Air Travel & Style

Travel for us today continues to become cheaper and more frequent. Whether you are constantly flying for work or just enjoy taking weekend trips, you have probably noticed that many people are at their worst style-wise in an airport terminal. Oversized sweatpants, sweatshirts and slip-on shoes abound to make travel a thing of comfort and ease for passengers. However, you don’t have to succumb to the oversized fleece outfits of your fellow man. If you put a bit of thought into your outfit when you are packing your suitcase for your flight you can save yourself a bit of trouble and you might end up rejoicing that put in some effort as you find yourself seated next to a cute girl or guy. While it’s no guarantee, the likelihood of getting a free upgrade certainly goes up when you look a bit more put together.

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Layer Up

While you may be no Beckham, you can certainly take some style tips from him. Airports, airplanes and your destination will all most likely have different climates and weather forecasts from each other. Your plane may be cold, the airport may be hot and it might even be snowing by the time you get off the plane. The best way to keep a lean suitcase while being prepared for multiple climates is to layer up for the plane. Things like casual button ups and cardigans can work for a range of temperatures and in the worst case can be thrown on your shoulder or stowed in your carryon; layer the two with a t-shirt underneath and you have just covered a huge range of climates with one outfit.

A button-up and a sweater can also work well with a light rain jacket, scarf or hat to make them work in nearly any climate. For a more formal look opt for a button-up and a blazer, that same scarf and hat will work with the combo and you will be one of the best looking guys on the whole plane. Layering up will save you room in your suitcase and mean that you can give yourself a go-to airport outfit for a variety of seasons and destinations.

jittery joes.

Shoes

Another pain point during air travel is all of the security that you have to go through. Shoes are one place where you can take inspiration from your more slovenly air travelers and opt for shoes that don’t require a lot of time. While your crocced out dads and relatives may make you cringe at the airport they do have the right idea. Instead go for things like a chelsea boot, espadrilles, loafers, or boots that zip up for comfortable and stylish options that will have the TSA loving you. If you are going to be going to colder climates wearing things like boots on the plane will free up a surprising amount of space in your luggage for more important things while keeping you from needing to make any tough decisions.

Mens fashion, dress shirt, flat lay

The Allen Young Collection Giveaway

Men’s fashion is a constantly changing and evolving landscape, but there have always been a few constants over the past decades of what could be considered modern menswear. The suit, tie and dress shirt combination have always been relatively constant in formalwear and live on as the real staples of any man’s wardrobe if he has a more formal office job. Others with less formal jobs may forgo the tie or suit jacket for a more relaxed look, but the button up shirt remains as a symbol of professionalism. As trends come and go it is tough to know when to shell out for quality and when it might be better to go for a cheaper piece of clothing as you can’t often be sure when certain styles will stay or go. However, there are a few places that you can be sure that your money will be well spent when opting for quality, those places are for your menswear staples. Things like jeans, basic tees, and formalwear will always be classics at this point and you can’t really go wrong with them. The problem with these is that once you spend all the time and money to get that perfect tailored suit, dress shirt or pair of jeans they do eventually wear down in places while remaining relatively new in other areas.

This is where the Allen Young collection has got you covered, they are thinking ahead in order to make finding your favorite dress shirt and keeping it around easier than ever. The company is endeavoring to create shirts that will be specially designed to stand up to the test of time and regular wear in those areas that are usually the first to go. No longer will your favorite shirt have to be retired from wearing it too often, meaning that you won’t have to spend the time and go through the hassle of finding the perfect shirt more than once.

One of the classic mainstays of fashion, the dress shirt, is getting overhauled for the future with a look at the garment’s past. Removable collars and cuffs used to be a thing of the past but they’re coming back in order to give you a dress shirt that is more fashionably versatile and longer lasting in the areas that really see wear and tear and stains. In addition to the longevity and versatility that comes with replaceable cuffs and collars the Allen Young Collection is also spearheading something that menswear has really needed for a while now, sweat protection that works. In each of the shirts there are sweat protecting pads at the underarms to help absorb sweat before it gets to the shirt causing embarrassing stains.

