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Wednesday, 17 April 2013

Feeling Foxy but not in Raw Denim Jeans.



On Tuesday, the sun was shining. There was no rain. The temperatures were in double figures and it was blowing a gale. Huh. As I stood in the school playground clutching my trench to me, a fellow mum stood there in her cardigan muttering about how it was "not actually that warm". I know.

Tuesday - that's my running around day. My returns were housed in my Primark Fox Tote bag. I love this cheapy bag because it's roomy and cheap and ... foxy. And it makes me smile because it's kind of cool ... in a quirky Aubin & Wills, Etsy, Primark kind of way (for £1.50).


Gap Trench(old), Zara Blouse(old), H&M Low (not very) Skinny Low jeans, Primark Sneakers


What was I returning? Well, I'd found some raw denim jeans in Zara for an unbeatable price of £25.99. They were a perfect fit bar the length (only 3 inches too long this time). I had this wonderful notion that I was going to do the raw denim mullarkey where you have to sit in the bath with them and let them dry on you and let them mould to your shape. And that's the last time they encounter water for another 6 months. During that time you wear them every day and gradually the jeans will bear the battlescars and creases of your everyday to'ing and fro'ings. Honest. 

Realistically, I don't want to sit in a bath of water and let my jeans drip dye everywhere and turn my lower regions blue. I also don't think I could manage to let them go 6 months before washing (though it has been said that you can wash them before then if it all gets too much and too smelly for you but do try and hold off). But there is a part of me that likes the idea of raw denim bearing the true markings of life rather than the specially bleached, faded and sanded scars of the production process. 

Picture Credit : www.highsnobiety.com


And then I put on my H&M low skinny (mock raw denim after 1 months wear effect) jeans and I thought to myself - what's wrong with these then? Nothing. And so I made my way to Zara with the raw denim jeans. I have to be honest, I had a pootle in Zara and I walked out and I didn't do the returns. I had to argue myself in to returning them and it took another hour and a half before I found myself back in Zara handing over the said jeans. Man ... it was hard but I was sensible. My reasoning was that I have too many pairs of jeans which would be lying idle for the sake of one pair of jeans. And I know I would have days where I wanted to wear faded jeans, boyfriend jeans, skinny jeans, coloured jeans and all manner of other jeans .. and if I had all those to wear, when would I get chance to wear the raw denim ones to fade them? I wouldn't and life's too short to spend it in one pair of jeans. Crikey - I can hardly believe I can think so rationally at times.

So I was just thinking - would you be able to do this exercise or have you done it? I have actually done  it when I was about ten and I only had one pair of jeans anyway (didn't do the sitting in bath bit but wore them just about every day). But I guess it doesn't really count - the circumstances were somewhat different.

But what kind of jeans person are you now and what do you like for fits, finishes and washes? Do you have a couple of pairs in heavy rotation or enough jeans to stock Donna Aida? And what is your oldest pair of jeans in your wardrobe currently? And do you still wear them? Questions, questions. Answers?


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Last Note : 
  • Raw denim or dry denim as it is also known is just denim which has not been washed after being dyed. 
  • For more interesting reading on raw denim, or for those thinking of having a go, have a nosey here.
  • Anyone remember this? 







46 comments :

  1. Replies
    1. I can totally see you doing this.

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  2. I remember that ad! My friend sat in a bath of cold water to shrink her jeans when we were at school - not when we were actually 'at' school obviously! I saw your jeans in Zara today - but I bought a skinny pair from Zara last week (which I love) - went in today to get them in the darker wash and ended up with a 'fake' leather biker jacket from there instead (may end up returning that!). I have a few pairs of jeans - skinnies, bootleg, crop, coloured - I wear jeans every day I'm not at work - always have done. I think I've actually got 2 pairs of Gap bootleg which I've had for about 10 years (which I patched up at the knees) - only get them out in summer now as they're so faded but they look ok with flip flops! I'd better go now cos I could waffle on about jeans all night! :)

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    1. Ahh - a true jeans girl. I'm afraid I am too. I could spend everyday in jeans but I have to make myself break the habit. The unfortunate reality is they are too easy and go with everything. The person who invented them was a genius but he probably never realised it and probably never benefitted from it either.

