Company: Naked & Famous Denim
Product(s): Men's & Women's Denim Goods and Other Accessories
Founder(s): Brandon Svarc
Product Featured: Men's Left Hand Twill Selvedge Denim Jacket
Fabric: 100% Cotton from Japan
Style: Left Hand Twill/Selvedge/Vintage/Saniforized
Weight: 13.75 oz
Made in Canada
The world of selvedge and raw denim has really gotten a hold of me. I love it! My current cycle of my Warehouse Lot 1001 OR and 3sixteen ST-120x are in full swing and there is a high chance I am wearing either one of those pairs at any given moment. Also, I spend way too much time on Instagram looking at other denim lovers' pictures and marveling at their fades and dedication to their denim! Wanting to be a real denim head, I decided to get a lovely selvedge and raw denim jacket from Naked & Famous Denim!
When I first got the jacket, I ripped open the package like a little kid at Christmas and put it on without hesitation... Ouch! The jacket was, super stiff and starchy. This jacket was so uncomfortable and I had a hard time keeping my arms down. At 13.75 oz., I was wondering how the enthusiasts who buy the super heavy weighted jackets and jeans (like from Iron Heart) actually move!
The first full day I wore it was at work and the sleeve was so stiff it kept pressing the 'Enter' key and messing up my emails and documents. My boss even asked me why I decided to wear cardboard that day... Haha!
In order for the jacket to get as soft as my cheap Target knock off I use when I want a lighter (and more comfortable) denim, I have been wearing this Naked & Famous jacket whenever I can. Keep in mind it is also summer so I am usually only wearing it inside and when there is air conditioning! As fall approaches, I look forward to being able to wear this jacket more and pair it with some of my hoodies! Until then, the still starchy sleeves will continuously rub against my bare arms and help write me emails!
My descriptions of my experience with this jacket so far probably makes it sound like I hate it. That is far from the truth! While it has been a chore to wear at times, in the denim world, it is all about the wild ride your indigo friend takes you on!
This jacket will last me a good while and will (Hopefully, fingers crossed!) become more comfortable and fade well as time goes on!
Product(s): Pants, Shirts, Bags, Belts, Shoes
Founder(s): Josh Gustin & Steve Powell
More about the Company
Product Featured: #129 Japan BlackXSlate
Bought on EBay
Gustin is one of those Direct-to-Consumer brands that uses the campaign business model. I find that this model is not really my cup of tea; your product may or may not get enough funding and you must wait on manufacturing if your particular item does get achieve it's campaign goal. However, just because I do not like their business model doesn't mean their items suck either!
I was fortunate to find these for around $30 on EBay from a guy who barely wore them and never washed it. I was getting a new pair of denim jeans at a really good deal as the original campaign price was $116.00 (Gustin put them at a $205+ value for what that is worth).
Food restrictions aside, I find these jeans to be very well made. Despite being branded as an "entry level" company into the world of raw and selvedge denim, they don't seem to be that far off from my Warehouse & Co. and 3sixteens. The sewing is well done, the hardware is sturdy, and they look fantastic as a dressier pair of jeans.
In terms of how the fabric feels, this is where the difference lies. I would say that the jeans have that "normal" feel, if that makes any sense. They don't feel like they need to be seriously broken in like my 3sixteens and they're more flexible than my Warehouse & Co. pair, they just feel like regular,old jeans. Whether a person likes that or not is a personal preference. I prefer the breaking in period of a quality pair of selvedge, raw denim clothing and the after effect of long term wear: like my Gilded Age that I also got used and already have specific fades. Granted, the fades and wear are not specific to me but they are so soft from wear!.
While they are missing that "quality feel", they still are a darn good looking pair of jeans. If I am not dressing them up, I like to wear them with my red 1000 Mile Boots and my indigo Pigeon Tree Crafting Quick Release Belt.
Although I probably won't purchase another Gustin product in the future (Just so many brands out there to try!), I can't say that they aren't a quality pair of jeans. They look good and are well made. You can dress them up and you can dress them down. I can't wait to see what cool fades develop with the black dye and compare them with my indigo denim jeans. -Stylin' Asian
Company: Dearborn Denim & Apparel
Product(s): Jeans, Belts, Khakis, and Other Accessories
Founder(s): Rob McMillan
More about the company here on Vogue
Product Featured: 100% Cotton Tailored Fit Dark Wash
Fabric Weight: 13 oz.
Fabric: Ansler Ringspun Yarn
Made in the U.S.A. (Chicago, IL)
Dearborn Denim is a new company started in my favorite U.S. city: Chicago! Yes, these jeans are not raw or selvedge. Instead of a button up fly, it has a zipper fly (albeit, a good zipper). Denimheads collectively turn up your noses! In my opinion, these jeans are worth getting despite the lack of your usual denim lovers' specifics.
While I cannot personally comment on the model of jeans mentioned above, you can find plenty of reviews online to read/watch. Many people do love these jeans and that they are gaining somewhat of a cult following (especially in Chi-town). Here's a review video from the Boot Guy:
One thing that I love about the company as a whole is their transparency. They are very open about where all their materials come from, how they manufacture, and why they make the jeans they make. In that last link Rob even states that he doesn't really like raw, selvedge denim! It takes an honest man to admit that in a world full of denimheads! Heck, Dearborn Denim even offers factory tours! Want to take a factory tour from jeans made in Third World Countries? Didn't think so.