Many fashion companies that have made waves in recent history started on kickstarter so it is nice to see another company using the platform to push the envelope in the world of men’s fashion. You can check out their kickstarter page to learn more about the specifics of this new breed of shirt or check out their website. They have got a number of different pledge tiers but to be honest I think the best value is gonna be in that 2 shirt tier. With multiple cuffs and collars you could probably get away with wearing your Allen Young shirts 4 out of 5 of your work days if you spiced things up with new ties or suits each day. The company has stated that they are hoping to offer a ton more sizes than the traditional small, medium, large or 34/16 that we typically see in dress shirts which will hopefully mean these shirts will fit just how you like them without a tailor.

In order to create some buzz about the company and their kickstarter (as well as to giveaway some free stuff) Allen Young has offered 20% off on pledges of $98 or more when you mention you came from my site as well as a 10% discount in the future if you join the mailing list now. If that isn’t enough to get you a little excited, there’s on more thing. With just your email address you can enter to win some of the first new shirts off the line in early February next year. The more money backing the whole thing the faster the shirts get to your door, so be sure to share on your socials if you’re feeling it.


Beekeeper Parade Interview

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I recently got to work with a pretty cool company and interview my partner about her involvement with a social enterprise that uses the sale of upcycled sustainable backpacks to fund English language schools in Cambodia. If you are keen to learn about how you can look good and do good with Beekeeper Parade head over to their website. If you’d like to get involved and volunteer with the company send and email to [email protected] So without any further ado the Head of School Partnerships, Rachel Barish.

 

How did you find out about Beekeeper Parade, what drew you to get involved?

I had moved to Australia looking to get out of corporate fashion and involved with something that I actually cared about…something that would touch my heart and make me passionate about fashion again. What I found was a company that was all about inspiring change and promoting education through their work. I knew in this new stage of my career that I wanted to combine my skills and knowledge in fashion, design and production with my love of education and mentoring. BeeKeeper provided the perfect opportunity to pursue both fashion and education at once without feeling like I had abandoned all of the skills I had worked so hard to perfect in my years in the fashion industry. There aren’t a lot of companies out there that provide the kind of opportunities that BeeKeeper does. This position has given me the chance to not only make a difference but to truly grow as an artist, communicator, collaborator, designer and educator.

What are some of the biggest similarities between your previous fashion jobs and working with Beekeeper Parade?

Honestly, there aren’t very many similarities. BeeKeeper is such a unique brand with an incredibly different way of running things. BK focuses on positivity and happiness, two things that are severely lacking in the fashion industry, especially in NYC where I’ve held most of my positions. BK is all about the well being of its volunteers and employees. The simple fact that our founder keeping a “happiness index” for all of our projects should show that people in this brand really care about one another. There is so much support and love at Beekeeper. I will say that BK faces a lot of the communication issues that any multi-national fashion brand does. When you produce your products in one country and have much of your staff working from another, communication issues are bound to arise. With that in mind, a lot of my role is about effectively communicating and delegating, which are skills I’ve learned and practiced throughout all of my jobs in the industry.

Differences?

Like I said, BK is a very unique company, and a very small one at the moment. Throughout my career so far, I have worked for the highest grossing fashion label in the world, a small, luxury celebrity brand, mid-sized contemporary NYC labels and a global, European-based company. All of these companies had their advantages and disadvantages, but most of all they were companies looking to sell clothing…nothing more. BK is looking to promote change in this world through selling products that fund the education of disadvantaged youths. It’s totally different from anything I’ve ever done! And I am so lucky to be a part of it.

What are you heading up right now with the organisation?

