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Denim advice

post #1 of 9
Thread Starter 
I'm looking for tips and advice on roughing up some gap (1969 label) jeans that I have. I like them well enough and they have decent washes, but they have started getting really popular on guys my age in my town and I thought maybe I could rough mine up or put some tears in them or something? I'm not really trying to co-opt a particular look, but there is a good example of how I want my jeans to look on page 232 of the May 2001 GQ. It's the guy with the navy blazer and the jeans with the tears in them. Anyway, I appreciate any advice and thanks for your time. Adam
post #2 of 9
I posted about this on the GQF a while back. Here's that post:
I went out and looked at all sorts of expensive jeans. I didn't like any of them enough. I went and bought a pair of Levi's original 517 boot cut jeans in size 34/36 dark hard denim. I normally get a 32-33/33-34 (e.g. 32/34 or 33/34) but these are really hard and the length always shrinks a lot on me and I hate that. I took them home and got in them and then sat down to the GQ Forum for a while. I also did a bunch of bending, squatting, everything that would make creases in them. I then took a piece of 120 grit semi-worn-out sandpaper and scuffed them like crazy all over the knees, on the edges of all the wrinkles, over the fly seam, wallet, and generally everywhere that my real broken-in jeans have lighter parts. I thought I was doing it way too much actually, but now I don't think I even did enough. Then I took them and washed them in HOT water as the label actually says, to shrink them and try and soften them up as much as possible. I let them go thru the rinse but NOT the spin because that will make creases. I took them out wet and put them in the dryer on low for a while. I took them out of there when still a bit damp and ironed the hell out of them. Then I took them still just a bit damp in the waist area where you can't iron well and put them back on. I sat on a towel and went back to the forum or something. Sitting in them when they are wet helps set the creases in and stretch the parts that need to stretch to fit over you, because the fabric is weaker. After I got tired of sitting in damp jeans, I put them in the dryer inside out on HOT to shrink them more. I suggest turning the cuffs way up when putting them in the dryer to prevent vertical creases from magically appearing. It looked like mine had been ironed to have front creases like cowboy jeans, but I caught it in time and they don't show. I then took them back out and put them on, and slept in them, and wore them to work today, and I'm about to sleep in them again tonight. I'll probably do this for quite a while but I am going to hot wash and dry them again soon to shrink them more, and repeat the sanding. I don't know about the whole dirty thing, I don't really like that but I might rub some actual clean dirt (like Southwest trail dust) into them a few times and wash it out. I don't like the idea of the whole things being dirty; that doesn't look real and I think it looks just like your jeans are dirty, not like you actually used them. I'll let you all know how it progresses.
They look really good now. I don't have any tears in them as I wasn't going for that look, but they look and feel like I've been wearing them for years. j.
post #3 of 9
Wow, those '69 jeans really do look good. Everyone's wearing them where I live too, and I was in the same boat. So I ended up buying a pair of Mavi jeans that had the same make as one of my three pairs of '69's (I don't wear jeans often) and experimented on the '69's. I sat them in a tub and poured a bleach/water solution over the front. The goal in my head was pretty-close to white fronts in the thigh area. Then I did the back of the pants, and accidently forgot to thoroughly wash the bleach out and the jeans were ruined because the seat was completely white. I was happy with the way they looked in the front, the contrast was very noticable, but didn't scream, "Look at me." However, I saw a guy with some jeans the other day, they were white in the front, but had crease-like stripes going horizontally on the upper thigh. They looked great. During Spring Break I'll be trying to do this since I couldn't get off of work for a week.
post #4 of 9
I suggest using the sandpaper method to make the crease lines rather than bleach, because it will look much more authentic. Also be sure to actually crease the pants (sleep in them a few days) then sand on the creases, otherwise it just looks like you tried to make them look vintage. I've seen some real abominations passing themselves off as 'beat up look' jeans, most notably old navy had some that just looked ridiculous being brand new and having the 'whiskers' as they call them where the jeans probably wouldn't actually crease. It's a dead giveaway that the jeans are fake and all fashion aside, they just look ridiculous. j.
post #5 of 9
Alright, so let me get this straight. I sleep in them, then sand the troughs of the creases once they're good and... creasy? Sounds difficult, but if this is correct, I shall give it a shot.
post #6 of 9
You sand the "peaks" of the creases. It's easy. You can just kind of squat or stretch your legs out and the creases will appear, and then softly sand over the creases. Be sure not to just get the tops or it will look weird, you need to 'fade' the sanding down the creases. I wish I had a way to hook up my digital camera here, I'd take a pic and show you. It's simpler than it sounds. j.
post #7 of 9
Sand paper. haha, it's funny what we go through. It does work. Just be sure to get the "peaks" of the creases as j said. Hope the process works for you.
post #8 of 9
Well, it's funny until you realize how truely pathetic it is. Heheh. Kidding, mainly. Of course I'm going to be sporting the jeans to bed tonight, wearing them tomorrow to school, and then heading over to Lowe's (shameless plug for my "drinking money job") to get some sandpaper. My last question is, if the creases are still there, how can you possibly get enough 'leverage' to scrape the paper hard enough to produce any effect?
post #9 of 9
I know, sad, huh. Better than working half a day to pay for a pair of frickin "designer-beat-up" jeans though. Like I said, stretch your legs out and make the creases happen, and then scrape. You'll figure it out.
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