How To Shop, Wear and Care for Your Jeans, ft. Edwin and Wrangler
What would your three wishes be for a pair of jeans? Great-looking and fitting? Affordable? Sustainably made? Let Regent be your jeans genie, and make those three wishes come true...
Jeans are a universal garment. Everyone’s got a pair. They are an essential style that suit an astonishing array of outfits and occasions. Why, then, do so many of us take them for granted?
It’s easy to buy a cheap pair of jeans, but you reap what you sow. A typical pair of high street jeans will have a strange cut - to accommodate some approximated idea of an average person - and be made from unsustainable fabric that frays, tears and breaks within a year.
If, like us, your jeans are your staple wardrobe go-to - the basis for the majority of your outfits, each and every day - then why slack on such an essential? In this blog, we’ll discuss a little bit about what to look for in a great, lifelong pair of jeans, as well as how to care for them when you’ve got them.
We’ll introduce you to two brands - Edwin and Wrangler - who, for us, exemplify quality denim wear at sensible price points. Get ready for the double denim hop!
Denim has its roots in practicality. The word comes from a contraction of serge de Nîmes, i.e. ‘from Nîmes’, in France, where weavers were trying to re-create a specific cotton fabric popular in Genoa, Italy. They stumbled across cotton twill, which is what distinguishes denim from other cotton fabrics: the weft passes under two or more warp threads, making the material particularly durable. Denim was thus used by plenty of French workers for their day-to-day work thanks to its sturdiness and durability.
It was, of course, Jacob Davis and Levi Strauss that created the first actual pair of jeans in 1873. Strauss sold the denim to Davis, a tailor, who needed a pair of trousers that could withstand the kind of hard work a goldrush cowboy did in those days - particularly including a lot of horse riding.
Davis made reinforced trousers with copper rivets at the places our trousers tend to wear the most, and voila: from France, via the USA, the iconic pair of trousers were born and worn.
Two Jean-ius Brands
At Regent we strive to stock jeans that suit everyone, in every style, at every price point. This doesn’t mean, however, that we flood our shop with thousands of different types every season. Rather, we’ve narrowed it down, over 15 years of curation, to the perfect spectrum of styles, fits, colours and crafts.
Our two frontrunners are Edwin and Wrangler. Edwin for that true, lifelong pair of jeans, and Wrangler for a fantastic pair with well-above-average cut and composition at an excellent price point.
Edwin truly lead the way when it comes to the art of denim: combining their Japanese-rooted craftsmanship and expertise with a contemporary European forward-thinkingness and vision, they’ve been responsible for various revolutions in the jean industry, such as stone-washing and the concept and cuts associated with ‘new vintage’. Rigorously edgy and impeccably cool, they’re the ultimate alternative jean. Check out their fabric list here.
Edwin’s stuff is mostly made in Japan, with all the quality and craftsmanship that this seal ensures. It also means that it comes straight to here from there, with a smaller carbon footprint than being flown round the world to complete the various composition processes.
Meanwhile, Wrangler are the cooler, alternative cousin to Levis, and the original cowboy brand, making beautiful USA-true garments that sit iconically in the public imagination. Wrangler cut and craft their jeans so that they feel very everyday and so accessible: nothing fancy, here. From the simplicity of the cut through to the lovely stitching and button fastening, it's the clarity of vision here that sets these jeans apart from the rest: you feel just like you could stay smart whilst wrestling a bunch of cattle in a dustbowl, and barely break a sweat.
Wrangler also has an ambitious sustainability campaign on the go, and are already using a whole lot less water - a real downside of denim manufacture - to create the same impeccable garments.
What Shape, What Style?
Edwin has a distinct range of styles, each of which stands out from your regular jeans crowd, without being shouty or showy.
Our stalwart classics are the ED-32 or -33, the ED-45, the ED-55 and ED-80. These run the gamut of core styles, from slim fitting through to regular fit with a tapering leg, and on to regular all the way through with a straight leg.
The way fashion is headed at the moment is towards a less tight-fitting jean, so we particularly recommend the ED-45, which have a regular fit around the leg and thigh, and taper down slightly around the calf, so that you get the best of both worlds: a straighter, less inhibitive pair of jeans that still doesn’t look baggy or flappy at the bottom.
Edwin tends to be a little oversized, so you could most likely hop down a size from your regular, and get a lovely fit. Wrangler, on the other hand, are pretty small to size, so we’d recommend definitely jumping up one waist size from whatever your regular size is. Check our Size Guide for more details.
We stock Texas, the Texas Slim and the Icon range (see here for details) from Wrangler, for similar reasons. The Texas cut is a particular favourite: the perfect pair of great, straight-all-the-way through jeans that look great on everyone. The other two cuts are a little more fitted, and great for pairing with shirts or blazers for more formal or work-oriented occasions.
For more inspiration, check out Denim Dudes: 272 pages of denim style gathered by Amy Leverton, putting a spotlight on the frontrunners in the industry from around the world.
How To Look After Your Lovely New Denim
There are a lot of myths to debunk when it comes to looking after your ace new pair of jeans. No, you don’t have to freeze them, or wash them in the sea. Here we provide the simplest breakdown to caring properly for your denim.
Otherwise, aerate them. Jeans will smell less if you keep them hung on a clothes hanger in your wardrobe, or hang them outdoors for a little while to air them out. You can also use clever garment refreshers to kill the smelly bacteria without putting your jeans through the whole stressful washing process.
Tend between washes. You can eliminate stains by using an old toothbrush and scrubbing or dabbing with a little water and a little soap. Wearing your jeans and not washing them contributes to the unique character of the denim, and builds up a series of fades and lines specific to you, your body and your lifestyle. So enjoy the ride!
Love your raw denim and your selvedge denim. Raw denim is denim that is completely untreated. This means it comes straight to you from the loom, ready to pick up the nuances and patterns of your life. It’s more sustainable because it puts less chemicals into the earth and uses less water to treat. Meanwhile, selvage, or selvedge, denim, is derived from the expression 'self-edged', referring to the narrow, tightly woven band on both edges of the fabric which prevents the edge of the denim from unravelling whilst offering an impeccably clean, neat, well-finished look. This denim is sturdier and beautifully composed: worth investing in.
Get In Touch or Swing By Our Store
If you have any questions about the wonderful world of denim, or about the styles and cuts of jeans we’ve talked about here, feel free to contact us or swing by our shop in Salisbury for a gander.