Life's a Bleach!

I don't know much about fashion really! I do take a little interest in it though - I like to know what is new and tasteful so I don't look like a complete disaster when I step outside!

Tastes change from month to month but I've noticed something consistent over the past few years which I think is going to define what we wear for the rest of the 'Twenteens' decade. What I've noticed is that people don't seem to wear stuff that looks 'new' anymore. A lot of people now seem to like clothes that look like they've had a life and have been lived-in. I suppose it's the same appealing quality that draws people to antiques!

This trend really resonates with my personal taste! When something looks new, it looks like it has just been born, straight out of the factory and is starting a little adventure on your back and hide. It doesn't have anything to speak for and the whole idea just seems a bit cold. I think people today want to wear something that is more comforting and they can feel at home in. They want to wear something that looks a bit roughed and that they've had some relationship with. I think people want to say 'I've had this jacket for fucking yeeeears - he's a really good jacket!'. A lot of people are after this personal touch I think because we live in an age of drive and stress, and only recently are people saying 'woah, guys, slow it down, we're getting cold as a society! Let's remember the good little things about life again!' Of course, just one of those good little things could be that handsome old jacket that has taken a beating on your back all those years. The jacket that was there when you asked out that guy/gal, when you were dumped by that guy/gal, when you had a DMC with a friend, when you collected your A-level results - whatever! You've got a good bond with it and an enduring friendship.

Now people save time on this whole process, and just buy garments that look like they have this quality, when really they're straight out of the factory looking deliberately battered and faded! Now I know a tattered, roughed-up item of clothing isn't always appropriate. Sometimes tidy and simple is best. What I'm talking about in this post however, is something to wear for the weekend, or for a festival, or just a nip to the 24h in the night.

My university dorm-room. Nasty!

I found an old denim jacket in my wardrobe at home in Newcastle. I bought it back in 2010; it was cheap as chips! It was reduced in Primark or Matalan at the time - can't remember which. It looked like one of those 'new' garments I was just on about. Just plain, dyed denim. Boring. No sign of being lived in at all and it just looked drab and 'plastic'.



I decided to bleach it. There are many tutorials out there which guide you in how to bleach clothes, whether a general all-over bleaching, dip-bleaching for a two-tone effect (might be good if you're interested in colour-blocking!) or even tie-dying! I wanted to create a patchy, blotchy, inconsistent bleached effect. I wanted to break up that boring block of colour into something more sensual!

I took a risk - I wasn't sure it would work right - so I embarked on the process with my fingers crossed. If it messed up, I could just bin it! So if you try this at home, make sure you experiment on an old item of clothing that you won't miss should it completely dissolve or something...

Mix up your bleach solution. I just used household bleach under my sink. I used roughly 1 part beach to 3 parts water. You can see in my photo what my ratio was by looking at the ominous, camomile glow at the bottom of the bottle!


Now decide whether or not to soak your garment. If you want a soft blotches, soak your garment in water so it's dripping wet when you apply the bleach. If you want crisp, sharp patches (if you want to add a spatter-effect, for example) leave the garment dry so the bleach doesn't bleed. I soaked mine so the bleaching would be less dramatic.




Spray your bleach solution on, or you could dab it with a sponge, or you could paint it on with a stiff brush. Whatever way you choose is only really important if your garment is dry. If it is wet, the bleach will just run anyways so it won't matter what method you use to apply it!


Let your garment stand for a while. Keep an eye on it! It can bleach to your perfect desired effect in 10 minutes, or 2/3 hours! I think it depends on the dye/s of the garment. My jacket took a few hours, but eventually eroded to a colour I was happy with.

VOILA!





It was a sunny day, and I had noticed the sunlight on the front of the jacket had made the bleaching process much stronger, whereas the back of the jacket was a bit softer. It might be worth considering if you should let Mr Sun give you a hand.


Then get it in the washing machine to rinse the bleach off!

You could use this bleaching method to add depth to a few cheap Primark value tees, or to revive an old pair of jeans that are looking a bit Atomic Kitten circa 2000.

It's a pretty cheap way to get that unique effect that people often pay a lot extra for!

Have a mess about and have fun!

Anthony



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