So you look in your wardorbe and find yourself facing the eternal dilemma of a denim head, you only have one pair of legs but 4 pairs of jeans (or more if you’re one of those nutty collector types), how are you ever going to get sick fadez with so much denim and so little time? Well, unless you want to start loaning jeans to local workmen and the homeless community you are going to have to rotate, such a simple principle that is fraught with variables enough to consume a detail obsessive denim collector. What they are and how to tackle them is what I’m going to discuss next.
For my own rotation I have a my HWDC2 jeans, the Iron Heart Mega Beatle Busters, and three pairs of Trophy Jeans (1 Dirt Denim, ! Garage Denim, ! Blackie Denim). Through the week I wear the contest jeans as I have to update the contest with pics of these so a little evolution is nice, at weekends I wear whichever Trophy jeans take my fancy as there is no pressure to fade these at all. The three pairs of Trophy jeans are all very different, one is a loose weave sanforised denim, one is a kibata loom state denim and one is a furtive pigment dyed black denim, so they will all evolve in very, very different ways so I do try to distribute the wear of them fairly evenly to move them along at a similar pace.
For some denim heads the process of rotation is almost bordering on science, with consideration given to wear, weight, dye and even weave and type of thread used to stitch the seams. Each of these presents its own variable, uneven amounts of wear will give uneven results, heavier denim can conversely cause premature thread breakdown in key stress areas, natural dye is harder to fade than synthetic, looser weave denim is more apt to vintage fades than sharp constrast and jeans stitched with 100% cotton will breakdown and split before those made with poly cotton, so what do you do to avoid the pitfalls?
Here is my formula. Pick a pair of jeans for daily wear, maybe at work, which are comfortable and hard wearing and treat them like jeans rather than babies. Wear them daily, wash them when they’re dirty (in your machine), repair them when they rip and do not be afraid to get them dirty or oily, these are your beaters and will evolve as beaters, the results will be stunning, trust me. Next, pick a pair of jeans made from a denim that you love, an interesting denim which excites you and makes you really want to see it evolve, wear these for leisure, for your social activities for going to the movies, drinking with friends, hanging out with family at weekends and again simply treat them as jeans. Due to wearing them less and for less strenuous activity they will go longer between washes and the wear pattern will be less severe and take far longer to come through. These two pairs will take care of just about all of your weekly denim needs, anything after this is a luxury and should be treated as such.
Finally, if you are fortunate enough to stray into luxury territory then go for a backup pair for your favourite jeans, and maybe a pair that is totally different from anything else you have (I went for a black pair for instance). In any rotation I think that variation is key, and the more denims that you experience the more you will get to know what you truly love and what works for you.