On Jeans, and the Practicality Thereof

I love jeans.  They’re what I wear on my lower half 90% of the time.  Though I own skirts and shorts and do wear them, I always feel a little hampered by them.  I feel like I can do anything in jeans.

Naturally, thanks to this love affair with denim, when I came across Buzzfeed’s 10 Jean Hacks to Keep You Looking Fly AF on one of my forays into YouTube, I decided to watch it. And the first hack that comes up is: “The best way to wash your jeans is…don’t wash them.  The CEO of Levi Strauss & Co. says jeans keep their color and shape longer if you don’t wash them.”


Not quite believing this, I went to levi.com and, sure enough, under Garment Care it says it is best to wash denim as little as possible.


I love my jeans.  I won’t deny that.  But do have any idea what I do in jeans?  When I say I feel like I can do anything in jeans, it’s because I have.  Over the course of the day, my jeans can end up covered in anything from dirt to flour to something liquid and possibly nasty.  When I worked with oil paint, I used to clean my brushes on my jeans – there’s paint, linseed oil and turpentine.  My jean covered legs have shoveled out muddy creeks and mowed grass.  They’ve protected my skin from moments of uncoordination and stupidity – which means they’ve eaten the damage my skin was meant to take.  I don’t own a single pair that hasn’t been soaked, muddy or had something drip on them.  Even on the days where I don’t do much, I still sweat.  And I’m not supposed to wash them on a regular basis?


If I spent most of my time on the computer or playing video games or just hanging out with friends and looking fashionable or…I donno – what do most people do in jeans?  I could see not washing them every day.  Maybe. I can’t stand to wear jeans more than 2 days before I feel they need to be washed.  All the sweat and natural, skin-based oil and just life gets in and I feel like they’re dirty.

Of course, its already been established that I do things to pants that would make the fashion industry tear up and turn away.  I don’t spend $50 on pre-ripped jeans because mine will end up looking like that anyway.  It might take a year, it might take ten, but sooner or later they’ll get that fashionable, faded look with wear spots in all the right places.  Or they will rip in some place inconvenient and socially embarrassing.  The last two pair I lost ripped up the…well, let’s just say it didn’t make me feel better about the size of my butt, no matter how old the jeans were.

I realize the company gives these directions so their jeans will fit just like you bought them for as long as possible.  They are just thinking of denim alone, not denim in life.




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