Sunday, October 31, 2010

Ms.Trendsetter: Janet Jackson Edition



Trend ALERT! Her name is Janet. Janet Jackson and she is making my life worth it! She wears some of the most amazing jeans -- and shoes, but we're not going to talk about that. I don't know if she has a great stylist, great taste, or simply a banging body, but she looks amazing in all the jeans she picks out. Curvy women -- take notice, skinny women do the same. She isn't afraid to wear different styles, from boyfriend jeans to skinny jeans. She picks out the best pair for her body and I am in love! We can all learn something from Ms. Janet. Thanks a bunch lady.





(pictures thanks to The YBF and Denim Blog .)



Thursday, October 28, 2010

It's Boutique Week


The first ever (soon to be annual) Boutique Week is finally here. But what the heck is it? Boutique Week is a shop-a-holic's best friend, a whole week of discounts. America's boutiques are brought together giving savings of at LEAST 25% off -- only at participating boutiques of course. Co-founders Olga Vidisheva and Polina Raygorodskaya have put this together to give fashionistas access to the best of the best clothes for a low price.

Participating boutiques are in Boston, New York and Los Angeles. Here are a few stores to check out:
  • Boston  - Karmaloop Boston, National Jean Company and in-jean-ius (cool name!)
  • New York - Variazoni, National Jean Company, and New York Look
  • Los Angeles - New York New York (yes, this is in LA) and Koromo

Don't forget to sign up to get your access code! Let me know what you find. Sales end on Halloween.

Happy Bargaining!

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Denim For Everything But Jeans


Ever wonder what you can do with an old pair of jeans besides donate them? Apparently there are lots of things you can do and all you need is an idea and a sewing machine- or a good tailor (for folks like myself). I stumbled upon a blog that listed 65 things you can do with denim. Most of the suggestions were lame, but I found a couple of great ideas. Put your creative hat on and try some of these out! Here are my top and bottom five. 

The Good Stuff
  • Make a jean skirt-This is great, your high-water or over warn jeans have done their job now onto another, hugging your curves in a skirt or shorts. The skirt they have shown on this website is hideous. I suggest leave the extra (ugly) girly fabrics out and go for something simple, or use more denim material.
  •  A bag made of overalls- If you actually own a pair of overalls this is a good way to use them- instead of wearing them, unless you live on a farm of course (just kidding, I love overall shorts). This bag is adorable and sturdy- two handles!
  • Zippered travel pouches- You may need to be a sewing machine expert to pull this off but wouldn't it be great? It's original too. I know I haven't seen one of these. If you want something bigger a make-up case or shaving kit would be interesting to try too. 
  • Eye glass case-Sunglasses or reading glasses, whichever you use you can always use an eye glass case at one point. You don't need too much material to make this, so make two or three for you and your friends. Plus this is a non-expert sewing task. My kind of gig.
  • Make a hot-pack- I have a bean bag hot pack and it is a life-saver. This is something that can be done so easily with one leg of your old jeans. You can fill it with rice or beans and your good to go. If you don't want to use it as a hot-pack-well at least you will have a bean bag.

I have to admit, it was extremely hard to choose the bad ones, because there were so many! Here are the winners, or losers rather:

Please Don't Try This at Home

  • Table runners- Now I don't know where you live, but a denim table runner just isn't classy. In this case keep the denim on your jeans- not your table.
  • Make slippers- I realize you wear slippers in the comfort of your own home, but denim slippers? That's just unnecessary. 
  • Patterned vest- A denim vest is a fashion statement of its own. To add a pattern is a problem. Also, I can't imagine where you would start in creating a vest out of your jeans. Non sewing experts please step away from this idea- ASAP.
  • A casserole carrier- First of all I didn't know there was such a thing. Denim just doesn't belong in the kitchen or the living room, period.
  • Waste basket cover- I'm not going to even get into why a waste basket needs a cover, but no, no, no. Don't do this- please!

There you have it, the do's and dont's of how to resuse your old denim. If non of this sparks your creative interests you can stick to the good old donation method. Whichever you choose it's a good deal.

Happy sewing!


