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lemmywinks

What are your favorite denim brands and why?

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I know this is normally a "small questions thread" but this community isn't what it once was so I would love to talk to the people who still browse here.

I reckon the people that still come here are relatively old school denim heads as there's quite a few different denim communities now than there were before (reddit, facebook groups, instagram, etc.,)

For me I'm probably sticking to the Japanese brands that I've known about since I started browsing superfuture and learning about raw denim. My 3 favorite brands are probably Momotaro, Pure Blue Japan, and Studio D'Artisan.

Although I don't actually own jeans from Momotaro I own their jackets and accessories and I like their details like the pink selvedge as well as the battle stripes - captures a little bit of the Evisu painted stripes in a more understated way.

I love Pure Blue Japan for their fabrics - again, ironically I don't own a pair but everytime I try on their pants I am quite impressed. Also quite like their logo and how it's incorporate onto their jeans.

Studio D'Artisan I'm also a fan of, I think they nail the repro stuff.

 

Honorable mentions to Sugar Cane and LVC. Sugar Cane for affordable price points, Levi's for being the original.

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I believe this was discussed in the Blunders/General Nonsense thread, but never in a dedicated thread form.

For me, the top of the top is easily OOE

Fit, fabric, story, construction, technique, handmade touch, indescribable "it factor" from being made with love and attention, and the overall awesomeness of Ryo and Hiro make it a no brainer for me. I miss the days of custom ordering directly from them, but happy to support Standard & Strange who do so much for the community (shout out to S&S). 

Other standouts for me are TCB for their dedication and collaboration with the denim community as well as crazy fades, Warehouse for their commitment to detail and accuracy and always pushing forward with new improvements.

Honorable mentions, Fullcount for their standard Zimbabwe cotton denim which is super soft with age, and Resolute which I unfortunately can't fit into due to low rises but would otherwise fit my frequent washing routine. 

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Agreed, while these kind of question has been answered in multiple threads, buried in the vast amount of threads here, there most likely has been a shift in interest and users here.

I'll play, in no particular order:

Denime is still one of my favourite brands. At leat the old ones before Hayashi-san left. But the new Original Line is doing just fine and I enjoy wearing my 66XX.

Resolute as the successor of Denime. Hayashi-san just knows how to make good jeans and I really like the 710 and 711 models.

Ooe Yofukuten. I like Ryo and Hiro. They craft beautiful jeans with perfect stitching and interesting denim. The fit of the 02 is not my favourite but since the time of the World Tour they have a special place in my heart.

Conner's Sewing Factory . If you look for perfectly shitty sewn jeans look no further. CSF gets the feeling of real deadstock Levi's jeans from the 40s best. Really hardcore repro nerd jeans.

Edited by beautiful_FrEaK

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My answers shouldn't really come as a surprise to anyone, but I'll shoot. :ph34r:

Roy: The most meticulous construction out there, nice variety of Cone denims used over the years, perfect cuts and patterning. I've had the opportunity to meet Roy and hang out in his workshop once and he's just an interesting guy. Everything he does in making jeans or shirts has reasoning or thought process behind it, and he holds himself to incredibly high standards. So everything about what he makes just ticks all the right boxes for me.
Ooe Yofukuten: Like aho and b_F mentioned, perfect stitching, good variety of fabrics offered and their cuts also fit me perfectly. Always concocting something new and interesting, even possibly convincing me that I can wear off-white/ecru pants.
Warehouse: My favorite reproduction brand, in my experience everything WH releases is top notch and historically accurate. I like the variety of products that they offer. If there was one brand that I had to exclusively buy for everything in my closet it would probably be WH.
Freewheelers: This one is rising in the ranks for me for similar reasons to WH. While maybe not as historically accurate, they take their own twist on the items that they make and I like the added uniqueness that comes with it. Everything I've bought from them seems to fit me really well too and they have such a wide variety of different styles.
Tender Co: Really unique designs, I've finally bought a few things from Tender this year and I've very pleased. Plus Will is a standup guy and very helpful if you have any questions about his products. I don't own any jeans yet but I could see that changing down the road. My type 900 jacket is one of the most versatile jackets that I own.

