I Seldom Wash My Jeans – Personal Confessions

I Seldom Wash My Jeans – Personal Confessions

Since I’m a female, I generally keep quiet about this subject as women are supposed to be super clean. Of course I practice good hygiene, but I seldom wash my 8 identical pairs of ripped jeans. I began to do this before people like Anderson Cooper and other fashionistas admitted on television that they only wash their jeans occasionally. Okay, let’s take that a step farther, they never wash their jeans, but I eventually do.


It all began for me when I was 18 and got a bad case of strep throat. I ended up crashing for 8 straight days in my jeans at my Grandmothers. After I finally joined the world again I saw how great my jeans looked and announced to my horrified Grandmother that I was never washing them again.

Fashion legend Tommy Hilfiger has just single-handedly ended the debate that has plagued America since the beginning of time — how many times should you really wash your jeans? — and his answer might kick up a stink. Never! Some designers say you should wear your jeans every day for six whole months after you’ve purchased them to “break them in”. But, I do have opinion on those that insist on going commando in their jeans. Please wash at least twice a month!

Levi’s also adds washing your jeans as infrequently as possible, no more than once a month (for environmental reasons more than anything, as cotton is a thirsty plant and its demands threaten global water supply).

When you’re a billionaire like Hilfieger who’s made a fortune selling overpriced clothes, especially denim, you can wear a different pair of jeans a day for the rest of your life and not even worry about washing them. Throw them in the trash, put on another pair, or I bet he has people that do it for him.

One of my friends bought a pair very expensive jeans at Bloomingdales, to celebrate a 20 pound weight loss. The clerk was saying the same thing – never wash premium denim. Instructions were to roll them tight like in a roll, put them in the freezer, as the bugs or germs are killed in the freezer. Cheap brands like they sell at Walmart should be worn at least 10 times before washing. What happens when someone’s freezer smells worse than any article of clothing I wear for an extended period of time? NO, that would not be my freezer.

The much-reported experiment of University of Alberta student Josh Le, who wore his jeans for 15 months without laundering them, demonstrated that not a whole lot of smelly bacteria build up on them anyway. According to the National Post Le, 20, bought a pair of Nudie Jeans in September 2009. He wore them nearly every day and even slept in them for about a month to really let the sweat shape the creases. Instead, “the day I came home I triple-bagged them and put them in the freezer.” The next day, they smelled fine. So for the rest of the 15 months, he threw the jeans in the freezer every other week.


Of course he was normal–spilled food on it, wiped it off with a paper towel, and kept on going. “I wanted to push it to the extreme,” he said. Analysts compare those jeans to a pair he had worn for only 13 days, andthey approximately found the microbial load to be about the same. “Approximately?” I guess that’s vague enough to ignore the stench.

Honestly now–does this bring the word “gross” to a whole new level or are they just cold and germy after you take them out of  the freezer? Home freezers don’t kill bacteria, I assume it just puts them to sleep. I bet they wake right up when you take them out. So who is right?


Flash Backs of Little Miss Flash Cadilac by Linda Seccaspina available at Wisteria 62 Bridge Street in Carleton Place or on Amazon.

About lindaseccaspina

Before she laid her fingers to a keyboard, Linda was a fashion designer, and then owned the eclectic store Flash Cadilac and Savannah Devilles in Ottawa on Rideau Street from 1976-1996. She also did clothing for various media and worked on “You Can’t do that on Television”. After writing for years about things that she cared about or pissed her off on American media she finally found her calling. She is a weekly columnist for the Sherbrooke Record and documents history every single day and has over 6500 blogs about Lanark County and Ottawa and an enormous weekly readership. Linda has published six books and is in her 4th year as a town councillor for Carleton Place. She believes in community and promoting business owners because she believes she can, so she does.

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