      I've tried on lots of different jeans recently - my latest fad is flares. I like them - they don't like me.

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  3. I feel the urge to do this now, too! I love the idea... must find myself some raw denims!

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    1. If you want to do it on the cheap just type in Zara raw denim jeans and see what it throws up at you. I saw them on the UK Zara site one day and they disappeared the next and eventually I just did it through google search and voila - they appeared as if by magic. And ordered. And returned. But only because I was being sensible.

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  4. Hi my dear! As you know I'm a denim addict so really enjoyed this post-as much as I adore jeans I'm not much of a diy-er, so no, I wouldn't sit in a bath either! I'm pretty sure at last count I had just over 20 pairs of jeans but in different colours, washes, cuts and patterns so I have a good variety. I love finding new pairs though, so the I'm sure I'll still be adding the odd sneaky pair in xx

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    1. That's my problem Sharon - I have more pairs than I could possibly wear or wear out but I love different washes, fits and styles. Like I said, life's too short to spend it in just one pair.

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  5. Well done Sue, I applaud you for being so sensible although it took you that long lol! Well my denim history is pretty patchy. I had one pair as a young girl but they didn't fit properly so never wore them. I never found any jeans remotely close to fitting me until my late 20's when I discovered Levi's - who didn't with all those ads! They were strictly for weekends in 3 colours: black, navy and natural plus a vintage blue pair I found in Portbello market which are totally wonderful. I still have them all but no they do not fit me anymore so saving them for my girls.

    I had one pair of pregnancy jeans which were beyond fantastic and after that nothing literally until a couple of years ago when I found some straight leg in M&S Petite fit which I still wear followed by a couple of skinnies from Gap that get worn when not too paunchy. Then enter the bf jeans from Gap, just last year. I got half a dozen in different washes/colours and I couldn't be happier. You said it - life's too short to spend in one pair of jeans! I have some in red (and a black pair) from H&M girls I'm hoping to wear soon and the newest pair are faded blue again from H&M girls - they are quite loose and the exact fit I wanted!!!! You may remember I was after a white pair so not sure if I need them now.....:-)

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    1. :o) and polish halo!

      Wow - you made up for lost time didn't you? The problem with the boyfriend jeans is that they are very comfortable - not always flattering but very comfortable. I say that because my Gap ones have loosened up a lot to the point I'm not sure I wanted them like that but they are good for everyday wear as they have no rips in them or anything which means I can kneel down safely in the knowledge that I'm not going to tear them straight across the knee or anything. I've not tried H&M girls - I can't bear the disappointment of not fitting in them.

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  6. I always have a few pairs on the go and wear them to their end! I'm with Jen - never can have enough as I wear them loads when at home! Just got a black pair of Baxter skinnys from Topshop - love them!

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    1. I can only remember wearing two pairs almost to the end. One pair is my favourite New Look straight jeans which rips a little as the denim is getting thin now after so many wears. It's worked hard has that pair so I'm rotating between other pairs a lot more now, I don't get on with the Baxters for some reason. Yet some people swear by them! The Jamies are my Topshop jeans.

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  7. At um...ur...over 40 but nowhere near 50 years old (nearer than I'd like though), I am old, nope make that worldly wise enough to remember the whole sit in the bath jeans 'thing'. Personally I was far more obsessed-no, interested I mean in Nick Kamen stripping down to his boxers (sigh) in the launderette. I never did the bath thing-partly because my Mum wouldn't let us have jeans until , well ever, though I had a contraband pair and partly because in a jeans free zone wearing a pair for hours in the bath-in the same room as the loo in a house of five would not have worked. I have been pondering the whole jeans thing though and particularly how drainpipes became skinnies, loose cut became boyfriend, holey became 'distressed'...and does anyone wear 501's anymore? Frankly, I will be eternally grateful to whoever it was who declared that (finally) jeans are jeans are jeans and it is not only possible but 'socially acceptable' to leave the house with head held high (or whatever position takes your fancy) in jeans that are NOT Levis. Hallelujah! If only this had happened in my student days so a month's rent wasn't blown on a pair of loose cut, stonewashed, several sizes too big Levis-from the Levi's shop no less! Translated in 2013 speak as distressed boyfriends...