I am currently the head of our school partnerships division, which focuses on building relationships with schools (in Australia and around the globe) to promote awareness of our brand’s message as well sustainability and education. We are currently working with textile students at RMIT to design new sustainably minded products and systems that could be implemented through BK production! These ideas will be presented at our upcoming event at Melbourne Central during Melbourne Spring Fashion Week (August 31st – September 4th).

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How do you see the organisation growing in the next few years, and how do you see yourself involved with it?

Right now I split my time between working with BK and running my own small, handmade goods based business, Born & Raised. Looking into the future, I would like to continue to grow my business while helping to grow BK and spread our message and products all around the world, specifically in the US where I am from originally. I see us blooming into a beautiful, well renowned brand and being able to continue to build more schools, not only in Cambodia but in other countries where education is needed. As for my part, I always see myself being a part of BK, and continuing to educate about our brand and our message.

Tie Bars Aren’t Just For The Stars

There are tons of possible reasons why tie bars and tie pins are being seen on neckties more and more often these days. It could be that people have taken inspiration from shows like Mad Men and Boardwalk Empire, or maybe guys these days are just more interested in jewelry. Whether you are going for some of the classically inspired looks that we see in movies and old photos so often, or just looking to show off that you are a guy who needs his ties to stay put a tie bar or tie pin is a great way to step up your style and be the best looking guy in the room. With all that said you might be thinking to yourself, “I don’t really get too crazy when I wear a suit. Why would I need to keep my tie put?” If you are reading this on your phone on the subway or in a coffeeshop on our computer or something you probably look a bit odd talking to your computer, but I am here to tell you a few of the wonderful things you can do with a tie bar on.

Dance Up A Storm

Set the scene, you are at a wedding wearing a pretty nice suit that is paired perfectly with your shirt and tie you bought especially for the occasion. You are looking good, but what happens when it’s time to hit the dance floor? You can’t be expected to keep your suit jacket buttoned all night, and what if it gets too hot and you need to take it off? Your quality tie is going to be flying everywhere, getting in your dance partner’s eyes, people’s drinks, etc. You will have gone from suave stylish wedding-goer to dancefloor necktie nuisance in a matter of minutes. So when you are deciding on whether or not you are going to be kicking it up on the dancefloor in the near future think about picking up something to keep you looking suave and sophisticated no matter what the situation.

When You Are On The Move

Tie bars and tie pins are instrumental in doing pretty much two things, they are a stylish piece of jewelry that can add that last touch to an outfit, and they also functionally keep your tie in place. If you find yourself wearing ties a lot you will notice that while they look good, they can get in the way. A modern man has to be ready for nearly any situation while keeping their cool. That means being prepared for things like your commute to work on a bike, running after a mugger or riding away on a jetski all while not letting your tie get in the way. For the first situation you could obviously just tuck your tie into your shirt, a harder look to pull off but better than having a tie in your face. For the others however, you will scarcely have the time to adjust your clothing before you get to do something as cool as ride off in the sunset on a jetski or as dangerous as chasing a criminal down the street, but you will definitely regret having a tie thwart your real life action hero deeds.

Picture Day

Compared to things like break dancing at a wedding or jumping on a jetski in a suit, having your picture taken seems… boring. There are certain days where you just know that you are going to be getting your picture taken a lot. Rehearsal dinners, banquets, graduations, and holiday parties are all times when you can be positive that your fake camera smile will be tested. As cool as you may look that first time you readjust your necktie for the camera it will definitely start to get old. Throwing a tie bar or tie pin on for some of these occasions will make you look great and composed even in pictures you aren’t posing for while at the same time making you one of the most stylish guys at the gathering. You might even end up being the guy everyone wants their picture with, much to the chagrin of the real star of the night.

So if you started reading this article thinking that a tie bar was a bar where neckties were mandatory and a tie pin was the pin they gave athletes if they tied, I hope you learned a little something. That something would be of course, that there is just about no bad time to add a tie bar or tie pin to your stylish tie, but there are certainly times you will be wishing you had one if don’t. Look at some tie bars that strike your fancy or tie pins and start amping up your wardrobe to become a style icon rubbing the suited elbows of the people that start these sort of trends. A tie that stays in place will help you be a modern man with classic style, from the dance floor to the jetski.

