Let's Talk About Denim

Thruth

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Thruth and Rambo approved, so I closed my eyes and took the leap. I also have not seen 3sixteen on discount very often, and the store said that they would accept returns (The Class Room).

Like most denim I have researched, size measurements vary across websites by 0.25 to 0.5" here and there, so based off countless forum anecdotes, I went TTS (34). Also, this guy is about my height and weight, and is wearing the same size I ordered. Will report with details when they come in.
A comfortable mid rise and slim but not crazy slim thigh on down. As long as you don't have well developed thighs should be good
 

Rambo

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ooooh. thanks for the heads up. what color do you like? i'm leaning natural, although the dorky buckle is kind of killing it for me. they have fat guy sizing as well. with the shipping they're roughly the same price as some of the other internet custom options.
 

Thruth

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ooooh. thanks for the heads up. what color do you like? i'm leaning natural, although the dorky buckle is kind of killing it for me. they have fat guy sizing as well. with the shipping they're roughly the same price as some of the other internet custom options.
If I were to buy I'd get natural as I don't have such a belt for denim but you are right about that particular buckle being less than ideal
 

Rambo

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If I were to buy I'd get natural as I don't have such a belt for denim but you are right about that particular buckle being less than ideal
I took a flyer on an email to Satchel and Paige. Will report back.
 

Thruth

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I took a flyer on an email to Satchel and Paige. Will report back.
Ordered from a Quebequois chick. Custom 1.5" Sedgewick Bridle leather except with Double buckle

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Thruth

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Neat. Post pics when it comes in.
Following up the prior post. Arrived 6 weeks after ordering. $125 CDN ($97 USD). Custom 1.5 inch casual belt.

packaging

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J & E Sedgewick Havana brown bridle leather. Custom matte stainless double prong roller buckle.
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Waxed thread stitching
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Nice thickness. Beveled, burnished & waxed edge
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Leather cream included
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Rambo

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Following up the prior post. Arrived 6 weeks after ordering. $125 CDN ($97 USD). Custom 1.5 inch casual belt.

packaging

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J & E Sedgewick Havana brown bridle leather. Custom matte stainless double prong roller buckle.
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Waxed thread stitching
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Nice thickness. Beveled, burnished & waxed edge
View attachment 16777 View attachment 16778

Leather cream included
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That's handsome
 

Thruth

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Sugar Cane's showed up. Nice fit. Workmanship is as expected from Toyo Industries. Denim is 12 ounce so good for summer weather. Would be nice if they had this cut in a variety of weights & types. Would be really nice if they did it in the cotton/sugar cane blend

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Thruth

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damn those are sweet
Sugar Cane are sweet. No pun intended. They lack market presence in North
America. This fit plus the Hawaii and the Okinawa fits cover the bases but people never see/consider them. Price point is less than many other domestic and international premium, better known brands.
 

QuandoDio

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I have not read through this thread and don't intend to however, i would like to seek info from Denim heads, i have not had a denim/ Jean/ serge de Nîmes in over a decade.

But would like one - maybe two depending on how it goes?

Here is the kicker: i picked up some 'hemp denim' fabric a year ago and would like to use it instead of regular denim cloth. MTO/MTM/ cheap bespoke ofc -- not quite insane enough to spend high three or four figures on denim.

Any idea? In general, what it entails/ process etc? Even brands that carry affordable/ stylish enough denim -maybe i could try out and maybe even buy?
 

Darkside

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My NightDenim quest continues. The 3 Sixteen Slim Tapereds were too tight in thighs and calves and the back rise was too low.
 

Thruth

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Some interesting articles on the cost of denim starting with shite denim

The Wall Street Journal

ON STYLE
How Can Jeans Cost $300?
Shoppers Shell Out More for Designer Denim, Lured by Signature Details, 'Made in America'

By

Christina Binkley

July 7, 2011
Los Angeles

It is an enduring mystery to anyone reared on $50 Levi's: How can a pair of jeans cost as much as the Phantom, the new look from True Religion that will be priced as high as $375?

