Most of us can agree that a pair of jeans feels just about right after the second or third wear. They’re soft, conform to your body and no longer seem like they’ll stay perfectly poised if you leave them standing in the middle of a room. But would you go six weeks without washing them? How about a year? Here, we examine the trend of raw denim and whether it’s something to embrace?
What are they?
Raw (aka dry or dirty) denim is just that: a pair of unwashed jeans. Raw denim skips the process at the factory of distressing, etc. By wearing raw denim (jeans that aren’t pre-washed), the fading, creasing and dirt come naturally, leaving you with a pair of pants that are completely unique to you as a wearer. The controversy? In order to maintain the look, you don’t wash your jeans for several months “ at least.
Why they’re popular
With the concept of one-of-a-kind in demand more than ever, raw denim allows you to pioneer your very own look. Meaning that instead of embracing the same type of distressed wear that everyone else has, you’re set to bask in your original glory. Also, dirty denim wearers maintain that their pairs of much-worn/much-loved jeans are far more comfortable and better fitting.
Where to get them
Luckily, the mass market has seen this coming, so raw denim is available in all price ranges and brand spectrums. You can pick up a pair of Levi’s 501 for about $40 if you don’t want to commit to a designer label, but if you’re more daring, A.P.C.’s New Standards are priced at $165, Nudie Jeans’ Average Joe Dry Selvage at $249 and Jean Shop’s Indigo Classic go for roughly $260.
How to get the most from your raw denim
While the idea of not washing jeans for months on end seems pretty straight-forward to some, certain questions may spring to mind regarding hygiene. True, not washing clothes for an extended period may lead to dirt, bacteria build-up, smell and a variety of ick-factors, but dirty denim connoisseurs maintain that by airing out your jeans nightly (or sticking them in the freezer if they begin to reek), you’ll avoid being known as the real life version of Charlie Brown’s Pigpen. There’s also ways of cleaning jeans without getting them wet, so as long as you’re not giving off a questionable scent and don’t mind experimenting with dry soap, dirty denim may be for you.