Jump to content
cmboland

Denim Blunders, Reflections and General Nonsense.

Recommended Posts

This exact video of Andrew Chen of 3Sixteen/SENY darning a pair of Strike Gold's in the summer of 2011 brought me to raw denim. Akin to @nycsurfer530, I started with a pair of Samurai S710s thinking they were my "grail" pair. Now I am more than happy with my SC1947s.

Edited by ReverendGlasseye

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Kind of similar. Was really big in the Sneaker scene and around 2006/7-ish and saw a lot of people wearing raws so started being interested in it. Of course everyone was rocking APC so was really wanting a pair but was a broke high school kid. So was rocking Levi's for a bit and some "Raw" skate jeans. Then went to Japan in early 2008 and stayed with a home-stay family for a week who happened to own a factory (which was hilarious because I actual set out to buy a pair of "raw selvage denim" so convienent as hell haha). They gave me a couple of pairs (some had designs and stuff ) and you bet I wore them (later discovered one pair was a pair of warehouses). Then later that year after saving up, finally bought a pair of APC New Standards from the APC store in Munich. Slowly branched off from there and now here I am haha. 

I need to find some pics of the Jeans I got, they're hilariously bad

Edited by d-rew12

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
On 4/29/2020 at 7:35 PM, cmboland said:

how did you all get into raw denim? Super vague question but I’d like to hear your stories!

In 1985 Nick Kamen stripped down to his Sunspel’s and the girls were mightily impressed ... that clinched it for me

But I have grown to detest #rugged or #rawdenim or any of that nonsense. 97.4% of those tags lead you to an image of a clean well groomed individual standing outside their local delicatessen - it’s not rugged, it’s not tough and it’s almost certainly not ‘raw’ even when their jeans (or whatever) were fresh out the wrapper

Edited by Duke Mantee

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I think you can thank Instagram and the age of digital marketing for all that. I hate it too. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Top five from others' lists:

-True Romance

-Seven Samurai

-Blade Runner

-Paris, Texas

-The Great Escape

Top five now to watch from others' lists:

-Deadwood (loved the series, haven't gotten around to the movie)

-The Petrified Forest

-Throne of Blood

-Fitzcarraldo

-Le Cercle Rouge

Intro to Selvedge:

Spring 2007, buying new jeans from losing weight after divorce (true story). The local (Santa Barbara, CA) denim shop carried Jean Shop. They knew nothing about them. I knew nothing about them. They just fit and felt like nothing else I'd ever worn before. I hated jeans as a kid in the '80s. They probably felt something like that. Late summer 2007 I moved to New York with no job, no friends, no place to live and a week-long pass to stay at my girlfriend's NYU dorm.

I hit the streets with my journalism-rich resume to find retail work. I turned up West Broadway not knowing there was a West and not-West-but-just Broadway. I happened across the Jean Shop location that used to be there. I applied and they didn't hire me. G-Star did hire me. Got more raw denim from both over the next six months until Jean Shop did hire me. Jean Shop began outsourcing hemming from Blue In Green. I met Gordon and Naoki and learned more.

I left Jean Shop in 2011. I started work with 3x1 that summer. There I learned technical construction, fabric construction, dye processes, a bit about pattern making and had the privilege of observing the entire manufacturing process through the glass wall of the in-store factory. Summer 2011 Scott Morrison flew 3x1 senior staff to Greensboro, NC to tour the White Oak Mill. Met Bud and Flo and learned a whole lot more. Witnessed yarn spooling, indigo dying, Draper loom weaving, rapier loom and projectile loom weaving, sanforizing and mercerizing all under that one antique roof. I worked with a guy named Matt who influenced me to buy Warehouse 660s and Samurai 710s.

In fall 2012, I left 3x1 for J Crew's Liquor Store. At this point I was free to wear whatever jeans I wanted and the buying bonanza began. Over the years I landed on my love for  just jeans. Jeans that wear well, fade soft and exhibit simple, pale blue beauty.  

