I've had some mixed luck with Crate. I've owned four pair of the newer 'Squire' cut, and two pair of the 'Journal'. I've returned or sold four of the six for various quality reasons. The Journal has angled pockets which I didn't like, the Squire is cut more like a NS. Mid-rise, moderate tightness and taper.
Pros: The hardware is nice, with bronze fly buttons on all newer models that I've seen. The denim is dead-stock vintage blue-line selvage, pre-1975, originally destined for Levis, Jordache, etc. Denim color and texture will vary, since only 300 pair are made per batch. Denim is a lighter-weight (maybe 11oz?), and great for hot, humid weather, all sourced from American mills. Uniqueness factor is nice, due to New Old Stock denim and limited production runs - each pair is hand-numbered on the pocket lining. I can't speak to denim fade/wear qualities, since the denim used on each run seems to vary. Sevage line on coin pocket and on back right belt loop, instead of a leather patch, which is interesting. Stretch has been moderate with the denim my pairs were made from.
Cons: The stitching is very second rate, and seems to be sweat-shop quality. Chain stitching at waist and other areas was lazy, and the finishing stitches are loose and haphazard. The crotch stitching on both pair of Squires that I kept busted after one wear, and had to be repaired. One pair was missing the back belt loop when delivered (brand new) and now, stitching is coming loose on both pair at random places (not from abrasion). No leather patch, and no back pocket lining.
Other irregularities include the fact that the same model and size in the same production run of 300 may be made from variously sourced dead-stock denim. I had two pair from Barneys where the denim was incredibly slubby, and my hands were blue in minutes, the Squires I kept have a very smooth hand and tighter weave. The denim is not starched at all as far as I can tell.
I have a pair of APC NS, and also Rag & Bone RB15s, and both those jeans are of far better quality and construction and are definitely worth the approx. $150 price tag. Crates are a shot on the dark for the same retail price. Tread carefully.
I AM pleased with the two pair I kept, and they're breaking in nicely. Good lightweight summer denim. Size down at least 1.