The answer can be found here in Los Angeles, in the global capital of so-called premium denim—one of the few areas of fashion that remains largely American-made. An industrial zone here near the city's center is home to True Religion, J Brand, Seven For All Mankind and other pricey denim brands that have elevated what was once workman's togs to a luxury industry all its own.

This is a rarefied segment of the denim business. Americans bought $13.8 billion of men's and women's jeans in the year ended April 30, according to market-research firm NPD Group. But only about 1% of jeans sold in the U.S. over that year cost more than $50.

The prices of "premium" jeans—industry jargon for luxury-priced denim—appear to be edging slightly upward after a downturn following the financial crisis. Right now, J Brand's Maria women's jeans can sell for $226. Men's Aidan jeans from Seven For All Mankind cost $225. Prices for Gucci jeans range from $495 to $665. Premium jeans are made in the U.S., which is a big part of their allure.

Gloria Vanderbilt and Calvin Klein introduced the world to so-called designer jeans decades ago, and what began as a relatively small trend endured. Jeans are worn everywhere from the office to the opera these days. But there is a less-than-subtle caste system for denim: A pair of "Sevens," as some call jeans from Seven For All Mankind, conveys a statement about one's fashion savoir faire (and income) that less expensive brands don't.

It costs about $50 to make a pair of Super T jeans, True Religion's best-selling style with oversized white stitching, estimates founder, chairman and chief executive, Jeff Lubell. The wholesale price is $152, he says, and the average retail price is $335. Of course, plenty of these jeans sell at substantially less than full price.


True Religion's top-selling jeans, the Super T, cost about $50 to make and sell wholesale to retailers for $152 a pair. The average price in stores is $335. They feature white stitching on the back pocket and around the waistband.F. MARTIN RAMIN FOR THE WALL STREET JOURNAL, STYLING BY ANNE CARDENAS




The Phantom was first shown to retailers in January, and True Religion is building its fall marketing campaign around the jean. With less prominent logos and detailing, it resonates with the current antilogo trend in fashion, but its details are designed to appeal to real "jeaners," as Mr. Lubell refers to premium-denim lovers. It has a small American flag hand-embroidered on the waistband. A subtle logo on the pocket is like a ghost, or phantom, of the brassy original logo.

"The Phantom is my Ferrari 458 Italia," says Mr. Lubell. "It's the newest, hottest baby of mine."

As with all fashion, a big part of the price of luxury denim is in the multiple profit margins taken at each level of production. Most any piece of clothing contains parts and services from potentially dozens of providers: from fabric and button makers, to designers and seamstresses, and wholesalers and sales agents. After all this, designers and retailers say the typical retail markup on all fashion items, including jeans, ranges from 2.2 to 2.6 times cost.


The hang tag costs 18 cents.F. MARTIN RAMIN FOR THE WALL STREET JOURNAL, STYLING BY ANNE CARDENAS


In the luxury business, those mark-ups cover huge marketing budgets (someone has to pay for giant billboards and ads in fashion magazines) as well as the costs of running stores, headquarters, shipping, and other overhead.

The profit margins on premium jeans can be substantial. Mr. Geliebter says his gross profit margin for private-label jeans, which he makes for Wal-Mart Stores Inc., Sears Holdings Corp. and other retailers, are less than 20%, whereas the margins for his own premium lines are 40%-to-50%.

It seemed a few years ago that the high end of the denim business was doomed, with the financial crisis killing many consumers' appetites for expensive jeans. Premium-denim makers cut back on styling and details, and cut prices in many cases to under $200. Manufacturers hit a price floor at around $150, mainly because premium denim is manufactured primarily in the U.S., which can't compete China and other nations with low labor costs.

Beyond the rise, or waistband height, and leg silhouette—bootleg, skinny, or cigarette—the details that make jeans brands stand out are often on the pockets. J Brand's pockets are unadorned, while True Religion is known for its highly stylized pockets with swirly embroidery.