Honorable mentions: Mister Freedom, Colimbo, Stevenson Overall Co., CSF, TCB, Sugar Cane, Denime, OrSlow.

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Im not as much of a denim nerd as most I just prefer really well fitting jeans and cool denim. 
I also try to support USA made as much as I can. 
I don’t need any fancy bells or whistles. 
No particular order:      
Freewheelers     
Rising Sun 
Mister Freedom
Roy  
  
Wrangler
 only the 13MWZ 

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No surprise on my answer... 

1 . Conners Sewing Factory 

In my opinion they are the perfect repro ..... well most of them ( the red jackets and jeans can be swept under the rug and forgotten about ) . The 40's especially,  no one makes a better s501xx or s506xx reproduction ( again , just my opinion) . His ww2 denim is among my all time favourites and the fit on the 46 feels like it was custom made for me , the denim holds its shape and doesn't just hang like some shapeless pair of jeans . I have a hard time wearing anything else , tried the warehouse 46 and while I really liked them I liked my conners more 

2 . Warehouse 

If it wasnt for conners I'd be a dedicated warehouse wearer .  the past few years have been there best with the introduction of the new duck digger line.

Not gonna list but I really respect the smaller brands out there , talking about Ooe , Denimbridge , Roy and others . With all the bigger brands out there it's hard to get noticed and it takes a really special product to do that 

Edited by Flash

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really interesting replies! I guess I'm the only one stuck on those original brands hahaha

I do really like what TCB has been doing, also quite fond of Warehouse. But I guess I still have nostalgia for some of those original hyped brands like Momotaro and PBJ.

Also very interesting to see the sort of divergent paths people have taken. In some of the Facebook groups a lot of people are still very into the heavyweight stuff.

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If it was just jeans I'd have to go Fullcount.  There jeans fit me perfectly and with wear are butter soft. SDA is up there with FC for jeans. I'll possibly always a own a pair of 107's, Their 15oz is beautiful.   For T's it's a toss up between TFH and Warehouse for me even tho they are very different. 

They also get a lot of stick in the last few years but I still have love for RMC. Their outerwear and sweats are some of my favourite clothes.

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This is a struggle for me ... and before the guffaws get too loud, it’s because:

a. It seems the most folk interpret ‘denim’ as 5P jeans (and limited matching jackets)

b. I’ve built a collection of clothing from a single source

c. My preferred source isn’t really a ‘denim brand’

Anyway, it’s always interesting to read the different views and rationale (even if they’re not technically correct @Broark :dry:) so here’s mine (based on the general consensus thus far)

Freewheelers: My favourite (jeans) brand - at least a match for any and all re. construction values, historical accuracy, fabric development - but really just because they fit great and feel great

Sugar Cane: because they make great stuff, and have been for years - the bulk of my earliest Japanese ‘denim’

Warehouse: such a great range - I actually wish Freewheelers would make some of the stuff Warehouse do.

An honourable mention to Mister Freedom because I liked my Lot 54 and TCB who have some nice fabrics and a great attitude to the customer

 

Edited by Duke Mantee

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#1

Ooe for their fit, sewing, understated creativity, and Ryo and Hiro themselves.

Roy for the sewing flourishes, Cone denim, and Roy's irreverent but honest take on most everything, including my personality flaws ;-)

Freewheelers for the fabrics, colors, patterns, fit, along with Mr. Yasui and Seiichiro Kato -- thanks Duke for the guidance.

TCB for their dedication, keeping it fun, openness to new products and ideas, and for Ryo and Hajime.

#1A

The Real McCoy's for the quality and comfort of their leather and cloth jackets (not jeans).

Resolute for Hayashi-san's elegant simplicity and style.

CSF for the fact that such a weirdly sewn and oddly fitting pair of jeans can be fun to wear for reasons I don't understand.

Fullcount for the softness of their denim.

Warehouse for their historical focus, despite the fact that their jeans are often too short for me and shirts too small.

 

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My favorite is probably SDA, which was my own personal gateway drug to nice denim. They seem to innovate all the time and their standards denim is lovely. My favorite denim shirt is also an SDA.

Second would be a tie between Tender and FW. Tender because William seems to me to be the most innovating maker, bar none, and that I love the passion he puts into his work and how attached he is to his English roots, and FW because their fabrics & patterns are unique and they have a big line up of higher cuts / fuller legs.

