The denim elite refer to them as selvedge or dry denim. Constructed of unwashed, untouched, untainted denim, cut right off the denim looms. These jeans are made to conform to your every move.
I’ve had the pleasure (not so much…) of breaking in a few pairs of raw denim. My first pair were Nudies in Slim Jim. The denim comes rather hard, but not uncomfortable. The first few wears, you can feel the denim slowing breaking in with the moves of your body.
The process to break in your dry denim is tedious but the end results are fantastic. Over the next 6 months, (or more! Gasp!) your jeans cannot be washed. Yes, they’ll get funky, and dirty but just imagine the end result!
People say wear them all day, everyday. Well, I hate to break it to you, but dress codes don’t always give you the luxury to wear jeans. If you search the web, you’ll find tips on how to break in you denim fast. I read once to wear your jeans in the bathtub and let them air dry to your body while running, and biking, and dancing for 6 hours straight. I’m not following that route, but be my guest. My suggestion, just wear them when you can. Around the house, on the weekends, and out at night should be sufficient. Just don’t wash them for 6 months (or longer if you can stand them…woof). You’ll know as the indigo wears off in spots that are stretched the most with your movements.
Let’s get down and dirty and talk brands. Raw denim can now be had at basically any price point (rejoice!). Well-known brands like A.P.C, Nudie, Naked & Famous and G-star are higher-end with stiffer prices and varied fits. Brands like Gap, Urban Outfitters and Uniqlo have found high quality Japanese raw denim and made it affordable to the masses in a few choices of fits. Keep your eyes peeled when you’re shopping, because many times these jeans may make their way on sale.
The end result is a pair of jeans that is custom fit and distressed to you. The perfect whiskering below the pockets, rips in the knees, impressions on the back pockets. They’re exactly what denim elitists want, but just not the time it takes to get them. If you’re up for it, take the dry denim challenge. Grit your teeth and bear it. You’ll love the end result, I promise.