(Photo- CTDcreations.com)

Stay Connected


Denim lovers, denim likers and denim wearers. Stay tuned into the Denim Lounge for all your denim needs. But, there are some other great blogs that can keep you updated as well. Check them out.








Keeping you in the know: Share your passions and connect with mentors at Levi's new site Shape What's to Come.

7 for All Mankind sample sale is still going in Chicago starts in two days! RSVP, don't miss out!

Also, the results of the last poll: What do you think of men wearing skinny jeans?**** 66% hate it, 38% are indifferent, 11% love it, and 5% would wear it. Thanks for voting. No prizes this time, just the satisfaction of knowing what everyone else has been thinking about men in skinny jeans.

Sincerely,

Retiring my jeans for the night.

Monday, October 18, 2010

Denim Diaries: Mark Brewer Raw Denim Lover



Mark Brewer is a 20-year-old student, and raw denim lover. He's not going to have a machine break in his jeans, he prefers to do it himself, even if it is going to run him $350, it's worth it. 


When did you first get involved with buying Japanese denim?


I got involved with Japanese denim pretty recently; within the past couple years. My brother's friend had a pair of Fullcount contest jeans and they looked so much nicer than any other pair of denim I had ever seen before.

Why does buying Japanese denim interest you? Why is it better than buying anything else?

Japanese denim interests me because GOOD Japanese selvedge denim has a quality of the construction to it that no other mainstream brand be it diesel, true religion, lucky, or seven could even think about matching. With Japanese denim, minor details aren't over looked and they don't skimp out on any pair.



Would you say you are a part of the raw denim lifestyle? Does it just stop at jeans for you?

I would say that I’m a part of the life style because I hate buying clothing that's pre-distressed, I think it ruins its uniqueness and cheapens the garment. Even boots, i won't buy boots that are pre-broken in or sand-blasted boots.

How do you afford this lifestyle?

I am able to afford it because I’m a student with a part time job who currently has no bills to pay.

What are some of your favorite denim brands and why?

Samurai denim- because they are known for having really heavy weight denim, like 15-23oz weight denim. And then either Eternal or Warehouse denim because I haven't seen a pair of worn jeans from those brands that I haven't liked, while I have seen pairs from other brands that don't look good.

Are there any brands you think shouldn't be getting the hype that they are getting?

I think people should stay away from Diesel, Lucky, 7 For All Mankind, and True Religion those brands will not last you like true Japanese selvedge. Also Evisu's that you see are most likely not legit, I like Evisu but the only place to get the real Evisu's is a store called Blue in Green or go to Japan and buy. Even the Evisu's sold in Barney's are cheap and made in china (even though they say made in Japan, only a portion of the garment is actually made in Japan).

What is the longest you have worn your jeans without washing them?

I would guess that I’ve gone about 5 months as the longest without washing.

Have you ever had to give in and just wash your jeans before you felt they were ready?

Sometimes they just smell so bad that mentally I have to wash, or if something spills on them I’ll wash.

How many pairs of raw denim jeans do you have?

I’m still relatively new to denim compared to some people so I only have two pairs, but I’ve heard that the owner of Self Edge in San Francisco has over a couple hundred.

Talk a little bit about your most recent adventure in breaking in your new jeans.

When I break in my denim I only do a hot soak for two hours, then hang dry (remember keep inside out) and then wear them normal. I don't do anything crazy in them because I want my jeans to be me, not me trying to do crazy things to break them in. The denim will break in without sleeping in them or going into the ocean with them.


Thanks for your insight Mark! Keep it fresh. 

Sunday, October 17, 2010

What Does Lauren Conrad Know About Jeans?


So Lauren Conrad, former "The Hills" cast member, knows something about jeans. She was on the Rachel Ray Show, busting myths and styling different fits of jeans. She didn't really say much of what I didn't know already, and I am speaking from the point of view of an average jeans shopper. But here are some of her tips:

  • You don't have to be skinny to wear skinny jeans
    • Yea, I know. "Skinny jeans," is simply the fit of the jeans. I'm a skinny person and I actually can't fit into the skinniest of skinny jeans, because my ankles are smaller than my hips (but aren't all of ours?)
  • Bootcut jeans are flattering on almost any body type, the flare at the bottom balances out hips
    • I love bootcut jeans for a clean casual look, it's a bit of an older look for me, but still a great look in my book. 
  • You can wear boyfriend jeans with a flat or a heel and a blazer
    • Boyfriend jeans are so sexy. Who would have thought not showing off all your curves could make you look even sexier? Boyfriend jeans are great because they are so versatile, and trendy!
Thank you Ms. Conrad. And how can we forget Rachel Ray, she is a riot. I love the interaction between the two. Sorry Rachel, no matter how much preparation you did before the show, you still don't know anything about jeans. 

