Denim for a City That Takes a Tough Hide (The New York Times)
As the water line crept higher and higher in the bathtub, it was hard not to think I had been hornswoggled.
A few months ago, on a trip out of town, I bought a pair of Levi’s 501XX jeans: raw denim, unwashed, shrink-to-fit. They had a pleasing crispness, like cardboard or a snack chip. The inseam was long, 38 inches, but one thorough drenching would take care of most of that overage, I was assured. After that, for purposes of authenticity--these 501XXs were modeled after a 1947 style--all they would need was a chain-stitched hem and I’d be in business.