You can’t pay for patina.

Well actually you can, but it will NEVER look convincing.

And you know this because you’ve seen it.

That guy in the mall wearing the diamant√© studded and too-tight T-shirt of a skull with a snake crawling out of the eye socket. That guy with the pointy leather shoes that turn up in the front. That guy who sticks an M badge on his non-M bimmer. That guy in the distressed jeans, which look as if they’ve been pulled through a combine harvester. That guy didn’t earn his jeans, and everybody knows that. So don’t be that guy!

Now look at the dirtbag over there playing foosball in the grey sneakers. Sneakers that were once white. His jeans tell a story. Tomorrow morning they’ll lay in a heap at the foot of some scene girl’s bed and when she gets up to go and get a sip of water she’ll pick them up and it will be like catching a ride on Falcor’s back. That split in the crotch? That’s from stepping over a motorcycle every other day. The rip by the knee? That’s when he got caught on the barbwire fence while sneaking into Ramfest 2008. And what even is that wash? That’s not a wash, pal, that’s denim that’s never ever been washed. Layered like an onion. They’re almost a living organism.

Now we’re not saying that you should stop washing, because that would be gross, just that there’s a way to get the authentic look you want and that’s by living an authentic life.

Right now it’s 14:37 and outside my office things are looking a little bit Mordor. Which is fine. I’ve come properly prepared. I’ll stomp in puddles and beat up my boots, happy in the knowledge that they can handle it. The clincher? Every bit of stress that they suffer make them come out that much stronger.