We <3 denim.

Words by

Alyce Cowell

Ah denim, we love you. You’ve been there with us through thick and thin. Quite literally – from tencel skirts in the ’90s to boyfriend jeans in the ’10s, you’ve been covering our ass since the beginning of time. 

Sometimes though, it’s the ones we love the most that we treat the worst and we’ll be the first to admit we often take you for granted. But not anymore… Oh no. We’re taking you out, showing you off and styling you right. 

To all the owners out there, be nice to your denim. Here are eight little ways to show it you care. 

Put your denim on show

Your denim deserves more than being stuffed in a draw next to your stretched pyjamas and see-through leggings. It should be on show for all the world to see! If you can’t get your hands on a glass display cabinet, try the next best thing: stack them in piles in the corner of your room, or hang them on a garment rack (preferably surrounded by plants). This is partly because your denim deserves it, and partly because it will make your room look like an Urban Outfitters campaign.

Roll skinny hems into cuffs

Got a pair of basic bitch jeans? Give them a well-deserved makeover with this little styling gem. If they’re skinny leg, roll the hem into thin cuffs just above the ankle and add a heel. If they’re straight / boyfriend / stretched-to-death jeans, fold the cuff lengthwise and then roll up twice. They’ll be looking like a fashion week Tumblr pic in about three seconds flat.  

Make friends with your tailor 

Look, bodies are different. It’s tricky to find a pair of jeans that fits us perfectly. Usually there’s gaping here and squeezing there and more leg than a Victoria’s Secret Fashion Show. Be like denim experts and general fashion-y people and don’t just buy the best-fitting pair – tailor the best-fitting pair so they become absolutely perfect. 

Avoid washing jeans

Washing jeans is naughty. Avoid at all costs. 

But if you must, treat them to cold water, salt water or a denim rinse 

OK, so you went out for Mexican and spilled a whole bowl of chilli con carne all over yourself. This is not a job for a spot clean. When you absolutely must wash them, turn your jeans inside out and wash with cold water only. If you’re a nice owner, you’ll occasionally treat them to a denim rinse pampering sesh – think of it like a foot rub and a hair mask for your jeans. Salt water is even better, so if you’re an extremist, leave your margarita behind, run straight to the beach and dive in the water.

Dress them up with badges from your travels

Most of us have a collection of patches and badges we picked up as a keen tourist on the first day of our European holiday, or while stumbling home drunk from a big night on $1 shots. When we get home after our trip, we never quite know what to do with them (other than keep them in a little plastic bag in the draw where all the random things of your house go). Customising your denim is a way better idea, so grab all of your denim shorts, jackets, skirts and jeans and deck them out. They’ll instantly become one-of-a-kind and every time you look in the mirror, you’ll remember that hella loose night in Croatia. 

Get crafty with long lost jeans

Remember those white boyfriend jeans that seemed like a really good idea at the time? No? That’s because they’ve fallen into the abyss of your wardrobe, never to be seen again. Go looking in the back of your closet (or better yet, clean it out) and you’re bound to find a few pairs you’d forgotten all about. Some you’ll still love and they’ll return to high rotation. Others will make you cringe with embarrassment. Spend the afternoon getting crafty with these ones: turn some into denim shorts, cut off patches to sew onto other jeans and create a denim belt to wear over dresses.   

Try a new style of denim every month

The trustworthy denim you reach for every single day is always gonna be there. It’s time to step out of your comfort zone and challenge yourself to try a new style of denim every single month (or week if you’re the overachieving type). Might I suggest a mini skirt? Pinafore? Wide-leg culottes? Denim has so much more to give than the ill-fitting jeans you’ve had forever. All it needs is some attention, a pair of scissors and some tender loving care.

Illustration by Twylamae who makes sitcom tees and totes.

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