What's your flavorite?





(Picture from Kohl's spring 2010 collection)

Saturday, October 16, 2010

We Heart Sample Sales



Anybody interested in getting some jeans, on sale? It's a celebrity favorite, 7 For All Mankind, premeium denim line. People in Los Angeles, San Fransisco and New York have already been able to experience, The Warehouse Sale, Chicago, it's your time.

The Warehouse Sale is the nations largest traveling fashion sample sale. It carries a wide variety of your favorite brands, styles and products. Why not get something you and your fellow celebrity friend loves, for cheap. Here at the Denim Lounge, we're talking jeans of course.


Chicagans get ready for greatness coming to The Great Hall at Union Station, October 22-24. You have to RSVP, so reserve your spot as soon as possible. Friday, Saturday and Sunday, jeans are starting at $65, $55 and $45 respectively. That's pretty amazing when a pair of Seven jeans can run you about $225.


The fun may be coming to Chicago, but New Yorkers you still have until tomorrow (at the Metropolitan Pavilion) to get your Seven jeans, so get out there and get shopping.


7 For All Mankind or Seven, hit the map in 2000, remember the craze? They have a huge variety of jeans, skinny leg, straight leg, cuffed, all the washes, blue jeans, black jeans, grey jeans, pretty much anything you could ask for. At this sample sale you will be able to shop for jeans, jean shorts, tees, skirts, shirts and outerwear. I say, stick to the jeans. Rack up on a couple of your favorite pairs, because this is your last chance!


Happy shopping!



(Celebrities known for wearing Seven jeans: Ben Affleck, Angelina Jolie, Kim Kardashian, Jake Gyllenhaal, Jessica Alba and Cameron Diaz).




Friday, October 15, 2010

Denim for the Day: Is That Even Denim?

This is a yes!


Oh Hilary Duff how we love thee. Here she is wearing Current/Elliot jeans: The Skinny Jean in Dust Destroy. They are the perfect fit for her. Not to tight and not too baggy. These jeans love her curves, although it looks to me like she bought them a size bigger. They look so much better that way, cuffed and all. These jeans are a bit rugged but you can dress them up with accessories, just like Hilary did. I'm not a fashion stylist; so I'm not going to tell you how to do that. But don't you love these jeans? Go girl! You get a gold star. At least from me. Hilary's jeans are regularly priced at $220, but you can get them on sale at RevolveClothing.com for $124!

This is a no!



I've been seeing these jeans a lot. J Brand 962 Agnes in black sateen, and I hate it. First of all, sateen is a strong cotton fabric weaved like silk to give a soft feel and shiny look. That alone tells us it is not denim and I thought denim was required to make JEANS! 

Okay, even if this was denim the fit, well...doesn't fit. These pants are always bunching at the thigh. It looks like Rihanna's leg can't even breathe. I don't want to bash these "pants," but they are not jeans. On a positive note the shape and design of the pants are great. If this was made of denim it would be a sexy jean. I love the zippers on the side, zippers are always cool. What do you think? Would you buy these pants for $218?

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Your Late, Denim Wash


Dawn Timmeney of WHEC-TV (some broadcast station in Rochester) did a news story on not washing yours jeans. She's a little behind the Denim Lounge, but hey, mainstream media is catching on to the trend. For every one person in her story who said they would never wear their jeans for six months without a wash, there are hundreds who would. 

The point of not washing your jeans, as I have stated here before, is to create an original pair of jeans unique to you. I'm not going to tell just anybody to do this. But if you spend $350 dollars on a pair of jeans why not create something new, instead of wearing the same jeans everyone else is wearing. 

Is anyone convinced yet? Are you looking up where to buy the best raw denim right now? I think I'm going to take the leap, not sure where I will land yet, or what jeans will land on me!


