No more ruining your jeans: How to care for your denim

by Charline Catteeuw

They’re classic, they’re a wardrobe staple, and there seems to be quite a bit of a mystery around taking care of them. Our denim pieces are made by skilled artisans in Java, Indonesia, designed to last and become a staple of your capsule wardrobe. A staple you will feel good in and love to wear over and over again. 

But as much as we love our denim, it isn’t invulnerable to the dirt and filth of everyday wear and tear. Knowing how to take proper care of the wardrobe icon can get very confusing - The more they’re worn, the more they seem to fade, whisker and scruff. Let us tell you, it doesn’t have to be that way. By taking on a few simple (right, we’re making it easy here) tips, you can get the most life out of each pair and break them in the proper way. Here are five tried and true methods to make your denim look better, fit better and last longer. Hint: back away from the dryer.

Less is more

Denim connoiseurs know that raw denim can take anywhere between three and six months to break in and shouldn’t be washed until then - to your benefit, as that’s when they conform to your body. As much as you’d like to stuff your jeans into the washing, resist to maintain its shape.

Les Basics’ denim has been pre-washed for you and doesn’t need breaking in (win-win!). Yet, you should be careful with the washing and only do so when stained or starting to sag. Less is more should be your mantra here - Not only does it prevent shrinking & fading, but it conserve water, which lessens negative impact on the environment. So for as long as you can get away with it, avoid washing your jeans.

Zap the smell

Between washes, get rid of the smell that comes with wear & tear by hanging your jeans in the bathroom pre-shower; The steam will freshen them up within no time. Alternatively, freeze them in a plastic bag for two days (yes, this one really works wonders!).

When you need to treat a stain in between, spot wash your denim by dampening the area you want to clean. Gently pat the dirt out using some mild soap. Being extra careful goes a long way here.


Keep it cool

When your jeans are finally ready for a freshening up, turn them inside-out and wash separately. The best method is to use your own two hands and wash them in a tubful of water, soaking them up to 30 minutes with mild detergent, gently rinse and swirl to loosen any set-in sediment. 

Denim garments are subject to fading if machine-washed and dried, but we also get you’re a busy bee and would much rather just toss it into the washing machine. Rule number one when machine washing is the colder the water, the better for your denim. Reason enough to only use the cold cycle - Unless you actually want to get your denim to shrink / fade a bit, in which case we recommend to wash once in hot water.  

Direct heat being the bane of denim, always choose air drying your denim over machine drying - even if it does mean it’s going to take a good deal longer. Avoid direct sun during the drying process whenever possible (Another source of heat). If you do have to use a machine, turn it to the lowest possible heat setting, and remove the jeans before they’re completely dry. Lay flat or hang upside down to dry. 


Fold like a pro

Hanging or folding your jeans? While you know that hanging dresses and coats are the way to go, things become a little more unclear when it comes to denim. We say both, depending on what works best for you - when it comes to jeans, there’s no right or wrong, due to their durable nature. However, do make sure to let denim fibers breathe; Don’t pack folded pairs too tightly together on a shelf or hang denim jackets or vests in a crowded closet.


Jeans too tight?

We all know it - A freshly washed pair of jeans, ready to be slipped into - If only it wasn’t skintight and tautly. But no need to worry - Jeans do become that extra bit tighter after washing. With time, they will re-adapt and be perfectly fitting.

Ready to invest in pieces you'll love to wear on the daily? Shop our denim pieces here.