Q&A with Lars Esmarch aka @redheadbluebottom
Name: Lars Esmarch
Birth year: 1988
Location: Aarhus, Denmark
How Lars Runs His Instagram Feed
Thomas: How did it all start with your Instagram feed?
Lars: It actually started exactly when my first daughter was born back in late 2016. I had four weeks of parental leave (yay, Scandinavian welfare model!), which were obviously spent getting to know the baby. But they also left some time to play around with denim photography.
I had been lurking on there for quite a few months and could spot a very forthcoming, open community, so I decided to get into it myself.
T: Why Instagram? What are your goals?
L: Because it’s awesome. The people are awesome, and it’s a great way to get in touch with likeminded people – but also brands and shops.
Actually, I’ve found that I spend quite some time talking to the people behind the brands I like and the shops that sell the stuff I like. For example, I often talk to folks like TJ from @theshopvancouver, @thomas.von.stuff from stuf-f in Düsseldorf and Bryan from @ritestuff.official.
Instagram offers a kind of contact and dialogue with brands and shops that you won’t find if you just email them. It’s a great way to assess whether I’d ever want to spend my money there.
As for goals, I don’t really think about what I want to do with my profile other than sharing my outfits and connect. I have no specific plan.
T: How much time do you spend on Instagram on a daily basis?
L: I’d say around 30 minutes total, but I don’t keep tabs. I definitely could spend A LOT more time there if I wanted to (or had the time), but I find I’m not actually that drawn to opening the app just out of boredom like I do with Twitter or Reddit. I’d rather ‘save up’ some interactionand high-quality posts and check in a few times a day 😊
T: How do you take your photos?
L: I take all my photos myself, usually just using my iPhone’s self-timer, which isn’t optimal for photo and framing quality. I occasionally use my DSLR for detail shots, and I’m sure my profile could be elevated if I used my camera more and with a remote, but I just don’t have the time.
T: Which tools do you use?
L: iPhone 6s or my Canon DSLR with a 35mm f/1.8 lens.
T: What’s your editorial flow?
L: I don’t have a plan or think about peaks or anything like that. I post when I feel like it, when I find a cool spot or think of a cool detail.
I will say though that I usually get ideas for posts from some of the recurring ‘days’ in the denim community like #moctoemonday, #redwingwednesday, #fadefriday or #selvedgesunday. Especially the latter two usually give me some idea what I could post.
T: What are your favourite locations to take photos? And why?
L: I’ve always wanted to find that one great spot where I can get some sort of consistency to make the outfits speak for themselves. And I think I just found it actually!
I started a new job a few months back that has this room with great lighting and pleasant furniture and plants. The only downside is that it’s a room that people often use for phone calls, so I’m always dreading someone walking in on me self-timing a photo, I imagine it probably looks completely ridiculous, haha! 😅
Lars’ Denim Style and Preferences
T: How did you get into denim?
L: I thought a lot about this, and I actually think I got into denim and the heritage style way before I actually started caring about it and buying high-end denim, without thinking about it.
Some years back, I watched One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest where Jack Nicholson’s character McMurphy sports the most effortlessly cool mid-century outfit of faded 1955 501s, Red Wing 877’s, a chambray shirt, an A-2 Jacket and a watch cap. I obviously didn’t know anything about the specifics, but I think it left a sort of lasting impression at a time where I wasn’t really into clothing at all.
That style would later reappear while I was browsing Pinterest and Instagram, where I found out there was a whole community revolving around this style. That’s what really drew me in; the fact there were people so obsessed and nerdy about this stuff.
I have a very easy time getting into new hobbies and furiously researching every little detail about something I’m interested in (I used to be heavily into vintage watches, for example), so the denim thing kind of made sense in that regard.
T: What’s your favourite feature of jeans?
L: The fact that I can wear them all day, from before 6 in the morning where my kids get up, on my bicycle commute to and from work, at work, at home playing with my kids on the ground, all the way until I go to bed in the evening.
T: How do you wash your denim?
L: Machine, 40°C, no spin, hang dry. Every time.
T: What’s your favourite denim brand?
L: Japan Blue. I still haven’t found another brand that can nail that blue colour. They’re also really well made and they’re great value for money.
T: What’s your favourite fit? And why?
L: Straight leg, medium-to-high-rise, hemmed to accommodate a single, small cuff. I like Japan Blue’s 05 cut, TCB‘s 50s and 60s cuts, Sugar Cane’s 1947 cut and Iron Heart’s 634 cut – the classic’s really.
I wore slim and tapered jeans a lot, but only recently discovered that the straight leg is actually what fits me best, and that they actually come closest to all those classical outfits in movies and old pictures that I really like.
T: Which boots and leather goods do you wear with your denim?
L: I have three pairs of Red Wings: The 8111 (the classic, utilitarian boot), the 2942 (for snowy winter days or mud) and the 2990 (obligatory black boot).
I always keep my LeatherProjects (now Dahlman1807) key fob on me. And I have this old black leather jacket that I got in Egypt some years back.
T: Which sneakers do you wear?
L: Nike’s Air Force 1 07 Suede in Mushroom/Mushroom/Gum Brown. I love suede sneakers with that tan or beige look.
T: Favourite item that’s not denim or leather?
L: Lady White Co.’s ‘Our White T-Shirt’. It’s just perfect. I don’t really need anything more than my jeans, sneakers or boots and then this shirt. I have like 5-6 of them at all times in my wardrobe.
T: Where do you buy your gear?
L: I go out of my way to shop at my local heritage menswear store Blue Caviar in Aarhus. Brian is an awesome guy and I often go there just to hang out for a bit.
T: What styling tips would you give your followers if they wanted your style?
L: Embrace the full, straight leg fits. Yes, that’s right, drop your slim tapered leggings and come to the dark side (we have cookies!). Wear your shirts open with a high-quality white tee underneath and the sleeves rolled up. Jackets are important. Hem your jeans. Magically grow out ginger hair (this one might be too much to ask).