Denim is Essential
by ELLIOTT SCOTT
As we blow the cobwebs off boxes of cardigans, boots and scarves, it’s nice to know the fixture of the fall wardrobe was right in our closets all along. Of course, I’m talking about denim. Whether we’re trekking through the sleet of winter or the mud of spring, Kansas Citians wear blue jeans everywhere and all the time.
For the past several years, with trends transitioning from “hipster” to mainstream awareness, raw denim has been at the forefront of blue jeans production. Regardless of if you’re shopping at a big-box department store or searching for Japanese-milled denim online, you can have your pick of many manufacturers. And while there’s a certain artistry to beating up a pair of jeans over months (or years) before washing, the commitment to wearing rigid denim and leaving blue streaks on white furniture has worn down my patience.
This autumn, I want to be comfortable. It starts with jeans containing a hint of stretch, beautiful dark washes and a soft-touch feel. Whereas raw denim is almost always 100 percent cotton, blends of synthetic and natural fibers provide elasticity and comfort. With the following jeans, your days of being an indigo-stained individual are in the past.
Australian-based brand Neuw has the perfect pair of denim for guys this autumn. The Lou Slim in Liberte is described as a “slim straight leg fit.” According to the company’s website, cotton, s-polyester and lycra combine to give the fabric a “sueded handfeel and great fit retention.”
ULAH, located in Woodside Village, is the only Kansas City retailer to sell Neuw denim. The store’s co-owner, Joey Mendez, raved about this pair of jean’s flexibility saying, “The Lou Slim features a clean, versatile silhouette and the stretch means they’ll move with you and not wear out so fast.”
Ladies can look to Kansas City-based brand BALDWIN for a pair of fashion-forward jeans that retain a classic fit and beautiful details. Joni Johnson, director of sales and development at Standard Style, praised the Karlie Denim in Bliss as a standout for fall jeans. “We are seeing many cropped styles from our favorite designers,” she says. “The wash is dark and clean, allowing easy wear from day to night.” The fabric, an Italian performance stretch selvage denim, is comprised of cotton, eme and elastane.
Finally, honorable mention goes to the Needle Narrow Jean in Indigo Rinse from Levi’s Made & Crafted. This pair of denim straddles the divide between slim and skinny, while using a cotton and elastane blend to create a heavyweight stretch fabric. With a blue-black rinse wash, this is the pair of jeans for the raw denim aficionados ready to change into something a little more flexible.
Aaron Leimkuehler/The Kansas City Star