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cmboland

Denim Blunders, Reflections and General Nonsense.

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Interesting point- I'd assume that the whole southern asian market is a lot bigger than the western. As long as it's stable, the brands sold there should be doing fine.  And I would also concur that the climax of raw denim seems to have been reached and demand is declining (in germany at least). Normal for a market that got the mainstream attention and they move on to the next trend.  And it could be that those limited editions are a way of filling that sales gap.

Edited by Max Power

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I still find it amazing that people living in tropical 32ºC+ weather can rock 15oz~ denim. I can barely do that in NYC during the summer without melting my jewels. I believe that raw denim has reached the mainstream market and is losing steam. However it seems that small niche of fans still stick around since they don't really follow trends anyway. There is a steady stream of Chinese and European tourists, new to the raw denim market, buying jeans, but probably not for an extended period of time.

 

Whatever happens, the craftsmanship and history of raw denim still appeals to me and feels timeless.

 

Signature denim should usually be the Company's best pair of jeans with all the bells and whistles. I think that Denime really did it right with the XX denim being the most sought out after. It truly is a fantastic denim, and one that I would rate near the top of all the jeans I've tried on over the years.

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I still find it amazing that people living in tropical 32ºC+ weather can rock 15oz~ denim. I can barely do that in NYC during the summer without melting my jewels. I believe that raw denim has reached the mainstream market and is losing steam. However it seems that small niche of fans still stick around since they don't really follow trends anyway. There is a steady stream of Chinese and European tourists, new to the raw denim market, buying jeans, but probably not for an extended period of time.

 

Whatever happens, the craftsmanship and history of raw denim still appeals to me and feels timeless.

 

Signature denim should usually be the Company's best pair of jeans with all the bells and whistles. I think that Denime really did it right with the XX denim being the most sought out after. It truly is a fantastic denim, and one that I would rate near the top of all the jeans I've tried on over the years.

 

Im still amazed people in Tropical 32C weather can wear ironhearts =|. Then again, it has to do with weave and breath-ability. Also, some Asian races have different apocrine gland composition. Sorry for the wikipedia source but its credible enough for this https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Body_odor#Genetics

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i was daunted at first with the prospect of wearing 25oz denim (probably 27oz after soak?) in Thailand's heat and humidity, but it's actually quite bearable. truth, some days (especially hungover day) i would be reluctant to wear them but on the whole if you work in a/c office, or on a breezy day they are manageable. In the sun, in still air, on a humid and hot day though, they aren't at all comfortable. but like cmboland said, the weight doesn't tell the whole story, the tightness of weave/cotton staple length/etc etc contribute much to the comfort of a pair of jeans.   

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Funny enough, raw denim never really reached the mainstream in Germany or Europe, never got the standard for a certain time. It was always a niche thing, and as this specific niche now seems saturated, others start to take a look into our stuff. Regular dudes with no connections to vintage/repro goods and style. They are just looking for a great jeans, or jacket, etc. So there is a big and bright light at the end of the tunnel. Sure, this doesn't involve crazy fabrics and collaborations, but quality constructed pairs of denim that will outlast industrial shit while aging with beauty and dignity. There is a growing conscious.

Brands that still have a serious chance of thriving are Iron Heart, The Flat Head, RMC, Buzz Ricksons, Sugar Cane, Warehouse, SDA, Full Count, 3sixteen, Rogue Territory. Brands that are awesome at Basic, timeless pieces, and Not with too fancy stuff. I most certainly forgot a few.

Regarding SDA. Most of their stuff is too crazy. Only their basic jeans work here imo.

Edited by Blue Nemo

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linking  "quality construction" in clothes to longevity seems a rationalization to me. I don't think any one buys this stuff for longeviity--and if they do, they are bound to be disappointed sooner or later.

 

I've found a lot of what we might consider the high priced quality stuff wears out faster. Except men's suits maybe. But that's ok. It did in the old days too.  I have mass produced Wrangler and Land's End and even no name dept store brands that have gone for years and years...and artisan great denim, like the brands we love on this forum, that have started coming apart in places in a few months or less. Shirts, especially buttons and buttonholes, while wonderfully detailed on some Japanese brands, are a joke compared to the integrity of mass produced ones. Who hasn't sewn buttons on numerous times, fixed rivets, and so on....but it's worth it to me, because I like the way those shirts are.

