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These experts have the answers to your key questions about grooming denim, from how the heck to wash embellished styles to maintaining a flawless indigo.
The rumor that you should not wash the denim is not true. "Bacteria and dirt can damage the fibers," says Genah Kim, bottoms designer at AG Jeans. "It is true that you do not have to wash them so often. Every three to five wears should do the trick."
You already have the secret to preserving that perfect blue ink. "Skip the heat," says Kim. "The best way to keep dark washes looking like new is to wash them in cold water or, even better, to dip them by hand in a cold bath, the less heat and agitation, the better it will be."
Form-fitting skinnies with fallen knees do not look good. But it is avoidable. "The knees see the most impact from movement," says Catherine Ryu, women's creative director of Citizens of Humanity. "Look for jeans with Lycra: that way they can adapt to your body and keep their shape."
Of course, a tear or rip adds character, but what if you have a hole you do not want? "A denim specialist like Indigo Proof (indigoproof.com) can make a virtually invisible repair with a tamping machine," says Kim. You do not believe it? Check out the company’s before-and-after gallery.
Styles with embroidery, studs and even pearls have become more popular but require more care. "Wash your hairstyles by hand with a mild detergent," advises Ryu. "It also helps to keep the shape of the jeans if you don’t scrunch or twist them or bending them too much while they're wet."
The best way to prevent your favorite pair from shrinking while washing is not a new smart trick. It’s age-old advice. "Wash them in cool water and hang them up to dry," says Jonathan Cheung, head of design at Levi’s. "Do not put them in the dryer—heat, more than anything, is what causes shrinkage."