With Addition Elle’s #jeansdujour campaign running in full force I have compiled a great collection of “How To’s” for your plus size jeans! These tips and tricks may come in handy when caring for or altering your brand new designer jeans. If you have any great denim tips of your own that have worked for you please post them below. Enjoy!
HOW TO WASH YOUR DESIGNER JEANS PROPERLY
1. Always turn your jeans inside out. While the indigo dye does bleed pretty much no matter what (unless you’ve purchased a pair of pre-washed denim), the color will stay even and won’t fade as quickly. It’s a little thing, but it makes a big difference.
2. Wash in COLD water on NORMAL setting. Cold water is your denim’s friend. This will prevent the color from bleeding, the fit from warping (blowing out your spandex never looks good) and your jeans from wearing out faster than their time.
3. Never, EVER tumble dry. Nope… just don’t do it! End of discussion.
4. Laying dry is your best bet. While you can, of course, hang your jeans to dry, I’ve found that it can warp the waist band, and let them dry naturally.
5. Cleanliness isn’t always next to godliness. Taking time between washes is going to help your jeans more than hurt them. I usually go a few wears before I wash my jeans. And I know what you’re thinking… but it’s gross. Calm down. If you get dirty or sweat a lot, sure; wash them every other (or every third) wear. Other than that, there’s no reason not to take your time on them.
6. Fabric Softener Can Help. Feel like your jeans are starchy? Throw a little Downy (or some equivalent) into the washing machine (and, I recommend getting one of the Downy balls. It keeps your denim from getting weird, patchy marks from over-saturation of the softener) and it really does help a ton.
7. Wash before you wear. I do recommend washing them before your first wear, even if you bought them at a specialty boutique. There are an abundance of excess dyes, chemicals, silicone and more on the jeans, and you’re better off getting what you can off when you can. If you’re like me and have sensitive skin, it can make or break a pair of jeans.
8. Go to the Dry Cleaners. If all else fails… you can always take your denim to the dry cleaners. Just make sure that they’re specifically knowledgeable about denim.
HOW TO KEEP THE DYE FROM RUBBING OFF ON YOUR SKIN AND CLOTHES
Super dark denim jeans are everywhere this season, but with dark denim can come the dreaded rub off of the dye onto your legs, hands and other clothes. And for designers to get the denim so dark is is usually inevitable that some dye is going to rub off. Thankfully none of my new Addition Elle jeans have posed this problem to me, but for those of you who may have a pair of jeans like this at home here are some options to try to stop it.
1. Use Vinegar. Soak your jeans in water with a cup of vinegar for a few hours before you wash them. They will not smell like vinegar, but the vinegar will “seal” the blue color and it will not bleed as easily the next washes to come.
2. Use Salt. If adding vinegar to your brand new jeans sounds crazy to you, try soaking your jeans in a bucket with water and one cup of salt for the same color sealing effect.
3. Pre-Wash. Wash your dark denim jeans as many times as possible (3+) before wearing them!
4. Remove Excess Dye. There are special clothing dye removers like Synthrapol that will help remove excess die from jeans.
5. Get a Dye Magnet. Some grocery stores carry products called “dye magnets”, which are claimed to soak up any loose dye and thus protect other garments washed with a garment that runs. One brand of dye magnet is the Shout Color Catcher.
HOW TO KEEP YOUR JEANS FROM FADING
On the opposite side you may not have any problems with your colour rubbing off onto your skin and other clothes but you may be concerned about keeping your dark denims as dark as the day you bought them. Here are some tips to help:
1. Don’t Wash Your Jeans. Washing and especially hot water will fade your jeans, so try to wash them less often. You can easily get over 5 uses out of them, especially if you air them out often in fresh air. If you want to go extreme: freezing your jeans will also refreshen them. If not adding water to your pants seems too gross to you, hang your jeans up and then fill a spray bottle with water and saturate the fabric with it, then allow them to air-dry.
