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We spoke with Men’s Denim Designer Joanna S. to get the lowdown on breaking in Premium Denim. Not all of our Premium Denim is raw, but all are made of higher quality fabric and high end washes.
Breaking in a pair of raw denim is an opportunity to make your very own pair of perfect jeans.
Raw denim is denim in its purest form. It’s never been washed, so it’s a blank slate. After the fabric is dyed and the jean is sewn, it’s not washed or given any distressing. It has a rigid, crisp look and feel and sturdy construction. In essence, it is the oldest and most authentic way of wearing jeans because they are clean and new. With time they will become distressed and “broken in.” As you wear them they will fade in specific areas, usually in areas of stress or where they’re rubbed. The best way to describe it it that it is not a “wash,” but a “wear.” The fabric molds to your body so no two pairs of Premium Denim are ever alike. You make the perfect pair of jeans for your body. The wear pattern will all be from your own creation. Just by wearing the jeans from day to day, they’ll become a denim diary of your life.
When you first start wearing Premium Denim, it will be rigid and a little uncomfortable. You need to push through that and keep wearing the jeans. This stiffness is part of the innate character of the denim, and that’s what makes it cool. Its toughness is what makes it durable and helps it last a lifetime. It’s what will withstand you living your life to the fullest.
There are many opinions surrounding when you should first wash your raw denim. When you do decide to wash your jeans, make sure to turn them inside out and wash in cold water so as not to ruin the hard work you have put in creating your very own denim artwork. Many people say that you should go six months without washing your jeans. This means that the distress pattern will look authentic without making your jeans uniformly lighter in shade, but it is really up to you. The longer you wait, the better your jeans will look.
It is important to know that your jeans will shrink a little when you do decide to wash them, so bear that in mind when trying them on. A denim expert at an American Eagle Outfitters store can help you select the perfect fit. -JS
In the coming weeks we are going to follow along as two of our menswear buyers, Alex and Nghia, “break in” our Premium Denim following Joanna’s approach. Follow along over the next several months as Alex and Nghia wear the jeans nearly every day and see what happens as they become one of a kind, based on how they each live their lives