Monday, November 2, 2009

Day 426 | Popitop

I've had my new jeans for 2 months now and both pairs are really nice. Love them both, but for completely different reasons. As I said on day 365, Terence is a very heavy denim. I still struggle to bend my knees and hips when I have them on. Usually heavier denim is on a wider cut. More baggy. These however is a narrow cut. Not quite skinny, but tight-ish. I love them on though. They're also very low around the hips, so hang quite a bit. I'd recommend them for those wanting to try something new. Raw heavy denim in a narrow cut.



Ormond however is my favourite. Fits like a glove. Skinny, not so heavy and feels soft already, just after 2 months worth of wear. I think I wear it more often too. I got my hands on this pair of leather boots this month, and along with my Ormonds, a huge double fold of the hem, they fit really well together. The shoes are originals from the 70s, and have not been used that much at all. Love them. If ever you're in Gothenburg, you have to pay a visit to the shop where I bought them, called Popitop. The shop was started by Linda Wennström, and sells 50s, 60s and 70s clothing, a bit of furniture and then lots for your home.

Hope to take some photos of my Harris jeans, the original pair of Dr.Denim Jeans that started all of this, to show what state they're in now after 426 days and one wash.

Monday, October 5, 2009

Day 398 | Comparisons 13 months on

The year has come and gone and the jeans have gone through a major metamorphasis. I decided to compare the photos from the first month, month seven and now, month thirteen.

I've recently been busy with my new project called 5o styles, hence the fact that I only publish here once a month now. As soon as I figure out how to make the sun stand still I'll publish more often. You can see a start to my 50 styles project here at http://www.50styles.com/. The project is about Swedish street fashion, and I'm busy busy shooting photos on the streets of Stockholm and Gothenburg. Will publish more about the project when we finally launch. If you're a photographer living in Sweden, you're welcome to contact me to find out how to get involved. (info@50styles.com) An interest in fashion is essential.


But back to the jeans. I spoke to a friend of a friend this morning, and I said to him that I would highly recommend the 6 month wear before wash with a pair of raw denims. Doesn't matter what brand, because in the end, the jeans will have your own marks and feel like yours and that's what it's all about. None of this buying a pair with the same cut, mark or fade as all the others.

The photos are in this order, 1st is the jeans today, then after 7 months and then after 1 month. Lots has changed. Next week I'll get back to the new pairs I bought, and see how they're coming along.




Wednesday, September 2, 2009

Day 365 | One year

I can't believe a year has finally passed with my Dr.Denim jeans. Which is also another 6 months since they've been washed. I'm holding out for another 6 months with them, just to get some really proper wear out of them again. Perhaps I'll wash them on the same day next year, as I washed them this year, the 4th of March.

To celebrate my one year, I bought myself two more pairs of jeans from Dr.Denim, and it has to be said, at a reduced price thanks to Alexander at Dr.Denim. One pair is the new Ormonds raw, which is according to Alexander a rework on the current Terence model. The other is a of course a pair of Terence raw.

The Ormonds is very skinny and already fits me so so well. I folded it up a little at the bottom already and sits really well. I think even a bit better than my pair of Harris's did on the very first day. The denim is a bit thinner or "lighter" in weight, which is probably why they sit so well.











The Terence pair is my favourite so far. The denim is a very heavy weave, and the jeans sit a little lower on the hips, yet a not so skinny model. I folded up the hems much more on the bottom already as they were much longer. They feel really great on already, but because of the thick weave, it's taking some time to bend my knees and hips.

Both pairs will be worn for a year, and washed for the first time on the 4th of September 2010. I do however keep on asking myself why I alwasy start these things in the rainy season when winter is on its way, cause the goal is not to get these jeans wet, otherwise they'll shrink. If anyone's wondering why I haven't been so active on this site, it's because I have another hobby which I'm working on at the moment. It's called 50styles.com and is a photo essay of Swedish street fashion. We're busy building the site at the moment, and will launch at the end of autumn, with an eye to build an audience for the spring 2010.

Saturday, August 1, 2009

Day 333 | Dr.Denim's new look web images

I've just received a question from someone asking if Dr.Denim and Cheap Monday's are available to buy online. I know Dr.Denim is, and there's a list of stores available on their website. http://www.drdenimjeans.com/stores.html I'm not sure where to buy Cheap Monday online, probably because I'm not so interested in them. I used to be, and tried on every pair I could get my hands on, with no luck. They just don't fit my shape. I tried on another pair last week when I was on a trip to Weekdays, the shop that sells them, and still no luck. I think I'll stick to Dr.Denim, just because they fit me so well.

Below are the new images from the Dr.Denim website, with some of their new "stuff". I'm really keen on a pair of Terence Raw denim jeans. They're on sale at Red Devil for under 300SEK. A real bargain, but unfortunately they don't have my size. Aparently though there's an update for Terence on the way. I'll let you know as soon as I get some more info.




