is always a good thing.

Do NOT put your good jeans in the dryer! At least, not on your normal cycle. Some jeans will make it through a delicate dry just fine, but you’re still better off letting them air dry. If you treat your good sweaters better than your good jeans, you’re doing something wrong… especially when they’re made of the same fabrics (why yes, I’m talking about my favorite cashmere James Jeans)!

Do NOT just dump your jeans in a ball in the corner of your bedroom. This is another one I’m kind of guilty of. Since I’ve been pulling out and photographing so many different pairs of jeans for everything that’s been going on, I haven’t been treating them as well as I should. But, the benefits to treating your jeans well are infinite: they last longer, look better, feel better and take less work to keep in great shape. For extra tips on how to store your jeans, head over to this post: How NOT to Store Your Denim, Part One and Two.

Do NOT wash new, dark denim with light fabrics… unless you like everything to be a sexy shade of light blue. They will bleed, almost guaranteed. You’ll be safer turning them inside-out to keep the color intact (or, following my previously mentioned denim cleaning tips), but keep them out of your whites.

Do NOT wear new, dark denim outside in the rain… especially if you’re wearing light-colored shoes. It will stain them… and, sometimes, you. This has happened to me before and believe me, looking like a smurf is not particularly sexy.

Do NOT let a rip or tear just hang out. Go take care of it! The longer you let it just sit (particularly if you wash it afterwards), the worse it ends up looking. I know the distressed look is in, but pay for your jeans to get distressed, or plan on doing it yourself… don’t let a tear destroy your favorite pair of jeans. It’s cheaper to get it fixed than it is to buy a new pair.

Do NOT try to wear flared jeans tucked into boots. You’ll look silly. ‘Nuff said. If you’re wearing boots that you want to show off, put on a pair of skinny jeans. You won’t have any of that ridiculously unattractive bunching at the top of the boot. Let’s just say that you’ll thank me for it later.

Do NOT just buy for trends. Go with what you like… not what you’re told to like. You need to look good, but looking good (particularly when it comes to denim) is different for everybody. Maybe you love Evisu and Antik denim, and you want to wear it, even though I’ve said that it’s a bit louder than my tastes. If it’s your style, go for it!

And, now that you know what not to do, if I catch you doing it… watch out!


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