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

In about 2007 or so I saw a pair of PRPS jeans in a magazine (might have been frank 151 or BPM or something) which had the mismatched laurel wreath buttons that really stood out to me and decided to do some research. I think I ended up with a pair of RRL first, then bought some barracudas. Wore them for a bit and went back to regular Levi’s etc. 2012 I bought of pair of black/black Levi’s and I remember wanting to keep them dark as long as possible. I remembered having not washed my selvedge jeans that often and thought I would do that again. This kind of reminded me about selvedge, and I ended up picking up some 3sixteens and tellasons around that same time. Started getting back into it and going the samurai and iron heart route etc in the next couple years. And here we are today. Lately I literally only want 13oz denim with those crinkly vintage fades. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

This sashiko denim repair thing is a pet peeve of mine lmao. feel like a bunch of the new school denimheads just unnecessarily do that sashiko stitiching on everything.

Also not a huge fan of the double cuff to keep the original hem. Just hem them.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

It's interesting to me how almost everybody who's been in the raw denim game for a long time ends up preferring vintage-style fabrics rather than the more exaggerated ones. It took me a while, but even I lean in that direction now.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
22 minutes ago, Cold Summer said:

It's interesting to me how almost everybody who's been in the raw denim game for a long time ends up preferring vintage-style fabrics rather than the more exaggerated ones. It took me a while, but even I lean in that direction now.

For me, the ultra slub feels like a selling tactic gimmic or a fad (that I fell for) and they no longer feel like jeans but a cartoon caricature of jeans. You lose the subtle marbling, puckers, and great hues that make the vintage repro pairs so great and timeless. Anyway, just my opinion. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I appreciate both but don't like it to be over the top.. while standard  denims from FC and SDA are my favourite I do like (some) denims from Oni as I appreciate the effort/skill to create it. Same with PBJa lot of  their fabrics are great. 

Things labelled as monsters of slub/nep and even the snow denim  from PBJ do nothing for me.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

After our treatment we will have the post-lockdown-comedown.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Even it out with the shrooms 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

great back story from @Jared_Lee... makes his love of the tcb 50 even more qualified...

I have to say the tcb 50s fabric walks a nice line with vintage style fades, yet still with lots of character...

IMG_1905.JPG

[posted this elsewhere, with vintage 50s Oshkosh denim - on the right - in hand in comparison to Orslow 50s overall denim remake - on the left - the original is much more subtle yet rich rich rich with detail....]

005b.JPG

 

Edited by bartlebyyphonics

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
6 hours ago, Cold Summer said:

It's interesting to me how almost everybody who's been in the raw denim game for a long time ends up preferring vintage-style fabrics rather than the more exaggerated ones. It took me a while, but even I lean in that direction now.

i still never got a chance to do an exaggerated fabric so I need to get one in before I settle down and just be a repro denim guy

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
On 4/30/2020 at 2:35 AM, cmboland said:

how did you all get into raw denim? Super vague question but I’d like to hear your stories!

Was starting to get into wearing jeans (I was 15, just wore basketball shorts my whole life until then). Some dude on a basketball forum said he bought a pair of Paul Smith Red Ear Selvedge denim, it piqued my curiosity. I think Evisu, APC, Dior, Nudies were all the rage back then (Japanese brands still had their place). Bought a pair of raws from Uniqlo, beat them to shreds, then got a pair of Skull Jeans and that was my main pair for a while. Crotch blew out and I never really cared for denim again until recently because my style is starting to gravitate more towards a simpler wardrobe.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
8 hours ago, nycsurfer530 said:

For me, the ultra slub feels like a selling tactic gimmick or a fad (that I fell for) and they no longer feel like jeans but a cartoon caricature of jeans.

Same here, fell for it early on with a few pairs but have since then sold all those off. 
Now everything I own is ~14oz. or under and more vintage inspired.
I also personally can't stand heavyweight denim, no matter what people say they're just never as comfortable.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Although I appreciate vintage-style denim now, my favorites are probably still fabrics that are somewhere in the middle - ones that do something non-traditional, but aren't too extreme.

Some examples are Flat Head's 14.5 oz, Eternal's 14.5 oz, PBJ's XX-005 and XX-011 fabrics, Samurai S0500xx, and Sugar Cane Okinawa. I do tend to prefer ones that are darker than vintage, I guess.

I have no interest in super heavy fabrics or excessively wild ones. My Strike Gold jacket has the denim of the 5109/5104, it's easily the wildest fabric I own. I like it, but I wouldn't wear anything more extreme than that.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
1 hour ago, beautiful_FrEaK said:

Too slubby denim will kinda dictate how the jeans will fade, subtle denim like Warehouse or Full Count change more by the person wearing it.