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    1. Hi! I was thinking about the whole Nick Kamen debacle but guess what - I preferred his brother Barry. Now he had proper dreamy eyes and was a model too. But then he became a photographer, hairdresser and is now a stylist? Worrying that I know that but I did just google him and he still looks good. And yes, when did jeans become such a socially acceptable phenomenon? I remember about 15 years ago, I wore them out with a pair of heels and a nice top and I remember a colleague saying, you look really nice but shame about the jeans. Wonder what they would say now? And talking of distressed boyfriends - I'd love to know what happened to my original pair of 501's.

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  8. I thought about distressing my 501s myself but not so much fun sitting in the tub with a pair of jeans on - I'm far too impatient. Love that commercial:)

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    1. Patience is not my virtue either when it comes to jeans. I was weighing the raw denim ones up in the mirror against the H&M ones and the H&M ones just looked that much better with them having been the tiniest bit worked on for me in advance. Saved me £25.99 though.

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  9. I could never do the raw jeans thing, I like my jeans best when they are evenly-dyed and pristine looking. But then again I hardly ever wear blue jeans at all, I live in black skinnies! I do find it fascinating though, and I once spent an entire afternoon reading one of those raw denim blogs. I'm just not a very blue jeans kind of girl, I guess :)

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    1. Oh I could lose myself for hours in blogs like that - I'm quite interested in the production processes of some things and people's experiences. I however do like my jeans not too pristine so that was proabably what was putting me off the raw denim ones. They were a little too untouched and new in my eyes.

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  10. Not a chance in hell that I could go for 6 months without washing my jeans. Ugh! I don't know how many pairs I have ... lots of skinnies (but mainly black) and I guess one pair of straight. See me being all minimalist after a ruthless wardrobe clear out a few weeks ago *smug smile* ?

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    1. Helen - that does not surprise me one bit and why did I know you would pick up on that little matter of not washing your jeans for 6 months.

      And when did you have a wardrobe clearout and why didn't you blog about it? I love reading about wardrobe clearouts and purges - weirdo that I am.

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  11. Love the bag! My mother used to tell me how she sat in her jeans (late 60s-early 70s) in the bath and I used to think she was joking. And then I realised that it was a 'thing' that people did ACTUALLY sit in the bath in their jeans and my mother was one of them! I don't know if I have ever felt quite the same about her since! :)

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    1. Your mum was a most happening Mama - you just didn't know it. You forget - she was young once too!

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  12. that bag .. I need it/want it desire it - what a cute thing!
    Jeans .. I have every style and shape and colour going - in fact, this post reminds me I should do a 'how many pairs of jeans do you own' post ... off I run to write and photograph!

    Does sitting in a bath REALLY work - really?

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    1. Well it did cost all of £1.50 which isn't bad for a bit of cuteness factor (for a girl who doesn't do cute but does do cute when its cute and cool).

      And I have no idea about the bath - it didn't appeal. I might have tried it in the kids paddling pool on a really hot if I'd kept them though. Doesn't seem as bad then.

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  13. Never heard of the bath thing, I love worn in jeans they are my favoutite type but I would just be lazy and buy them like that, I'm far to impatient for anything else! I have so many different pairs that I would neber end up with a really worn pair if I had to do it myself.

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    1. Trea - that's because you are too young! I love worn in jeans but have to buy them like that - I have too many pairs to get through as well - I'm not even going to try counting. It might scare me.

