Twirling around in front of the mirror under Primarni’s strip lighting a friend proclaims ‘I LOVE it!’. It is a hot pink polyester dress she’s absent mindedly tugging at the hemline of because it is a little lopsided. Earlier that day a lovely chat with Clare, the co-founder of Hiut Denim, made me realise that loving clothes doesn’t have to be a flippant statement. After all clothes can hug and support you all day, helping you look and feel cool, hot and amazing, for years – if you choose them well. Speaking to Clare made me realise how little I feel for most of the clothes in my wardrobe, but it also had the pleasantly unexpected effect of stirring up some memories of clothes I have adored. So here’s what I’ve learnt about really falling in love with clothes…
They care about making you feel great
The waistband of Hiut jeans is lined with twill fabric rather than denim because it feels nice when you wear it. You can order them in your exact size, heck they’ll even move the pockets around if they’re really bothering you. Obviously you pay for the privilege, but you pay the same for Diesel jeans without any of the pleasant ethical creds.
You’ll learn learn how to care for them
Confession time, I’ve never glanced at the labels on most of my clothes, so I asked Clare how best to care for Hiut’s ‘Don’t wash them for the first 6 months’. I was horrified. And there was more ‘ideally put them outside on a frosty or sunny day, it’ll kill any bacteria. You can do the same with really good quality wool jumper, sometimes we wash things too often, wool has natural anti bacterial qualities’. I was still reeling, but she had reminded me of a thick wool jumper a boyfriend had leant me that I’d never quite returned – despite the relationship being long over. Even though the jumper always seems to smell nice and look lovely, I regularly pop it in the wash out of habit. I realised how generic, ignorant and sanitised the relationship I have with my clothes is, I don’t even know how to care for the ones I do love.
They talk about a future together
It’s not lip service when Clare says ‘We’re building these to last as long as we know how’. As well as the little touches like using heavier material for the pockets so that they don’t break under the strain of coins, each pair is tagged with their own unique number, pop it into their website and you can see footage of your jeans being made and add photos of of your jeans over the years. Even if you’re normally Instagram-averse you might like the reasoning behind it – if you ever pass your Hiut’s on, the new owner can tap straight into their history. I look at my friends pink Primark dress which we both know will shrink and / or fall apart in a wash or two. Love?
You grow into one another
Clare carried on describing what happens if you care for your Hiut jeans properly ‘They will take on your own personal attributes. If you have a pen or wallet you always carry, those markers will almost be tattooed onto the jeans’. I was lost for words with such a touching description; so many clothes these days are literally built to fall apart (designers use a nice little term called material obsolesence for it) that the idea of growing old together gracefully doesn’t even feature.
They’re beautiful inside and out
– But only you will notice the little things. Clare says the best way to check jeans out is to turn them inside out to look at the details. If you’re like me and don’t recognise tailored detail when it is literally staring you in the face apparently some of the tell-tale signs are regular stitching and button holes finished with different threads. My poor friends are a tad embarrassed now when I turn up their in bars to look at the sewing, but Clare’s right, you can tell.
They’re damn easy on the eye
You know when you put something on and even if you’ve got greasy hair, and you’re having a fat-day, you seem to light up? Loyalty and longevity are great, but I still think that spark is the tell-tale signs of true love.
You’ll love their story
As clothes have become increasingly standardised their stories have disappeared, so that now it rarely crosses our minds to ask where did this come from? Who made it? What’s it made of? Those questions feel irrelevant. But when you love anything – a person, music, food or clothes those questions matter, their whole story intrigues you doesn’t it? Hiut Denim’s story, rocks. I won’t spoil it, because you’re going to love reading ithere. I hope you enjoy falling in love too…