Special mention to Sugar Cane which provides what's probably the best value available along with a wide offering, and Roy who makes the best finished jeans (but I find the denim a bit bland).

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Iron Heart didn't make my top tier, but if we're talking Apocalypse ...

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I'm not an old school denim head, but I have over the years always loved selvedge denim. I started off years ago wearing MiUSA Levis 501s, Momotaro and 3Sixteen. I still have a pair of Momos and 3Sixteens, though both are now nearing seven years old.

Now I'm focused on these:

Freewheelers: The quality and attention to detail is just super appealing to me. I wear the 601XX 1951s more often than my other pairs.

Warehouse: For the same reasons that others have already stated. The 1947s I own just fit me perfectly.

Tender Co: I really love William's unique approach to design and the way he interprets historical details into small batch, handmade clothes. 

Sugar Cane + Mister Freedom: SC makes incredible jeans for the price, and I love Christophe Loiron's design philosophy. I own the Edo Ai by SC and the midnight denim by MFSC.

I do plan to try UES, TCB (Catboy), and a pair of IH 666 21oz. I'm also really interested in OOE, but they're never available...

I'll be looking for different fits because I don't need a dozen pairs of '47s.

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Purely for denim, I would say that warehouse and full count are strong favourites.

I’ve had several pairs of WH over my 25 years or so of wearing Japanese denim and have always worn them to destruction.

FC 0105 have been my go to jeans for the past 4-5 years and I have not felt the need to buy any other denims at all until I recently got a pair of At last & co. 

For other stuff I have always been a fan of RMC but less so these days. But I still wear my RMC sweats, N1 jacket and watch-cap through winter.

Over the past 4 years or so I have bought more stuff from Timeworn than any other brand making them my go to store these days. 
 

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Can’t say enough great things about OOE

WAREHOUSE has my heart these days as I’ve been lusting for real vintage Levi’s and nothing in reach at the moment can come close. Nothing to me looks as good as Levi’s arcs and a red tab. Warehouse checks all the boxes so it’s a no brainer for me

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I'll have a go next then... I've realised I actually like a lot of brands...

  • At Last & Co – cool overall aesthetic, offers something different based on 30s/40s style and great fitting gear for me.  I need some more. 
  • CSF – I only have one item, the '46 type 1, but it’s top drawer and more than enough to make the list single-handed. The meticulous construction details and fantastic denim deliver completely unique and mesmerising wear patterns, on jackets and jeans (as a few OGs have been raving about for years).  The stitching might be wonky but the product is robust.  I need a pair of '46 jeans… know anyone who can help me out Broark?
  • Mister Freedom – I love Cristophe’s playful twist on heritage to create imo some modern classics.  Yeah there are misses (I’m looking at you shorty shorts) but that’s cool because he experiments.  The Sportsman chinos are some of my best fitting and I love the Ranch Blouse fit, features and denim.     
  • I still have a soft spot for RMC, despite the hurt they've caused the community, as they've knocked up some knock out gear.  I've written this and never had any jeans from them.  But they are still in.    
  • Freewheelers – I’m impressed with my few purchases so far and can see more in future.  Duke’s walking advertisements are a wonder to behold.    
  • Also shout out to Ooe, Roy, Canes, TCB, Tender.
  • The one I’ve never tried but always wanted to and will do at some point – Warehouse. 

Have I missed anyone??????

Edited by MJF9

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Keeping strictly to denim I rate Mister Freedom highly. I continue to be impressed by the wide range of cuts reflecting the styles of various eras that Christophe has managed to create.  I own their lot 44s, Vaqueros, Buckaroos (the earlier version) & Okinawa Topsiders. 

I have a couple of different pairs of OOE & I like them a lot.

One pair of Roys that appear to be put together impeccably.

Of course I'm currently enjoying the TCB contest jeans & look forward to seeing what else they come up with.

Back in the day Sugar Cane were really something. They made various repro models. I came back from my first trip to Japan in the mid 90s with a pair of SC 1930s Lees & a turn of the century Levi type jean. 

Full Count were also great and made a much wider range than they do now. 

 

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