Fashion, iPhone, Urban

Big Data in Fashion

A few months back Google released this, a trend forecast for fashion in the U.S. for the coming months. When you think of fashion the first brand you think of is most likely not Google, and you may even be surprised to think of a company like Google knowing anything about fashion, but obviously that is the power of big data. Google has made its first stab at not only recording trends that go into its search box, but trying to forecast something that is largely seen as an enigma.

If you don’t know what ‘big data’ is, it is essentially the compiling of all the metrics that a company can possibly record in order to see patterns and develop algorithms to better understand the market. Google essentially has the ‘biggest data’ and so can hope to do what fashion retailers, and especially fast fashion retailers have been trying to do for the past decades, see fashion trends coming before they make it big. Many companies use big data to try and reduce wasted opportunities for their company and to increase efficiency by predicting consumer behavior. One of the most famous symptoms of big data research is the fact that Wal-Mart stocks their stores with extra strawberry pop-tarts and beer whenever a storm is predicted to hit in the area of a Wal-Mart store.

However, fashion isn’t influenced by events like large storms and so using data to predict market shifts in this realm would be pretty significant for many fashion retailers, especially fast fashion retailers like H&M and Zara who rely on getting to fashion trends first. Being able to estimate the rise and fall of these trends would mean less time and resources wasted on producing trend items for declining trends and trends that might not take off.

The problem with this is the fact that all of these fashion companies already track and map trends in different ways. They have teams marketing and following trends that can be ported to fashion so that the tiniest social trend can be capitalized on through a cheap t-shirt or necklace. The companies are founded on the idea that if they get to a new trend market quickly and cheaply they can grab the bulk of the money from consumers before other companies get there or the trend dies.

With all of their predictive technologies then is Google bound to capitalize the fast fashion market? The short answer is no. The first reason is because it just wouldn’t really be worth it for them, and I believe this is more just a show of the power of predictive technology when used to try and predict a fluid thing like fashion. The second reason is because if you look at some of the trends Google predicted and are relatively fashion conscious you already knew these things were happening by Spring 2015. Many of the trends, like jogger pants, had been growing for a while until that point and would’ve been available at most fast fashion retailers and regular retailers.

Take a look at some of the trends they predicted would come true and see if they are in fact around you and if you weren’t already aware of them a few months ago. Do you think fashion retailers could rely on these types of trend predictions or are they really more for those who are out of the loop to catch up on trends before they die?

Desert Boot & Chukka Buying Guide

The desert boot or Chukka style of boot has been around for a while and they are pretty much amazing in that they can be worn with nearly anything in order to dress up or down an outfit while also being super comfortable, practically the jeans of footwear. I have owned two pairs of these in the short time in my life where I was interested in looking good and have loved pretty much every moment they’ve been on my feet. These are shoes you can slip on and lace up, or if they fit well enough don’t bother, at a moments notice before you run out the door. All the while however, you can be sure you look pretty damn good.

The first pair of these I bought in the ultra clearance section of Kohl’s when I took a chance on a brand I didn’t recognize and got change back for a $20. I’m not sure what I expected from a pair of shoes that was 80% off and less than twenty dollars, but the purchase both inspired a love of desert boots and taught me to think about how shoes could be bought for less than $10 a shoe. The shoes were bulky and heavy while still managing to not be sturdy and I found out after some wear and tear that there was metal in the sole to make up for thin rubber that your foot might bend and break. I found all of this out when I would jog a few steps to catch a bus, or wonder my feet were hurting so much after a day’s wear and hard walking. The thing was the pain and poor construction only made my love for the style of the shoe more apparent because there was really nothing else about them worth mentioning. They were a light beige which was a neutral enough color to go with pretty much any outfit, which turned them into an everyday shoe very quickly before they wore out after a few months.

