To All : I worked for Levi Strauss for 5 years during their vintage heyday.
I had been in a vintage shop in SoHo NY and saw a jacket that had been
worn for many, many ears, but NEVER washed. it had the most fabulous finish!
It had this slick oily sheen and wear lines I had never seen before.
Granted - this was 1997 and the jean industry had not developed over the counter
complex washes and aging yet.
I decided then and there I would only buy the Vintage Shrink-to Fit with the salvage
and NEVER wash them. I would not even wear them in the rain so the indigo wpuld
hold dark and off the shelf cool ( umbrella on misty days ).
The secret is to DRY CLEAN only after they started to develop a smell all their own - which they do.
I usually wear clean undergarments and long shear leggings under - but this may be impractical
in warm climates, although I did wear my jeans camping at Bonneville and other California
Hot Rod racing events well over 100 degrees at noon.
It's o.k. - you will know when to take them in.
I usually buy two to three pairs a year in one day and rotate the wearing of them so I can
let them hang out in the open air to breathe after use. Each pair will have it's own personality.
It is so cool !
I still wear unwashed ( dry cleaned every 8 - 10 mo. ) vintage 501's I purchased in the mid 90's.
The wear lines are fantastic, and when they finally start to rip - I immediately sew a frantic and
non organized zig-zag stitching across said weak area about an inch past rip on each side -
over and over again - continuously overlapping my own work until it is almost this embroidered patch
with lines going in all directions and widths but still only one inch past rip. BLUE HEAVY THREAD.