If it is repro and hand-made in a vintage way with older techniques, a lot of those old clothes did wear out fast(er). That can enhance the appeal (it does for me) but the appeal has nothing to do with longevity. There is nothing about handmade in clothes or cars or computers or furniture that is fundamentally "better built" except for the idea of the care of the maker, whether it be the foreman in the factory or the seamstress of the jacket.

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I principally agree with what you said, but ultimately I think you're wrong.

A pair of IH will outlast a cheap 501. And that goes with most the other brands, except when the jeans are constructed with cotton threads only.

Anyway, the reason for our high price jeans falling into pieces after a short amount of time, is because most people don't tread them right. Meaning regularly washing.

And yeah, all stuff that is handmade has flaws, but the main difference between our stuff and the cheap stuff is a substantially better fabric. Be that for jeans, jackets or shoes/ boots. I am not talking about Oni or PBJ Denim that is too loosely woven to hold substantially longer. But every other denim will fairly outlast 5 oz jeans with elasthane etc.

Edited by Blue Nemo

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If you sized your nice jeans the same as wranglers, washed them equally frequently, and wore them equally infrequently (guessing you didn't make it a point to wear your wranglers every day no matter what?) I'm pretty confident the nice jeans would last longer.

A year of wear in nice denim is equivalent to way longer in terms of normal clothes imo

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Hellyeah

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Absolutely: The fabric is meaningful. As are the details.

But longevity is about the last thing I value.

I like IH for a lot of reasons, longevity being the least.

It may or may not last longer than rack 501s...but either will long last enough for my purposes.

I like the (fill in the blank) better because of all sorts of reasons. Including I just enjoy it more. But not because of longevity.

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Nothing made of cotton will pass the test of time, heat and moisture. This means the material will break down beyond usefulness eventually, but on the way there, you can create something beautiful. 

 

For me, it's all about aesthetics and identity. I want the wear on my clothing to be a reflection of my lifestyle, like a roadmap of the places I've been and the things I've done. I want to communicate to other like-minded individuals my commitment to an ideal and my rejection of disposable mass-produced clothes. In this art form, my clothes are my medium, and to that end, Japanese raw denim is just awesome to work with. 

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I live in Ohio, USA and since raw denim has experienced it's peak now I expect to see it everyone in about three years from now here :)

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For me, it's all about aesthetics and identity. I want the wear on my clothing to be a reflection of my lifestyle, like a roadmap of the places I've been and the things I've done. I want to communicate to other like-minded individuals my commitment to an ideal and my rejection of disposable mass-produced clothes. In this art form, my clothes are my medium, and to that end, Japanese raw denim is just awesome to work with. 

 

I just do it for the chicks and the fame.

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This conversation is really great, reminds me of Superfuture circa 2007.  (0)

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Nothing made of cotton will pass the test of time, heat and moisture. This means the material will break down beyond usefulness eventually, but on the way there, you can create something beautiful.

For me, it's all about aesthetics and identity. I want the wear on my clothing to be a reflection of my lifestyle, like a roadmap of the places I've been and the things I've done. I want to communicate to other like-minded individuals my commitment to an ideal and my rejection of disposable mass-produced clothes. In this art form, my clothes are my medium, and to that end, Japanese raw denim is just awesome to work with.

I never said that cotton is actually unicorns hair.

Of course one day a raw denim jeans is worn out.

But until that day comes, it already proved itself more valuable than any other industrial piece.

Yeah, I still think longevity is one point. But I also mentioned earlier that our stuff ages with beauty and grace. Funny you guys overlooked it so desperately.

Anyway guys, I really think we're on the same page. But we're all nerds and really into our stuff.

If I tell our customers that our €300 TFH will not outlast a €20 H&M jeans or a €80 Levis 501 they will definitely, and most correctly, name me a fuckstick that is only after their money.

So yeah, longevity IS a thing. And again, I am not talking about Oni / pbj (which I love btw).

Edited by Blue Nemo

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I never said that cotton is actually unicorns hair.

Of course one day a raw denim jeans is worn out.

But until that day comes, it already proved itself more valuable than any other industrial piece.

Yeah, I still think longevity is one point. But I also mentioned earlier that our stuff ages with beauty and grace. Funny you guys overlooked it so desperately.

Anyway guys, I really think we're on the same page. But we're all nerds and really into our stuff.

If I tell our customers that our €300 TFH will not outlast a €20 H&M jeans or a €80 Levis 501 they will definitely, and most correctly, name me a fuckstick that is only after their money.

So yeah, longevity IS a thing. And again, I am not talking about Oni / pbj (which I love btw).

