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Your lifestyle, your quirk
Although they have taken a backseat to a lot of other fall fashions, denim jeans are still riding the fashion trend train for fall 2012. There is still an endless selection for styles, cuts, and washes; you can even have them made to order from certain brands, but for a little bit of a change, why not go old school with a pair of 501 shrink-to-fit jeans?
For you youngsters, Levi 501 shrink to fit jeans could be called the original blue jean. The Levi’s site describes Levi’s 501 shrink-to-fit jeans as “The real deal … Raw, rough, and as pure as jeans can be.” The site adds that prior to the early ’80s, this is the only way jeans were available. It’s a little melodramatic and sounds very un-fashionable, not to mention messy, but the site suggests not washing them for six months and dragging them behind cars as part of the breaking-in process.
Getting these jeans to a “custom” fit is not as dramatic as the site states. But it is quite a production number. I am not sure if it was just laziness or the fact I didn’t have the access to the room and time, but I have to confess that in all of the years of my love affair with Levi’s, I never had the urge to try this process out.
It’s actually quite amazing if you have ever actually seen and felt a pair of these jeans before they have been “shrunk to fit.” The fabric prior to the process is stiff as cardboard with a grayish tone. After the process, it ends up malleable and soft and begins its journey from brand-new blue to so light it’s almost white.
It’s fascinating that the same one pair of jeans can be manipulated into results that are so individual if certain steps are taken, like wearing them when they are wet. There is an informational grid on a few retail sites that tell you what dimensions to buy the jeans in their original state to get certain results for sizes. I had a vague idea of how to do this , but I recently looked up the actual process, and although I was amazed to find the large amount of very clear step by step how-to instructions and videos, I confess I won’t be trying this process out.
Some may argue skipping this experience may make me less of a true fan, but I believe this doesn’t make my love for Levi’s any less. I may change my mind and perform this major fashion production one day but, for now I will simply remain fascinated that this magical process simply exists.