When you buy new raw denim jeans, aficionados recommend wearing for six months before washing. Why? Wear will break down the super-stiff denim, the fabric actually conforms to your shape. When you’re ready to wash, turn inside out, use cold water in a gentle cycle, hot water if you want fading. Lay flat or hang upside down to air dry. Lay flat, fold in half from left to right. Grab the stacked legs and fold up in half with bottoms up to the waistband. Fold in half again and store in an uncrowded drawer or shelf.