I have heard of the phrase “denim bar” before but never really understood what that meant. After my visit to the Nudie Jeans Repair Shop in Stockholm Sweden, everything is a bit clearer. When I entered the shop I was expecting to be served a Old Fashioned or be hit with the smell of aged whiskey. Perhaps it was the large chalkboards hanging on the walls with white scribbles or the high ceilings and open floor plan, but something made my mind jump right into “bar-mode”. I felt relaxed and at ease like I was waiting for a few friends to walk in to share a few laughs. I think this feeling is what some shops try to achieve but is never fully created. This is a place where a customer can feel welcomed and comfortable to try on any and every piece of clothing while not feeling self conscious or unwanted. Kudos to you Nudie, you have found the perfect balance.
One thing that I noticed immediately when walking through the shop was that most of the clothing racks were at waist height and not eye level. I love this small tweek in the traditional layout because it meant that I could clearly see the whole shop no matter where I was standing. That allowed me to pick one product and scan the whole store mentally putting together an outfit from all the great pieces hanging around. Also, the racks are not overcrowded so each piece and size is showcased with enough room to breathe. The wall of denim jeans perfectly stacked from floor to ceiling welcoming you to try on every fit until you find the perfect pair.
While in the shop I was able to view the new tailored spring line and was highly impressed. The selvage jacket was a highlight for me, lightweight and fitted to perfection. You can see this for yourself by going into any of their shops or simply looking at the latest lookbook here on Denimology. Many of the pieces I saw in the store looked great on the rack but had the feel that they would look their best after a few months of wash and wear. When I think about breaking in clothes, I always think about raw denim. However, after my visit to the Nudie Jeans Repair Shop I now have a broader idea of what it means to make your clothing personal. I could picture every piece, whether a sweatshirt or a simple tee shirt, causing a fight with your spouse years down the road. Pulling out the beat up tee shirt, that has now become a part of you, and being yelled at to finally throw it out. I think we have all had that argument in our relationships and I am still a little bitter about my favorite tee shirt “disappearing” from my drawer……but I digress.
Nudie Jeans encourages everyone to wear and repair their jeans, raw or not. So I took the opportunity to sneak in my Grim Tim jeans for a quick repair while visiting the shop. Here I thought I was being clever when it turns out that Nudie repairs all rips, tears and cuts for free at any of their shops – hence calling them Repair Shops instead of Retail Shops. That’s right, after 2.5 years of wear my Nudie’s finally fell victim to the dreaded crotch tear. Luckily this happened in the privacy of my own home and not in an embarrassingly public place. My dogs may have judged me, but they lick themselves so I think we are even. As I was walking through the shop memorized by the new spring line, the staff took to repairing my crotch….in the jeans people – get your mind out of the gutter! In the matter of 15 minutes, I was reunited with my beloved Grim Tim now sporting a killer scar. Just one of the many ways that Nudie commits to understanding the bond between a person and their jeans.
Nudie is always environmentally conscious and this can be seen in where they source their fabric, produce their jeans or recycle the products. They are not afraid to take a stand and have this thought always in the front of their stores and brand. Something as simple as the hooks of used denim lining the walls all dropped off waiting for repair, many not for the first time. Another reminder that you should not just throw away your pair of jeans because of a rip or tear. If you do choose to only wear fresh denim, not a problem, Nudie will take the old jeans back and reuse the denim to manufacture rugs or pillows or any other item from the worn fabric. Just more ways that Nudie commits to the idea of doing their part to be conscious about their impact on the environment and our future.
Overall, it was a great visit to the Nudie Repair shop in Stockholm. I was introduced to the new spring line, left with my Grim Tim repaired and given a second life and got a new pair of Steady Eddie Raw Organic Denim for an upcoming review. I would chalk that up to a perfect day. So check back later on if you are interested in reading my upcoming review on the Steady Eddie.
Thank you for the visit Nudie Jeans and let’s serve up another round!
You can find Nudie jeans here.