Cult of Individuality - How To Age Your Denim

I am kind of so over skinny stretchy feeling-like-rubber jeans. I have boyfriend jeans in my closet to last me at least one lifetime. I have shredded, ripped, patched, and bleached jeans, and any style in between. I am so ready to move on and my logical choice, of course is selvedge. Yes, there is plenty of pre-washed and pre-treated selvedge around. There are even a lot of selvedge jeans with stretch that are super soft and super cool. But I am not a half-way kind of girl. Either I do something completely and right, or I just don’t do it. And this is my big frustration with the “real”, unwashed and un-treated raw selvedge jeans. They are stiff and scratchy, and when I try them on they feel like cardboard. So you can imagine how I loved coming across this fabulous article how to age your jeans without wearing them for months, years, decades. Thank you Cult of Individuality for finally making my “selvedge” life possible!

“The classic James Dean stance. Peter Fonda cruising down the open road with Dennis Hopper. Even Kanye West making a style statement for the paparazzi. Icons of style are often in the back of our minds for many of us when we set out to buy a pair of jeans.

But choosing a great pair of jeans is only half the battle when it comes to achieving that iconic look. Jeans fade and wear in over time, leading to creases and discolorations that truly make denim iconic. And while you can wear your jeans dutifully for a year or so and work them out towards that great natural fade, who really has time for that? So here are some tips to help you get that rock-star fade in record time.

(1) Break Out the Sandpaper

Sanding creates friction which breaks down fabric. Rubbing spots like the front of the jeans by the knees or the seat will accelerate aging and fading in those areas creating a naturally worn-in look. If you prefer power tools, using an electric sander will speed up the process and save you considerable effort. But be careful not to overdo it and destroy the fabric.

(2) Take a Bath in Them

Soaking will shrink your jeans, making them more responsive to your movement when you wear them. But why not go next level with that approach. Wear your jeans in the tub while soaking to have them shrink and conform to your body shape at the same time. The result is denim that uniquely fits your body shape and movements.

(3) Microwave Your Jeans

This may seem a bit bizarre, but heck, we all want to tap into our inner mad scientist from time to time. The chemical compounds that make up indigo dye will break down when exposed to microwave radiation, leading to faster fading. Just be careful when exposing metal rivets, buttons and zippers – we suggest nuking your jeans in increments of 30 seconds or less to be safe, with ample time in between to let them cool off.

(4) Take a Razor to the Edges

Cult of Individuality - How To Age Your Denim

Hems along the pockets and bottoms all look great with a little bit of distressing. Help that process along by gently scraping a razor along parts of the hem. The fibers will loosen up and accelerated distressing will happen naturally after that.

(5) Rub Them with Coffee Beans

Here is a great way to get faster fades right where you want them – Try rubbing coffee beans on your jeans, particularly in areas where you want faster, more accentuated fading. Why? Because coffee is acidic, and the acids in coffee will break down the fabric just enough to promote a natural looking fade.

(6) Vinegar to Keep Your Preferred Fade

Cult of Individuality - How To Age Your Denim

Yes, good old plain white vinegar. Once your jeans fade to a color and finish you like, simply wash them in cold water with one cup of vinegar. Do not add any detergent. Your jeans won’t come out smelling vinegary, but the vinegar will promote a reaction between the indigo and the fabric that will help the dye set and reduce future fading.

And while you’re at it, check out some rad and ready made distressed denim from the brand here.