Having worked a fair amount of years in retail, I've picked up a few tips and tricks when it comes to taking care of clothing and footwear. [I could even tell you a bit about napery, if you so desired - a tangent in career path for a year explains that one.]
A decent chunk of my knowledge pie relates particularly to denim and that can make me quite a difficult customer to serve when I'm in the need of a fresh pair of jeans. Don't get me wrong, I'm not there to put the SA's through their paces - I just know what I want, what I need, how it should fit, yada yada yada. Actually, doesn't this make me the easiest customer ever as I do all the work for them and they just ring up the sale? Anyway.
After the demise of my favourite Lee Rider black wax coated skinny's - thanks Mum, you owe me a pretty penny for that cock up* - it was time to hunt down a new pair and after exhausting my usual gamut of brands, I decided to take a punt on a Neuw player [see what I did there?].
I need a high rise, like a high high rise, as I have an abnormally long torso and the crop top trend is only growing - I'll need a disguise for the belly. A mum of three does not have a display ready torso unless you're superhuman, blessed with great genes or a plastic surgeon relative.
Also required is little to no elastane in the fabric. Stretch denim is great for comfort but they do no favours for your shape - I need flabby bits held in place while saggy bits are lifted and seperated. Wax coated and rigid denim is a great shapewear alternative.
An often overlooked but vital detail is pocket placement as this feature alone determines how your butt will look in dem jeans! Height, size and angle of the back pocket all impact on, well, how huge or un-huge your derriere will look. And then your front pockets. Too shallow and high, Hippy City. Too deep and low and you're in Stumpy Town.
Next is price. I am not rolling in the cash money. I have a family. Breaking that $200 barrier is not an option.
Batter up! Neuw denim.
As part of their Vintage Revision ethos, the Neuw range is a fresh take based on and using the best design and repair details from the brands 2,500 archive of cuts. Vintage styles are re-cut, tucked and darted to create a modern fit while seasonal colours and finishes keeps the range current. The Premium Turkish and Japanese sourced denim is also wallet friendly starting at around $159NZD. Interestingly, denim used for styles in the Black Colour range have a black weft thread instead of the usual white, giving the denim a deep, dark tone and is a technique rarely used in denim manufacture since the 1950's. What should result is a really nice tone and character to the denim instead of the usual white fading over time.
After scanning the shelves, I beelined straight for the 'Marilyn High Skinny'. Let's look at the stats:
- Rise: 10in [tick]
- 2% elastane: [uhhhh bugger, doable 1/2 tick]
- $169NZD: [tick]
- Black: [tick]
- 32in inner leg: [bugger, I prefer a 34in, 1/2 tick]
- True to size: [tick]
- Variations on black fabrications: none but range of blues, coloured and metallic [1/2 tick]
- Pocket placement - great, no elongated 'Mum Bum' that can often happen with high rise jeans. Way to test? Put your hands in the pockets. If you're grabbing a handful of the apple of the cheeks - perfect. Anywhere else, you may want to seek a second opinion. Front pockets. Standard width and shallow - no pocket lining showing on the thighs.
I went from 'try on' to 'swipe card' in under 12 minutes, my mind already running through the list of denim after care do's and don'ts. So I was pleasantly surprised that my New Neuw denims came with a freezer bag and layman instructions of best practise when it comes to looking after your jeans.
Now I can do away with my homemade job from old sheet packaging and I have proof that what I had been recommending my customers do all these years was not a load of codswollop. Try not to wash jeans for as long as possible and to freshen them, pop them in a resealable bag with a hole punched in it. Leave in the freezer overnight. Longer lasting shape, longer lasting colour, great character fade.
Find your pair at Storeroom in the Britomart Precinct.
*Mum decided to wash my wax coated jeans, she thought they looked 'greasy' and 'dirty'. She hand. scrubbed. them. to. get. the. 'grease'. off. DANG MOM!