That's a great succinct way of putting it. 

I also went down the same route as many of you. I still like slubby and irregular fabrics as an exercise in playing around with how far you can go before it becomes ridiculous but for myself I prefer the more classic mid weight fabrics without a ton of the manufactured irregularities. I used to steer clear of anything that was known to be a "slow fader" but now it's almost a selling point for me. I'm a big fan of how slow the sugar cane 1947 and roy's black seed denim fades. 

Edited by youngofthesoonest

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Some of the shops in Japan are offering free shipping within the country as part of the stay home campaign.  Haven’t seen anyone except one shop offering to ship overseas via DHL right now.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Re heavy weight denim, 15oz seems to be my sweet spot  (SDA and FC being my faves, (I know I have posted that many times) but I dont mind  a heavy weight denim every now and then just for the variety and appreciation of the craft similar to appreciating PBJ slub...

I have a pair of 24oz PBJ that I wear occasionally  (now I have lost some weight ) that are comfortable and Oni secret denim , 20OZ,  is a nice fabric that drapes and breaths well. 

Helps that the UK doesn't have extreme weather either way so weight and temperature is usually irrelevant 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
6 hours ago, Cold Summer said:

Although I appreciate vintage-style denim now, my favorites are probably still fabrics that are somewhere in the middle - ones that do something non-traditional, but aren't too extreme.

Some examples are Flat Head's 14.5 oz, Eternal's 14.5 oz, PBJ's XX-005 and XX-011 fabrics, Samurai S0500xx, and Sugar Cane Okinawa. I do tend to prefer ones that are darker than vintage, I guess.

I have no interest in super heavy fabrics or excessively wild ones. My Strike Gold jacket has the denim of the 5109/5104, it's easily the wildest fabric I own. I like it, but I wouldn't wear anything more extreme than that.

Samurai texas cotton is still one of my favorite denim. Loved the way they faded, still miss my pair so much. Along with my warehouses, probably my all time favorite.

And I definietly agree, I shifted way more into classic/vintage style denim with the 13-14oz denim and prefer/love they way they look and age. The only thing I still haven't (and for a while probably won't) shift into is the classic cuts. I am just too parficular on my leg opening sizes haha (don't need an ultra hardcore taper or anyhting but also don't need a 9"+ leg opening). But who knows maybe some day!

I am not a fan of heavy weight denim either, but I am looking into the Oni 20oz all black ones since they are the only people to offer an all black pair that seem to fit what I am after. I wish they'd use a different weight denim but have to take what I can get when it comes to black/black.

Edited by d-rew12

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
1 hour ago, d-rew12 said:

Samurai texas cotton is still one of my favorite denim. Loved the way they faded, still miss my pair so much. Along with my warehouses, probably my all time favorite.

And I definietly agree, I shifted way more into classic/vintage style denim with the 13-14oz denim and prefer/love they way they look and age. The only thing I still haven't (and for a while probably won't) shift into is the classic cuts. I am just too parficular on my leg opening sizes haha (don't need an ultra hardcore taper or anyhting but also don't need a 9"+ leg opening). But who knows maybe some day!

I am not a fan of heavy weight denim either, but I am looking into the Oni 20oz all black ones since they are the only people to offer an all black pair that seem to fit what I am after. I wish they'd use a different weight denim but have to take what I can get when it comes to black/black.

black/black definitely is more limited in terms of fits. I still haven't found one that works for me. 

I got into denim through my interest in other quality clothing. I got into boots and leather jackets first though my interest in Western films and such. My first pair were Naked and Famous (unsurprisingly).

Like a lot of people I was into more gimmicky and heavily textured fabrics from N&F, PBJ, etc. I went through my heavy weight phase with 24oz Kamikaze Attack jeans. Then I moved to RJB and now I'm happy with CSF. I've definitely moved into appreciating more subtle fabrics and vintage style fades.

@beautiful_FrEaK put it perfectly. I never wore any of those heavy weight or more extremely textured fabrics for more than a year. Here I am now with my CSF '37s for 2 and a half years and I'm enjoying them more than ever.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I’m also in the exotic to vintage type denim bracket.

