On the Donna Ida shop floor there is one question I get asked most frequently by everyone from die hard denim wearers to fashion journalists and that is how do I wash my jeans? It's such a loaded topic as everyone has a different opinion (and probably a distinct memory of ruining a pair of jeans by washing them at 90 degrees) and there's a few urban myths out there. Let's face it, no one wants to invest in a new pair of J Brand, IDA jeans or Frame Denim skinnies and then ruin them by making a mistake with a washing machine. It was the CEO of Levi's Chip Bergh earlier this year who suggested we shouldn't wash our jeans at all, and instead he prefers to put them in the freezer every time they need freshening up. But I believe you can wash your designer jeans if you are careful - here's my golden rules for looking after your premium denim:
1) Read the care instructions - this sounds simple but it's amazing how many times people just put their jeans straight into the washer on 30 degrees without taking the time to check. Every pair of jeans will have a different set of instructions so read them with care.
2) Wash at cold - cold is COLD, zero not 30 degrees. Most premium jeans can be washed on this setting but avoid any kind of heat which can destroy the elastane.
3) Turn them inside out - this protects all the hardware including buttons and rivets plus any external details such as zips and press studs during washing.
4) Line dry your jeans - again avoid heat including tumble dryers and radiators which can damage the denim and instead line dry them to ensure they will maintain their premium look and feel.
5) Use Denim Wash - if you're washing your jeans make sure you use a non-biological detergent like Denim Wash from New York brand The Laundress. This is designed to care for the colour and fibres in your jeans.
6) Don't wash your jeans - you can usually go a few wears without washing your jeans, I mean, how dirty are we? In between try using a product like Fabric Fresh from The Laundress to gently lengthen their life.
7) Put them in the freezer - try this is you have a pair of coated or leather jeans which you can't wash as that will ruin the texture. Turn them inside out and pop them in a plastic airtight bag overnight and then get them out the next day. Alternatively a specialist dry cleaner can be the best option for leather and coated styles.
If you look after your jeans, they should be a great investment purchase and last for years. If you wash them as per the care instructions the shape should bounce back each time. If they do start to rip and distress through wear and tear, remember you can always have them patched as a simple denim alteration.
For more tips and advice tweet me @donnaida #denimdilemma and watch the videos below from the Denim Clinic.
How To Care For Your Denim:
How to Wash Your Jeans: