Originally Posted by Asian Afro
Now, if I go for Ironheart's Beatle Buster, should I get them hemmed by Selfedge right away? Since the inseam might shrink by half an inch, should I go for 30.5", half an inch longer than the length I want?
Then, when I receive the jeans, should I wear them for a while so they would stretch out a bit before washing?
Would machine wash and dry be a really bad idea?
Thank you again for your help.
There are two ways to deal with hemming, one involves a more guesswork and the other is much more definitive.
Guesswork: Measure jeans that you already have worn in and with which you're happy with the inseam. Understand that sanforized jeans will shrink .5"-1.5"~ (2-5%) after the first soak and that in wearing your jeans, the creases that form behind your knees eat up another .25"-.5" from the inseam. So you'd hem your jeans purposely a little bit longer with the idea that they'll eventually get to wear you'll want them to be.
Definitive: Soak your jeans and wear them in a couple of times so that the creases set and THEN take them to be hemmed.
While the definitive way seems like the best, it's sometimes not viable. If you're dealing with jeans that have a 36" inseam when you normally wear a 30" then that's a lot of cuffing you'll have to do while you're breaking them in (unless you kept to wearing them around your house). That's where guesswork and knowing your jeans would work better. Personally, I just wear in the jeans for a week and then have them hemmed. I don't worry about the future wash because I always pull the legs while they're wet to stretch them back out and get back most of that inseam.
It sounds complicated but after you've done it once you get the hang of it. It also doesn't hurt to read about the jeans or ask the store to see what kind of shrinkage they've seen as it can vary from brand to brand.
As far as washing/soaking them before you wear them, it's up to you. I know people that prefer to get that out of the way immediately so that there are no surprises down the road. I've never been that anal and just wear my jeans out of the package.
As far as machine washing/drying, I usually wash my jeans in a bin by hand with non-abrasive soap like Dr. Bronner's. Then tends to keep them both clean and darker. I've noticed that when I throw jeans into a washing machine it really sucks out a lot of indigo, far more than a gentle hand wash. It's not that I don't recommend a machine wash, it's just that you should be warned about what you might see. I've also seen odd streaks and patterns come out from a machine, not only with my jeans but with others as well. As for drying them, I wouldn't recommend a machine at all. Always air dry.