Denim HQ -Heavy Denim, Worth The Weight?

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My none denim interested friends think that I must be insane for spending the majority of my life wearing 25oz jeans, they cannot understand how it can possibly be comfortable or how they don’t continually stink from sweat and wear. My explanations are not usually enough to placate them, they have already made their minds up that it must be just another of my weird quirks coming to the surface, and even some within the denim community openly question the wisdom of heavy denim some of them plainly believing that it is a gimmick or a fad. Allow me to express my view, and please remember that this is my opinion with a certain degree of empirical knowledge to help me feel fairly secure in what I’m saying.

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I was first drawn to heavy denim not because of the weight but because I had seen a pair of Samurai 710’s which looked absolutely glorious, for some reason I rationalised to myself that the extra weight must be the reason for this stunning wear pattern…so I bought some. My first impressions of heavy denim were that it was far more comfortable and breathable than I expected as this is more down to weave than weight, not as stiflingly hot as I had been lead to believe (in fact about as warm as my more regularly weighted jeans) and it did give me a feeling of security to wear something of such heft whether that is a perceived feeling or actual protection is a matter for debate.

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Since those early days I have not owned many jeans that weigh in at less than 19oz, many of them weighing in at much more with the 25oz jeans being the absolute pinnacle for me in terms of weight. It is strange that at this moment in time I have more jeans weighing in at 14 – 14.5oz than ever before but I am still committed to spending the majority of time in my Iron Heart Mega Beatle Busters for the HWDC2, but it makes for an interesting comparison of wear. Monday through Friday I spend in my MBB’s and at the weekend I take my fancy of Trophy jeans depending on what I have planned to do as my Dirt Denim narrow are a little too worn for some situations, this gives me a weekly weight comparison which spends an unhealthy amount of time occupying my thoughts.

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It should be mentioned here that I actually wash my jeans, and by that I don’t mean a quick soak every 6 months. I mean a real wash in a real machine with real detergent and I do that every time I feel that they need it, sometimes a month, sometimes three months, sometimes after a week depending on what I’ve been doing. Denim is made from cotton, cotton is a natural fabric and it will break and fall to pieces if you allow dirt to build up on it, when I spend over $300 on jeans I do not want or expect them to fall apart after 6 months.

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My assertion is that when heavy denim is properly broken in, usually around the 3 – 5 months mark depending on wear and wash, it ceases to actually feel like denim at all. Every pair of heavier denim jeans which I have owned have actually felt more like old comfortable sweat pants than a pair of jeans, and that is especially true of my MBB’s which feel more like heavy cotton winter pyjamas than jeans. Conversely the lighter denim actually feels like denim, and it feels courser and more abrasive with a real sensation of being a practical, working fabric rather than something quite leisurely and nonchalant.

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In my early days of quality denim I was firmly in the heavy denim camp, it is why I started the HWDC, I do believe that there is a practical reasoning behind the extra protection it affords motorcyclists and the like and I do think that it evolves differently to lighter weight denim, although there are many other factors to that last point. As with most things it is a matter of preference, my preference was heavier denim but I have been exposed to lighter denim in more recent times and now I see the merit in all weights and would actively encourage people in all camps of denim weight to ensure that they broaden their horizons and not fall for the myths of the heat retention and heft of heavy weight denim.

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