Let me start with a confession. I’m a lazy dresser, even by German standards. Ideally, I don’t need to spend much (or any) time thinking about what to wear. And I’m certainly not very aware of trends.1
I’m also trying to buy fewer clothes, and wear them for longer. When I heard about dry selvage jeans, I dismissed the idea at first. It sounded so… fashionable:
Dry denim, also referred to as “raw” denim or unwashed denim, refers to a pair of untreated denim, which means they have not been washed or bleached. So instead of creating a worn-in look at the laundry facility you break in these jeans yourself. It’s a long term commitment and the outcome will depend on how much you wear them. With time you’ll get a personal pair of jeans with whiskers, honeycombs and fading created by your lifestyle.
Eventually, the concept grew on me. Just one pair of jeans, that I wear always, for everything? No more thinking about what to put on? Sign me up.
Through a friend I hit upon Nudie Jeans. They’re a Swedish company that’s been going for a while, and they seem ok. Also, free lifetime repairs! In the end, I bought a pair of Grim Tims. This is what they looked like when new:
A grim start
The first few weeks (or was it months?) were grim indeed. The jeans were quite tight, and made some movements hard. But I did like them. They looked great, and something about their austerity spoke to me.
I wore them on most days for a year, no washing. (It’s not as gross as it sounds, trust me.) The trousers became softer, smoother. And eventually they took on the shape of my body.
The color gets worn away in some places more than others, and the material takes on a life of its own. I really love the result.
Wear and repair
When the jeans started developing tears and holes, I took them to the Nudie shop in Munich. (They don’t have many physical shops, I’m just lucky.) You can clearly see where I carry my phone.
The guy in the shop listened to my story about how hard the first few months were. He said: “Yeah, I can imagine. That’s one of the first models, before we started adding a little stretch to the material.” Oh ok… Then he repaired them for free, within a few days. Amazing!
By now this pair is probably beyond repair. But I’ve come to love this approach to clothing. So I’ll be buying a new pair soon. And I’ll hand in the old one, because Nudie uses those as repair materials, and gives me a 20% discount on the new ones. Nice!
(You may have gathered that I’m not exactly fashion influencer material, and the company isn’t paying me anything for this post. They hardly know I exist.)