After wearing heavy Iron Heart, stubby Samurai, mixed fabric Sugar Cane (while amazing in their own right) it ultimately came off as gaudy IMO.
 

Resolute, Warehouse, Fullcount etc to me pass off as “the way jeans should be” without coming off as gaudy or even cartoony. 

I feel way over the top wearing $200 tees and $50 socks with $400 flannels. 


Even with the money to burn it’s just not my style. (Id make an exception for Flathead tho...)

Edited by j0el2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I originally was going to post this rant in regard to the current discussion in the Conners thread, but it felt off topic and like it better belonged here.

I understand we're all maybe looking for something different from our jeans... but that being said, why does it matter if jeans are exactly like vintage Levis from a specific year? I see why you'd want that if you're paying CSF money for a pair of jeans that allegedly gets everything exactly accurate. But why, exactly, does that accuracy matter to you/us in the first place?

I think that basically everything about a pair of TCB or Eternal, to name some cheaper Japanese brands, is superior to actual vintage Levis from the 40s or 50s, in terms of craftsmanship, materials, etc. It would be one thing if they represented an unparalleled high of manufacturing, but nobody would argue that the construction of vintage 501s beats Roy or Ooe. (And I do understand the pursuit of vintage 501 texture in fabrics - but can you really argue that Full Count, Warehouse, TCB, Ooe, and Denim Base haven't already achieved that?)

I guess it just seems weird to me that seemingly microscopic details like correctly replicating a wonky stitch from a specific pair of jeans from October 1946 really matters that much or is worth paying double the cost of some Warehouse. Especially since nobody here actually seems to dress like they time traveled 74 years into the future. I like features like hidden rivets, rolled pocket edges, and that sort of thing because it shows the maker put a lot of thought and intentionality into designing the jeans. But intentionally replicating flaws that don't improve the aesthetics of the jean (which I point out as justification for why I do like details like textured denim and roping) is where this whole repro thing really loses me. (Side note, this is one reason I like Flat Head's approach, they're not really trying to reproduce a specific jean and just combine all the various aspects they like from vintage jeans as a whole.)

The 501 fetish makes sense from a Japanese perspective back in the 80s when current Levis were clearly inferior to the 60s and earlier models, leading to demand for the better vintage jeans... but that's not the case anymore. We have so many great options now that it's just weird to me how we still uphold vintage 501s as the Holy Grail when there are so many great contemporary options - especially weird coming from most of us who were kids (or younger) in the 80s, aren't Japanese, and don't have some youthful nostalgia for deadstock 501s we could never afford to buy from BerBerJin back in 1990.

These days I like jeans like the Warehouse 1001, 800, TCB 50s, Full Count 1108, Ooe, and so on, because they're a very high-quality rendition of a classic pair of jeans. I don't really care if the fit or minutiae are exactly accurate as long as they capture the spirit/"feel" of classic mid-century jeans, that's versatile and works for a bunch of different outfits/styles.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Some people are into vintage and haven't got the means to buy it  .... that pretty much explains everything you asked 

I'm one of those people , I love vintage and spend more time than I should looking through vintage blogs , ebay and wherever else . The best I can do as far as vintage is concerned is buy 50's - 70's Levi's mainly for my son so I settle for the best , most accurately reproduced jeans I can find and in my case that brand is conners 

Edited by Flash

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Flash beat me to it while i was filling up my beer in the cellar :D

I'm not going to answer all of your points cos i'll be here all night..but in a nutshel... It's what being a Grade A denim nerd is all about B)

Re- CSF, the denim scene has been through a prolonged period of producing ever better, immaculate, stitch perfect jeans, far superior to the vintage Levi's which they were suposedly based upon.. if you consider 'perfection' the pinacle then by all means buy a pair of Eternal..

CSF is more about accurately reproducing the often shit quality Levi's of yesteryear, in all their wonky glory, using the sewing machines of the era, you're obviously paying a premium for this level of accuracy rather than stitch shop modern production line manufacturing just as you would with a hand made leather jacket or a pair of boots.

