When my first pair of Bluer jeans came in the mail, they looked like most every other new pair of the Bluer’s Indigo selvedge jeans: a bit stiff and coarse, the blue deep and ready to smudge off on any light shirt I dared to put on. I took a deep breath. They were beautiful and the temptation was there to treat them like other treasures: keep them folded on a shelf and bring them out for special occasions. I had to remind myself that jeans are made to be worn and to be worn in. The collector in me argued that these jeans were part of the trickle of American denim still in existence and they should be cherished. (Now, with the closing of the Cone Mills White Oak plant that trickle has dried completely.)
And yet, these are jeans. Their purpose is to be worn. Why would I purchase something meant to be used, and never use it. Buying things for the sake of owning them, and not using them is the very antithesis of how I try to live. I try to buy what I need and use it. I’m not into contributing to landfills.
And so I started wearing them and over time my Bluer jeans started to take on the markings of my life. The first mark I noticed is the one so many of us have: the right back pocket rectangle in the shape of my iPhone.
There’s a scuff mark on my left calf, from (I think) playing with one of my dogs in the yard. They mostly know not to jump on me, but sometimes the ball in my hand is just too tempting and they need to tell me to throw the damn thing already.
There’s the faintest line from the cuffs I sometimes I put in them. I remember a visit to our factory in Los Angeles. A work trip for which I brought a single pair of pants: my Bluer jeans. I found myself with enough time one morning to drive to the beach. I live in the Pacific Northwest, and this trip happened deep in the throes of a gray, Portland February. So to the beach I went for some much needed California sunshine. I cuffed my jeans, took off my shoes and walked in the cool sand. I stared at the ocean for a peaceful few minutes and then had to hightail it back to get ready for a proper business meeting. In the hotel, I uncuffed my jeans and sand fell to the floor. I tucked a stiff business-y shirt into the very same jeans that I wore in the sand just an hour earlier.
Life is a rollercoaster for everyone. There are stressful spells and quiet spells, and moments of joy along the way. These highs and lows sometimes track to the way the waistband of my Bluers fits. Some days my waistband is a bit too snug and I know to cool it on the late night snacking, which, in the moment, feels so satisfying. And some days my Bluer jeans fall just right. They make me feel great on days that I need a boost and they make me feel great on days when I remember that I already have everything I need.
I’m wearing them right now as I write this email introducing myself to you, the Bluer community. (Another memory associated with these jeans.) The waistband is a bit snug as I sit here, indicative of a long journey with Jeff as he handed me the keys to Bluer. I expect the waistband to fit normally in a bit of time, as soon as I’m totally comfortable and knowledgeable in my role as the new owner of Bluer, and, more importantly, the guardian of the Bluer tradition of quality, beautiful denim. As the new head of Bluer, I promise we will continue to make jeans that are meant to be worn and meant to be treasured.
Thank you for being part of the Bluer tradition. We will continue to honor the integrity of Bluer and we’ll build on it: bringing quality clothing to more people using business practices that are respectful and caring to those who are making these jeans we love.
So what new things will come? With the closing of the Cone Mills White Oak plant, we’re expanding into Italian denim and exploring other sources for premium denim from other areas. We’re bringing new styles into the mix and keeping your favorites.
Now you know a bit of my life story, thanks to my Bluer jeans. I hope you’ll tell me yours. Leave a comment and tell me about the marks your life leaves on your Bluer jeans.