Denim is a fabric that becomes a part of you as you wear it. Even if you and your best friend get the same denim jacket from the same store, you likely won’t get them mixed up after a few months of wear. With washing and wearing, the fabric adapts to your body like a second skin. However, some kinds of denim wear faster than others. If your old denim jacket still looks like new -- a fashion faux pas in the denim world -- you can use a few techniques to give it a vintage edge.
Check all the pockets in your denim jacket to make sure they’re empty. Toss the jacket in the washing machine, by itself or with other denim pieces. Add about ¼ cup of detergent.
Wash the jacket on the "whites" cycle, since the water gets hotter for whites than it does for colors. Hotter water will soften and fade the denim faster.
Remove the jacket from the washer, and let it air dry.
Mix a tablespoon of bleach with about 1 gallon water in a small bucket. Sponge a little of the mixture onto the elbows, shoulder blades and edges of the jacket. Don’t drip any on yourself, to avoid fading your clothes.
Let the jacket sit for about an hour. Run it through the wash again. The bleached spots should be pretty faded.
Scrub the edges of the jacket and the bottoms of the pockets with a pumice stone. Scrub just enough to lightly fray and soften the fabric. Don’t wear holes in it.
Don’t dry your jacket in the dryer. The heat will shrink and ruin the jacket. Don’t drip bleach water on anything you don’t want to fade. Even if the fading doesn’t show up right away, it will show up after you wash the material.