Puttin’ It On Wax…It’s The New Style

Puttin' It On Wax...It's The New Style

Various Waxed Jeans

“And we’re puttin’ it on wax, it’s the new style.”  I’m quoting the Beastie Boys, but I’m talking about puttin’ denim on wax or rather wax on denim.  It’s the new style…well sort of new.  Denim coated in wax or wax-like treatments first appeared in the spring/summer 2004 collections of Dior Homme by Hedi Slimane and in Alexander McQueen.  Brands like Diesel, Firetrap, G-Star, Nudie Jeans, Pepe Jeans and others followed with waxed denim offerings of their own for their 2008 collections.  For those of you unfamiliar with waxed jeans, a wax-like coating gives an otherwise ordinary pair of jeans a wet glossy shellacked look.  Looking almost like leather, they have a hip, youthful, rock ‘n roll look that works great on men and even better on women.

This trend’s taken a little time to gain momentum and with a little help from celebrity stylists, it’s finally on the map.  Take last year for example, in August Sandra Bullock showed up at the 2010 Teen Choice Awards in a pair of waxed J Brand jeans.  Former heroin junkie turned comedian and actor Russell Brand (a.k.a. Mr. Katy Perry) was photographed coming out of LAX airport in September and on several occasions since, wearing a pair of distressed black waxed jeans.  In October, David Archuleta wore a peculiar looking brown pair on LIVE! with Regis and Kelly.  In the November, “Back to the Future” issue of i-D Magazine, egomaniacal self-appointed god-of-all-things-living, and random non-sense Twitter quote generator Kanye West was interviewed and photographed in a pair of waxed Dior Homme jeans with Tom Ford sports jacket.

So what to make of them?  I picked up a pair of waxed indigo French Connection UK jeans and dressed them up for a Gucci event.  I absolutely love the look and feel of the treated jeans.  If only Acne made a size that fit me, I would get a black pair from them as well.  If you’re thinking of getting a pair, here are some tips:

  • Sheens vary by designer so look for a level of glossiness and stiffness that you’re comfortable with
  • Go skinny, slim, or straight legged and go dark blue or black
  • Waxed jeans are typically more expensive, so expect to pay more
  • They go well with leather jackets, sports jackets, plain white or printed t-shirts, and silver or silver studded accessories
  • Waxed jeans look best in a pair of Converse All-Stars, some high-tops, loafers, or black military lace-up boots
  • Dressing waxed jeans up may be tricky.  If you’re going to go for it, experiment with dark sports jackets, white dress shirts, or a vest
  • Be honest with yourself.  Do they really work for you?  Are you comfortable in them?

Waxed jeans are expensive and a bit hard to find.  An enterprising young Finnish blogger, Anna Maria at Fashion Flux, has given making her own waxed jeans a try.  She uses a mixture of acrylic paint, gloss, and water as a medium and brushes them directly on the denim.  For details click here.  I’ve taken the liberty of putting some examples up on my Facebook page.  Whether you plan on picking up a pair or making your own, good luck guys!


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