(Fuzzy Screenshot from WHEC.com)

Also, check out some of the comments under the story, oh consumers!

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

To Wash or Not to Wash, Your Jeans


Raw denim also known as dry denim, is causing people all over the world to wear their jeans without ever washing them. You can call it a laundry phobia, but there is much more to it than that. It’s a movement.


Raw denim is a part of a “do it yourself” culture. Raw denim is denim in it’s purest form, unwashed and untreated. You can create the look you want for your jeans by simply wearing them, without washing them. It’s not a simple task, Eric Goldstein, founder of Jean Shop, tells AOL news. It could take years to break your jeans in. 


There are many bloggers writing about how to care for your raw denim. For example, Darryl Necker, blogger on Dr. Denim Jeans Makers, has been taking his readers through the process of wearing and barely washing his raw denim jeans. 


Jing Liu, lead designer for JUZD street wear, created a YouTube video displaying the first time he washed his jeans in 18 months.


A newcomer to the raw denim lifestyle is Mark Brewer, a 20-year-old student. He’s been wearing his newest jeans, Samuri 710’s, for a little over four weeks without washing. When he finally decides to put his raw denim in the wash he has a special process. “I do a short cold cycle with very little detergent, and hang dry or I'll rinse them in my bath tub and always have them inside out,“ Brewer says. “Otherwise you can hang them out in the sun to get rid of the smell.”



Here’s the process:
  • Fill the bathtub with enough lukewarm water to cover your jeans.
  •  Use Woolite Zero (or Woolite Dark Colors) to wash your jeans, it is gentle and reduces indigo loss. Fill the cap up to the first line for one pair of jeans. You may use more if you are washing multiple pairs.
  •   Pour the Woolite into the bathtub and allow it to bubble before putting the jeans in.
  • Put your jeans in the water and move them around with your hands to work some of the dirt and grime off.
  •  Let your jeans soak for about 45 minutes.
  • After soaking take your jeans out. If the water is brown, then your jeans were DIRTY. Congrats, you have successfully washed your jeans for the first time!
  •  Empty the tub and refill it to get the soap off of the jeans.
  • Lastly hang those bad boys to dry in the shower. It will probably take a day before they are completely dry and stiff. 
Now that wasn’t so hard, was it? I know this may be a difficult task for raw denim lovers, but you may have to wash your jeans at some point. If you aren’t ready to take that big step, there is an alternative. What you will need is a plastic freezer bag and a freezer with room to spare. Take your dirty jeans and fold them up into the bag. Put them into the freezer for about a week. This will kill bacteria, bacteria that can cause your jeans to smell. It’s nothing like actually washing your jeans, but it would be a courtesy for you to not be stinky at work. Thanks in advance.



This is a lifestyle. More power to you because you are saving money on laundry, and clothes for that matter. To join or not to join the movement, that is the question, and you have the answer. 


(Picture via Andrew Ng Flickr)

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Too Much "Ass" in Advertisements


It seems The Wall Street Journal has a problem with the language being used in a new Levi advertisement. No longer is behind and derriere acceptable, ass is where it's at. I guess WSJ prefers backside, buttocks, or that which pokes out in the back.

I think this is a great ad that Levi created. I'm not sure any other word would have fit in as well. If you ask me those people who shouldn't be using the word ass (children) can't even read. So what's the problem? I will say if the use of the word ass has generally been seen as inappropriate for commercials, then Mr. Levi, please leave it out!

What do you think about the Levis ad?

Old Navy has an interesting advertisement as well. I'm glad denim companies are paying more attention to women's butts. Butts in jeans, or rather butts NOT in jeans, have been an issue for years. Some people's butts are much bigger than their waists so when one part fits into one size the other part doesn't. Hopefully the jeans Levi and Old Navy are creating will also save the rest of us from seeing any more ass cracks. Remember kids, crack is wack!

Old Navy Advertisment via The Huffington Post





(Levi photo comes from The Huffington Post)

Monday, October 11, 2010

The Vintage Lifestyle


 It's not about whether or not you can afford to pay $300 dollars for vintage jeans, but are you willing to invest in the lifestyle?

