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We Learn Something New Every Day*

Tuesday, November 06, 2007


We recently (this is the royal we, unless you count the taxi uncle, who got lost on the way and was kind of hilarious) took a trip out to a neighborhood in Singapore called Tanjong Katong to visit edgy Singapore store The Lawn. The adorably patient Damien took us all around the store and was cheerfully encouraging when we set our sights on an adorable tweedy winter hat with – wait for it – earflaps, and he also schooled us on the finer points of denim. (Of which, we really know nothing about because our denim philosophy is: We get our skinny jeans from the Gap and wide-legged ones from Topshop. We did try small, toe-in-the-water forays into the designer category with both Paige and Paper Denim & Cloth jeans, but those were sort of woefully disappointing, and so Gap and Topshop it is. However, if you would like to offer us some Earnest Sewns, we would not refuse.)

(Ah, rambling. Blame the coffee.)

Anyway, Damien *loves* denim and stocks The Lawn with an amazing variety of hard-to-find boutique brands from around the world. He has a strong preference for raw denim, and we must've then had a look that instantly conveyed "huh? what's raw denim?" because the then very nicely spelled it out for us. And we were intrigued.

Jeans made with raw denim have a super-stiff, unblemished finish – the minute you touch them, you know. We'd always avoided those jeans on the racks because they just seemed really uncomfortable, but it turns out there's a reason for that and it is: If you wear around raw denim jeans for awhile, it will start to naturally whisker and crease and get cool worn-in lines that match your body perfectly. And then after you break them in a bit, you can finally wash them and have the kind of jeans that are tailored to you, as opposed to the pre-made whiskers someone rubbed into your jeans in a factory. Metafilter has a bit more on the topic, in slightly more coherent form.

And so! We are curious about raw denim. Has anyone (besides Damien) tried this? Does it actually work? And is it really, really uncomfortable to wear raw denim jeans for the first few wearings? Please let us know.

{*Which is not too hard, considering we don't know all that much to start off with. But. Learning! Yay!}

11 comments :

ks said...

Hi love...
Raw denim actually is as fab as Damien makes it out to be. Go for the Earnest Sewns selvedge ones in a dark color. They are a little stiff to start out but my cure for being uncomfortable wearing them around... is to wear them to bed (it is only hard until you fall asleep, i swear), while you are twisting and turning in the sheets you will simultaneously be creating the most insanely comfortable jeans. Hope you find this helpful!

xo, Kimmy

fashionaddict said...

I love raw denim for the colour - it looks very crisp, very sharp, especially if you buy a pair of jeans that have a 'trouser'ish cut - flat front, slim - so it's a different vibe for jeans. Tragically, the colour goes when you start washing them too often, haha. But I don't find them all that uncomfortable (try Nudie!) - most denim, to be honest, isn't all that comfortable anyway unless you buy the stretch ones. Besides, you'll rest happy wearing raw denim because you won't walk down the street and see someone wearing a pair of jeans with the EXACT same "rip" and "whiskering" on their jeans.

Stephanie said...

i have raw denim cheap monday highwaisted skinny jeans...basically they are just as tight as they sound, i still have to turn them inside out when i take them off. on the plus side, they fit so perfectly and aren't uncomfortable at all. i would definitely recommend buying them in person though, i had to go up about 2 sizes (and i usually have a problem finding jeans that fit).

el gato said...

hi!
i have a design clothes line for girls in Peru. when buying denim i ALWAY go for raw (it must have a little stretch to it though).
The color is so much more bright and powerful. And because it is somewhat stiff, it gives the body and leg a good strong shape.
here's a link to my web catalog. ive just posted some jeans and a mini dress made out of raw denim. hope you like em!
http://www.elgatoespacial.net/catalogo.htm

Anonymous said...

You should check out Nudie Jeans very good quality denim.

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kristen said...

I haven't personally owned a pair, but One of my coworkers had a huge fetish for a while and they were amazinf jeans. I think he may have had a pair of Diesel or maybe it was Ernest Sewn. It's been a while so I can't rememember. But the outcome is worth it. :)