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  14. Raw denim at Zara!? Wow. I had no idea... Course, I'm not in spain anymore so it's not as easy for me to pop in and check it out, but I am totally intrigued. I first heard about raw denim over at Dead Fleurette and instantly became obsessed with the idea:

    http://bit.ly/102dw2r

    But I have yet to actually do it. And part of it is because, just like you, I have lots of jeans. I wear lots of jeans. I like having options and I'm a little bit fickle. So while I love the concept, I think maybe it's not a great match for my personality. I am, however, totally convinced that husband should get a pair, since he's the kind of guy who will happily wear one pair of pants forever. I'm thinking I may need to get him somewhere where he can try out the APC ones. And then I can live vicariously through his raw denim experience. Perfect.

    www.nomadicd.com

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    1. Don't they have Zara in Wisconsin? I thought they had Zara everywhere - for some reason or at least in blogland, Zara seems to have conquered the world. I have to admit I was pretty amazed about Zara having raw denim as well but I have to say I honestly know nothing about what is a good raw denim and what isn't. I stopped past a Gap the other day and some of the men's jeans were more like what I thought a true raw denim to be. Kind of stiff and unforgiving.The Zara one had almost too much stretch in it not that that's not allowed but I kind of feel it should be the kind of denim which makes you work for it.

      But yes - I know there's too many of us out there with more pairs of jeans than is good for us ... and it would be a shame to leave them redundant in the wardrobe wouldn't it? Besides, one pair of jeans does not fit for every occasion or shoe.

      And I agree - get the man a pair of APC's and see how he gets on with them and report back. I think they are more geared to men which is why so many men take up on them rather than women. You know how it is with men - they wear something till it practically dies on them before getting a replacement.

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    2. Ha! Exactly! I really do think it' a better fit for the Husband. We'll see if he embraces the idea of stiff cardboard denim as much as I'd like him too ;) As for a local Zara, no go, this is kind of the boondocks here. I could always do online, but seeing as how most of the year I live in Zaralandia, I think I can go a month or so without direct access. Also have to say I'm with you as far as the stretch goes, it doesn't sound like they were really raw denim, right? Maybe just a clever little marketing ploy? Either way, probably best you returned them.

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  15. They say you learn something everyday and as someone who does own enough jeans to stock Donna Ida, I had never heard of this process! I don't blame you for taking the Zara jeans back, it gets to a point when you know you have too many! x

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    1. Well I was so pleased that I had cleared out three bags of clothes last week and then I thought about whether I really needed to add a pair of jeans that weren't really needed - no matter how tempting they seemed at £25.99 just to try it out. That's cheaper than a taxi fare back home on a night out!

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  16. I think we are all guilty of buying too many pairs of jeans? But I suppose it's because we wear them so much!xx

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    1. Oh totally. But variety is good in my eyes. I don't think it's possible to have one pair of jeans which fits the bill for everything.

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  17. I desperately wish I had known about raw denim in my student days. Nowadays I spend 5 days a week in sensible teacher clothes and it'd take years to wear them in. Sigh.

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    1. Kate, - it would take you about ten years to get there and you might have given up before then. I so wanted to keep them that I was trying to convince myself that I could wear them all the time whilst I was in the house and they could be my "comfy" jeans. The reality is - I would rather wear my joggy bots.

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  18. I didn't know Zara sold raw denim! Not all raw denim jeans require that whole "sit in the bath" routine, you can buy ones that have been preshrunk, which I think is a very sensible thing. My raw denim experience was pretty stress-free - both are preshrunk (sanforised, they call it) so they fit me right off the rack, end of story. Unless you're intent on keeping the dark indigo hue as pristine as possible, you can wash them any time you like. There's no need to be precious about how you wash them either - I put mine in the machine on a cold wash, and use detergent meant for delicate fabrics. Confession: I am one of those people who wash their jeans at most once in six months...they're so comfortable that it's a shame to toss them into the wash and have them come out stiff-ish again. So long as I'm not smelling anything or itching...