Some may consider a $300 pair of jeans good quality, but that is not always true, in fact Kiya Babzani, founder and owner of Self Edge says it is rarely true. 

"Most of the time you're paying for the brand and their advertising budget, but that's how fashion brands work," Babzani says. "The brands we carry don't advertise and the money goes to actually producing the product in small numbers." 

So what is quality denim? Japanese vintage selvage denim. The same definition we have always had for vintage remains when defining denim, it's simply old school. Vintage is also a style. Since everyone can't get their hands on jeans that were made 50 years ago there are modern models produced in a vintage fashion as well as vintage reproductions. 

Living the vintage lifestyle hasn't hit mainstream society because it is too much work and too expensive for the average Joe. 

"Mainstream wants dumbed down cheap products which celebrities wear, which is fine because that's what makes the average person feel safe," Babzani says. 

Even caring for these jeans isn't mainstream. Raw denim is not meant to be washed as often as pre-washed jeans. As you wear raw denim it fades and wears in a natural way specific to an individual's body.

If you are interested in getting into the vintage lifestyle your best bet will be to actually buy OLD vintage jeans. Jeans that someone else has already warn. They will give you the vintage look you want for a cheaper, although not cheap, price. 

For good quality denim you can't always look to celebrities. They can afford expensive things but they aren't always looking for the best quality.

"You think women buy LV (Louis Vuitton) bags for for their quality?" Babzani says. He has a point. Do you agree?


Glossary
Raw denim- unprocessed and unwashed denim in its purest form.

Selvage denim-is a natural edge woven so that it won't unravel (also means costs more!).
updates coming soon...




Sunday, October 10, 2010

Celebrity Denim Spotting 10/10

We love celebrities, and they love their denim. Here are a few different looks from 10/10. Thank you People.com.

Cameron Diaz

Chace Crawford

Ellen Pompeo

Miley Cyrus





Denim Trendsetters: Men's Edition

Three fresh denim brands for every man's style. Gents when you go denim shopping don't forget to pick something up for the ladies. What's your style?

Mr. Down and Dirty



Film school graduate Henry Hall is a self-taught fashion designer. Rough patches, cuts and dark fades give for a rustic look in his men’s denim. You’re not going to a dinner party in these jeans, but will make you a noticeable trend setter whenever you're out on the street. If you like to get down and dirty, these jeans are perfect to bring along for the ride. (Price: $159 plus shipping)

Gift time for the ladies: Pick up one of Hall’s teddy shirts, she’ll love the adorable bear on front, and you’ll love the sexy fit on her.


Courtesy of HenryHall.com

Mr. Adventure-Land



If you find yourself flipping through men’s fashion magazines for the latest styles, this is the jean for you. These jeans are daring for the your adventurous side. If you're ready to have some fun; slide into these jeans. V43 jeans keep with this spring 2011's trend by staying away from the clean indigo color. Here you will find acid washes, black jeans, and the lightest of washes, barely blue! (Available in spring and summer 2011)


Gift time for the ladies: Get her ready for spring with some acid wash denim shorts. 


Courtesy of www.denimblog.com


Mr. Statement Maker


Modernity and uniqueness are at the core of this brand. Black Premium Affliction will leave you with a fashion statement in the front and the back. You can choose from a simple design on the back pocket to a more extravagant one with buttons to add some extra flash. Moderately priced, you can go from day to night with the same pair of jeans. (Price: $98-$195)          

Gift time for the ladies: While you're selecting your jeans find a matching pair for Ms. Modern, with even more back pocket designs to choose from. 

Courtesy of www.afflictionclothingstore.com




Saturday, October 9, 2010

One time when it's cool to drop your jeans



That old pair of jeans that’s been sitting in your closet collecting dust for months could be insulating somebody’s house. It’s easy to give back; all you have to do is donate your jeans!

“We hope students realize one pair of jeans can make a difference, because it only takes 500 jeans to insulate a home,” says Laura Foti, member of Hill Communications and the “Drop Your Jeans for a Good Cause Campaign.”

Cotton from Blue to Green is a denim drive that collects people’s old jeans and turns them into UltraTouch Denim Insulation, which is used to insulate homes in communities in need.

