Denim Poncho Times

by Kristen Philipkoski

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What could be better than a denim poncho? Two denim ponchos, of course. And thanks to Ubi, I recently doubled the number of denim ponchos in my closet to two. I hate to pick favorites—obviously this would be like picking a favorite child—but isn’t the pattern on this one the best? Take a peek at the other one here, check out more denim products from Ubi-Ind here and read my interview with Ubi himself here.

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The talented Anna-Alexia Basile shot these photos at Outside Lands music festival in San Francisco a few weeks ago. Summers in San Francisco are always cold, and the poncho was the perfect layering item over a long-sleeved tee and silk tunic.

24_OL2016_ForbesMy grandmother’s scarf, Backyard sneaks and a Timbuk2 fanny pack completed the look. I was appropriately suited up for a full day of music in Golden Gate Park.

The Lazy-Girl’s Guide to Hemming Your Jeans (No Sewing Necessary!)

by Kristen Philipkoski

hemHave you ever stapled your jeans? I have. Have you ever pinned them with a safety pin? Sadly, I’ve done that too. Hemming your jeans, or even just dropping them at the tailor, can be a pain—or just one of those things that become impossible to remember to do.

The best answer to the hemming conundrum I’ve found is hem tape. It may not look as good as sewing your jeans while keeping the original hem (a neat trick we will explore in a future post), but it’s great when you NEED to wear those brand-new (and to-long) jeans tonight. Here’s a step-by-step on how to do it: Read More >

The Joy and Pain of a Denim Jumpsuit

by Kristen Philipkoski

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This vintage denim jumpsuit is one of my favorite purchases from the last couple of years. I found it at Wallflower in San Francisco, and I went through a period when I couldn’t squeeze into it, so I’m pretty thrilled to be able zip it up it again. I wore it to Outside Lands music festival in Golden Gate Park with my Timbuk2 fanny pack, Freda Salvador booties, Madewell military-style coat and a vintage Vera neck scarf. It all worked out fine aesthetically, but I would not necessarily recommend wearing a jumpsuit (with the added encumbrance of a fanny pack attached to it!) if you have to navigate portable toilets. 06_OL2016_Forbes 07_OL2016_Forbes

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MMA Champion Ronda Rousey Is the Face of Buffalo’s Hope Jeans

by Kristen Philipkoski

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Ten months after suffering her first loss, and one that threw her for such a loop that she had suicidal thoughts, MMA fighter Ronda Rousey is back in the limelight with a denim campaign for Buffalo David Bitton. The “Hope” jeans promise no gap at the waist and roominess in the thighs.

They’re available in sizes 25 to 34, come in several washes and include cropped skinnies, patterned boot-cuts, a classic black straight leg and are priced at $90. Go Ronda!

Read her interview with Vogue for more about the campaign!

Even Your Virtual Reality Gear Can Be Denim

by Kristen Philipkoski

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Xiaomi has come out with a denim virtual reality headset—check it out above top left.

The other cool thing about Mi VR Play is that it’s powered by your smartphone. It works with any phone with a screen size between between 4.7 and 5.7 inches, with the goal of bringing VR to a much wider audience. I never had that much interest in trying out VR, until now!

AG Ventures Into Fancy Indigo Sweats

by Kristen Philipkoski

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AG jeans released a capsule collection that looks a lot like jeans, but is actually indigo knitwear. And it looks incredibly comfy.

The Indigo Capsule Collection includes a few versions of terry pants, a turtleneck midi-length dress, a navy cropped tee, a boxy striped tee, plus several men’s pieces.

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I dont know about you, but come fall I’d like nothing more but to wear these pieces every day.

Why Levi’s Updated the Classic 505 Jeans

by Kristen Philipkoski

MTQwMjE1MDE5ODEwODU4MjE3Levi’s 505’s were introduced in 1967, with a slimmer silhouette than 501s and a zip instead of a button fly. The jeans increased in popularity in the ’70s in particular among punk rockers who eschewed hippies’ bell bottoms. Every member of The Ramones wore 505s (customized to be even more tapered) on the band’s self-titled 1976, and Debbie Harry was also a fan.

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Now, after a year of research and development, Levi’s is introducing an even trimmer version with a lower waist and calling it the 505C (c for customized).