Jeans brands also try to stand out from season to season by using patented materials, such as rivets and stitching, and by using special washes and distressing methods. These might involve dying, pressing, and even using sandpaper and drills on the raw jeans. These methods can be particularly expensive when done in the U.S., where factories must meet more stringent environmental and labor standards than in many low-cost nations.

Most premium jeans' cotton denim fabric comes from the primary maker of high-end denim fabric used in the U.S. and Europe: Greensboro, N.C.-based Cone Denim, a unit of the International Textile Group. There, in a plant known as White Oak, shuttle looms dating from the 1950s weave the denim fabric that winds up in many premium denim brands, including J Brand. The looms are older, narrower, and slower than highly efficient modern looms, but they weave fabric with slight irregularities known as slubs, which impart a texture and character that modern looms lack.

Delores Sides, a spokeswoman for Cone Denim, says most of the weavers employed there have at least 20 years of experience, and one woman has being working at the mill for 55 years. They are employed full time and are paid benefits such as health care, she says.


True Religion's Super T jeansF. MARTIN RAMIN FOR THE WALL STREET JOURNAL, STYLING BY ANNE CARDENAS


The Cone fabrics are shipped by truck or train to Los Angeles, where denim brands cut and sew them to their designs. Each part and bit of labor may ultimately be marked up five times or more before the pants reach retail stores. So the $23.30 spent for a Los Angeles-based seamstress to sew a pair of Super Ts will cost the consumer more than $100 at full price. Other notable costs include roughly $10 worth of fabric (1.8 yards a pair, on average), 44 cents for pocket linings, 37 cents for a zipper, and $2 for the embroidery on a back pocket. Washes for coloring and fading may be done in Los Angeles or, sometimes, at mills in Mexico.

To be produced domestically, jeans have to be priced at "$200-plus," says Shelda Hartwell-Hale, a vice president at Directives West, an L.A.-based division of fashion consulting firm Doneger Group.

Jeans makers say that manufacturing in the U.S., in addition to appealing to consumers, allows them to move quickly. When Jeff Rudes, founder and chief executive of J Brand, saw designer Jil Sander's electric colors in New York's Jeffrey boutique earlier this year, he asked his designers to come up with a hot pink and an emerald green color for jeans. Five days later, the first, small run of jeans were shipping into Barneys New York. Mr. Rudes says it typically takes his company six to eight weeks to make a pair of jeans in the U.S., compared with three to six months in China.

True Religion is one of the industry's giants, making 4 million units of clothing a year. He estimates that his $300 jeans could sell for $40 if he manufactured in China.

Still, Mr. Lubell has caved when it comes to jackets, the cutting and styling of which is more complex than pants. He makes them in Mexico, where costs are higher than in Asia, but less than in the U.S. The jackets retail for about $375. "If I made them here, $600
 

Thruth

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A bit more perspective


How Can Jeans Cost $20? – Beneath the Surface
JUL 21, 2016 | BENEATH THE SURFACE | by Robert Lim


Beneath the Surface is a monthly column by Robert Lim that examines the cultural side of heritage fashions.

Let’s face it – the apparel, footwear, and accessories featured on this site are pretty awesome, but not necessarily affordable to a large part of the US population. Most of us probably understand that there’s a reason behind the cost – usually a combination of superior materials or a labor-intensive manufacturing process. These things often add up to a good story, and it’s a story we really have to tell to educate others on why we’d pay $300 for a pair of jeans. Why? Because I’m probably not the only person who’s heard this question:

“Why would you pay that much for a pair of jeans? They cost $20 at Walmart.”

