Your guide to raw denim

Style Tips

Raw denim can be difficult to wrap your head around. You might have thought that there was no need for an intensive guide on this gem of menswear, but raw denim is nothing like a regular pair of jeans.They require breaking in, careful wear and even more careful washing. Buying them becomes totally addictive. Here are the best ways to make the most of your raw denim jeans.


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Not like other jeans

When you walk into a normal high street retailer, what you will see is typically not raw denim. Ordinary jeans have been washed, treated and rubbed with every procedure you can imagine. This is what gives them their soft, immediately wearable quality. Raw denim is a little different.


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It has been created and then given absolutely no treatments except for dyeing. It is denim in its most pure form. Raw denim jeans are not mass made. They’re vintage, and they were even worn by the king of rock himself.

What happens when you’ve browsed a site like, got your matching shirt, and invested in a pair already?

You might find that they are as stiff as cardboard, dark and unrelenting, but much like a pair of leather boots or new Farah Shirts, they will soften over time. After a few washes, they will fade evenly and give the jeans a softer appearance. The fade is unique, happening near the pockets, the backs of the knees, and around the ankles where the fabric gathers. This high-contrast fading is something that enthralls fashion enthusiasts.

Do your research

You’ll need to know if you’re buying sanforized denim or not, too. Sanforization is a modern process that is sometimes given to jeans to prevent shrinkage. In contrast, unsanforized denim is straight off the loom and will shrink by around 10 per cent on the first wash. If your denim is unsanforized, make sure to buy a bigger size than you normally wear to account for shrinkage. You should wash the jeans as little as possible so you can get the signature fade perfect.

Raw denim definitely has its drawbacks. It’s stiff, expensive, and there’s a lot to know about it. However, if you stick it out, you will have an iconic wardrobe item that will last a very long time.