 

 

Obviously a pair of TFH will last longer than a pair of H&M if it's worn in the same way/frequency/washing. So, yes, longevity is a PART of the appeal. But I have to agree with MellowYellow - if longevity is your only/main concern/interest, there are other options that are better, because cotton is indeed not the best material for that particular job. It's the combination of everything that makes raw denim great and worth their price IMO.

 

And I can't speak for Oni, but let me defend PBJ in that aspect: I wore my XX-012 every day for a year (6 washes total) and they are still in fantastic shape. No blowouts, no loose threads, even my cuffs are not worn through... The only thing that I had to repair was a small hole in my pocket bag, but that was more due to the largeness of my phone than anything else.

 

I think the reason why PBJ has the image of not being too durable is because most of their cuts are pretty slim fitting, and because this has been the trend for some time now many people wear them who have no business wearing e.g. an XX-012 in the first place. It's no wonder people tear them to shreds if they can't really move in them.... I'm not trying to attack anyone here, you can wear what you want, but I feel this contributes more to the image that PBJ's die quickly than inferior construction.

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jeez. I am with you guys. with every single one of you. I love Japanese denim and jeans for all the same reasons, wear them for the same reasons...

And personally I have no issues at all with either, oni or pbj, again. I wear my oni type 3 as often as I can and its still holding out fine.

The only thing that I am saying is that raw denim must not be, and from my experience isn't, inferior to cheap-mass produced jeans. In any way.

Edited by Blue Nemo

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^Nemo: I know that, and I wasn't trying to argue with you at all, just wanted to give my view on the whole topic because I think it is an interesting topic of conversation. I didn't mean to offend you or anything, so if I did, I'm sorry.

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Okay cool. Just had the feeling nobody got what I was actually saying.

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I'm fairly new to raw denim being my first pair was the standard indigo NF weird guys from karmaloop on sale in late 2011. I had NO idea what i was doing and just got my levi size in weird guy. Initially i recognized the step up from levis in mostly the fabric differences but maybe it was it was just the "hype" of stepping into raw denim.  Since then i've experimented with different fits, fabrics, details to find what I like the most and consider myself someone who cares about denim more than the average person. These are a few of my observations:

 

1.) Each denim community has different priorities on fit, fabric and brands. I belong to both SuFu and Reddit and the taste in denim is quite different. Is it an age difference? Maybe. Either way, you see far more people over tapering their jeans and buying cheap brands on reddit than you do here.

 

2.) Personally I seek out fit first then fabric second and then ultimately make my purchase. I wont buy a pair of denim if i have to compromise in either of those regards. Ultimately cut is a matter of preference off the individual but i will not force an awkward fit because i want a specific fabric.

 

3.) I like both jeans from all different "tiers". I see the words "high tier" denim toted on reddit more so than here and often disagree with that label.  My 3sixteen jeans were my baby for a year straight for their contest. I love every bit of them. I also love my  FH jeans and some may consider those "high tier" over 3sixteen. Sure, FH uses more niche hardware but both brands use custom denim for them and have unique features to their brand.  On the topic of breakdown, as stated above, Moisture and movement will break down any cotton garment over time especially when worn like we do. 

 

Bottom line. I choose fit first closely followed by fabric. All jeans will break down over time. I dont like the term "high tier" to describe jeans based on price alone.

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I live in Ohio, USA and since raw denim has experienced it's peak now I expect to see it everyone in about three years from now here :)

I live in Detroit, AKA New Portland. I'm surprised we haven't had a store that specializes in raw denim pop up. We have "Detroit Denim" which is GOD AWFUL. We have Today Clothing in Ann Arbor which sells 3sixteen, APC, Baldwin and some other brands which is wonderful but i've yet to see a full blown denim stock in Detroit (which i think it would thrive) I see a lot of raw denim in Detroit but nothing I can recognize.

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I agree on the 'fit first' principle. No reason to buy beautiful denim when you don't wear it because it's the wrong fit.

But luckily nowadays, there are only a few fabrics left that don't come in a dozen of different fits.

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I'm fairly new to raw denim being my first pair was the standard indigo NF weird guys from karmaloop on sale in late 2011. I had NO idea what i was doing and just got my levi size in weird guy. Initially i recognized the step up from levis in mostly the fabric differences but maybe it was it was just the "hype" of stepping into raw denim.  Since then i've experimented with different fits, fabrics, details to find what I like the most and consider myself someone who cares about denim more than the average person. These are a few of my observations:

 

1.) Each denim community has different priorities on fit, fabric and brands. I belong to both SuFu and Reddit and the taste in denim is quite different. Is it an age difference? Maybe. Either way, you see far more people over tapering their jeans and buying cheap brands on reddit than you do here.

