Monday, September 7

to wash or not to wash?

First, happy Labor Day, everyone! I hope your barbeques and festivities went well! I spent mine with la famille, and a few hours shopping. Of course. I got some super cute embellished jelly flats from BCBG, which I'll probably wear to work tomorrow. My company just moved to a brand new office downtown, so what better way to celebrate than to waltz in with adorable new shoes?

Okay, so there are much better ways to celebrate than buying new shoes, but let's look past that, shall we?

Anyways, the wonderful Alexis at J.Crew Aficionada posted about J.Crew Jack's fashion advice for men, which included the suggestion to not wash your jeans for at least 3 months. Or to never wash them at all. Ever. Apparently, hardcore jeans enthusiasts never let their denim hit the suds.

I know where Jack's detergent-phobic pearls of wisdom come from: with every wash, denim wears down and fades. I've had a perfectly good pair of dark rinse True Religions turn pale after one wash cycle. Not acceptable. So I got to wondering, how do most people take care of their denim?

To keep my jeans looking like the day I bought them, I keep them out of the washer. Jeans can take a beating and show nary a sign, so it's not necessary (in this girl's opinion) to clean them after every wear. I usually wash mine once a month, unless one of these things happen: they get dirty, they get wet, they spent the night in a particularly smelly place (ie: a bar), or they spent the day in brutal conditions (ie: sweat ewww). But I also make liberal use of Febreeze after each wear and I keep those cuffs off the ground.

I think what you do in your jeans also factors in deciding how often they should be washed. I spend most of my days sitting for hours inside an air conditioned office. I'm guessing that if you're a construction worker, never washing your denim for the sake of preserving its color isn't the way to go. Everyone within a 15-foot radius of you would rightfully protest.

I say abstain from overwashing, but do clean them once in awhile. 3 months in between washes is a bit much.


  1. I don't think I could go 3 months or longer w/o washing!!! BUT, I do agree about not overwashing. I probably wash my jeans after a couple wears, and since I don't wear the same pair daily, it probably ends up being about once a month. I wash inside out and line dry, unless they have so much stretch that they need a short stint in the dryer. I agree on your point of depending on what you do in them-construction workers need to wash after every wear. UGH!!! Could you imagine!?!

  2. I'm right there with you, Kelinda. I don't wear jeans daily because of work dress code, so my jeans don't really get that dirty. When I do wear them, I take great pains to keep them looking clean; I probably end up washing mine every 1-2 months, sometimes 3 if I haven't worn them in a while.

  3. I am with you. Plus, I tend to dry clean good denim instead of washing it. It tends to hold its shape better IMO.

  4. I wash my jeans about once a month. Eek, that sounds so bad, doesn't it? And when I do wash them, I'll turn them inside out, use the cold setting and hang dry. They've held onto their color quite nicely though there is slight fading. Very slight though. UGH! True Religions are the worst with fading. I had that twisted leg pair (Joey, was it?) a few years back that everyone was rocking and within about 3 washes, they went from glorious indigo to stonewash a la 90210.

  5. Pamela - I certainly don't want to imagine a construction worker not washing his/her jeans after every wear. Ick!!!

    AppGal - I think the amount of time that's acceptable in between washings totally depends on how much traffic your jeans get. :)

    Sarah - Dry cleaning is probably the best way to go about it, but I always end up forgetting to take my clothes to the dry cleaners. I still have 2 dresses and a blouse waiting for the trip!

    Rosemary - I know what you mean! I was so angry when my True Religions went pale. I think I really pulled them out of the wash and yelled "WHAT! IS! THIS!" I do the same as you, except sometimes I tumble them on low, but I still have fading issues. Sigh. Maybe my detergent hates denim?