Denim HQ – Commitment Issues

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It’s not you it’s me, I had to trade you in for younger model with less fades, there’s just so much temptation out there. The reasons which we use to convince ourselves that we NEED a new pair of jeans rather than the ones on our legs are many and varied and mirror those given by a cheating spouse. We all love our jeans, we love the excitement of ordering new ones and anticipating their arrival, we love the pre and post soak fit process and sending them for hemming is part of the charm of them becoming “your” jeans, but like a cute puppy who arrives on Christmas day, or raising a child for most denim heads they feel that a year or so on the reality of their jeans is not what it once was. They need looking after/ repairing more, they are going through that “awkward” teenage phase when the fades are not perhaps what you wanted them to be, but unlike a dog or a child it is all to easy to just start again with jeans, simply buy some new ones and do it all again. Here at DHQ we say NO to that, we say that when you make a commitment to your denim you should stick with it for the long term, if you haven’t worn your jeans for 2 years at least then you haven’t really worn them.

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I see a lot of this in the HWDC contests, what usually happens is that people get really excited about being in the contest, and getting their new jeans, and being a part of this awesome thing…..right up until the next jeans come along and the next reason to buy them leaps into view. Basically, people have the attention span of gnats, we want what we want at that time, at that minute with no regard for what came before or what may come after simply because we can. In the realm of denim I find this particularly sad as so much potential from so many jeans is never truly exploited, and I am sure that I am not alone in saying that seeing well worn jeans is fucking cool, to the point that I do not really like new jeans these days, I actually have started to understand the appeal of pre distressing to some folks, not that I would ever buy any myself.

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It’s been said before in ways and by people far more eloquent than I, but denim is a journey. It is a natural fabric which changes and ages like a second indigo skin. This is the appeal to me, this is why it gathers so much love from so many, more than almost any other item of clothing (leather goods being on an equal footing), it is a willing companion wherever our journey takes us. To simply replace it on a whim is to deny denim its nature and to artificially halt the passing of time, it begs to be worn and so we should wear it as often as possible and wherever practical.

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This is not another of my rants against clothing collectors, I have said all I want to say on that subject more than once, this is me airing my disappointment that people won’t just commit to their denim. It’s something of an open secret in the denim world that I am currently working on a new denim contest, along with this I have begun the process of reviewing the HWDC2 and who is still with us. As a part of these process I find myself wondering why people who spend so much of their time wearing, loving, talking and reading about denim cannot just wear it as it is meant to be worn? Last night I calculated that the drop out rate on HWDC2 is currently about 70%, on HWDC1 at the same stage it was 90% (so I guess we are seeing improvement), but why is this? I don’t care if people decide that they don’t want to compete any more, but when I see these same people in other competitions, wearing different jeans, whilst talking about other jeans they have on order I do sigh a little.

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For the next contest I organise I do have a plan in place to tackle this, and this is not by enforcing strict wearing rules or anything like that, it is to embrace the change, to give yourself a holiday, to allow denim indulgence but to acknowledge that your contest denim should be your first love, your true commitment and be granted the most “leg time”. I just hope I’m not fighting the tide.

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One thought on “Denim HQ – Commitment Issues”

  1. I’ve thought a lot about this since I’m kind of sitting in both camps. I understand and appreciate the livelyness and how a worn pair reflects what it’s been through. But I also enjoy experiencing and comparing different jeans. My answer is simply that it will have to take it’s time, there’s no rush beating in stories as fast as possible in the jeans – I can do that next year and the year after that as well.

    On another note, I do think that social forums built on entusiasm is a factor that definitely leads to more commitment issues. It’s a gate to things you havn’t encountered before: be it a special brand ethos you appreciate, heavier denim than you thought was possible to wear, new production techniques or a cool idea for a contest. We’re a part of it because we love denim and for me it’s understandable how hard it is for some of us to hit the brake with all the hyperbole constantly going on on so many levels.

    Damn, that ended up being some ranting too. To wrap it up my view on it is that everyone just needs to find what works for him or her. We’re in it for the love, we just love denim in different ways.

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