Thursday, October 1, 2009

DIY RL Rugby Colored Denim

OK, so I will admit that I occasionally check out the New Room (a.k.a.-blog) over on the Rugby website. I like the Who Wears it Best posts, in particular, and while nearly everything they're wearing is made up of completely over-the-top combinations that hopefully no one (other than RL employees) would actually wear, sometimes they do have some interesting stuff. Well, a couple of months back I saw this image

from this Who Wears it Best post, and the featured item was the Vintage Slim Colored Denim. While most of these guys look pretty laughable, I kind of liked the idea of Nantucket red-colored jeans. They seemed like a good substitute for Nantucket reds that could work in situations wear where reds might not normally work, and could possibly be worn into colder months than reds traditionally are. So I checked them out on the Rugby website and saw that they are asking a whopping $108 for these jeans. That's a little rich for my blood, and after checking on the J. Crew and Gap websites to see if they were offering anything comparable (they weren't), I kind of shelved the idea.

The other day I was flipping through the latest Lands End catalog and saw that they are offering colored jeans, including a pair in a "Light Stone" color which are nearly white. I was thinking to myself "Who in the world actually wears white jeans?" when it occurred to me that the white jeans could serve as a base for making my own pair of the jeans from Rugby.

So, this is my new DIY project, however, it requires first obtaining a pair of white jeans. After visiting five or six thrift stores last week, I was actually somewhat surprised that I was unable to find any as this seemed like the kind of item that would be relegated to a thrift store, never to be purchased. I will likely continue looking at thrift stores, and will keep my eye on Ebay, though I haven't found many pair for less than $30, which still seems higher than I want to pay. I'm thinking more like $6.

Once the jeans are obtained, then will come the process of dyeing them. I have done a little research, though most queries on the internet are usually from people who want to redye blue jeans, and that is not what I am trying to do. It seems like this could be somewhat difficult in trying to get them to not appear like a pair of pink jeans, but I will cross that bridge when I get there. If anyone has any tips on dyeing, I would appreciate hearing them.


Dan (dmvarley at said...

Awesome idea Trip. Interesting how the DIY concept in terms of clothes (at least to me) is really more associated with "punk", whereas this is a totally different direction aesthetically. Regardless, looking forward to what you come up with.

Don't laugh, I occasionally dress like those guys, but maybe I can get away with it in the Northeast?

DAM said...

Go with rit dye from the grocery store - in order to get that color you may need to add some brown to the red so it doesn't turn out like you washed your white jeans with a red sweater...

Additionally, check for white Levi's 514. They fit everyone really well and retail for about $32 at Macys.

JRS said...

This is a good idea - I'm curious to see how it turns out. Instead of white jeans, you could also consider stone colored 5-pocket style chinos...just a thought.

Anonymous said...

FYI, check out the clearance racks at your local Dillards. Just picked up a pair of RLP white jeans for something like $20, although I'm not sure how or when i'll wear 'em.

Greg said...

trip said...

Well, the guys in that particular picture really aren't too bad, especially compared to what some other guys wear.

Yes, RIT was the first place I looked, though after reading some other stuff on the internet, there are some concerns that RIT might not be as colorfast as some other dyes. Regarding the use of brown, I had considered this, though in looking around at the RIT website, I came across this page that shows what the "Tangerine" color looks like, and it actually looks pretty close to what I need.

I did consider a pair of "stone" jeans that I found at a thrift store, however, they had some black spots on them (grease? tar?) which I was afraid might not come out, plus they wanted $10 for them, which I thought was pretty steep. I'm waiting til half-off day.

I will see about checking out Dillards. Thanks for the heads up.

Interesting approach. Though, once you consider cost of fabric and how much it would cost to get a pair made, I'm wondering how much money would really be saved over the original ones. Also, in doing some reading on SF, I thought that I read that most jeans are made with a double-locking chainstitch, which is hard to find on most non-industrial sewing machines.

Anonymous said...

I like the idea, especially how they are distressed. I wonder how thick the denim is. I'm not really a big fan of rugby, for the price you might as well just buy regular RL.

As an interesting note, that picture was taken near the Rugby store in Georgetown which happens to be about five blocks from my relatives' house. There's an awesome seafood restaurant to the left there, and an RL store nearby which has all manner of craziness unknown to the RL site. I once saw an $800 bright pink corduroy blazer in there. I can't even imagine the guy who buys that sort of thing.