Levi’s head of design Jonathan Cheung talked to Esquire about why they updating the classic now:

The conception of the 505c came about just over a year ago. I’d managed to see a pair of Johnny Ramone’s 505s and noticed he’d customized them by making the legs a bit slimmer. That planted the seed. Like many other people here, I’m a big fan of the 505—specifically the vintage version—and with such a resurgence of vintage Levi’s happening, we wanted to remaster the punk rock classic.

debbie-x-xlarge_trans++yRYIi1D2h08242rj8IWz4b-04MBLos40UTFS-VUYruoThe above photograph of Debbie Harry wearing the jeans onstage in 1976 inspired updated style. Cheung and his team bought a deadstock pair from the same year from a Japanese collector. A label on the jeans indicated the fabric’s code, so they traced the fabric back to the mill that made that original pair and reproduced it.

The washes are named after denim-wearing icons (Joey, Patti, Elvis, etc), and they retail for $98, except for the extra-distressed Patti wash, which is $148. Levi’s timing couldn’t be better. The silhouette is very right now and they are officially on my wish list.

How to Be a Jean Queen

by Kristen Philipkoski

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Anytime the thought crosses your mind that there are no new ways to wear denim, you are proven wrong in a matter of minutes—just walk down any street or flip through any magazine and you’ll find something new under the sun. If there was ever a textile that has thrived on reinvention, it’s denim.

Shopbop’s Jean Queen collection proves the point in spades, with jeans that are somewhere between a culotte and a skirt (skulotte?), perfectly-patched flares, ruffled and embroidered tops, off-shoulder dresses and even denim shoes. We’ve never been more convinced that there’s a denim garment for every occasion.

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Denim Icon: Chloe Sevigny Has Perfected the Mom Jean

by Kristen Philipkoski

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Photo via Harper’s Bazaar
I first saw Chloe Sevigny in the Kids, a film about bored suburban teens experimenting with anything and everything dangerous. The film was so disturbing to me. I was in my 20s at the time and wondered how everything could have changed so much already?!

It was an important, controversial film, and Kids sent Sevigny on a career trajectory that included many more important and jarring movies including Gummo, The Last Days of Disco, Boys Don’t Cry, American Psycho and the ultra-controversial Brown Bunny.

After all that, she played a fundamentalist Mormon second wife in Big Love, and has gone on to direct and star in more mainstream films including Zodiac and appeared in The Mindy Project. The woman is indie to the core and an incredibly versatile actor.

In addition to all that and a slew of movies you’ve probably never heard of, Sevigny is a fashion icon who has collaborated with the likes of Miu Miu, Louis Vuitton, Chloe, was creative director of Imitation of Christ and has long collaborated with ultimate cool-girl brand Opening Ceremony.

All that said, it’s no surprise Sevigny is a master of denim style and has been since she was a kid. She mastered mom jeans long before anyone else was wearing them, and her kick-flare games on point. Behold!

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Photo via Vogue Russia

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Photo via Models.com via Muse Magazine

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Photo via Elle

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Photo via WSJ

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Photo via Juergen Teller on Tumblr

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Photo via Daily Mail

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Photo via Daily Mail (in 2012!)

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Photo via Refinery 29 (taken way before high waists were everywhere)

 

Watch Olympic Lifter Sarah Robles Snatch While Wearing Jeans

by Kristen Philipkoski

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Denim brand 360 Stretch has teamed up with two-time Olympian weightlifter Sarah Robles to show how well their jeans stretch and bounce back.

The Curvy Fashionista writes that Jessica Svoboda, founder of 360 stretch was outraged when hateful comments from online trolls overshadowed Sarah’s success at the Olympics in 2012.

So with Robles’ Rio performance coming up soon, Svoboda wanted to celebrate and honor the athlete with a campaign called #stronglikesarah in which she lifts way more weight than most men can (likely more than any of those trolls)—while wearing jeans. Check it out below. And best of luck to Sarah in Rio!!

How to Re-Sell or Recycle Your Denim

by Kristen Philipkoski

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By Ann of Holier than Now—this post was originally published in January 2012.

I’m a big believer in wardrobe recycling, and I tend to feel most strongly about it after a weekend of heavy shopping. Although there are some vintage pieces that I’d never part with, for the most part I believe in truly wearing the things I own, and selling, swapping or donating the things that have fallen out of rotation.

I love the idea of my unloved clothes moving on to a loving owner, and I frankly use this system to finance my shopping. I resell a decent number of items each season, and I use the funds to buy new (or new-to-me used or vintage) clothes. I’ve written about my system on Holier than Now, but having just sold off some designer denim, I thought I’d share a jean-specific version here.

Following are my 5 tips for divesting of your denim. My process starts not when I decide I want to sell the item, but when I buy it.

