Q&A with Rob aka @raw.denim.ocd

If there’s one thing I’ve learned after have a dozen Instagrammers answer my Q&A, it is that community is key.

The most common answer to why the people I talk to are on Instagram is that it’s to connect with others who share their passion.

Rob, aka @raw.denim.ocd when he’s on Instagram, is someone I met through the community after both Dave (@ruggedworkwear) and Paul (@partial2denim) mentioned him in their Q&As. So, I reached out to Rob to hear his story.

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What’s your story

Name: Rob

Birth year: 1958

Location: San Francisco Bay Area, California, USA

Profession: Software Engineer

I’ve been married for 27 years and have two adult sons. Both are roughly the same size as me so I can pass workwear down to them. They’re “kinda” into it, but I have yet to influence my wife to wear anything I do, such as raw denim and boots!

Besides workwear, my hobbies are golf (I play weekly) and single origin coffee (I’m a bit of a coffee snob) ☕

Rob’s Instagram Feed and His Routines

Thomas: How did it all start with your Instagram feed?

Rob: I started on Instagram about 6 months after I got into workwear, about 3.5 years ago. I had lost 35 pounds and needed a new wardrobe, and decided to explore what was out there, starting with jeans. My sister was a regular Instagram user and encouraged me to try it.

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T: Why Instagram? Do you do it for business, pleasure or both?

R: Completely non-business. When I started, I was mostly trying to see what others with similar tastes were wearing, so I could build a wardrobe. Soon after, I realized that there are a lot of great people on Instagram, who freely share their knowledge, and encourage others.

At that point, my goals changed to trying to be part of the Instagram workwear community, and be a valued contributor, while helping to maintain a positive culture. Then, I started meeting some incredible people, and I now also use Instagram to stay connected with and support others.

T: How much time do you spend on Instagram on a daily basis?

R: 20 minutes taking, editing and posting pics, one hour liking and commenting on others’ posts.

T: How do you take your photos?

R: All of my pictures are taken on an iPhone 7 Plus, 99% of by me.

T: Which tools do you use?

R: I only use Instagram editing, with an occasional collage app.

T: What’s your editorial flow?

R: I do little planning, and take 75% of my pictures the morning that I post them. I look at prior posts within the last week and try to do something different. Like a lot of my Instagram experience, I get new ideas from my fellow Instagrammers.

T: Do you make it a priority to post on a regular schedule? And how do you remind yourself of it?

R: I post once per day, in the morning. On workdays, I do it on the train during my commute, and on weekends shortly after I get up.

T: What are your favourite locations to take photos? And why?

R: My favorite location is my front steps since they’ve got decent light in the morning.

T: Do you repost?

R: I don’t repost, and I generally don’t “like” others’ reposts. Two reasons for that: I like original content, and I don’t want to support a commercial repost.

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Rob’s Denim and Workwear Style

T: What is your favourite feature on jeans?

R: The denim fabric, for sure. Construction details also. I have 22 pairs of raw selvedge jeans in my closet, all of which have something interesting about them.

T: How do you wash your denim?

R: If they’re dirty, inside-out in the washer in cold water, half the normal detergent, remove immediately, then hang dry. If I’m soaking or a light wash, I do it in a bathtub with cold water and a little Woolite.

T: How do you cope with wearing heavyweight denim when the weather’s hot?

R: Northern California Bay Area is not consistently hot. Regardless, even in a heat spell, I wear jeans every day. Two years ago, I wore my 25 oz. Red Clouds every day during the summer. It’s my lifestyle, and I can always wear lighter weights if needed.

T: What’s your favourite fit? And what’s your least favourite fit?

R: I’m 6’3” with really long legs. I started with slim-straight fits, which were good, then went to slim tapered.

At some point, I woke up and realized that with long legs the tapered fit made my legs look super thin. Then I realized that straight fit looks like slim straight on me, so now I primarily wear straight fit.

Also, I need a 36” inseam to get even a small cuff, so I always have to buy jeans with long inseams or have someone make me a custom pair with a longer inseam.

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T: Which boots and leather goods do you wear with your denim?

R: My boot collection is currently three pairs of Trumans (my faves by far) and seven Red Wings, plus a few (Goodyear welted) pairs from other brands.

My favorite belts are by B Weiss Leather and Whiskey Leatherworks. I also have a shell wallet by Ashland, and an awesome custom wallet by Wild Frontier Goods.

T: Which sneakers do you wear?

R: I have some John Lofgren Champion sneakers in sugar cane denim that are crazy good. Plus the obligatory pair of Chucks.

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T: Favourite item that’s not denim or leather?

R: Probably my Railcar American Cotton Duck Chore Coat (the one above).

T: Where do you buy your gear?

R: My go-to shop is Standard & Strange in Oakland. Just fantastic people! And an incredible selection of curated workwear.

T: What styling tips would you give your followers if they wanted your style?

R: I tell everyone who asks that the goal is to “rock your style.” It doesn’t matter what style you choose (or how much you spend), just try to rock it!!


Thomas founded Denimhunters in 2011 and built it into a voice for the denim industry and community. Today, he helps companies grow and gain market shares using his STORY/SELLING BLUEPRINT.

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