Team shortlist29 Sep 2015 AT 06:49 PM

Style Debate: Should you wash your jeans?

Two in-the-know ShortListers weigh in on the denim debate…
Team shortlist29 Sep 2015 AT 06:49 PM
Style Debate: Should you wash your jeans?
© Jorjee_Naphat


Angela Beitz
Former Fashion Editor at

“To wash or not to wash, that is the question. The main argument for not cleaning your denim is washing machines damages the fibres, so jeans don’t last or wear as well.

But here's the thing. We live in the UAE, and while a great pair of jeans can easily cost you upwards of AED3,000 - so we really need them to last for as long as possible, we all know how hot it gets here. We all sweat, and I just can't bear the thought of putting a pair of jeans back on after wearing them all day, let alone in 45 degree heat with humidity. Washing denim kills bacteria.

Freezing denim is now a popular option among jean fans and strongly recommend by some denim brands as a way to kill grime, without damaging fibres. But how can it do as good a job at killing bacteria as a spin in the washing machine? Bacteria also starts to regrow once you take them out of the freezer – the dirt, the dead skin cells are still there, despite the cold temps. So, my advice – wash your jeans inside out on a cool wash and don't tumble dry! Bottom line....if you don’t, you'll be wearing them alone in front of Netflix on a Friday night as none of your friends will want to be seen out with you.”

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Tim Wells
Buyer for Banana Republic and editor of style blog,

“If you’re spending a lot of money on your jeans, like a high-quality pair of raw denim from Japan or the high-end lines from Diesel and G-Star, then you really shouldn’t wash them. This is for a number of reasons. The main one being how quickly they will lose their shape. After wearing your new jeans a few times, they should start to mould themselves to your body – washing undoes that and loosens the fibres. Your favourite jeans will end up baggy and loose-fitting. Also, washing your jeans changes the nap of the cloth from course, stiff denim to a brushed, soft texture, which isn’t what you paid for, and of course the colour will fade too.

I’ve had a pair of All Saints jeans for four years and can’t have washed them more than twice, three times maximum. Do they smell? Well, no one has told me they do. It is important to air them out after a night in a bar or restaurant, especially a smoky one. Another trick is to hang them in the bathroom when you shower and use the steam to freshen them up a bit. But to keep them looking as good as new, reserve your usual spin cycle for the rest of your wardrobe.”