I know I’m the consumer here, but sometimes I find myself completely consumed by the process. I’ll give you an example: jeans. Finding the perfect pair is no new obsession of mine. Actually, the first article I ever published was devoted to the topic. To me, jeans are very personal, and because they’re the mainstay of many an outfit, I’ve got to feel absolutely comfortable in them. And I don’t just mean that the fabric feels good against my skin, though that’s important too. I’ve got to feel like they look good. But let’s be honest, there are enough articles devoted to that topic.
What concerns me today is the question of durability.
Exhibit A: Loomstate jeans purchased at Steven Alan in the fall/winter of 2005
Jeans, in my mind, are sort of like the Golden Retriever of one’s wardrobe. They should be loyal, comfortable, handsome, tough, and love you unconditionally. (Some fortunate souls may have even found these qualities in a mate, but let’s not lose focus.)
I favor clean dark jeans, with no “designer” stitching on the back pockets and no pre-manufactured crease-lines on the front (in the business they call those “whiskers”). That’s what I had in mind when I purchased the above pictured Loomstate jeans a few years ago. I had been searching far and wide for a dark subtly bootcut pair and settled on these–partially because I liked what I had read about Rogan Gregory, the company’s co-founder, and their use of organic cotton. This was before I worked for Rogan at Edun and shared an office with the lovable folks at Loomstate in 2006, and it was also before Steven Alan was my friend–full disclosure here, folks.
Believe it or not, those babies were once a uniform dark indigo, sort of like this pair. All those whiskers were hard-earned, as were the rips in the knees…and these in the crotch. (If anyone knows a more attractive word for crotch, I’d love to learn it. Leave a comment.)
Although I would have preferred that they last an eternity without ripping, I was sort of okay with the way they wore. I’m hard on my clothes, especially shoes, jeans, and bags. This is New York, folks. And when I’m not here, I often find myself on farms, and the jeans go there too.
As instructed, I refrained from washing them too often, though I didn’t wear them in bathtub–that’s just silly. I dried them in the sun when I was in New Zealand, and in the dryer when I was in New York.
The denim got really soft, and they faded and broke in in such a way that some people pay extra for. So, for about $168 at a local retailer I got a pair of organic cotton jeans, made in the U.S.A. (of imported fabric–more on this later) that stayed dark and a little dressier for about a year before they began to decompose into the very casual pair you see today. I’ll have to get that latest rip in the knee patched if I’m going to keep them going through the winter, but there’s a question here about when to let go. Maybe when the patches outweigh the original pants, it’s time.
This was only Chapter 1 in a long denim diary. When these jeans ceased to fill my dark denim requirement, I set out searching for another pair. More to come.