The Luv Doc: Stanky Jeans
Thus spake the Chronicle's Ad Hoc Fashion Editor
Dear Luv Doc,
Let me cut to the chase: For the last two weeks my husband has worn the same pair of jeans. He says they don't get dirty because all he is doing is sitting around the house. I think they smell. He says they don't, but he is a big guy who can't smell his own odors most of the time anyway. His unwashed jeans have actually become a matter of pride with him, and he refuses to listen to me anymore. At least he is showering and (I think/hope?) changing his underwear regularly, but this jeans thing is really disturbing. I think he would listen to your advice as he is a fan. So, is it ever OK to wear the same pair of pants without washing them for two weeks?
– The Unwashed Look
Well, for one thing, you have definitely come to the right source. I have been pulling a double shift for years here at the Chronicle as Luv Doc/ad hoc fashion editor/staff ontologist. You don't see a lot of my fashion advice in print, though, because certain obstinate members of the editorial staff refuse to put it in the masthead. I get it. They somehow feel that putting a ridiculously unqualified windbag in charge of the Chronicle Fashion section would be ill-advised. I of course beg to differ. I, like any other of the nearly 8 billion people on planet Earth, have an inexhaustible supply of strong opinions on fashion – opinions that I am willing to share at no cost to Chronicle readers other than the time it takes to slog through several thousand words on the similarity of joggers to soggy diapers or perhaps a breathless celebration of the emergence of platform Crocs – worth every bit of the $500 price tag.
Anyhoo, ever since Nordstrom introduced a $400 pair of faux-distressed muddy jeans for men back in 2017, there has been a bit of a backlash among the upper tiers of 99-percenters about inauthentically distressed denim. It seems that there are a certain number of people on social media who feel that paying nearly half a grand to look like a guy who just finished fixing a sewer main is insensitive to working-class types who can only afford to buy their jeans at places like Walmart and Academy. Having spent a decent amount of time with such folk, I can state with absolute certainty that not only would they applaud such idiocy, they would reduce the ante by offering up their own authentically soiled jeans for a greatly reduced price.
Look, I don't know your husband, how big he is, or what kind of grift he is trying to run on the skanky-jean-buying one-percenters, but I do know that wearing the same clothing item every day is some high-level mental shit. Now, bear in mind that I am not saying your husband is Steve Jobs or Einstein – far from it. Those dudes wore the same suit every day, but ... and this is important ... it was a fresh suit of identical clothes. When you invent the iPhone or relativity, you get to roll like a baller. Perhaps your husband is trying to emulate these intellectual titans, or perhaps he is working on his personal brand by presenting a consistent visual style – although that seems unlikely given that his sphere of influence is limited mainly to you, I imagine.
So unless he is running an eBay auction on those exact pants right now with a $400 minimum, I am going to have to proclaim your husband to be a lazy fuck and give you permission to take whatever means are necessary to peel that denim funk sponge off his body and put it in a washer where it belongs. Now, I know there are going to be some folks out there who say all you need to do is put them in a freezer and they will be fresh as daisies, but (and it doesn't take an Einstein to figure this out) all you'll be doing is freezing the stank for later stankiness and giving all those bacteria a nice little nap so they can wake up feeling refreshed. Fuck that noise. Washer, detergent, line dry – especially if he's one of those fashion-forward big guys who likes to preserve the feathering. There you go. Thus spake the Chronicle's ad hoc fashion editor.