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Denim Blunders, Reflections and General Nonsense.

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On 3/15/2022 at 10:54 PM, cheapmuthafukr said:

I love leg twist

967CA7F0-9D4E-4721-ADAD-941AECF164F8.jpeg

what jeans dude?

 

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We should have a whip-round and send her a pair of raw TCB 40s in a size down and see if it's still the hack of the year!  :laugh2:

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Or ‘whacked’?

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We've just watched Matrix 4, what the fuck, what a complete pile of shite.. it makes Men In Black II look like a credible rehash..

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Posted (edited)
8 minutes ago, Double 0 Soul said:

We've just watched Matrix 4, what the fuck, what a complete pile of shite.. it makes Men In Black II look like a credible rehash..

Had to turn it off half way in. It was so bad that it made me question whether the Wachowskis actually even directed the first one or if Warner Brothers had some ghost director involved.

Edited by sven

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8 minutes ago, Double 0 Soul said:

We've just watched Matrix 4, what the fuck, what a complete pile of shite.. it makes Men In Black II look like a credible rehash..

Is that the MiB where Will Smith slaps the face off the alien? 

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I was gutted by it. There was absolutely no point to it.

And how they tried to implant Trinity as a newer more powerful version  just to tick the strong female lead box....

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It's sooo hackneyed!

Neo's only 'move' is holding his hands out.. like Seagal and his shin kick :D

Doogie Howser's cat was the only redeeming feature...

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So apparently it was only one of the Wachowskis and they never wanted to make a Matrix 4. But the studio said they would make it with to without them. So this was the result. This was referenced in the little side plot about a sequel to the game that they were working on. 

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14 hours ago, Double 0 Soul said:

We've just watched Matrix 4, what the fuck, what a complete pile of shite.. 

I thought that about the first one so stopped there.

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I've been rummaging through my closet recently and started thinking about how I've more or less run the gamut and tried most brands around by now in this denim/repro realm.
It made me wonder: what are some brands that have surprised or disappointed you the most?
Maybe it was something you were originally psyched about and after that *new thing* glow wore off you realized it wasn't really up to snuff.
Or it was something you might've initially purchased thinking "eh, it'll do" but you ended up enjoying more than anticipated.

I'll go first. Most disappointing is probably Lady White. Their original concept was really interesting to me, repro style basics like two-pack tees and sweats are always great right?
Their design shift from repro to more fashion focused has turned me off on the product and I feel like it's a shell of it's former self.
I've tried a handful of different styles from them over the years and the newer iterations leave a lot to be desired. 
Holes started developing around the hem and pits really quickly, the fabric just feels cheap when compared to the initial offerings and they don't hold their shape well at all.

Most surprising (probably not to any of you) is Freewheelers.
I used to think most of their product was a little too over the top for my tastes, but everything they make is patterned really well and has held up over time.
I picked up a Neal Cassidy chambray years ago and didn't think much of it at the time, but it's grown to be one of my most worn shirts that I own.
 

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Like you Broark, I've tried many brands by now.  If I've learned anything, it's that each has strengths and weaknesses.  For example, I started with Iron Heart and Fullcount.  After discovering other brands, I lost the love for Iron Heart.  But even now I have to admit that their shirts fit well and their jeans are tough and long lasting -- I'd want to be wearing their UHR denim if I had to fall off a motorcycle and skid on asphalt.  And while other jeans may fit me a hair better than some Fullcount models, their denim is still the softest and most comfortable.

When it comes to softness, there's nothing like a Flathead flannel -- but the chests are too trim.  Freewheelers makes great shirts and flannels with nice materials, details, and fit and little to fault, except that (on some) the wrists button up too tight.  Warehouse makes nice jeans (especially the later DSB, DD, and limited models) but their shirts and flannels run small -- even an XL is small for me and I'm not that big.  Same for their tees -- nice material, but short.  For a soft tee, I love the McCoys stuff.

In sum, it's kind of a mixed bag.  Love all these makers but fit is king and some of it isn't made for western BBC bodies (e.g., big butt & chest).

