A confession: I’ve been wearing the same pair of pants, more or less, for six months.
When I see it in print like that, it looks pretty bad. But let me explain.
So I’ve been saying for years now that everyone in Greensboro should own a pair of jeans made with denim from Cone Mills, specifically the boutique, selvedge denim milled, strand by strand, on a mechanical Draper Loom — the best damn denim in the world, favored by gold miners, soldiers, cowboys (real ones), mechanics and prisoners for 100 years.
Just before Christmas, I landed myself a pair from the guys at Hudson’s Hill after many, many months of discussion and due diligence.[pullquote]It would take months to break them in, Evan Morrison told me, during which time I should wear them every day.[/pullquote]
I still remember how they felt when I first tried them on: stiff as a shoebox, unyielding in the back of the knees and hip flexors. It hurt a little bit to put my hands in the pockets. It would take months to break them in, Evan Morrison told me, during which time I should wear them every day, and never wash them.
“You can wear them in the shower or the bathtub,” he said, “but not too much or the denim will fade.”
This was more than a pair of jeans. This was a project.
I waited six weeks before I subjected my pants to a water rinse. Man that sounds bad.
In that time they had ceased to give me physical pain when I walked or sat down. Another month or so and they had softened at the critical points of hip pocket and knee. The back pocket was starting to bear the imprint of my wallet, like in some of the overalls hanging in Morrison’s store.
Things were going pretty great with me and the pants. And then I broke bad.
I threw them in the washer once — no detergent! — and then they accidentally took a short run through the dryer a couple weeks later. They fell into the regular laundry rotation a couple times and then… and then….
Well there’s no easy way to say this: I’ve been putting them through the dryer. And I like it.
It softens them up real nice, and gives them a beautiful blue fade that blends from midnight blue down to cornflower. And dammit, there’s nothing in the world — nothing! — like a pair of jeans straight out of the dryer.
Sorry fellas. I know I’ve let you down. But I’m not giving the pants back.