    I bought raw denim jeans because while pre-distressed jeans are beautiful and all soft and comfy right from the start, I thought maybe jeans that haven't been exposed to all that chemical treatment will last longer, and sometimes (not always) it's a more eco-friendly choice since a lot of distressing processes use chemicals that are damaging to the environment. Also because I love denim and I was curious, haha.

    Both my raw pairs are about 6, 7 years old now and they're in excellent shape, and the much bally-hooed "personal creases" have started showing, but overall they still very much have a "raw" look. I suppose it's a sharper, more urban look but I do I love my distressed jeans because they look so carefree.

    I have about 10 pairs of jeans I wear regularly - all of them bought before 2008. I haven't had to buy new jeans in years...hoping I stay the same size so that I won't have to. I like they skinny or slouchy/tapered, and I like them blue, Black or grey denim have never held any appeal for me. I like them with no more than 7 per cent stretch (elastane, lycra etc) and I like the denim to feel nice and substantial...I hold jeggings masquerading as denim in contempt haha. The least durable jeans I've ever bought are from Gap and Topshop (they stretched so much) and the best ones are from Diesel and Nudie. I also have one pair each from Uniqlo and H&M and they're both great and are going strong after six years. A well-made pair of jeans lasts so much longer than most clothing, which is why I don't mind spending a bit more on them when I come across the right pair.

    I could go on and on about this for some time...I love my denim. I've been a denim girl since all thos ck jeans ads and I've never looked back.

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    1. Wow - now you know your stuff girl! Guess who's heading back to Zara to pick up a pair of raw denim jeans? It's got to be worth a go though it might take me 20 years to get there but if I can still fit in them in 20 years and I am still wearing jeans - I will be a happy bunny. I think the Zara ones were probably "sanforised" - there wasn't the usual stiffness which partly made me a little dubious and they seemed curiously comfortable and a very good fit (hence the reluctance to return). I was expecting the denim to be much stiffer to the point where it could literally stand up on it's own. But knowing that you can wash them when you like helps a lot - I actually thought the washing process would speed up the fade. I do that with my black jeans which are not overly black but I do help them along in the washing machine when I can for the hell of it. And now that you've said it - I have never seen you feature any grey or black denim on your blog but I hadn't realised you were such a jeans aficionado. I do hear you about the Gap and Topshop jeans which do seem to stretch a lot and I used to have quite a few pairs of Diesel but they have gone by the by as the budget has shrunk. I have to say, I'm quite pleased with my latest H&M low skinny jeans - they were exactly what I was looking for - a narrow straight fit or a loose skinny fit however you want to look at it and in a very non stretchy kind of denim (despite the 2% stretch content).

      Just wondering - is there any chance of a blog post on your jeans and their current status? Would be very interesting (to me at least)?

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    2. Haha after yammering on about them, I should do a proper post. Shall think over what I have to say and get down to it some time! Have you seen Dead Fleurette's updates about her APC jeans?

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  19. I'm with Sharron here - I've learned so much reading this today. But do you know what I think? Life's too short! Buy them already distressed...I don't know one busy mum who has the time to lie in the bath with jeans on. In fact, if I did, the men in white coats would be rapping at the door. Haha! xx

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    1. It's not always a matter of life's too short - more like - freezing dripping cold legs!

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  20. i can't do this raw denim thing even though i really like the final product. i have some friends who throw them in the freezer (helps with the uh.. smell) haha.. that's enough for me to say no! ;)

    steph / absolutely-fuzzy.com

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    1. Really? Make sure you have dinner at yours rather than theirs then won't you?

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  21. I love the idea but there is genuinely nothing I hate more than a stiff pair of pants - it's painful! So, I won't be getting any raw denim jeans anytime soon (or ever for that matter). Congratulations for being so rational. It's truly hard!

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    1. It is hard - I'm not usually this rational but when I was comparing the Zara ones to the H&M ones - I much preferred the current look of the H&M ones,

      Polish halo :o)

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