Let's Talk About Denim

Zé Ferreira

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With how the forum has grown in even a week, I figured I could do my best at heading up an all-purpose denim thread for questions, fit pics, etc. Again - no limits here on branding, style, use, anything. Just post pictures of your jeans, ask questions about fit or sizing, and have fun.

FWIW, I'm a firm believer in Momotaro.

I also am an advocate of "purchase denim that fits you" and not a SIZE DOWN A BAJILLION!!- type.

Also, wash your damn jeans.
 

Zé Ferreira

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How do you enjoy your WvG? I assume it's the redemption jean?

I've read lots of people rave about their 3Sixteen. Seems like a solid product.
 

Dropbear

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I'm liking the unbranded tapered fit a lot. For jeans on a tight budget, I doubt you could do better.
 

Rambo

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Lets make a thread called " selvage denim is for suckers". I mean it has its place but its not what the denim market has made it to be. Maybe this forum at some point can be the voice of reason.
Lol. The selvedge trend has gone a bit off the rails.

Anyone care to explain what selvedge is and why its not what it used to be?
 

Rambo

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I <3 this thread. I'm a huge denim head, but since I have a very hard to fit shape, I've relegated myself to just Levis 501's STF's since that's all that I can find locally. So, if anyone needs Levis advice, feel free to tag me and I'll come runnin'.
 

Zé Ferreira

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Lol. The selvedge trend has gone a bit off the rails.

Anyone care to explain what selvedge is and why its not what it used to be?
Agreed. My impression is that selvage outseams used to signify a more old-school technique of creating the jean on a shuttle loom. If I understand correctly, the self-edge was the point at which the weft wrapped around the warp, creating a solid edge of the fabric (?). E-think tells me this created a stronger piece of material, less prone to tears, more structurally sound than a mass piece of fabric cut up into various bits for various jeans.

This would imply a greater level of detail and thought put into weaving denim fabric per "jean" created.

What used to be the result of hand working looms can now be easily reproduced (like most things) by industrial, automated ones. I assume what Mauro is getting at is that there is no actual extra labor or care put into creating a selvage line, and making it look all unique and pretty - you just mass produce it that way.

So while it may have been an artesian's touch in post-war Japan on all those famous looms that are supposedly hidden away in mountains, producing jeans by the thousands while simultaneously continuing to be operated at "dangerously low tension levels," nowadays selvage is a throwback and nothing more. It's a tip of the hat to a more hand-crafted time, reproduced to get the "vintage/artesanal" juices flowing in peoples brains making them think it's something more complex or desirable than the standard busted outseams on any pair of Levis.

And some photos of a moderately worn Pure Blue Japan xx009

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Zé Ferreira

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Thanks Imhoff

While the thread lives, I was able to go out tonight and try on APC for the first time. (yes, I know...) Here are comparison shots of a similarly sized Petite Standard and New Standard, for reference and anyone interested. Had to lighten up the photos a bit b/c of the darker dressing room, but hopefully they'll be informative. I was actually fairly impressed, and realized why the brand has built up the rep it has. Plus, I was grooving on slim denim that fits the thighs.

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Ended up purchasing the New Standards, but we'll see what the misses has to say. I need another pair of denim like I need a hole in my head, but when you find a pair that fits well, it's just so hard to say no.

Interestingly, these weren't as drastically vanity sized as I'd read on SF initially. I think if I tried to size down 2 or 3 I'd be busting seams. I know the denim is a lighter weight and stretches a bit (easy to feel once it's in your hands as opposed to my Momotaros, for instance), but goodness.
 

Rambo

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When they first started out, the New Standards were horribly vanity sized. Easy 3+ size different. They finally got around to figuring out what a pain in the ass that was.

I wish I could fit into anything from APC.
 

Chorn

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I've always been happy with Banana Republic, Calvin Klein, and Ralph Lauren. (I wear jeans maybe twice a week during spring, fall and winter and pretty much straight through the summer)

I believe I may have wandered into the wrong thread ^_^
 

Chorn

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^^ homeboy is serious about denim.

edit: directed at Mauro (though Crat, I'm sure you could be very serious about denim if you wanted to)
 

Pauly Chase

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My current rotation includes Dior MIJ 19cm (Hedi era), KMW 1980, R&B R18 (I think), Spurr Slim fit, Geller Cinch back, and Nudies Average Joe.

I bought my first pair of raws (APC NS) from Mauro about 6 or 7 years ago when I discovered SF. I sized down one after reading so many conflicting posts regarding to their fit. As far as I can remember, they bled quite bit during the initial wear before my first soak. The fabric itself did not stretch as much as I had anticipiated, maybe i didn't wear them every night and day. The pin on the belt loop was a unique feature. All in all, it was a good beginner's brand.

