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Den.mbar custom jeans review

post #1 of 4
Thread Starter 
I spend most of the time on the "other side" of SF, but recently I needed new jeans and decided to go the raw Denim route, having seen the devoted fans on SF and SUFU. My first pair was some Nudie raw in black denim. They mostly fit well, but I decided the rise was too low and can be uncomfortable, something I didn't notice when trying on in the store. I decided I wanted another pair in blue and spent a great deal of time looking at all of the online shops. In the end, I found it hard to find a pair with all of the characteristics I wanted (slim, but not skinny, mid-rise, not low, zipper, not buttons, etc.) To get to the point, I saw a post by the Den.mbar guys from LA in a thread on SF and decided to give them a shot, since the price @$300 with tax, was in the middle of the range for raw selvedge denim.

I live in DC and they are in LA, but it turns out they were opening up an online shop, which wasn't final when I started (seems to be running now), but they agreed to work with me, They sent me a form to fill out a bunch of measurements, which was easy enough to fill out. I chose Cone White Oak blue selvedge denim along with yellow thread (you can pick from many colors). After they got the numbers and denim specs, I spoke to the tailor to discuss what I wanted. I should point out that they are easy to work with - they responded quickly to all email inquires and questions. Anyway, they said it would take 4 weeks, so there was nothing else to do but wait.

The order was a bit late because one tailor's father passed a away, so hey, can't fault them for that. I think it took about 6 weeks to get them in the end. The jeans fit as I wanted through the body and the workmanship looks good (though I am no raw denim expert). However, there were two issues. First, I changed up my workout routine in the weeks since I ordered the jeans and I guess they worked because the jeans were now too big in the waist by at least an inch (high intensity interval training is the real deal). Ok, not their fault. The second issue is that the back pockets were really big, which just didn't look right on my skinny frame. They reached well down to backs of my thighs and made my not-very-substantial butt look even smaller and flatter. Ok, also not totally their fault, since we hadn't discussed the back pockets, and I know that is a style some people like, but I confess I did think it an odd style choice since they could see how skinny my measurements are. But they looked really bad and it would have limited how often I would wear them.

So I contacted them with my concerns and, to their credit, they agreed to fix both issues without any further charge (though I did pay for the shipping back to L.A.). They were really great about it even though neither problem was their fault. The tailor called me when he got the jeans and I gave him new waist measurements and new pocket dimensions (which I calculated using some Incotex jeans I bought off SF a few years ago). The altered jeans arrived today, about 10 days later and they look and fit much better (see pics).

Overall, it was a good experience and I would buy from them again. I'll offer one small caution, which is that these guys are pretty new and from seeing the pictures on their site and from talking to them on the phone, they are pretty young. I don't think any of them can boast of "many years working in North Carolina raw denim factories." As with any new business, one takes a risk as compared to going with a more established maker. I personally like supporting small businesses and I have had good experiences with young start up companies who are working extra hard to make a name for themselves. So depending on one's preferences, their newness may or may not be an issue for you. As I said, I would use them again, and I would especially recommend it for people who don't have a standard size.

Here are some pics - the lighting isn't great, but hopefully this gives you an idea.

post #2 of 4
Not bad at all. It's about time for bespoke jeans to become more common.

Post some detail shots if you have a chance.
Edited by transient - 12/8/12 at 10:48pm
post #3 of 4
Thread Starter 
I can take some detail shots. What details would you like to see, in particular?
post #4 of 4
Thread Starter 
Ok, detail shots in natural light.

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