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(The Truth)
ABOUT IMOGENE RIGID

we reached out to a few long-time wearers of imogene rigid, asking them to share their personal experience with the jean over time.

reading their responses, we knew we needed to share ’em.

( see below )
how long ago did you get your first pair of imogenes?

must have been July of 2009 just when imogene + willie opened on 12th South in Nashville.

do you remember the first time you put them on?

yes, i do. i felt like a stuffed sausage! carrie promised me if i was patient they would stretch and become fitted to my body.

what was your first impression of them?

honestly – ouch. it hurt to wear them at the beginning. then once some room was achieved, i loved them. i felt like a woman – not a teenager trying to wear the latest trend. i loved the size of the back pockets. i loved the way my butt looked in them!

how long was it before they began to take on your shape?

not too long... maybe a month.

what do you feel is the most flattering about the fit of imogene rigid for you?

the butt! the larger back pocket size. i cannot stand jeans with small back pockets.

can you describe what you like about wearing rigid denim?

i like how i must exercise patience and trust they will be better than i expect once they whisker and soften and become fitted to my body.

what would you tell a woman looking to buy her first pair of rigid jeans?

BE PATIENT and trust the folks of imogene + willie to size you properly.

how often do you prefer to wash ’em? (there really is no wrong answer.)

really as little as possible. i’ve long overcome the notion they are not clean – they are just coming into their own the less i wash them. they might get washed 1x every three months. often that means in the tub on my body!

what do these jeans mean to you?

gosh, they mean so many things.

they remind me of the day i met carrie and matt long before the store opened. i remember their infectious generous spirit and their determination to develop a neighborhood jeans shop with soul.

they always bring up feelings of love and loss. michael pontes who is no longer with us loved carrie and matt and they him. for my 40th birthday he set up a custom fitting appointment for me at imogene + willie. that birthday was a time when things were good. a time of sweet love and family. the shop on 12th Ave will always remind me of him and what it looks like to grow a deep friendship and the bond he shared with matt.

if you were to “title” your imogene rigids as an art piece, what would the title be?

“If These Jeans Could Talk”

Kari in imogene rigid at 1 year
how long ago did you get your first pair of imogenes?

first pair? shit, i think i own the first run (aside from the original 250)... vintage button and all.

do you remember the first time you put them on?

i don't remember vividly the first time i put them on, aside from the fact that i had never tried on denim that nice before (at the time i was wearing cheap stretchy jeans and had no idea what salvage denim was).

trying on your first pair of rigid jeans is a lot like deciding to work out because you pray you will see results eventually.

what was your first impression of them?

at first they are so TIGHT and unwelcoming leading to temporary bruising and shortage of blood flow and air supply.

how long was it before they began to take on your shape?

give it a month and those babies are second skin. they take on your body shape and say "i am here for you! i embrace you!" no matter how tall or thin or big boned or bootylicious you are.

what do you feel is the most flattering about the fit of imogene rigid for you?

the best part of imogene rigid... the ASS!

what are the biggest differences you’ve experienced between wearing rigid and stretch denim?

i am pretty sure i own nearly every fit made by matt and carrie and believe me i celebrate the day they introduced imogene stretch, but the ass on the rigids - nothing compares. it took my little big booty and sucked it right up, all the while giving it room to push back and say "i belong here!"

what would you tell a woman looking to buy her first pair of rigid jeans?

to all of the women scared of rigid, buy them so tight you can't breathe. wear them every day for a month. work in them! remember, jeans are meant to be worked in, not just to make us pretty or sexy. sexy is wearing a durable pair of jeans and not being afraid to wear them and work in them. denim that's built to last is sexy. a woman not afraid to get a pair of jeans worn in because she's actually working in them scrubbing floors, serving burgers at a local bar or photographing a wedding... that's even sexier.

how often do you prefer to wash ’em? (there really is no wrong answer.)

i never wash mine! eek! (sorry not sorry)

what do these jeans mean to you?

imogene rigid is the first pair of imogene + willie jeans i have ever owned and they hang lovingly in my closet next to the other 15 pairs. this brand is primarily all i wear. from rigid to stretch it's like saying i love one child more than the next.

if you were to “title” your imogene rigids as an art piece, what would the title be?

“ACCEPTANCE”

that's my word. but here is what i will say about imogene rigid...

the first time i pulled those jeans on i heard the word “acceptance”. i was a girl plagued with eating disorders and body dysmorphia for many years, afraid of the ways the clothes i wore exposed my imperfections. those jeans came into my life and said very lovingly that i was the boss of them. that they would answer to me and make me feel beautiful because they were tough, yet flexible. that they were a pattern, waiting to come to life in their own special way for me. those jeans would beautifully and poetically represent my story and body from that day forward.

customer jeans on display at the i+w 5–year party
how long ago did you get your first pair of imogenes?

i got my first pair of imogene rigids about eight years ago or whenever carrie and matt started selling them out of their home on Main St. in Henderson, Kentucky.

do you remember the first time you put them on?

yes, we tried them on at carrie and matt's home. i was so excited to finally have a custom pair!

what was your first impression of them?

i thought they were too tight for my body and i really started wondering if carrie had taken my measurements correctly. they were so stiff that i felt like i looked like the tin man trying to walk in them. but she assured me that they would mold to my body and fit me perfectly after a couple of wears.

how long was it before they began to take on your shape?

probably after about four or five times of wearing them.

what do you feel is the most flattering about the fit of imogene rigid for you?

the waistline. it's perfect for me. so many jeans may fit you in most areas but usually the waistline doesn't work. imogene rigid fits me everywhere.

can you describe what you like about wearing rigid denim?

the classic look and the fact that i get compliments almost every time i wear them.

what are the biggest differences you’ve experienced between wearing rigid and stretch denim?

imogene holds your body in place and is much more flattering than stretch denim. they do not stretch out and become droopy. they truly mold to the curves of your body.

what would you tell a woman looking to buy her first pair of rigid jeans?

be patient when getting used to them. they will NOT disappoint. i would trust the staff to fit you even if it's not the size you think you'd wear.

how often do you prefer to wash ’em? (there really is no wrong answer.)

hardly ever... maybe three times a year. and when i do wash them, i NEVER dry them.

what do these jeans mean to you?

they are my favorite, go-to jean. without a doubt, the best fitting jean i've ever worn. i feel lucky to get to wear them and i plan to still be wearing them when i'm 80 years old!

if you were to “title” your imogene rigids as an art piece, what would the title be?

“A Unique Commitment”