I don't consider myself a denim head, but out of everything that I have owned and/or handled, KMW so far has impressed me the most. The weave is dense which doesn't stretch or change shape much, mine is 14 oz. In adddition, the dye doesn't bleed unlike some other raws that I have owned. The fit is also great for people with larger/athletic thighs. Finally the price is not steep compared to some of the Japanese brands.

I have heard great stories about Somet jeans, but never got around purchasing a pair.

Anyone remember Crate? Not sure if they are still around.
 

Rambo

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crat - those Momarmoto's have a really low front rise. give kind of a weird look. how much bigger in the thigh do you need it?

I'm far from a denimnerd - can you expand on this? Would like to learn a bit more.
http://www.textileglossary.com/terms/selvedge.html

JohnGalt http://www.rawrdenim.com/2011/03/the-rundown-on-selvedge-denim-what-is-it-all-about/

This page encapsulates pretty much everything Mauro annoyed with:

http://www.contextclothing.com/support/selvage_denim.php

Just check the first line...

http://www.gq.com/style/blogs/the-gq-eye/2012/08/dropping-knowledge-selvedge.html
 

Zé Ferreira

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Here's a JP0701 fitpic. I'm looking for something similar that is a little wider in the thighs though as these are fairly tight.
Any suggestions?

[bimg]http://farm9.staticflickr.com/8399/8647414179_0becf84876_z.jpg[/bimg]
If you've really enjoyed the brand, fabric, details, etc. then I'd suggest the Japan Blue 0400. It's essentially a tapered version of the 701, and a cut not actually produced by Momotaro at all. I've loved mine. They'll taper down a little past the 701 (but not much), while also affording you a comparatively bigger thigh.

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However seeing this love for Momotaro I might try a pair out in the fall
They are fantastic - just, as always, take care to get sizing right. My general rule of thumb is "size thighs first" because its the make-or-break area of the jean. Waistbands can be manipulated, either stretched or belted, but the way denim is woven doesn't lead to thighs stretching as much as people may want. So many pairs have been flipped on the SF B/S because thighs were purchased, and remained, too tight.

To continue in the heresy, I sized up on my Momotaro 702s after experimenting w/ a pair of 705s from the marketplace. I got the 705s in a 34, and they were always tight but wearable. Eventually just had to move them on b/c the thigh was too small; could fully button up the waist but the thighs were just plain uncomfortable. So, when buying my 702s a year later I bit the bullet and got a 36. Best decision of my denim-life.

I've always been happy with Banana Republic, Calvin Klein, and Ralph Lauren. (I wear jeans maybe twice a week during spring, fall and winter and pretty much straight through the summer) I believe I may have wandered into the wrong thread ^_^
No shame man. If they fit you properly, brand becomes secondary.
 

Rambo

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No woman's going to fuck you because your denim has selvedge. Or uses a left hand twill. They will because it makes your ass look good. Or they think you're cute in them.

Just something to remember...
 

Rambo

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Wide with goods are rolls greater than 56 inches cuttable. I am under the impression that 44 inch goods are still narrow. Narrow width goods are 28 inch to 36 inch cuttable.
So what's good about this?
 

Rambo

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Wide width goods are more expensive by volume. The machines need to keep running. So minimums are higher. Yield is lower on narrow width goods so it might be more $ per yard but the yield isn't the same. Waste is high with narrow width goods and you have to cut off the selvage line so you ability to " design" is limited.
Ok, now I'm completely confused. If the wide width goods are more expensive the more you produce, is the only benefit the lack of waste since you don't have to cut out tiny strips for selvedge?
 

Zé Ferreira

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Let me ask anyone here what is good denim and what makes that denim so great? I want to know specifics .
Are you referring strictly to how the denim fabric is constructed, or what makes a "good pair of jeans?"

FWIW, I'm with you Mauro. Somét, for example, makes many non-selvage cuts, but the denim quality is still fantastic.
 

Chorn

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No woman's going to fuck you because your denim has selvedge. Or uses a left hand twill
I'm thinking the vast majority of people on a clothing forum, whether CM or SWD, are into clothes for the sake of clothes rather than for the wimmens.

Let me ask anyone here what is good denim and what makes that denim so great? I want to know specifics . Then we can debate whats worth what and why, sound fair?
I'm greatly enjoying the level of discussion here. I've no idea what half it is you guys are talking about, but the idea that there is as much information that goes into making a good pair of jeans as there is a good pair of wool trousers is pretty nifty.
 