Wednesday, July 1, 2009

Day 302 | The interviews

Got my chinos nearly 2 months now and it's still weird wearing them. I don't know why. Maybe it's cause I'm so used to wearing only blue jeans for so many years? Be that as it may, I thik it's time to expand the wardrobe a bit. One other problem is that I moved countries in 2007, and have only been back to South Africa twice since then. There's not a lot of clothing you can fit into 20kg, which is the restrictions on the aeroplane. So I have a cupboard full of clothing back in South Africa that's not been worn for over two years. But such is life.

I recently completed another Swedish language course. One of the projects we needed to complete, was a writing report on a subject of our choice. I chose blue jeans, and did an interview with a close friend, Andreas Adolfsson, a musician and Alexander Graah, one of the owners of Dr.DenimJeans. The questions were about the Swedish love affair with denim. I translated them back from Swedish, and I hope it makes sense.


Andreas Adolfsson (AA) has been a friend of my girlfriend and me for many years. He is a musician and sells wind instruments, and has a genuine passion, or perhaps more accurately an obsession, for the denim. He has more denim jackets than I have socks, and believe me, I have a lot of socks. He is very well versed in all aspects of denim, have read almost every book on the subject and I have never ever seen hi in anything else. I do not think he knows that there is something other than denim.

Why is denim so huge in Sweden? So many Swedish brands reach international success and attention.
AA: Swedes are generally fairly comfortable and practical in their approach to clothes, if I may take the liberty to generalize very broadly. We have since the 40's been very quick to embrace what has happened in the U.S., in music, clothes, language, television and much more, so even with the jeans culture.

There have been good clothing company with the world as their workplace for many years. Many of today's designers are educated in JC, H & M and Solo to name a few. I also believe that the amount Swedes travel can have an effect on this. To draw another parallel to the Rockabilly culture and the large number of cars and MC's that are imported to Sweden each year, in these circles, Sweden is very well known for doing renovations very thoroughly, or that it takes the Rockabilly culture very literally, so in a sense, we do things "for real".

Sweden had also up until the 80's big clothing indistries, that may have had a major impact on the ability to succeed with a label in Sweden. I believe that the greatness of the success is being able to adapt and to not be afraid to make rdical changes in style and ideas.

What does the future look like for the Swedish denim market?
AA: I think it will continue to go well. The probability that Nudie will be sold to a big company, as Cheap Monday was sold to H & M, is quite big. I think we will see more brands in the future, the future type Ruffel and Bow, which makes jeans for those who will wear them, with the possibility to select features and fabric and the like. Customisation simply. There is already a lot of stuff in the U.S. and England, which scans the body for a perfect fit.

What is unique with Swedish denim fashion?
AA: Good question. Perhaps that Sweden is so small that it can affect large groups of people on a fairly short time. Not such big gaps in between the designer, producer and customer. Maybe even that jeans have become "Sunday's Best" instead of working clothes.

Alexander Graah (AG) runs the brand Dr.DenimJeansMakers in Gothenburg with his brother. The brand was launched originally in Denmark by his father and are now sold in 22 countries. I met Alexander for the first time in their office, after he invited me on a coffee, to discuss its brand, its products and to show me some more of what they do.

Why is denim so huge in Sweden? So many Swedish brands reach international success and attention.
AG: It depends largely on American culture. Swedes have a fairly liberal culture with relatively little hierarchy. The need to conduct yourself formally and dress formally are very limited, and Swedes are very conscious of their lifestyle. This has meant that jeans are acceptable in most social contexts. The great interest among consumers means that start-up jeans brands may get a chance that they would not get in other countries where consumers are less interested in personal expression, style and design. Swedish denim brands have a tendency to be very secure in themselves and to bear its own orientation, rather than focusing on offering commercial products with boring and flat ironed marketing message as many other European brands have a tendency to do.

What does the future look like for the Swedish denim market?
AG: There will be a purge among brands, simply because of the economy and the fact that retailers need to focus on brands that give them profit. On the other hand, it is not an end to new initiatives, so it is likely to be quite a dynamic sector where a lot always happens. The Swedes buy about 13 million pairs of jeans annually, so it will continue to be the basis for new initiatives.

What is unique with Swedish denim fashion?
AG: In particular, the credibility of what the various jean brands do and stand for. The idea behind both the design and the marketing messages are more refined than that of jean brands from other markets. Swedish designers dare to go their own way and therefore has received much respect and trust abroad.

Monday, June 1, 2009

Day 272 | How often do you wash your jeans?

I've been running my second poll on the blog over the past 3 months, trying to find out how often people wash their jeans. The results were vary varied, and it seems people do what they believe is the right way, or what grosses them out. Below are the results of the 105 people who completed the poll. I asked a very simple question:

How often do you wash your jeans?
After each time I wear them - 8 people (7%)
Once a week - 26 people (24%)
Once a month - 18 people (17%)
Every 3 months - 13 people (12%)
Every 6 months - 18 people (17%)
Once a year or longer - 15 people (14%)
Never - 7 people (6%)

Monday, May 25, 2009

Day 265 | Kicking Mule Workshop

I have a friend to thank for reminding me of the brand Kicking Mule Workshop. Traditional loose fitting jeans, that's very hard-wearing. Not very Swedish in styling, which always seems a bit more taylored, but real nice in its own special way.

