For some people, buying jeans is as easy as it gets. These are the guys who have that enviable body shape which just seems to work for every pair of jeans out there.
Suffice to say, most of us don’t fall into this category. In fact, for most of us, buying jeans is an absolute pain to say the least.
To make matters even more complicated, it’s not just size we now have to think about. Specialist types of jeans have entered the market and as you may have gathered from the title of this guide, we’re now going to concentrate on ones of the selvedge variety.
Selvedge jeans are now taking up a huge portion of the market and even though they tend to be slightly more expensive, their benefits completely outweigh the additional cost.
There are umpteen factors to consider and in a bid to make sure you get the absolute maximum for your money, it’s worth taking them all into account. Here’s what you need to keep in mind.
You don’t HAVE to spend $300 per pair
Selvedge jeans might be more expensive than traditional types, but let’s not kid ourselves – you don’t have to make excuses to spend as much money as possible.
Most of the time it’s those jeans which originate from the likes of Japan and the U.S. which carry the high price tags. These expensive garments also tend to have slightly different features, with unique denim textures being one of the key ones.
However, at least to the average jeans-buyer out there, there’s little difference. You will feel minimal difference in terms of the fit and the comfort that the jeans offer, while more expensive jeans seldom last longer either.
It means that the extra cost is difficult to vindicate. Unless you can clearly afford it, the expensive selvedge jeans are only really for those enthusiasts who will revel in the finer details of the garments. If you’re reading a guide trying to find out more on the ins and outs of selvedge jeans, we’re going to assume you don’t fall into this category.
There’s a difference between Raw and Selvedge
It’s also worth putting one of the common misconceptions to bed. Most people looking into these jeans are under the impression that selvedge and raw mean exactly the same thing. However, there are differences.
For starters, selvedge can be described as denim that just can’t fray. Raw, meanwhile, is simply fabric that hasn’t been distressed in any shape or form.
This also means that it hasn’t been treated whatsoever, it hasn’t been washed or rinse and is quite literally, raw. There has been no artificial alterations with the latter and this means, particularly as a lot of jeans manufacturers will pre-wash their denim, that it’s very rare.
It’s not just your weight that matters
We’re in the era where size matters. When it comes to selvedge jeans, this doesn’t just revolve around your size though.
You also have to consider the weight of the jeans – as this can make a huge difference as to what you’re looking to get out of them.
It’s worth pointing out that manufacturers measure denim in a unique way. It’s measured in ounces per yard and the variations can be substantial. For example, if you’re looking for a lightweight pair of jeans, it might weigh in at only eight ounces.
However, for those of you looking for something a little bulkier, you can get heavy pairs at ridiculous weights like 32 ounces.
Of course, it’s all about knowing just what you want to get out of your jeans. Looking for the perfect pair for the summer? It goes without saying that a 32 ounce pair aren’t going to suffice; you need something completely lightweight.
On the other hand, anyone who takes their jeans seriously should never write off heavy jeans – regardless of the time of year. Admittedly, most will agree that they are more suited to the cold weather – but there are other advantages.
It’s known that heavier denim is much more durable, while it also tends to have sharper contrasting fades.
For those of you who are looking for denim that is going to be suitable for the entire year, look towards something which weighs between 11 and 14 ounces. It’s a best of both worlds solution.
Buy small, and ease your way in
Most of us are guilty of this anyway, but when it comes to selvedge jeans buying you should always look to underestimate your size.
This is a type of denim which tends to stretch as time progresses, meaning that something which might appear to be tight-fitting at first will gradually shape to your body and look ideal. The denim will only take a few weeks to tailor to your body, and that’s the job over.
There are plenty of not-so-obvious benefits of going by this approach as well. During this “breaking in” period, the patterns on the denim will also fade into your body’s contours and create a look that most of us will have just never experienced.
To size yourself up appropriately, try to squeeze a finger between your body and the waistband of your jeans. There should be just enough room to achieve this – it’s at this point you have the perfect size.
Delay the washing machine runs
When it comes to jeans, hygiene almost goes out the window. You might be used to washing your t-shirts after one day of use, but the same rules certainly don’t apply when you switch to denim.
Selvedge jeans have the unfortunate trait of losing their dye when they go through the washing machine. The end result is that the jeans fade considerably and the whole look just dwindles.
On the few occasions that they are put through the washing machine, try and turn them inside out and also opt for a cold wash. Don’t, under any circumstances, use a machine to dry them. This approach could result in shrinkage and fade colors as well.
Cuffing is fashionable
Finally, now is the time where cuffing is in fashion.
Particularly during the summer, even more so when you haven’t opted for a lightweight pair, cuffing them up a couple of times allows some breeze to flow through.
As well as the practical reasons, the jeans will show a line of selvedge that otherwise wouldn’t have been noticeable. It again adds to all of this contrast we have kept reiterating through this guide.
A handy tip is to cuff just above your ankles – this is sufficient to obtain the look we’re talking about.