My second pair were significantly better made but still nothing outrageously expensive. American Eagle brand shoes were miles ahead of whatever brand I’d stepped in at Kohl’s and were much more comfortable, they molded to my foot with regular wear and sported a thick rubber sole that gripped extremely well. I opted for a grey suede as opposed to my previous beige suede hair and saw that I could get away with wearing them with nearly everything yet again. Eventually, like everything from the early years of college, they got too covered in beer and deteriorated after close to two years of near constant wear.

Now it is years after that pair and it looks like it’s time to find a new pair to slip on so I thought I would show some brands and styles that are out there at varying price ranges. If you have ever read or talked about desert boots for this long you probably have heard about the original, Clark’s brand desert boot. Clark’s desert boots are the original and standard when it comes to desert boots and so occupy a large portion of the market while still being more affordable than some of the higher end versions of the boot. So while the term chukkas and desert boots are used interchangeably for the most part, there is a difference. To the best of my knowledge desert boots were the style of chukka popularized by Clark’s, so it is a sort of Kleenex vs. tissue situation where one brand’s name for an item began to describe the style of chukka instead of just the Clark’s boot.

The first option for you of course then is, the Clarks desert boot. Available at all sorts of retailers and online it is a great choice and if you are not willing to do much more research and are already tired of hearing about desert boots and just want to wear them, do yourself a favor and just buy a pair. The quality is going to be great, you have a ton of different styles and collaborations with designers to choose from so you won’t regret it. You can check some online stores or just wait for the style you want to go on sale online somewhere and you will most likely be extremely happy with your purchase and end up wearing the boots just about every day for a few years before you have to do some real maintenance on them. Once you have gotten them broken in a resole is hardly a high price to pay for extending the lifetime of your new favorite shoes. You are also given the chance to add a new bit of color or style to the shoe if you like. In the same vein, don’t be afraid to change up the color of the laces, or add some colored soles before they give out if you find yourself getting tired of the shoes.

The next “brand” I am going to review is essentially the generic brand of discount shoe you might find. They will copy the Clark’s style relatively well and for the most part look identical aside from a few details. If you are strapped for cash or still not sold on the traditional Clark’s then go for these for sure, but remember that you can get Clark’s on sale for pretty damn cheap so these had better be a really good deal and you probably won’t be taking care of them so go wild. They will most likely have one detail that is slightly different than Clark’s but they will be great for maybe a year, so if you don’t feel like making a commitment go for them.

The last style I am going to review is the higher fashion brands who do their own takes with the desert boot. The desert boot had been done and redone a thousand times over at this point, and honestly some of these designers have definitely gone above the traditional Clark’s boot’s design. The Clark’s boot has a wide appeal and a classic design which can pretty much guarantee you a shoe that you will want to wear for a long time. However, other designers have introduced new materials and different types of soles as well to change the look of the shoe which many people would definitely prefer. Keep in mind that spending $200 dollars for a shoe that will last you a few years and be worn several times a week will pretty much save you the money you would spend on lesser shoes in the same time period. The most important thing is to make sure the design you have picked out is not super trendy so that you will be able to wear it for a while into the future while being of a good quality in that it will last you a while.

I will most likely be looking at some Clark’s in the near future because they are a pretty high utility shoe and if I find them at the right price I will certainly be jumping on them. While I have gotten he suede in the past I am definitely looking at the waxed leather versions because I have a ton of clothes in my current wardrobe that can easily be worn with a brown leather shoe in most styles. If you have got some specific examples of shoes you are looking at feel free to comment.

