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How many times can we wear our denim pants before washing them?

By John Patrick Magno Ranara Published Jul 29, 2022 1:46 pm

It's a seemingly simple question, but to this day, many Filipinos are still unsure of how many times we need to use our denim wear before finally putting them in the laundry basket.

Is it two times? Ten times? Or does it depend on how smelly or dirty it gets?

Many Filipinos are boggled about what to do and have thus taken their dilemma to social media to ask others for advice, just like 91.5 Win Radio Manila program director Mark Luzon, a.k.a. Idol Bigman. On his Facebook account, he asked his followers the notorious question, "Ilang beses ba need isuot ang pantalon bago labahan?"

More than a hundred netizens provided Luzon with answers based on their own preferences and experience.

"It depends where it was worn. Supposing you went to a sandy beach, then wash it right away, but if you just hang around to go shopping and do errands, then two times is good enough," one user commented.

Another one wrote, "Pwede two times isuot, pero ako talaga paghubad ng pantalon, labahin agad, light colors kasi mga pantalon ko."

So what's the answer?

Denim Manila, purveyor of Japanese denim in Manila since 2013, told PhilSTAR L!fe that there are three things to look out for when you're looking for a sign that it's time to wash your denim clothes.

First is when you feel that the pants are "sticky from sweating" and second, "when you can smell yourself on the pants." Last but definitely not the least, "when your partner or wife tells you to."

Jake Antig, one of the founders of Léon Denim, the country’s first Philippine-made selvedge denim brand, said that washing clothes doesn't really have a special process and it depends on the people wearing them.

"Denim is a hardy fabric and can take a lot of punishment. The washing is really a matter of preference. Some people just use it and wash it every couple of weeks or when it starts to smell. No special process. These fade naturally and we these 'vintage fades'. It just looks like it’s been used and washed many times," Antig shared to PhilSTAR L!fe.

All jean colors fade over time due to getting worn out from the washing. Some people like it while others do not, and for the people who intentionally want vintage fades, Antig advised to wear them for a couple of months. 

"For other people, they want to have high contrast fades. To achieve this, they wear the jeans for three, six, nine, or twelve months or so to let the folds set. So when they wash it, the areas with high friction end up fading more than the rest. It produces these very visible fades on the crotch, back of knees, and hem," he said.

To properly take care of your denim apparel, Denim Manila said to turn them inside out and wash using detergent with no bleaching agent, whether in machine or hand wash.

According to Antig, to preserve the indigo, you must put some light soap and set to the lightest wash cycle.

It is also important to not iron them or use a dryer, said both Denim Manila and Antig, as it may shrink the cotton threads.

Choosing the right denim apparel

In any case, whether you wash your denim wear immediately or wait until you've completely worn them out is all up to you. What's important is that you choose your clothes based on what speaks to you and to your body.

Meanwhile, Antig highlighted that the first consideration in choosing the right denim is preference and physique.

"Denim is classified by weight. Typical mall jeans are usually 12 ounces. The mid-weight, around 14 to 16 ounces is the most popular. The heavier weight denim options are usually catering to motorcycle folks."

The second consideration is fit, where Antig explained that "there are vintage inspired fits from the 40s, 50s, 60s, which are typically looser. The younger folks want slim fits so that’s where the modern LD001XX (Léon Denim's banner jean offering) comes in."

Denim Manila, in addition, advised that it's best to find one that suits your own liking. "Don't blindly follow fashion or trends. Find pieces that will complement your body," the denim authority said.