Forever in Blue Genes!
Everyone is different. In fact, these differences are exactly what I appreciate about my friends and family. It is what makes you, you. So this week, I Find and embrace the very underpinnings of those differences that make me, me!
Let me properly introduce myself. My name is Bryan Scott Verona and I am 97.5% Ashkenazi, 2.7% Neanderthal, and have a slightly elevated risk of Restless Leg Syndrome! Now it all makes sense, especially the Neanderthal!
My brother introduced me to 23andMe years ago and I proudly spit in a test tube to learn about my genes, as well as contribute to the growing gene database. The company was founded by biologist Anne Wojicicki, Sergei Brin’s (of Google fame) ex-wife. Generally, the idea is that everyone should know their genetic information and a comprehensive database of this information will improve our collective understanding of the human condition. Specifically, 23 and Me studies your genes and gives you an overview of your DNA, providing carrier status, ancestry, wellness and traits reports. I have learned about my various potential health risks, my inherited conditions, my physical traits (it’s weird how much it knew), as well as my ancestral composition. This has allowed me the foresight to change my behavior with the knowledge of what may be to come as I age. For $199 you will receive a kit and get your results in about 6-8 weeks after submission. All you have to do is order, spit, and then discover what your 23 chromosomes say about you. Then you can better know thyself, see if you have any risks that you should be aware of, and discover whether you too share my Neanderthal heritage!
Now that you are on your way to knowing your genes, now you have to get to know your jeans! In the 1980’s, worn-in Levis were a hot commodity — in fact, we used to buy used jeans because we did not want to have to do the work of wearing them in ourselves. Then, not too long ago pre-washed and pre-worn jeans became ubiquitous, easily found at all department stores. Now, it’s time to go retro and to go futuristic. No longer is it cool for someone else to do the work for you and no longer is it cool to pick up worn-in jeans at Bloomies; you need to earn your worn-in jeans — it’s a right of passage, a badge of honor, and an organic, holistic cutting-edge experience. Welcome to 2016.
Denim is a deeply personal thing, and no two people should have the same looking jeans. I have recently been inducted into the niche (but expanding) world of Japanese denim. In this world, the denim, the stitching, and the wearing in process have been elevated to a high art form with exacting standards.
First, you must use Selvedge tightly woven denim which is produced by a shuttle loom, almost exclusively seen in the United States and Japan. The denim will vary in weight, typically from 10 oz (very light and low durability) all the way to 32 oz. (which will practically stand up by themselves); the lighter weights are comfortable off the rack, but suffer in durability and won’t wear in as well or as naturally. Next, you need stitching produced by the the Union Special, which is a sewing machine that is extinct and exists mostly in Japanese denim manufacturers, providing the classic rope stitch. The purist will also know that there should be no other material besides cotton in the weave (though some do it to stretch) and that they shouldn’t be Sanforized (pre-shrunk with chemicals).
Now that you have 100% cotton and Unsanforized Selvedge denim stitched together by the Union Special, I compel you to wear your jeans in YOURSELF and DO NOT WASH for at least 6 months. I know this sounds crazy, but this is the way your jeans become distinctly yours. If you must clean them, simply roll them up, place in a plastic bag, and put in your freezer for up to 6 hours (eliminates all smells). Try it, it’s the next wave of the jean culture and as a fellow finder, you need to be ahead of the curve!
Blue in Green is a great place to start this journey to finding your jeans. If you want to learn (much) more I would suggest this article at Heddels which was my starting point …. There is much to learn on the subject of jeans, so get your blues on!