I was thinking about this a year ago, and I realized that I had a much better understanding of why a pair of jeans could cost $300 than how they could cost $20. If I mailed a pair of jeans to California, that alone would cost $13. So how can anyone make money at such a low price? I started to suspect that the hypothetical question of “why expensive jeans” was completely backward and sent out this tweet:



The response was really good, so I figured if I came to understand the economics that others might be interested too. And what I found out ended up equally surprising and troubling – the cheap price of the jeans exacting a heavier price. I have a lot to share from my research, so I’ll be doing this as a two-part piece, with the next part published in August.

Jeans – For Every Occasion
Once a working man’s staple, jeans have become ubiquitous in almost any setting. Depending on the cut, color, fabrication, and trim, they can be equally home on a factory floor or fashion ball. In a sign that they’ve become default casual wear, classic brands that use all-American spokesmen like Brett Favre and Dale Earnhardt Jr. now advertise their jeans’ comfort rather than durability – with a bit of synthetic stretch in the mix, they’re as comfortable as the athleisure sweatpants that they are now competing with.


Fig. 1 – We know they’re rugged, but are they comfortable?

Now that jeans are more fashion than utilitarian, there’s been a corresponding increase in consumption to keep up with the latest styles. Americans buy an average of almost two pairs of jeans a year, to the tune of 511.5 million pairs in the year ending April 2015 (source: The NPD Group, via WWD). And we own an average of 6.7 pairs of jeans per person in the US, down from a remarkable 8.2 pairs per person in 2006 (I’ll talk about where those 1.5 pairs went in next month’s column).

Those 500+ million pairs of jeans represent sales of $13.3 billion – if you’re handy at math, you’ll notice that that’s an average of about $26 a pair. But how do jeans companies manage to do that?

Driving Costs Down
The answer is largely overseas manufacturing, where labor costs and oversight are lower. China is a huge industrial power, but a casual browse through a big-box denim section turns up manufacturing in countries like Vietnam, Pakistan, Bangladesh, Mexico and the small African country of Lesotho represented in that department – Levi’s factory list alone covers hundreds of suppliers in 38 countries. And the Chinese have started to export their manufacturing expertise, owning a number of factories in Africa.

We’re trained to expect quality and convenience at a low price, so what could be the downside of such affordable jeans? With constant price pressure and razor-thin margins (around 3-5% in China as reported by Bloomberg News in 2010), factory owners are highly incentivized to cut corners on safety and working conditions. In 2013, garment factory workers in Bangladesh were evacuated from the eight-story Rana Plaza building after cracks in the building started to appear. The building was deemed safe by its owner, who urged the workers to return the next day. They did, and more than a thousand died in the resulting collapse, which also injured 2,500 more in the worst garment factory disaster in history. To get a sense of its scale, it eclipsed the notorious Triangle Shirtwaist Factory fire of 1911 (the worst industrial disaster in the history of New York City) with seven times the number of dead and forty times the injured. Just yesterday, Bangladesh indicted 41 of the peopleinvolved in the collapse on murder charges.


Fig. 2 – The collapse of Rana Plaza in 2013, via The New York Times

Another huge concern is the living conditions of the workers. Factory wages tend to track with the minimum wage, which in the developing world is often a fraction of the “living wage” deemed necessary to have common human needs met (food, shelter, clothing). It’s also sometimes below what’s called a “subsistence wage,” a lower number at which the most basic human needs are met. I don’t know about you, but it seems to me as if something’s very wrong if that very low bar isn’t being met.

A number of companies appear to agree (or at least say they do) and have focused on exceeding the minimum wage for factories where they have operated – in his memoir Shoe Dog, Phil Knight claims that he once tried to raise factory wages in an unnamed country and found himself ordered to cease and desist by a government official. Apparently, it was higher than a doctor’s wage there. And in 2009, fast fashion retailers, big box stores, and other larger brands wrote a letter to the Bangladeshi government asking them to raise the minimum wage, citing that it was below the World Bank poverty line (despite having exerted pressure to reduce prices from their suppliers there the year before).