Here are a couple cool videos for you on how Dearborn Denim & Apparel make belts and jeans:
If you're looking quality jeans but don't want to break the bank (you can get most of their pairs for around $60) in the high end realm and you don't mind the lack of uniqueness that come with a pair of raw and selvedge denim, Dearborn Denim & Apparel meets that criteria. Made in Chicago using all American made material, a "regular" pair of jeans doesn't get much better than this!
Product(s): Jeans, Belts, Shirts, and other Clothing Accessories
Founder(s): Johan Lam and Andrew Chen
More about the founders here and here
Product Featured: ST-120x Jeans
Bought at: Mildblend Supply Co. in Chicago
Fabric Weight: 14.5 oz.
Fabric: 100% Shadow Denim Cotton from Kuroki Mills in Okayama, Japan
Special Leather Patch made by Tanner Goods
Made in the U,S,A,
First I would like to say that purchasing this pair of jeans was a very pleasurable experience. The staff at Mildbend Supply Co. was very helpful and it seemed like each shopper had their own personal Mildbend assistant uh, "assisting", them to find the perfect pair of jeans. I tried on about 4 or 5 different pairs from different companies until I settled on the 3sixteen ST-120x.
My initial reaction to the pair was, "that's different." The jeans were way darker than the other pairs I had tried on and have. In certain lighting, they can appear almost black. I already have a pair of black Gustin jeans but I thought, "meh, maybe a little lighter color pair but I'll try them on anyways." Boy am I glad I did!
I was wearing a pair of monk straps by Magnanni that I had bought second hand and recently dyed black myself (I'll write about that in another post). The jeans and the shoes looked so good together. The colors blended well and jeans seemed "dressier" than the others that I had tried on. I loved how different they were and after the employee at Mildblend had gotten them to a perfect length, they hemmed the jeans free of charge.
In terms of comfort, I would say that my Warehouse & Co. jeans (click here for my post about that pair) that I got a week later are not as stiff and ultimately more comfortable at this point in time. Obviously after more wear (and maybe a soak or two), these will get broken in.
The 3sixteen's feel sturdy though, especially compared to my Gustin's and Gilded Age (which are my most comfortable). They are great for work and a night out. You can dress them up or dress them down, they look just as good with a T-shirt and Converse as they do with a collared shirt and dress shoes/boots. I usually don't cuff the jeans because the hemmed bottom is already a great length. I think cuffing them also takes a way from their formality. However, I won't say that I don't sometimes show off that selvedge!
The little details are what I love about these jeans. For instance, the beautifully written description of the jeans that can be found written on the outside of the pocket on the interior of the jeans. Also, I love the leather patch, it is beautiful and feels like a well made leather good and not just like a brand logo. The patch adds to the overall look and you can fit slimmer belts under if you feel like showing it off. All of the jean's hardware is also top notch.
My 3sixteen ST-120x jeans are my first pair of selvedge and raw jeans that I paid full price for. My Gustins and Gilded Age are both second hand and my Warehouse & Co. were a gift. That adds to the sentimental value of these jeans and I after I looked up some of the fades that people have produced and am excited to start developing my own based on my lifestyle! I will update as time goes on!
Company: Warehouse & Co.
Product(s): All things denim, shirts, shoes, and denim care items
Founder(s): The Shiotani Twins
Read More About the Company and the jeans of Japan on Heddel: "The History of The Osaka 5"
and on Timeout: "Warehouse Ebisu"
Product Featured: Warehouse & Co. Lot 1001 OR Jeans
Size: 32 (Waist after soak)
Fabric Weight: 13.5 oz.
Fabric: 100% Memphis Cotton
Made in Japan
When my dad called me up and asked me if I wanted anything from Japan (he takes an annual trip), I didn't hesitate to say some denim jeans! I sent him an email of what "specifications" to look for and he returned with a wonderful pair of indigo, 100% cotton jeans by Warehouse & Co.!
Since the jeans were unsanforized, that means I had to soak them in order to get to the desired size, something I had never done before. Now, there are a million different methods you can read on the internet. All denimheads will have different opinions on water temperature, length of soak, to or not to sit in the tub with the jeans on, how and where to dry them, when it is finally okay to wear them... I read a bunch of articles, watched a bunch of videos and decided I'll just try a combination of methods and hope for the best.
I usually refer to the Rope Dye. Denim, Leather & Crafted Goods for Men YouTube Channel. Below is their video on soaking your jeans:
So what did I do? Well, since Warehouse & Co. prides themselves on taking denim back to the "good old days," I decided to do what my parents did; sit in the tub with them.
My Steps (probably shouldn't follow):
Now I probably did everything wrong and got lucky, but hey, beginners luck! I didn't lose too much indigo, like some people fear. However, I did have some starch flaking, I wrinkled the deer-skin patch, and there is some fraying with the sewing (although being handmade, that is expected).
Despite some of the flaws (most likely caused by me), these jeans are easily my favorite pair. I think what adds to that is the first soak, whether I did it right or not, it was an experience! It also helps make this particular pair of jeans unique to just me even more so than my other raw denims (which are all sanforized).
The jeans are also very comfortable while also feeling sturdy. They feel like they could last for many years but also retain that comfort. It remains to be seen how these will stack up against my pair of 3sixteen ST-120x that I got just a week before. I will be comparing them as time goes on!
I read on various forums that Warehouse & Co. jeans take time and dedication but that they produce some of the best fades. Check out some of these fades: Warehouse Lot 900 and Warehouse 660