“When I heard about it, I didn’t know what a denim drive was,” Foti says, but she knew the denim would be used for a good cause, home insulation.

“As a student you want to be able to give back and you want to be able to help, but it’s difficult because you might not have the time or resources, but everyone has a pair of jeans,” Foti says.

On Friday October 8th, members of Public Relations Student Society of America were on Syracuse University’s quad ready to fill their cardboard boxes with jeans. Many students donated to the cause. In return they received a free t-shirt, Frisbee and chocolate bar, not bad for getting rid of something they didn’t need anymore.

Foti doesn’t see any problems occurring with them reaching their goal of 500 jeans. Her mom even got involved handing flyers out in her hometown. Syracuse started their denim drive with 115 pairs of jeans all from mom! On Friday 70 pairs of jeans were collected. Making Syracuse closer to their goal.

This event even brought out a Syracuse celebrity. Chancellor Nancy Cantor stopped by and gave her denim donation.

Everyone’s donation counts. Cantor’s donation put Syracuse one step closer to their goal of collecting 500 pairs of jeans. Foti says the denim drive won’t stop at 500, the more jeans the better.

In 2009, 270,617 pieces of denim were collected providing denim insulation for 540 homes. This year several retailers participated in the program, one being Gap. They collected over 270,000 pairs of jeans alone. Everyone who donated a pair of jeans was rewarded with a 30% discount off their new jeans purchase.

Four other universities are getting involved with the Cotton From Blue to Green program, University of Nebraska, University of Texas, University of Wisconsin and the University of Kentucky.

“Everyone has a pair of jeans that doesn’t fit anymore, and I think that’s what’s so great about this campaign,” Foti says. “Everyone can relate to it.”


video

Friday, October 8, 2010

Changing Trends, Yet Denim Stays the Same




Denim may be a celebrity’s best friend when it comes to staying on trend, but denim trends have come a long way from its working class roots. Denim trends change every year, but one thing stays the same: the versatility of jeans! On the runway and red carpet, celebrities lead the way in the denim revolution.

Skinny jeans and Japanese selvedge denim would be considered trendy these days, but back in the sixteenth century; trendy jeans were those you could do hard labor in. According to James Sullivan’s book "Jeans", the name "denim" comes from the French word serge de NĂ®mes. It’s a trade term for a cotton-wool blend. "Jean" is a different term. Jean, a blend of cotton, wool and/or silk, was produced in Italy around the same time as denim. Weight and color differences distinguished denim from jeans, but these days the two words are interchangeable.

German cloth manufacturer Levi Strauss brought blue jeans to the United State in the late 1800s.

In 1873, Strauss teamed up with Jacob Davis, a tailor who had been making overalls for local laborers out of duck cloth bought from Levi Strauss and Co. After two patent applications were rejected, Strauss was awarded patent number 139,121.

Nicole Maarja, contributing writer on DenimDebate.com, says denim has had a huge presence since it gained popularity with people in the U.S. in the 1950s. Celebrities helped make certain jeans trendy during their time of stardom. Celebrity denim icons included: Marlon Brando (1950s), Brooke Shields (1980s), and even Saved By the Bell star Tiffani Theissen (1990s).

The first denim pants may have caught on because of their durability, but through the years that has changed greatly. Some famous denim trends throughout history include:

· Dungarees. Loose fitting work pant with a loop to put your hammer in. (Note: Dungarees do have a separate history from denim but these days both words are used interchangeably, no worries). Dungarees were marketed towards people who did manual labor. Today dungarees are made for people of all ages and socioeconomic statuses.

· Hip-huggers. Tight fitting jeans made for men, women and even children. Fred Segal convinced people these pants were appropriate for children by saying children who wore them were just expressing themselves, which, he claimed, led to better self-esteem. Hip-huggers led to a generation of high waist jeans. Today, the lower the rise the better.

· Bell-bottoms. Wide-legged pants seen in many photos from the 70s. They were first used in the U.S. Navy in 1901and became commercial in the 1960s. Bell-bottoms have been trendy since the 70s, they’ve also been updated. Fashionista Victoria Beckham has been caught wearing these pants in 2010.

There have been many denim trends and there are more to come. What is the trend of denim in your closet?