Whether or not you believe Knight or these retailers, it shows how complicated the issue is – especially since these factories are often not owned by the companies to whom they provide services. While there may not be much we can directly do about this (which I’ll talk about next month), but I do give credit to brands that strive to provide transparency on these issues and to the reporters that shed light on where they may be falling short of the mark.

In case you’re wondering what that World Bank poverty line is – as of 2015, it is $1.90. Per day.

Environmental


The denim you wear comes from everywhere. Cotton is a commodity product and denim doesn’t require specialty high-quality, long-fiber cotton. An average pair of jeans might contain thread from four continents. Cotton is a water intensive crop and requires a lot of intervention when grown at scale – even though it uses 2.4% of available agricultural land, it’s responsible for 24% of insecticide use and 11% of pesticides.

Apparel is the second most polluting industry (second only to oil), producing 10% of the world’s carbon emissions. A company called Avtex Fibers that specialized in manufacturing rayon in Virginia was permanently shut down in 1989 for water pollution and was listed as an EPA Superfund site until 2014. Health officials still warn against eating certain fish in the nearby Shenandoah River due to PCB contamination. And it’s not just synthetic textiles – in 2010, the London Times found that a factory in Lesotho that was supplying Gap and Levi’s had been dumping untreated, polluted wastewater. It leaked into the water table and stained the mud on the banks of a river blue.


Fig. 3 – Untreated denim dying wastewater in Mexico (via The Guardian / Reuters)

The Upshot…?
So now that we understand how it’s possible for a pair of jeans can cost $20 and how that figure doesn’t include the human and environmental costs associated with their production, what are the actual production costs?

To start with, the production costs behind a pair of jeans that retail for $20-$30 are about the same. The total cost to get this kind of pair of jeans manufactured overseas into the country does not appear to vary in this low-cost price point – between $7.50 and $8 per unit. This includes fabric, hardware, labor, duty and freight. Chinese have the lowest production costs but are subject to a significant 16.8% import duty. Other countries like Lesotho, Haiti and Nicaragua have all negotiated duty-free imports into the US to make their apparel industry more competitive.

The fabric costs are about three dollars, which is maybe 50% more than what a pair of good pocket linings alone might cost. Selvedge fabric from Cone Millsmight run about thirty dollars per pair, or ten times more.

Labor costs per unit are about two dollars, versus twelve dollars for a pair produced in Los Angeles (the denim capital of the US).

Overall, a made in the US pair of selvedge denim jeans from Cone Mills could cost about eight times the amount to produce than cheap jeans – and that’s excluding overhead like marketing, staff and office space for a brand. For smaller brands or those working with denim to spec, these costs are correspondingly higher.



Now What?
So what does this all mean? A combination of cheap labor in developing countries and a commodity crop has yielded a large production of jeans on a scale with both social and environmental consequences. And at such a cheap price, we buy pair after pair. But what happens when we no longer need them? That’s a story even more complex than the one above. It includes fake charities, African smugglers, old trade routes dating back centuries and an alternate universe in which the New England Patriots finished the 2007 NFL season 19-0.

To be continued in August…

References
Simply put, this piece wouldn’t have existed without the following (whose references I have made liberal use of):

  • Elizabeth L. Cline, Overdressed: The Shockingly High Cost of Cheap Fashion (Portfolio / Penguin, 2012)
  • Andrew Brooks, Clothing Poverty: The Hidden World of Fast Fashion and Second-hand Clothes (Zed Books, 2015)
  • The True Cost, directed by Andrew Morgan (2005, Life Is My Movie Entertainment), Netflix stream
Prices for producing jeans come from:

  • Christina Binkley, “How Can Jeans Cost $300?,” The Wall Street Journal. July 7, 2011
  • Jacob Goldstein, “Global Poverty and The Cost of a Pair of Jeans,” NPR. March 3, 2010
Other references are below:

  • industriALL global union, “Lesotho workers march for a living wage,” October 26, 2012
  • Virginia Department of Health, “Fish Consumption Advisories,” March 29, 2013
  • Sheila Macvicar, “Jean Factory Toxic Waste Plagues Lesotho,” CBS News. August 2, 2009
  • Arnold J. Karr, “Could Women’s Jeans Be Making a Comeback?,” Women’s Wear Daily. June 10, 2015
  • James Conca, “Making Climate Change Fashionable – The Garment Industry Takes On Global Warming,” Forbes. December 3, 2015
Please note – all links (and the Netflix stream) were accessible as of July 18th, 2016
 

Thruth

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Finally, the skinny on Japanese denim


Why Are Japanese Jeans So Expensive?
JUL 31, 2013 | OP-ED | by Kyle

One of the biggest obstacles to sharing one’s denim hobby is price – it’s likely (if it’s going to be something other than washing frequency) to be the first point of conflict that shows up when conversing about your obsession. Most denim heads can count a number of times they’ve heard the phrase “You paid how much for those jeans!?”

Skepticism over price is a valid concern. For many fashion brands, there is a huge markup from the wholesale price to the retail price – oftentimes beyond what’s really necessary for a retailer to turn a decent profit. The reasons for such markups are often dubious – large brands and retailers spend a fortune on advertising their products, a cost for which the retail price compensates, plus many large established brands charge more money for the exclusivity of the name, or for licensed elements such as band logos and designs. There is no shortage of over-priced clothing that’s not really any better in quality than what you can buy at Target.

Sometimes though there are exceptions to the pointless mark-ups rule; small scale Japanese denim companies are a different story entirely. There are very good reasons why jeans by brands like Eternal, Strike Gold, and Sugar Cane charge high prices, as well as other factors that raise the cost of jeans for fans around the world.



Labor Costs
Japan is a country with a very high standard of living and a large middle class population. When this is combined with the low number of immigrants, this means that manufacturing in Japan is almost always done by the Japanese people (one reason for the generally high quality of made-in-Japan products). However, this also means that the labor costs are much higher as Japanese workers are paid much better than labourers in countries such as China or India.

However, Japan’s industrial base is rapidly shrinking due to competition from developing countries. This means that a large piece of the production pie is moving overseas. As a result, fewer Japanese enter blue-collar professions like factory labor which has led to the closing down of many factories and sewing companies.

Many of the sewing companies employed by Japanese high-end denim brands are staffed by aging workers, and as they retire or factories close, there is an even smaller workforce with the skills and knowledge to produce such products. With more companies than ever competing for the talents of relatively few factories, this is driving the costs of labor to be ever-more expensive.



Labor Processes
Details like chain-stitched hems, bulging belt loops, ato-mesu button holes and hidden rivets are marks of pride among denim fans and real selling points for artisan denim brands. These kinds of details are usually accomplished using vintage machinery and specialized labor, pushing the problem that vintage machines are old – and the older the machine, the more prone it will be to breaking down, no matter how high the quality.

There are fewer people with the know-how for fixing such machines, and to make matters worse, the necessary parts for repair are no longer manufactured for some machines. Breakdowns can be a large obstacle for companies, which slows down production and delivery dates. Furthermore, while we may love the character of a faded chain-stitched hem, such machines were often abandoned in favour of newer machines without so many obvious drawbacks.

Additionally, some machines used in crafting jeans are just simply slow. Shuttle looms are one of the most obvious examples: they produce denim slowly, and the denim produced is narrower than denim produced on other looms, thus limiting the number of pairs that can be made with each roll. Modifications to the machinery – such as an increase in the loom chatter for a more textured fabric, or weaving far heavier fabrics than the loom was designed to handle – can also slow the weaving process and increase the risk of breakdown.

On top of this, the majority of manufacturing processes used in making the best Japanese jeans are dependent on skilled labor, not automatic machinery. When patterns are cut by hand rather than by computer-operated machinery, for example, there is an increase in cost as well as a decreased efficiency. However, the resulting product has a hand-made touch that’s not found in items mass produced primarily with the use of automated machines.