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Echoing your sentiments on IH John, I used to be a big fan of their stuff (mostly shirts, I can't stand heavy weight denim). I've since sold all the IH I once owned.
Over time I became a bit disinterested in their marketing and western pricing model, and I find that their forum is just an echo chamber.
Nothing constructive is ever really said about any of their products, but I guess you shouldn't expect that in their own corner of the internet.
I haven't paid much attention to their catalog lately (so I could be off base) but it feels a little copy and paste season after season with percentage price increase sprinkled in here and there.

Also agree with your thoughts on cut being king when it comes to brand selection.
I've scrapped TFH since their patterns just aren't generally western friendly, but I understand that we're not their core demographic either!
I love my WH tees and the shorter body length is something I look for, but I know it isn't everyone's cup of tea. Really wish they made their flannels in 44 or 46...
 

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I was gifted something from Lady White recently that I quite like on it's own terms, but then again I don't have vintage anything, nor the previous stuff to compare to.

The biggest thing that's clear to me obviously is that fit is king, but also that almost nothing (at least with regards to denim/adjacent stuff) is as good new as it is multiple years worn, and that runs counterintuitive to the sort of showcasing of various brands a forum like this can engender. Like, if you buy 4 new jeans in a year you're likely just not going to have a pair that you'lI appreciate as much. I know this is a paradox we're all aware of, but I try to remind myself of it often when I see great new pieces I want to pick up (if the cost alone doesn't already give me pause, haha). 

Since I'm not so repro minded my favorites have settled into - SC for jeans (for the obvious reasons), Tender (jeans, sweaters, jackets - the cuts just usually work well for me and I enjoy a lot of the design aspects), and Companion (jackets - just impeccably well made, I need and like the pockets). By favorite I mean that I own pieces from these makers that I look forward to wearing the most. Other stuff might be better but I'm doing my best not to sweat that and just let me (already too large) collection get some character.

Less denim but Blue Blue Japan (jackets) and Cottle (tops) are small labels I've been quite happy with on the very few occasions I've splurged. So I do quite like some Japanese designs, just not so much Amekaji. Never had much interest in IH, TFH, Full Count etc. 

I tend to just wear blank or near blank t/sweatshirts and/or t shirts from skate and music labels and probably always will, and not a big fan of button downs overall - when I do buy that stuff I'm not looking at these brands - it's just not worth it for me.

Most disappointing I've owned is probably PBJ - the cuts are just not good, and it turned out that level of slub or whatever is just not for me - and I say this as someone where their xx-019 actually fits me really well - I probably have a similar frame as a lot of the Japanese market I guess (I'm 5'8" 140 lb) - but it's like a 6" hem. Ridiculous. On the tops the shoulders and armholes are comically small for a given size. I have relatively broad shoulders/chest I guess but still. I'm usually a 2 in tops or a 3 if I want a generous fit and PBJ 3 is unwearably snug on me. 

Shout out to Redwing also as a sleeper. I mean, I know they're good shoes, but I picked up a pair of Postmans from the outlet awhile ago. I have more expensive stuff but honestly, those are great, good looking shoes and from a value perspective one of the best things I've got, and I go to those much more than I'd expected to when I picked them up. Sometimes a label is ubiquitous for a good reason. 

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Posted (edited)

There’s little point in me saying what I prefer, but over the years I’ve sampled a lot of everything else.

Strangely some of the clothes I loved decades back were Japanese designs (Yamamoto, CdC, Miyake et al) and the clothes I love now are still made in the same factories … I think that’s a big deal.

Rather than say why I don’t like some other brands, I’d rather just concentrate on what I know fits me best and gives me a wide choice. I guess it helps that I’ve made friends within that brand, but that didn’t affect my earliest decisions.

Probably the thing that surprises me about brands, is how folk associate with them or how they imagine them.

Edited by Duke Mantee

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Throwing a few jeans on the community sale thread shortly...