2. Hand Wash Them in Your Bathtub. This is a simple and cheap way to keeping your denim dark. You can wear the jeans until they feel too loose or dirty, then turn them inside out and throw them into a tub full of cool water. Let them soak for 15-30 minutes so that any loose sediment can be separated then add a small a amount of mild detergent. Swirl your jeans around for a few times, but be gentle so that you remove as little dye as possible. When you’re done line dry your jeans so that they can shrink back and retain the hard texture they had when you bought them. This method will draw out some dye and a slight amount of fading will occur over time, but it will only make your denim look natural and lived in.
3. Take Your Dark Denim to the Dry Cleaners. If method one is a little too extreme for you, and method two involves too much work another alternative is to just take your dark jeans to the cleaners. Your jeans will be clean and will retain their dark hue for a longer amount of time, but this method will soften the texture a bit and will put a dent into your wallet depending on how often you go. If you take this option just be sure to skip the pressing which will crease your pants and give the seams a slightly shiny and faded look.
4. Colour Protect! Use color-protection washing detergent to keep the colors from fading.
5. Never Wash Them in a Washing Machine. This method will fade the denim by a couple of shades each time you do it, because of the amount of friction and soap used.
6. Never Dry Them in a Dryer. Dryers, especially those that give off high heat will also fade your denim, plus it will soften the denim leading to looser fitting jeans.
HOW TO HEM YOUR JEANS (OR AT-LEAST FAKE IT)
The right length of your jeans can make or break a great pair of denim.Whether it’s a wardrobe malfunction or following the fashion trend of a shorter hem for the short term, swap out the needle and thread for one of these three easy fixes that do just the trick without the long-term commitment.
1. Fix A Hem With A Stapler: If a few stitches come out and the whole seam is threatening to come undone, grab a stapler to patch up the damage until you can get home and properly sew it up. More than just a touch up? Fold the fabric under and place a staple every inch. If the shiny silver is an eye sore, use a closely colored sharpie to match. When you’re over the look and ready to remove the hem, be sure to use a stable remover when you get home so as not to rip the fabric.
2. Fix A Hem With Duct Tape: Whether you’re fixing a loose seam or creating a new one, duct tape can do the job. Fold your hem to the length you want it. Use an iron to set the seam. Turn your jeans inside out and wrap the duct tape around the edge, just slightly overlapping the tape on itself to ensure it holds- and it will… even through a few washes!
3. Fix A Hem With Fashion Tape: Similar to double stick office tape, fashion tape is double stick but even more resilient. Place the tape at the edge and press. If the excess fabric length is long, use two strips of tape, one along the hem fold and the other at the edge. No need to go out of your way. You can buy fabric tape at most drug stores.
4. Use the Style Snap! The Style Snap is an adhesive snap hem that allows you to simply SNAP under your long hem for flats & UNSNAP to slip back into heels. You can change your shoes, not your pants, to get the look you want. What a little miracle worker!!!
HOW TO DISTRESS YOUR DEMIN
There is nothing better than a brand new pristine pair of jeans, but sometimes we want to mix it up and take our jeans to a whole new level. Rather than going out and buying a new style, here are some tips you need to spice up traditional denim with a little “makeover,” or, err, make-under, if you will. So, if you are searching for that perfectly distressed looking pair of jeans here is a quick, DIY solution - perfect for a rainy day project!
Heres what you need, sandpaper, scissors & razors. Tools like scissors, X-Acto knives, sandpaper, cheese graters, and other potentially abrasive objects are amazing tools for making your jeans look vintage. When using these items, be sure to slip a piece of cardboard or a protective layer inside the pocket and the actual jean, so you are only distressing one surface as a time.
Distress where it’s natural! You’ll see natural wear and tear in places like pocket tops, hems, and anywhere whiskers form (usually around the crotch and the top of the thigh). We recommend starting out by cutting some light slashes, and then sanding and tearing at the fibers surrounding the cut/hem/etc.