Fabric


Most of us take fabrics for granted – at least we did, until we became interested in denim. A major cost for brands who choose to use high quality denim is simply creating the fabric. Most brands use stock fabrics, offered by a mill or textile company, which are available to any client interested in purchasing them.

However, brands like Toyo Enterprises, Samurai Jeans, and The Flat Head are known for their beautiful and unique fabrics which are designed by the companies themselves and are not stock fabrics offered to any paying customer. This is very expensive – explaining why it is common for small brands to use stock fabrics offered by companies such as Cone Mills or Kaihara Mills. The cost is usually just too much for a company that’s not already quite successful or established.

Another factor relating to fabrics is the cost of the raw material. Cotton has increased in price over the past several years, and this results in more expensive products. Many of our favorite brands use 100% cotton fabrics for jeans, shirts, and other garments, making the cotton cost even more vital. Furthermore, the high-end varieties of cotton used in the best jeans – like Pima and Zimbabwe cotton – is even more expensive.

Shipping
For customers inside of Japan, shipping is a non-issue; in fact, Japan has a highly efficient shipping network that often means the package arrives at your doorstep within forty-eight hours of placing the order. This also means that it’s relatively quick and inexpensive for a retailer to get the product in stock. On top of that, shipping is cheap for the customer; most Japanese denim retailers with an online presence offer free shipping for purchases over a certain amount of money (which high-quality jeans and other clothing usually tend to exceed.)

Before Japanese jeans can be sold outside Japan they need to be shipped to a retailer in America, Europe, or elsewhere. This can be extremely expensive when you’re dealing with large, heavy orders of clothes, and retailers have to price their products accordingly to make up for the cost of shipping. On top of that, it’s going to be more expensive to ship to a store located in Atlanta or London because they’re farther from away from Japan than Bangkok or Los Angeles. Buying directly from Japan is often expensive as well.



Exchange Rate
In recent years, the price of Japanese jeans has increased overseas simply because of an unfavourable exchange rate between the Yen and the US dollar (as well as other world currencies). Though the yen’s value has dropped a lot in the last few months, it’s still an obstacle. Naturally, this means that getting good Japanese jeans outside of Japan is quite expensive.

The Bottom Line
Even though there are more high-quality denim shops than ever which offer Japanese jeans overseas, the denim fan must often choose between buying from Japan at a lower price but higher shipping, or buying from their nearest retailer for a higher cost but reduced shipping and duties.

There are pros and cons to both approaches. Buying directly from Japan has obvious benefits: the price is lower, and oftentimes, Japanese shops have a bigger selection than foreign retailers. However, shipping can be quite expensive, and depending on where you live, you’re likely to get hit by taxes or customs on your imported purchase.

In the end, you might only be saving a very small amount of money (if any) by buying directly from Japan instead of a closer retailer. Most importantly, it can be risky: many popular shops on Rakutenwill ship to international customers, but few offer English support, and some shops, such as 2ND, will not take overseas returns at all.

This can make buying raw denim from Japan risky: even if you don’t soak your jeans, you may not be able to return them if there’s an issue with sizing or some other problem, such as a defect. If you happen to import the wrong size, then you have little choice but to try and sell the jeans, get most of your money back, and try again.

On the other hand, domestic retailers offer their own set of drawbacks. The pricing is the least appealing aspect of choosing domestic retailers: due to shipping and taxes, there’s often quite a large increase from the Japanese prices. Additionally, retailers of high-end Japanese denim are such a niche that unless you live in close proximity to locations such as New York, Los Angeles or Berlin you won’t even be able to enjoy the advantage of visiting the shop and trying on the jeans in person – not to mention the advice of knowledgeable sales staff.