 

2.) Personally I seek out fit first then fabric second and then ultimately make my purchase. I wont buy a pair of denim if i have to compromise in either of those regards. Ultimately cut is a matter of preference off the individual but i will not force an awkward fit because i want a specific fabric.

 

3.) I like both jeans from all different "tiers". I see the words "high tier" denim toted on reddit more so than here and often disagree with that label.  My 3sixteen jeans were my baby for a year straight for their contest. I love every bit of them. I also love my  FH jeans and some may consider those "high tier" over 3sixteen. Sure, FH uses more niche hardware but both brands use custom denim for them and have unique features to their brand.  On the topic of breakdown, as stated above, Moisture and movement will break down any cotton garment over time especially when worn like we do. 

 

Bottom line. I choose fit first closely followed by fabric. All jeans will break down over time. I dont like the term "high tier" to describe jeans based on price alone.

 

I noticed you're a Physical Therapist so I assume you have a fairly active lifestyle. So speaking of fit, one thing I haven't been able to reconcile is the trade-offs between fit and hip range-of-motion. I've found that in general, a better fit and a heavier weight of denim is inversely correlated with hip ROM. Have you also found this to be true? 

 

I had a number of pinched nerves so I had to give up wallet fades and sizing down...

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I'm still wishing for a Nudie x TFH collab so I can get TFH denim and construction with Nudie's Average Joe fit.  God I love the fit of those jeans.  PBJ's 005 fit is pretty close, though.

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I'm gonna jump back a bit to the discussion of brand identity, experimentations and banner denims. 

 

I don't really care which road a brand takes, I can thoroughly enjoy and geek out about special releases but I also like the idea of a backbone that is the company's pride and joy. What I think is important is that brands have a clear vision of who they are, what they stand for, want to produce and do just that no matter what.

 

We've seen bad examples of wavering brands in the denim business too but I relate it even more to the music festival scene in Sweden. It basically died for a while because the festivals lost touch of their identity and all went to compete with the same kind of bands, same kind of set-up and pricing. Some of the festivals that died are making comebacks now, obviously downscaled A LOT, but with a huge focus on its core and idea that made them great to begin with. 

 

The denim business needs diversity but most of all it needs brands that stand firm in their belief. That's the kind of brands that will continue to have their support and survive whether we're past the denim peak or not. 

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I noticed you're a Physical Therapist so I assume you have a fairly active lifestyle. So speaking of fit, one thing I haven't been able to reconcile is the trade-offs between fit and hip range-of-motion. I've found that in general, a better fit and a heavier weight of denim is inversely correlated with hip ROM. Have you also found this to be true? 

 

I had a number of pinched nerves so I had to give up wallet fades and sizing down...

 

 

Interesting that you bring this up because this is something I've discussed on other forums.  Hip ROM is very important in terms of back health. If you look at it in a basic term, If one muscle group / joint has decreased ROM, nearby joints will overcompensate which can lead to pain. A great example of this is people with stiff mid backs tend to have increased low back pain due to their lumbar spine having to move more to compensate for a stiff thoracic spine.

 

If you wear tight / restrictive / heavy denim ( that doesn't fit well) you will decrease your hip ROM over time. Specifically in your hip flexors (front of hip) which can lead to increased lordosis (low back curve / duck butt) That increased lordosis can case increased low back pain.

 

In terms of sitting on a wallet the same thing applies. The wallet pressure can cause a change in pelvic alignment to where one half will become rotated forward or even slipped up. Obviously when you walk both feet are on the ground but if you were to lay flat your leg lengths would appear "uneven" due to that pelvic misalignment. This can also cause one sided low back pain (inflamed sacroiliac joint)

 

I highly recommend those who sit on their wallet to quit immediately and those who wear tight denim to take the time to stretch their hip flexors out with some kneeling lung stretches or the "couch stretch"

 

Article about hip flexor stretches: http://www.bodybuilding.com/fun/flex-those-flexors-3-steps-to-powerful-hips.html

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I'm still wishing for a Nudie x TFH collab so I can get TFH denim and construction with Nudie's Average Joe fit.  God I love the fit of those jeans.  PBJ's 005 fit is pretty close, though.

Why dont you check the flat head 3005?

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Why dont you check the flat head 3005?

 

I wanted a more tapered jean since my previous ones were PBJ 005 so I'm currently wearing TFH 3002.  I really like the fit on these as well.

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