Monday, May 18, 2009

Day 258 | No more blue jeans

I finally took the plunge and bought a pair of trousers that weren't blue jeans. I know it's hard to believe, but I did it. I've been interested in these Chinos from Dr.Denim since I wrote about them on Day 86, but because of my 6 month test, I didn't buy them. What's the point of buying something you really lile, and not being able to wear them for 6 months? That would have killed me.

The test, however, is over, and this means I can go back to wearing what I want. This last week, I was back in my favourite store, Red Devil and saw that they had one more pair in my size left, 34L 32W. There was another guy in there trying the blue ones on, so I grabbed these creamy or beige coloured ones and hopped in the fitting room. Perfect fit, once again. I really love the fact that i found a brand that fits me so well. I have tried on 10 different pairs of Cheap Monday jeans and never liked the fit, the same with Camper shoes, they're just not made for my body, never mind how many pairs I try on.

Anyway, so now I own this pair of Chinos from Dr.Denim called Donk. They're oh, so comfortable and really stylish. There are those moments when you walk in town when you're thinking about the fact that you're not wearing blue jeans, but then again these are made from denim, so it's not too bad. I'm used to them already, and keen to go back to Red Devil and try on the dark blue ones, to see if they're something I'd wear.

Chinos have not always been part of my wardrobe. These have changed all of that. Something different, but all in all one of my best clothing buys this year. And as always, the price was real value for money in these "hard times", 599SEK.

Monday, May 11, 2009

Day 251 | Making your mark

Every time I wear my Dr.Denim Harris Blue Black Raw denim jeans, I think back to day 1, when I bought them. They were clean, with not a single mark on them. They fitted really well and the raw denim felt fantastic on my skin. Now they've become more like a second skin on me. They have marks exactly where I bend my knees, where I bend my hips, where my front pocket wallet shows through and where I folded the hems up when they got a bit stretched from six months of wear and were hanging a bit low.

I really love what they feel like on me nowadays, but it needed the six months of wear and a single wash to shrink them to my fit. Isn't it time you make your own marks on a pair of raw denim?

Monday, May 4, 2009

Day 244 | New Dr.Denim photos

I really like the new concept behind the photographs on the Dr.Denim website. A clothing range that seems to have been inspired by the shapes and colours of insets. Beautiful butterflies and colourfull beetles. Really well photographed and presented. Have a look at the Colletions page, for more of the same





Monday, April 27, 2009

Day 237 | Uniqlo denim

I'm a keen reader of a magazine called Monocle. In a nutshell, it's a briefing on global affairs, business, culture and design. In the previous issue, they interviewed Tadashi Yanai. He's not only the president of the Japanese company Fast Retailing, who is the parent company of Uniqlo, but he's also the richest man in Japan.

The interview is about the company Uniqlo, and what they've been up to recently. I really like the way he thinks about the products they sell, and the way they come to life and why. On one of the questions that Monocle puts to him on whether or not Japan is still the heart and soul of the company, he responds, "Yes, without a heart and soul, a brand cannot be understood". That's why I like Dr.Denim. The wording on the buttons of my jeans say, "A good pair of jeans is like a member of the family". A real love for the product.

Here's a piece from the interview about denim.
Monocle: The denim that you've launched at the ne Uniqlo concession in Selfridges in London is making a virtue of jeans "made in Japan". Is that a new direction for Uniqlo or are you still making jeans in China?
Tadashi Yanai: We do both. Our denim fabrics are made in Japan by Kaihara, probably the best mill in the world, and some sewing is done in China. These new products that we are selling in the UK and Japan are made entirely in Japan. We did it because the jeans processing technique in Japan is still the best in the world.

M: Does this mean you'll be expanding jeans production in Japan?
TY: Unfortunately, the structure of industy has changed in Japan. There isn't the capacity to do all the sewing we need.

Monday, April 20, 2009

Day 230 | Swedish jeans brands

I'm currently busy with a project for my Swedish class about Swedes and their love of denim. It's a love relationship that's been going strong since before the 70's and on to today, with a lot of brands garnering international aclaim. The history of denim is a very interesting one and I am learning a lot about just how many companies have their origins here in Sweden. With all of that, I decided to find some brands that are well know and not so well known today, but who still play a huge role in placing Sweden at the top along with Japan, as a country that knows a thing or two about denim.

The companies that are the best known for denim is surely Nudie and ACNE, followed by Cheap Monday, Denimbirds and Dr.Denim. The others then would be PACE, Denim Demon, GulBlÄ and Bay Icon. The rest, companies such as H&M, Tiger of Sweden, FilippaK and WESC are Swedish clothing companies that also do denim as part of their overall clothing ranges, but not a real focus on it as say Nudie or Dr.Denim would have.