The generational divide between myself and some 20-somethings can be boiled down to this: I like my clothes to be clean when I wear them.
A 20 year old University of Alberta student woke up one morning with a thought: What if I didn’t wash my jeans for over a year and wore them every day? What then? I recently read advice from Levi Strauss Co. that one should not wash one’s jeans more than once a month, less if they can help it.
So Josh Le wore his jeans for 15 months straight, every single mind-numbing (butt-numbing?) day. Then he and his professor tested them for bacteria and found to their surprise that the pants contained no more little bad guys per square inch than jeans worn only 13 days. Because Le had good hygiene and was in good health with no cuts or any skin conditions he wasn’t at any real heatlh risk from not washing his jeans for so long, the pair concluded.
Le admitted to taking action against the odour his jeans developed at around the 7 month mark. He put them in the freezer. The crotch also had to be stitched up 11 times over the course of the experiment, probably because Le is one of those low-riding jeans wearers where the crotch falls somewhere between the knees and takes a lot of punishment. But that’s only a guess based on his age and his enthusiasm for this experiment in the first place!
Le says that jeans wearers of his generation want “whiskers” to develop. Those are the creases in the upper thigh area that come from crouching or sitting. Sometimes, he admits, he doesn’t wash a new pair for six months. Why do I get the feeling that this experiment was launched with the sole purpose of having a comeback for a horrified parent who just wanted her kid to look like he had a home and an education! Sadly, if Le goes two weeks without washing them, apparently he may as well go a year.
It is a relief to note that Le’s personal cleanliness was not compromised and that he’s not a proponent of going back to the days of the annual bath! It’s all about fashion, after all. The experimental jeans are now relegated to weekend-only wear and Le is breaking in a new pair. He’ll be taking them to the laundromat around June, I figure, if they don’t walk there on their own.