1. Archive: If you’re investing in a pair of jeans, take the time to store away the tags and any accoutrements that came with them (like a cloth bag or extra buttons). Although you shouldn’t pass off your items as “new with tags” if you’ve worn them, it’s a nice touch to show a potential buyer that the item has the original tags, etc., and you might need to reference them for the style name and original retail price.

2. Take care: I generally try to treat my clothing as if it’s on loan. With denim, that means washing inside out, letting my jeans partially air dry after a bit of time in the dryer, and generally not beating them up if possible. You can read a few more tips on caring for denim here.

3. Pick Your Destination: Depending on the price point and condition of your used denim, there are lots of options to pass it on.

  • If you have high quality designer jeans and need some quick cash, consider taking them to a designer resale boutique. Some give you cash on the spot, while others pay you after the item is sold. These stores usually take a decent chunk out of the purchase price, so you’re paying for the convenience.
  • If you have time on your hands and want to try to make a good chunk of your money back, consider listing on eBay or The RealReal, where the commissions are far lower than at most designer resale boutiques.
  • For lower price point jeans in good condition, a resale boutique like Crossroads Trading will buy on the spot for cash or store credit. or ThredUP is a great online option for less expensive jeans.
  • Swaps are a great way to spend the day with friends – or you can swap from the comfort of your home with a site like Swap.com.
  • Charity donation is a feel-good option that can also benefit your bottom line, as many charity shops will give you tax receipt for your donation. As long as your jeans are in good condition, the Salvation Army or your favorite charity will be glad to have them.

4. Do Your Homework: If you’re taking your items to a resale store, call ahead to make sure they accept denim (and if you’re bringing non-denim items, ask what season they’re buying for). For online listings, search the designer and style name to see what similar items are selling for.

5. Prepare to Sell:

  • I always clean and press items I’m bringing to a resale store, and I pin the tags on (just don’t try to make it look like they were never removed- bad karma!). I think a nicely pressed item is an easier buy for the store (less work for them), and the price tag helps the buyer know how much the item is worth.
  • For online, look up the measurements of the jeans or take measurements yourself – including waist, inseam, and leg opening at the ankle. I’ve learned from experience that jeans photographed flat on the bed or a clean floor sell better than jeans photographed on my body – maybe it’s just my body! But I think in general, people are searching for jean styles they already like … so I don’t want to confuse them by showing them on a shape that might not be the same as theirs.
  • Whether selling to a store or online, make sure to inform of any stains, holes or other issues. It’s far better to disclose these now than get a call or email after the fact.
  • Have fun with it! I’ve found some of my favorite pieces at resale shops and charity outlets, so always stay a while and take a look around.

 

Do you recycle your wardrobe?  Are you an eBay power seller or a swap queen? Share your tips below!

Four Ways to Prevent Dark Wash Jeans From Bleeding

by Kristen Philipkoski

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Raw, dark indigo denim is the best. But the bleeding that tags along, not so great. I have ruined many a handbag by letting it come in contact with spanking new dark jeans. Regardless of price tag, it’s bound to happen. But there are ways to mitigate the problem. I’d still stop short of wearing new dark jeans on anyone’s white couch, but you might save a handbag or two.

How to Stop Your Dark Denim From Bleeding

1. Rinse with Vinegar

Do this before your first wear and regular wash: Fill your washer to the lowest level and add 1 cup of white household vinegar. Add jeans inside out and let soak for an hour. The acidity in the vinegar will help set the dye. Then wash with a bit of soap in cold water. Some suggest washing in water first, but an initial vinegar rinse works well.

If you want some extra assurance or your jeans are super duper dark, soak them in a bucket or the bathtub overnight in a mixture of one cup vinegar and water. Roll the jeans in a dark or old towel to release excess water. Lay flat to dry.

2. Rinse in cold water

Turn the jeans inside out and rinse in cold water—no detergent. You can repeat washing until the bleeding stops, but only if you don’t mind some fading. The more you wash, the more they will fade. Roll the jeans in a dark or old towel to release excess water. Lay flat to dry.

3. Soak in Salt Water

Soak your jeans overnight in a bucket with water and one cup salt. Like vinegar, it will lock in the dyes. Roll the jeans in a dark or old towel to release excess water. Lay flat to dry.

4. Wear only dark clothes with your dark denim

Kidding, sort of. But no method is 100% guaranteed to work. So caution might be your wisest choice, at least for the first few wears!

Clothes already stained? Try using acetone nail polish remover to smaller stains to help remove dye.

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