The Mill

Don’t believe everything you hear on the internet.

Think about all of the embarrassing moments in internet culture that could’ve been avoided with those 8 simple words. Valuable clicks that could’ve been spent on things other than Rick Astley. iPhones that could’ve been saved from the menacing iOS waterproofing update. LIVES that could’ve been saved had they just forwarded that email to 10 friends. Ugh, the damn internet ruins everything.

It’s true, the internet is a hotbed for tricksters - perhaps even more so in the mystical world of raw denim, where misinformation builds up faster than the lint in-between your cuffs. So as soldiers of the truth, here at Blue Owl Workshop we’ve set out to rid the world - once and for all - of these 5 timeless tales that have plagued the world of denim in Denim MythConceptions: Popular Denim Myths, DEBUNKED.

• •

Amateur scientists of the internet have long theorized that denim can be better preserved via an overnight stay in the freezer. Unfortunately, as actual science tells us, this does nothing but take up valuable space in your freezer that could be otherwise spent on delicious things like mac & cheese or Hungry Man XLs. You see, in the nearly 3.5 BILLION years bacteria have been around, they’ve gotten pretty good at surviving extreme environments like extinction and even a trip to Mars. So while you may kill off some of the inhabitants of your denim, it only takes one angry bacteria to survive and come back to repopulate your jeans with a VENGEANCE. Instead, do what generations of humans did before you and submerge your jeans in some good old H2O mixed with your choice of detergent. Your pants (and your legs) will thank you for it.

If you’re anywhere in stone’s throw of the world of raw denim, you’ve heard someone utter the words, “don’t ever wash your jeans, man” at one point or another. The truth is, washing your denim is actually a GOOD thing. Not just for the people around you or your dating prospects, but for the cotton itself. You see, as denim is worn, cotton begins to wear down until you get nasty things like crotch blowouts and holes in your pockets. This is largely due to starch found in the fabric. Starch makes cotton more brittle, and therefore, more prone to tearing. When you wash your jeans, you’re cleaning out the oils, dirt, and starch embedded within the cotton, which improves the overall health and feel of the denim. Think of washing your jeans like you would changing the oil in your car. It’s not going to make it run any better per se, but it’s certainly going to help towards preventing further problems, and add to the overall longevity of your favorite pair of jeans.

Here in the Blue Owl Workshop offices, we believe that sleeping in denim should be reserved for either extreme cases of poor planning or poor decision-making the night before. Truthfully, sleeping in denim isn’t good for much of anything other than turning your sheets blue. While it’s true that the best way to break in your jeans is to wear them, it’s important to note that not all wear is equal. Ultimately, you need to be placing tension or friction on the fabric in order for cotton to move and soften up, and you’re not going to do this by sleeping. Simply having your jeans on your legs isn’t going to contribute towards your desired fades the same way actual activity does. Instead, get yourself a pair of comfortable sweatpants and a good night’s rest. Your jeans will be there for you when you wake up.

How much does raw denim really stretch? An inch? Two inches? Do they stretch enough to warrant buying a pair of jeans that you can’t button at all? These are the questions denimheads have labored over throughout the years, and the catalyst for one of the more infamous denim myths in circulation today: always size down. In order to accurately address this question, you’ll first need to do a little bit of research about the denim you’re interested in purchasing.

When it comes to stretch, not all fabrics are equal. For instance, you’d want to size a pair of Left Hand Twills differently than you would a pair of Momotaros. The type of cotton used, the tension of the weave, whether or not the denim is sanforized, and of course, your lifestyle, all factor into whether or not a pair of jeans is going to give in the waist and thighs, and if so, how much.

Secondly, you’ll need to confirm that you’re actually the size that you think you are, because as seasoned online shoppers know, the number on your tag only means so much. This is due to what we call vanity sizing - where each and every brand has their own unique way of sizing their garments. It’s the reason a size 30 Rogue Territory fits the same way as a size 33 Eternal, and the reason we spend as much time measuring our garments as we do. Measure your favorite pair of jeans alongside our Measurement Guide, then compare your numbers to your desired product’s respective measurement chart. After taking the fabric information into account, you should know which size is perfect for you.

A common mythconception in the world of raw denim is that there’s a direct correlation between the weight of the denim and the life of the jeans. While it’s true in theory that heavier cotton is harder to penetrate than more lightweight thread, there are a number of other factors that take priority when it comes to estimating just how long your jeans will last. Jeans frequently worn while biking, hiking, or walking long distances just aren’t going to last as long as the pair worn exclusively at home or the office, regardless of weight. Similarly, just because your jeans are 12oz or less, doesn’t mean that they’re going to fall apart in 4 months’ time. Weight is not a mark of quality the way that fabric and construction are, nor does it mean that any one pair of jeans will last longer than another. It's all relative to your lifestyle.


As always, we’re available via email and Twitter for all of your fabric or sizing question needs.