Ive often found with my jeans it's the quirks which ive fiund most appealing element rather than the mundane rows of perfect yawn enducing stitching, there is more soul in the quirks, more of the human influence, just like you find in a painting over a print or a hand made table over some mass produced wank from Ikea.. for example i would rather see a repo of something that was..

dp1238-4dp1238-4

..rather than the repeated perfection that often wasn't

https://shop.r10s.jp/rhino/cabinet/lvc/img59367997.jpg

I think i can speak for most vintage denim fans... it they could afford to buy period Levi's they wouldn't entertain reproductions for a second but with prices running well in excess of $6000 for worn examples, it's a rich mans game so you buy the next best thing you can afford...

Different periods just = different styles, different cuts ect 37's are looser with a buckle back, 47's are more fitted, there's room in the world for both...

Edited by Double 0 Soul

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

For really old jeans (30s and earlier) I kinda get the appeal. Things like the crotch rivet (a feature I'd love to be standard on all jeans, actually :D ), buckle back, waistband buttons, etc. are noticeably different from "standard" jeans. But the differences between the various 1940s 501s can seem like splitting hairs to me... but clearly lots of people are into it. I also get it if a specific year's fit just works better for your body than others, that sort of thing. 

I do think the imperfect "quirks" add character to garments - my FH 3005s have a defect where the selvedge is extremely narrow halfway down the thigh. It's only visible when the jeans are inside out, and it doesn't really affect anything, durability-wise. It just offers a bit of insight into the fact that even high-quality Japanese craftsmanship isn't perfect, and I kind of like that. And when stitches bust and need to be repaired, I don't get mad, I see it more as an opportunity to fix and make the jeans more uniquely "mine." But to me, the big difference between this example and something like what CSF does is that in the case of my 3005s, it's unintentional. It just strikes me as a little odd to replicate (originally) unintentional construction flaws on purpose. (Side note: I consider this quite different from material flaws, like unevenness in loomstate denim, imperfections in leather grain, etc., which I fully embrace.)

I'm actually not super obsessed with my jeans being perfectly constructed and I'm pretty generous, I think, in what I consider "good enough." Thinking about it, this might play into why I don't like one (or two) person brands as much as more traditional ones like Flat Head, Full Count, Warehouse, etc. The 1-2 person brands seem a bit too far from the "spirit" of jeans for me. While Roy, Ooe, etc. make awesome jeans, something about these strikes me as too special, and I tend to feel more "at home" in a more "mass produced" type of brand, I guess. CSF is a bit of an odd duck in that Konaka is a one-man brand that tries to create the impression of having been made in a WWII-era factory.

I probably shouldn't complain since at least in my case I'm content with Japanese brands in the $200-250 range and don't expect them to get every little thing right. Although if every brand did the rolled back pocket edge of FH/Warehouse/a few others, that would be nice.

Flash, your route into the hobby, as far as I can tell, sounds like it was through an initial interest in vintage - but I find it fascinating, really, that lots of fans of these very nitty-gritty repro details seem to have gotten there over time; so that the 501 fetish came after an existing interest in denim sparked by other, non-repro type brands like Nudie, Naked and Famous, etc. In my case, store-bought Levis were all I ever knew, so the discovery of high-quality European and Japanese brands blew my mind back in the day.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Not exactly , I didn't know very much about vintage Levi's at all until I got on here in 08/09 . I did buy quite a bit of vintage when I was younger , but it was mostly band tee shirts and old American work shirts , had a class gas station attendant one that had a name tag on it reading Earl ... loved it , my now wife hated it  , and get this ... the shop was called Mike Hunt 

My cousin used to shop at a vintage shop here in Belfast called American Maddness in the early 90's buying old redlines and i always remember a really slim fitting orange tab pair ( pretty positive they weren't 606 but maybe they were ) , when I was  young I really looked up to her as the cool older cousin so i guess that's what planted the seed of my style but like i said all of my knowledge ( if you could even call it that ) has came in the last 10 or so years . The first thing that really got me interested in vintage Levi's after finding here was horriblyjollyjinx blog , he posted about finding a guy outside Harajuku station wearing a pair of s501xx and they looked marvellous,  super washed out but the guy just oozed cool , it grew from there and it's became a bit of an obsession 

Suppose it's just different strokes for different folks , that's what's great about the large community we have here , there is always ( maybe almost always ) a space for you and your taste 

Edited by Flash

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now