Membership Fashion Clubs

Member’s only fashion clubs began a few years ago touting high fashion brands and designers at low prices so that anybody could grab high end clothing for a tenth of the price, as someone who enjoys their clothing I was intrigued. The only caveat was that you only got access to all these deals if you were a member of a very “exclusive” club. When you joined this club or, as it was in the very beginning, managed to get an invite from a friend, you gave them some personal details about yourself so they knew what type of things you would be interested in. This helped them market other offers to you, but it was seen as a small price to pay for some of the offers you were getting sent to your inbox everyday. Companies like Gilt were on the forefront of this movement and capitalized on their success quickly, moving into other areas with the same model of putting deals directly into your inbox.

I signed up for Gilt as quickly as I could, as a college student with an interest in fashion I thought this might be how I could get the high end products that caught my fancy with a price tag more suited for a college student. I remember poring over the day’s deals before persuading myself that I really didn’t need that cashmere sweater too badly, or those two-hundred dollar shoes that awfully. I remember that the few times that I was actually determined to purchase something, because I thought that the deal was good enough even for somebody as frugal as me, the items would be gone by the time I got to the page. Obviously this was a symptom of the site having a very limited amount of stock, so the deals that were too good to pass up often weren’t. In the end I decided to stop the emails from coming in everyday after months of poring over them at least a few times a week.

Later, more companies popped up with a similar design but with different target audiences. Companies like Jackthreads and Frank & Oak were targeting people who wanted clothes that were trendier and younger while Frank & Oak was creating a curated marketplace for their own clothing. They both offered you discounted pricing as long as you allowed them to send you emails regularly about their products. These companies began to become a new kind of fashion retailer that did not rely on brick and mortar stores which allowed them to cut down their prices. They also allowed themselves time to scale their infrastructure properly with the idea that to start you needed to be invited to become one of their customers.

Now, nearly every brand and store has its own online store and so these places are more likely to stock smaller designers selling directly to them, or to pick up unused stock t a discount. This allows them to keep their prices down, but they are for the most part not as successful as they were at first. You no longer here as much about them because they are simply a part of the online marketplace at this point. I still peruse the emails, or go directly to the sites every once in a while but typically don’t buy much because they don’t allow me to try on the clothes and many of the brands are unknown to me which makes it harder to gauge their sizes. Frank & Oak, and other similar companies have combat this with another innovation in the fashion membership idea. Frank & Oak has a subscription service to let you try out clothing they think you would like and you send back anything you don’t. You get to test out fits and see how much you would really enjoy buying the article with no obligation and a bit more of a discount. Honestly, the only reason I haven’t signed up for their Hunt Club is because I would be afraid of what would happen to my bank account if I did.

Why I Won’t Be Buying An Apple Watch

While I’m usually not the first person to get the newest gadget, this mostly has to do with how I feel about parting with my hard earned pocket money. I’ve coughed up the big bucks for the latest and greatest Apple products before though. I was one of the first to jump on the 64gb iPod touch because something that could carry nearly all of the music I could want to listen to at any moment still blows my mind. That same iPod touch has been replaced exactly once and used nearly everyday since its purchase, with a small descent in service as I moved into the land of those who own smartphones with my iPhone. Nonetheless, my iPod touch has followed me on many trips, been used as a camera, a workout planner, a phone, and a stereo receiver as well as a music player. It was one of the largest purchases I’d made with the money from one of my first jobs and has made me as happy a some bits of metal and glass really should be able to.

Having said all that, I’m a generation behind the curve on the latest iPod touch as I see that it will soon fall by the wayside given the storage sizes the iPhones are growing to. I can’t see myself investing in another one anytime soon, but it was a great introduction to all the apps and the iOS software that would come with my iPhone. My phone is also not the most up to date as it is the last model still able to run the current iOS and because of this lacks many features that have been rolled out recently. My computer on the other hand is of the latest generation, the bottom of the line 11″ Macbook Air has delighted me at every turn as I do nothing too strenuous with it, and the only real complaint I could admit would be that having the least amount of storage means that my music library is a bit of a bloat to the whole machine. This may soon be fixed however as I debate moving to iTunes Match in the near future to free up my computer a bit. With all this rambling on it may seem I haven’t made my point altogether clear, so far that point being that I am wholly plugged into what could be called the Mac lifestyle, or World of Apple. However dated or cheap relative to other apple products mine might be, I will pony up the money if I see it will greatly improve my life.