Rambo

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I'm thinking the vast majority of people on a clothing forum, whether CM or SWD, are into clothes for the sake of clothes rather than for the wimmens.


I'm greatly enjoying the level of discussion here. I've no idea what half it is you guys are talking about, but the idea that there is as much information that goes into making a good pair of jeans as there is a good pair of wool trousers is pretty nifty.
Obviously. That wasn't the point I was making though. To many people, 'selvedge' is a marketing term rather than a standard of high production quality. Thus, saying 'these jeans are selvedge' to random people is akin to saying 'this is a super 150 wool'.

We're here to help - what is it that you're not picking up on?
 

Chorn

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I had no idea what selvedge was until coming into this thread. My interest in clothes has always been strictly CM. The level of passion and knowledge these folks have about denim has been--no sarcasm--eye opening for me.
 

Rambo

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I had no idea what selvedge was until coming into this thread. My interest in clothes has always been strictly CM. The level of passion and knowledge these folks have about denim has been--no sarcasm--eye opening for me.
Interesting. For me, it was the other way around. Actually, my first clothing buy was a pair of jeans from Mauro
 

Zé Ferreira

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I came into menswear from the SWD side; denim was my main pull. Learning about MC now to catch up.
 

Pauly Chase

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Took me a while to figure out my fit and my likings too as well, especially they weren't cheap. The hardest problem buying denim online, despite researching and reading size charts, is sizing. I often found that none of the things that I read was accurate, maybe I just have an odd body shape.

Anyone a fan of Dior MIJ 19cm?
 

Pauly Chase

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All of the jeans that I currently own, I had to have the waist narrowed. Not cheap tasks to say at least.
 

Rambo

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It's only more expensive because of the minimum yardage. Narrow width goods on wooden shuttle looms are slow. The companies need volume. Lack of waste is HUGE when it comes to your bottom line. Jeans cut on the selvage can really only be cut straight on the selvage and because is so narrow a lot of waste occurs. Selvage is more
expensive because its takes more yardage to make a "selvage" pair of jeans. The price has nothing to do with the quality of the fabric itself.
Dior is a great example. You think the denim quality is different between a selvage and non- selvage jean? Sorry it's not. It's the fabric cost that makes the jean more expensive.

I will give you an example ( its made up ) We won't include shipping or any over head costs in this example

1.5 yards to make a pair of jeans on a 60 inch cuttable at $10.00 per yard = $15.00

3 yards to make a pair of selvage jeans same quality fabric at $10.00 per yard = $30.00

Those are just the fabric costs. Now let's factor in a nice patch and trim for $5.00

The cost to sew the jeans are $40.00

The wide width jean is now $60.00
The Selvage jean is now $ 75.00
The company sells them for wholesale at 2.2

The WW jean is now $132.00
The SJ is now $ 165.00

The retail wants a descent margin between 2.2 and 2.5 for the argument we will say 2.2

The WW jeans sell for 290.40
The SJ jeans sell for 363.00

and that's the math in a nut shell. same quality fabric same trim same everything except one is selvage and one is not.
Mauro This is fascinating. I'd be interested in you making a clothes production thread to talk about this shit in depth.
 

Pauly Chase

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The Geller cinch backs I own have a split back, can't seem to remember how much it cost for the tailoring work. Also very informative post above.
 

Rambo

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what the hell do you guys do to blow out your jeans that quick? I still have a pair of LVC 47's from 7 years ago.
My 501's blow out constantly. But I've got REALLY wide legs, so they rub together quite a bit.
 

Rambo

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^^ find a pair of jeans with wider thighs, they are out there for sure.
than 501's? while keeping the waist and rise relatively normal? its certainly not easy. for now, these are good enough for me. but they definitely don't hold up for years at a time.
 

Rambo

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send them to me or bubba. we can be your proxies.
 

Rambo

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Yes. Same waist size and different thigh. Another reason NOT to buy selvage. If you notice on a great brand like sugarcane for example the Selvage is not from the waistband down. I will take pictures and explain. The problem I will have is posting them.
another problem with the 'larger thigh/same waist' dynamic is that the extra thigh space tends to overly expand the ass, thus losing any form fittedness. they also tend to lump higher backrises in there as well.
 

Rambo

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Good grief. I will find a pair for you.
Oh, I'm SURE there's a few fits out there. But I gave up on buying over the internet a long time ago. Unless I can buy/return locally, I don't bother these days. I'm sure when I repatriate in some other city it'll be different.
 
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