032E5EE7-BF32-4F6E-982A-D703B76C83C9-40378-000005E945ACE575.JPG

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2 hours ago, AlientoyWorkmachine said:

Shout out to Redwing also as a sleeper. I mean, I know they're good shoes, but I picked up a pair of Postmans from the outlet awhile ago. I have more expensive stuff but honestly, those are great, good looking shoes and from a value perspective one of the best things I've got, and I go to those much more than I'd expected to when I picked them up. Sometimes a label is ubiquitous for a good reason. 

^ unironically, this...

 

2 hours ago, Duke Mantee said:

Rather than say why I don’t like some other brands, I’d rather just concentrate on what I know fits me best and gives me a wide choice.

^ and very much this... 

32 minutes ago, aho said:

Throwing a few jeans on the community sale thread shortly...

032E5EE7-BF32-4F6E-982A-D703B76C83C9-40378-000005E945ACE575.JPG

^ and expectantly this... looks like a lot of life left in that pile...

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giphy-downsized-large.gif
Definitely not intending for this to turn into the airing of grievances. :P 

18 hours ago, AlientoyWorkmachine said:

Most disappointing I've owned is probably PBJ - the cuts are just not good, and it turned out that level of slub or whatever is just not for me

I agree with this, PBJ cuts are a little funky. Having tried the relaxed taper and straight cuts I just found lots of things I was not a fan of ultimately.
They work for the right frames, just not mine. I'm also not crazy about s u p e r s l u b z z z. Their tees are nice, but too long in the body.

18 hours ago, Duke Mantee said:

Strangely some of the clothes I loved decades back were Japanese designs (Yamamoto, CdC, Miyake et al) and now the clothes I love are made in the same factories.
-------
Probably the thing that surprises me about brands, is how folk associate with them or how they imagine them.

Manufacturing quality and consistency is something that seems to transcend the denim world. I see it in the vendors that I work with in my job all the time.
Probably means that they have good working standards, retained skilled labor over the years and don't cut corners.
And to your second point, marketing is a helluva drug! Especially in todays day and age. I wonder whatever happened to the old man up on the mountain story Oni started with?

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That old man is too busy curating his Instagram output so has outsourced his dyeing and weaving to a division of Big Corp. Ltd

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Good question @Broark, I'm going to start with biggest disappointments.
Surprisingly, I have to say that the made in Japan Chuck Taylors are rather overhyped and don't feel nearly as good as the premium Vietnam-made Chuck 70's.
They feel rather similar in quality to the regular cheapo Chucks. I was also pretty disappointed when I first got my hands on two pairs of 90's made in US Levi's 501xx's. The 501xx's are pretty highly praised amongst the vintage community but I have to say that in both pairs that I got the fit was pretty bad, fabric felt pretty thin and bad stitching everywhere (both NOS).

Garments that have really surprised me on the other hand, I think I have to mention two pairs of new Levi's 501s I bought in 2017. They were from the premium line, made in Turkey (if that matters) and has 1% of stretch in them which makes them really comfortable for every day wear. 5 years later and they have seen lots of usage now but none show any signs of breaking anywhere so really really pleased with them, they also both have really flattering cuts compared to the old 90's pairs (both has been sold now).
Another honourable mention for me is my Rocky Mountain down jacket, it was a big investment for me but it is honestly the nicest down jacket I've ever owned. Very warm and quality feels super nice!
 

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Surprising to hear about the MiJ chucks, I've always thought about proxying a pair. Bullet dodged I guess!
RMFB stuff looks great, just never sprung for anything down-filled since I live in a more temperate climate.