However, there are several major benefits that tilt the balance back towards the domestic retailer. The first is that they will take returns (provided that you haven’t washed your jeans or worn them around). The second is that they’ve already paid the taxes and most of the shipping, so the price you see is what you’ll get. From this point of view, the increase from Japanese pricing can be viewed somewhat akin to insurance, in which you’re guaranteed that you’ll be able to exchange the pair or deal with any other issues if they come up.

Many of the best-known foreign retailers are known for outstanding customer service and quickly answer customer questions to help them find the right pair of jeans. On top of that, foreign retailers are trying to help promote and spread our favourite brands outside of Japan, and supporting them also supports their efforts to help Japanese brands succeed overseas.

Ultimately the dividing is issue is whether the item you want is carried outside of Japan or not. If it is, I think you’re better off going through your nearest retailer. If it’s only sold in Japan, then buying from Japan is really your only choice. Just remember to proceed carefully.
 

Thruth

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CM78

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Hello,
I just heard about boncoura jeans, any experience?
I have seen some pictures of drakes look book and they have the fit I am looking for.
any similar fits from other brands that you would recommend (high waits and tapper leg (not skinny))?

thanks
 
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Thruth

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Hello,
I just heard about boncoura jeans, any experience?
I have seen some pictures of rakes look book and they have the fit I am looking for.
any similar fits from other brands that you would recommend (high waits and tapper leg (not skinny))?

thanks
Wow, where did you hear about these? On Reddit? SuFu? Heddel's?

Or because Mark Cho stocks them at Drakes?

Do you do raw denim?

Really not much out there on them on the traditional denimhead forums. Could be the greatest jeans in the world. Could be the next greatest "undiscovered" denim brand. £250ish?

Pretty short inseams for raw denim. Not much info on how they shrink after soaking

Seem to be another artistic Japanese rendering of classic Levis fit.

You might be better off getting a pair from one of the other top tier Japanese brands where you can get predictable shrinkage
 

Leitmotif

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I have plenty of denim but it barely gets any use. I just dont wear it anymore or during the weekends i only wear shorts. Most of them are diesel, sevens, ag, and joes. You guys care too much for denim, wackos.
 

Thruth

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I have plenty of denim but it barely gets any use. I just dont wear it anymore or during the weekends i only wear shorts. Most of them are diesel, sevens, ag, and joes. You guys care too much for denim, wackos.
Diesel? I haz a sad
 

Thruth

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Whats wrong with those loafers?
In and of themselves, nothing. In association with the outfit? They do not fit with the rugged aesthetic of the other pieces from my point of view.

Might as well be wearing women's footwear.
 

Rambo

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Thruth

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Dont pay attention to him, he hates all loafers.
I do dislike Loafers but I respect the choice of those who wear them within reason And have come to appreciate their place in CM outfits.

The incongruity here is the relative fall/winter/cold vibe here that calls for a more substantial shoe. If someone wears a watchcap, scarf and overcoat plus sweater, the loafers are an affectation. It is impractical to couple loafers with the outfit.

Wearing rolled denim does not resonate with the delicateness of Loafers

Seeing loafers in this fit makes me think of Crusty and why he should not post pics of himself in denim

The guy in the picture has a unique look: skin tone + white beard that he probably looks good in anything.

If I have learned to appreciate the use of loafers with CM business & casual looks, you CM wanks should appreciate what footwear is most appropriate for SWD looks so you don't end up looking like a Caustic Man poser fail
 

CM78

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In and of themselves, nothing. In association with the outfit? They do not fit with the rugged aesthetic of the other pieces from my point of view.

Might as well be wearing women's footwear.
I think cordovan loafers such as those in the picture go well with raw denim yes.
 

Thruth

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I think cordovan loafers such as those in the picture go well with raw denim NO.
FTFY.

doesn't matter what the type of leather is. loafer is loafer. still too delicate a style for raw denim especially with a longer roll. need a chunkier shoe or boot.

anytime you have a thought about about what footwear looks good with raw denim bring this picture to mind. no loafer and no streamlined shoe or boot even if it has broguing.

 
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