Raw denim journal: Month one

In terms of style, my approach has always been somewhat boyish, meaning that I’ve never felt more at ease donning pants than skirts. Hence it’s no wonder that I’ve been trying to unearth the perfect pair of jeans for years – probably the most elusive item ever, at least if you want perfectly faded, broken-in jeans that fit like a glove in mint condition. Seeing that the search has been rather unsuccessful, I thought: «What the heck, I should just get myself a pair of raw denim jeans and break in the perfect jeans myself.» I wish I’d tried raw denim earlier so that I could save myself the trouble of continuing that endless search.

What is raw denim? It’s simply denim that hasn’t been washed or chemically treated after being dyed during its production. Admittedly, I’ve been lurking on a few raw denim blogs for quite some time, and I’m rather fascinated by the concept and nature of raw denim. I love seeing how they gradually adjust to the body of the person who wears the jeans, not to mention how the denim fades, creases, and ages into uniquely beautiful shades of blue and mold. I find the transformation of raw denim jeans extremely interesting, as each and every transformation is truly unique and records a special story of the wearer.

I like the idea of breaking in, personalizing, and distressing a pair of jeans from scratch on my own. It’s a long process, but that only makes me appreciate the jeans even more. Letting them age and evolve into something beautiful over time instead of rushing the process, or simply fall into the fast fashion trap (which I’ve done several times before when it comes to jeans). In addition to searching for the perfect fit and wash, the labor-friendly and eco-friendly aspects prompted me to convert to raw denim. Besides, the denim is a lot more durable than factory-washed jeans. They can literally last forever.

I could probably go on and on about raw denim, but please check out RAWR DENIM’s essential raw denim breakdown. No need for a recapitulation of it.

So, here is my attempt at documenting my own pair’s ongoing transformation month by month. I also wanted to share my raw denim fascination with you and show how my jeans will eventually become that elusive pair of perfect jeans. However, I have yet to see a woman’s take on raw denim online (from A to Z, that is) – apparently, guys are more into raw denim than girls. The raw denim forums and blogs out there are surely swamped with testosterone, I must say.

via apc.fr

BRAND, MODEL, SIZE & LENGTH I bought a pair of ‘Petit Standard’ jeans from A.P.C, which retail for 135 euros (watch out for rip-offs). In general, you should go two sizes down, as the raw denim will stretch A LOT despite being terribly stiff at first. But sizing down also depends on the fit you’re aiming for. If you want a skinny fit (referring to the Petit Standards), two sizes down would do. I wear size 24 in jeans but opted for size 25 in my A.P.C.s because 1) I want a looser straight-leg fit, and 2) I could barely fit into size 24. That’s just normal, though. But don’t worry, the first few hours will be painful as they’re unbearably hard and as stiff as a piece of cardboard, and you have to wear them unbuttoned till they stretch out to your size, which happens within a day if you’re patient. Since I went for a size larger than usual, my jeans are now probably equivalent to a size 26 or 27. When it comes to length, I had to take up the jeans. The A.P.C. store in Berlin, in which I bought them, offered the service for 8 euros. The A.P.C. jeans are unisex, so they are quite long. Anyway, regardless of the purchase date, you can always drop your old A.P.C.s off at the store to have them hemmed professionally.

FREQUENCY OF WEAR I bought my jeans just a month ago and I wore them every single day for two weeks. I wore them with two buttons unbuttoned in the house, which is recommended until you can get them all buttoned comfortably. After the first two weeks, I’ve been wearing my jeans 4-5 times a week. The more I wear them, the better result.

AFTER ONE MONTH OF WEAR My jeans have become incredibly soft. Well, after the two weeks of constant wear, they got much softer but now my jeans are very comfortable. I liked feeling the stiffness slip away as it was replaced by the softness. In the beginning I couldn’t wear my jeans buttoned while eating, so I tried avoiding eating in public with my jeans on. Even though the fading process is almost annoyingly slow, I’ve noticed slight whiskers in the lap, honeycombs behind the knees, and vertical fades on the front of the thighs. As for fit, the jeans are much looser now (skintight to begin with) but I keep hoping that they will stretch out even more for that immaculate loose straight-leg fit I have in mind. Right now it looks a bit more as if I lost some weight and forgot to wash the jeans I wore when I was fatter. If that made any sense?

No photos this time because the difference wouldn’t show in a picture, so I’ll try again in a month or two.

A week in Berlin


I never got around to thanking you for the great Berlin tips you gave me. Lovely trip, cool city. I wish I had more time to go to check out all the restaurants and galleries. There even is a currywurst museum in Berlin, haha – not that I visited it. I’m planning on going back there in July.  I just have to find some friends with whom to share a big flat in Kreuzberg or Prenzlauer Berg.

Graveyard

I’m not dead (just almost) but my online presence is. The funny thing is that I’ve been flirting with the idea of making another blog, solely to post random ramblings and bits and bobs – something I’d call a cross between my relatively slow blog and fast tumblr. Anyway, I have a few A.P.C. canvas tote bags to give away to those of you still pops in here once in a while – and also because I want to make up for my involuntary absence –, so make sure to stop by in a few days to see if I’ve gotten around to announcing the giveaway.

In the meantime, take care and stop taking your loved ones for granted.

The blog title is just a reference to Feist’s “Graveyard”. 

Spring ensembles

(via badlands-blog.com, lagarconne)

I always look to La Garçonne for sartorial inspiration. The lookbooks over at La Garçonne never cease to be spot on and real. Talisa of Badlands blog – one of my daily reads – put together a post with her favorite looks, and I couldn’t agree more with her wonderful picks so I simply borrowed her little compilation. The second outfit and the last one to the right are my favorites right now. I can’t wait to start dressing lighter and more summery.

Just can’t get enough shoes?

(via vogue.fr)

All the shoes above belong to the very inspiring Gaia Repossi. You know, the Italian heiress and creative director of Maison Repossi, who possesses that intangible “je ne sais quoi” allure and who’s always decked out in the best boy-meets-girl attires. She assuredly has a small, yet splendid collection of well-loved Church’s brogues, which have been on my “someday”-list for quite some time now. I’m talking about the classic Burwood brogues from Church’s. And truth be told, I’ve postponed this purchase several times before because I couldn’t account for buying them at the time even though they’re decidedly timeless and made of high quality leather. But I think it’s ultimately the right time to get hold of a pair, and of course I have some “bona fide” reasons for adding another pair of shoes to my ever-expanding footwear collection:

– I’ve been wearing my winter boots non-stop for three months, so I think both my feet and boots deserve a break from the constant wear.
– The temperature is rising, the snow is melting, and it’s time for a change in shoes.
– It’s still wet outside so I’d better keep my suede boots out of the danger zone.
– My loafers need to be resoled and repaired.. God knows when I’ll have time for that… Plus, it’s still a tad too cold to wear loafers since they don’t cover the entire feet.
– I reeeeallly want a pair of brogues. They’ve been on my list forever! Argh..

Admittedly, these are merely excuses to purchase them. They’re not even reasonable enough if you ask me. Anyhow, when I came across the picture above, it only intensified my desire for a pair of brogues. Internet is indeed a dangerous place.

And, while I’m at it, I think it’s refreshing to see photos of clothes that actually carry the signs of wear and tear in fashion articles that offers a peek into other people’s closets. Miss Repossi’s shoe collection is a good example. The epitome must be “the essentials” section of Self Service magazine. It’s real and not at all untouched. I’m fed up with clothes that look completely polished on blogs, in magazines etc, as if they’re still in their pristine condition. I find them so boring because they’re just an illusion. Beautiful clothes are the ones that have been worn with a big portion of love over time.