So the question then is does the Apple Watch fit into that category of worthwhile gadgets? The Apple Watch with all of its hype and buzz has yet to convince me to make an appointment to get one of the first ones off the line. While Pharrell is being seen around town sporting his, we don’t all have his lifestyle and Apple doesn’t quite think I’m influential enough to give me one before the crowds so that I’ll influence others to follow suit. While I’m sure there are many “apple fanboys” who will be lined up for their Apple Watches first thing at the launch, for the regular Joe the reason to purchase hasn’t really become clear yet. There is the potential for loads things about the Apple Watch, or any smart watch really, to be the indispensable gadget of the future but that is all it is so far, potential. With a day long battery they’ve obviously listened to the consumers complaining about not being able to use their iPhone, for what is a reasonable amount of time, during the day and not have to bring their charger with them. With a necessity for he watch to last all day on a charge, some sacrifices have certainly been made. Those who have been given a chance to test on the new Watches have harped on two main things, the slowness of a lot of processes and the lack of focus.

The Watch seems to want to be a liaison between you and your phone with a few added features. After dads all over were admonished for wearing their cell phones on their belt we finally have the answer for them, with the price tag starting only just over a second phone. The Watch works well in the new niche Apple has carved out for it with the introduction of the health apps, but other than this seems to be a mind-blowingly powerful little piece of technology that does little more than show others that you have an Apple Watch. As new software will inevitably be rolled out after the official launch it will be interesting to see how this affects the usefulness of what will certainly still be one of the most popular wearable technologies. However, I’ll need to see more than a fitbit with a built in notification center before I make the plunge to wearing my technological loyalties on my wrist though.

For more reading from someone who reviewed their experience with the Apple Watch throughout the day check out this article on theverge.com

A Denim Diary

Whether you’re the hippest guy you’ve ever met, or the stereotypical dad that works in IT that still has his cellphone in a nice holster on their belt, chances are you’re wearing jeans at least once a week. Jeans are the workhorse of almost every wardrobe at this point and we all know the struggle of finding that perfect pair to wear. Whether you stick to one brand because they fit you just how you like or you’ve been trying out a few it’s not hard to see that quality denim has seen a resurgence in the last few years. Companies are trying to distinguish themselves from the pack with raw, selvedge and Japanese loom cotton offerings. While I used to be an almost strictly American Eagle guy a few months ago I made the plunge into the dark indigo waters of raw denim with a pair of Uniqlo slim fits during a sale and I could not be happier. Uniqlo may be seen as one of the lower quality purveyors of denim, but that doesn’t mean I can’t enjoy the unique fading and washing of my jeans before eventually trading up if I ever have “Givenchy money”.

So after a few months of wear, and more time than I’d like to admit of not washing them it’s finally time to do a little maintenance I’ve decided. There are loads of myths about how you should wash denim using only a washboard, your left hand and a free flowing natural spring (Eastern European when available). Then of course there are those who think that washing your denim is a sin, and that real denim heads put theirs in the freezer so that they smell like frozen peas and carrots, just like the founders of Levis always wanted. So, throwing out these crazy ideas I’ve decided to do none of the above and simply cold hand wash my jeans inside out in the tub with a bit of vinegar and powdered detergent.

I’ve line dried them, mainly because I love the feel when they’re real rigid putting them on that first time after a wash and can’t be happier. All the small stains I was neglecting to let myself notice are gone and I also didn’t ruin any of my other clothes with the excess dye coming out. Maybe you get a bit blue in the hand from washing them this way but I think it’s a nice way to appreciate something you wear nearly everyday if you’re me.