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Biggest disappointments:

  • UES, their products are very high quality but I find their fits consistently weird. Sold a chambray that I found disappointing. Still have one flannel from them, for now, but I feel the neck is too big in proportion to the rest of the shirt. Their jeans are all absurdly proportioned in my size, with cartoonishly low rises even on straight fits.
  • 3Sixteen, over time. I still have stuff from them that I really like but I doubt I'll ever buy anything from them again. The brand has gone in a direction I don't really like. Although I like my 3Sixteen shirts it's always bothered me how the pockets are way too high on the chest.
  • Full Count, my 1108s faded nicely and the denim is wonderful, but the cut is weirdly proportioned, they were roasted by factory one-washing prior to my purchase and the fabric always felt too soft to crease well. Construction has never felt as nice as other Japanese brands I've worn, though they've held up reasonably well - looking at the overlock stitching inside, it's just not quite as clean/pretty as other brands I've handled.
  • Iron Heart, I owned a flannel from them which was a cool shirt, but I didn't think the cut was very good and it had a very industrial/utilitarian vibe to it, both the fabric and construction. Hard to put my finger on it but something like a Flat Head shirt has way more personality.
  • Freenote Cloth, I have some flannels from them which are nice shirts with attractive patterns and great cuts. But the flannel feels kind of cheap, like the kind that pills a bunch and little puffs come off over time. Difference between that and my Warehouse flannel shirt is night and day. I feel like the fabric should be nicer for a ~$240 price point. My Freenote Rider's Jacket on the other hand is basically perfect.

Biggest surprises:

  • Lone Flag's store brand tees are wonderful. Very soft, perfect weight for hot weather, great for tucking in, and they've lasted me for years and years. I just wish they'd make more of them in colors I missed the first time around.
  • Merz B Schwanen, best fitting fancy T-shirts I've worn, and the 2-thread jersey fabric feels wonderful.
  • Warehouse in general, early on I dismissed them as a boring repro brand that made dad jeans which faded to a washed-out gray color, but fortunately this turned out to be way off base. I think my WH stuff is some of the highest quality clothing I own.

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3 hours ago, NilsLW said:

Good question @Broark, I'm going to start with biggest disappointments.
Surprisingly, I have to say that the made in Japan Chuck Taylors are rather overhyped and don't feel nearly as good as the premium Vietnam-made Chuck 70's.
They feel rather similar in quality to the regular cheapo Chucks. 
 

This

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3 hours ago, Broark said:


Manufacturing quality and consistency is something that seems to transcend the denim world. I see it in the vendors that I work with in my job all the time.
Probably means that they have good working standards, retained skilled labor over the years and don't cut corners.
And to your second point, marketing is a helluva drug! Especially in todays day and age. I wonder whatever happened to the old man up on the mountain story Oni started with?

I edited my original to reflect this - it’s paramount that we realise the skills of the good manufacturers as well as the designers. I know Freewheelers have employed the very best pattern makers and used the best factories, and even then they demand the factories use materials (buttons, threads etc.) to their own specifications rather than what suits that particular factory (given they will have to deals suppliers already in place).

I think most are aware of the culture of bowing in Japan - so when someone as important as Rei Kawakubo offered saikeirei to the main factory owner it made a huge statement towards quality and standing.

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I think for me the fit is king addage sits right at the top of priorties and because of that I've had hits and misses across a spectrum of brands discussed here. 

UES, love the shirts but the jeans just didn't work for me despite looking perfect on paper. 

RMC, love some of their stuff but there sizing is inconsistent.

PBJ jeans work well for me (as I have short legs I don't suffer from the extreme taper) but the tops, I have 3, all fit differently and only 1 is comfortable 

FC has so far hit the spot with consistent sizing for tops and bottoms and all my pieces fit well and I rate the fabrics. 

Etc etc.....

As I'm getting older I'm begrudgingly starting to admit that a lot of the stuff discussed on here doesn't work for me. For example I like ts a little longer in the body, so for me an armorlux t fits better and is more comfortable to wear than a Warehouse or TFH t (of which I own more than one of both)

I'm more preppy than heritage Americana so a slim chino from a western brand suits my style and is more comfortable than say  Buzz repro chino. 

Buying much less JPN/USA influenced stuff lately 

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33 minutes ago, Geeman said:

This

Was your jp pair a standard Chuck Taylor pair or from the timeline series ? Just ordered a pair of 59 timelines and I'm a bit anxious about it now 

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Standard MIJ I think @Flash

I do like the Japanese market Purcell though, but they aren't MIJ.

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