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Denim 101 for Men's Clothing

Discussion in 'Classic Menswear' started by kaxixi, Dec 2, 2008.

  1. kaxixi

    kaxixi Senior member

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    Inspired by BlueMagic's repeated critiques of MC members' denim, I ask... where does one start in one's quest to purchase the better pair of jeans?
     
  2. Tarmac

    Tarmac Senior member

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    haha I will try to help.

    It is extremely unlikely that the pair of 10-year-old jeans you have in your closet are in any way attractive today. Unless you are a denim collector, the only thing you could have possibly bought 10 or 15 years ago which would still look good today are raw LVC 501 47s or raw Lees which would have been pretty hard to chance upon in 1995. If you got plain 501s in a stone wash, those look horrible now, yes they look like grandpa jeans. If you own Lucky, Seven, Diesel, etc, you may look more up to date, but in a douchebag way.

    So we've established that the jeans you have probably look bad, so now, what should you get?

    These days, the iGent wears straight leg jeans. Not boot cut, not tapered. Obviously, if you have an overarching need for something other than straight leg, go for it. But you are straying from the iGent Weekender manual.

    If you don't have a pair of dark jeans, you should get dark. Gray jeans, white, cream, light wash, are all fine. But you should have a pair of dark jeans as a go-to pair.

    Recommendations: I can think of decent $50 jeans (Uniqlo straightleg one wash or raw non-selvage), $100-ish (any slim dark Gap or Naked and Famous), $150-ish (entry-level japanese repro nonselvage, or APC, or LVC 47 raw), and $200+ (Japanese repro). Walking down the street, these can look remarkably similar. They are relatively narrow (8 inches or less on the cuff), straight leg, dark, and have minimal or no back pocket design.

    If you are on a really strict budget, I recommend Uniqlo straightleg or Gap on sale. This should run about $50.00. I would also recommend Lees authentics from their official website if they have your size. Lee is slashing the hell out of their prices.

    If you just don't want to be bothered too much, go get LVC 47s. They are only $175 and they are almost always available.

    If you want to go balls out, do research on japanese repro and other denim-culture brands. My personal favorites are Flat Head (incredibly unique color and fade, but still subtle) Iron Heart (excellent middle-of-the-road cut, 21 oz heavyweight), and Oni Blue (super slubby straight-leg)
     
    2 people like this.
  3. sho'nuff

    sho'nuff Senior member

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    dont start off with samurais and sugar canes
     
  4. bluemagic

    bluemagic Senior member

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    haha I will try to help. It is extremely unlikely that the pair of 10-year-old jeans you have in your closet are in any way attractive today. Unless you are a denim collector, the only thing you could have possibly bought 10 or 15 years ago which would still look good today are raw LVC 501 47s or raw Lees which would have been pretty hard to chance upon in 1995. If you got plain 501s in a stone wash, those look horrible now, yes they look like grandpa jeans. If you own Lucky, Seven, Diesel, etc, you may look more up to date, but in a douchebag way. So we've established that the jeans you have probably look bad, so now, what should you get? These days, the iGent wears straight leg jeans. Not boot cut, not tapered. Obviously, if you have an overarching need for something other than straight leg, go for it. But you are straying from the iGent Weekender manual. If you don't have a pair of dark jeans, you should get dark. Gray jeans, white, cream, light wash, are all fine. But you should have a pair of dark jeans as a go-to pair. Recommendations: I can think of decent $50 jeans (Uniqlo straightleg one wash or raw non-selvage), $100-ish (any slim dark Gap or Naked and Famous), $150-ish (entry-level japanese repro nonselvage, or APC, or LVC 47 raw), and $200+ (Japanese repro). Walking down the street, these can look remarkably similar. They are relatively narrow (8 inches or less on the cuff), straight leg, dark, and have minimal or no back pocket design. If you are on a really strict budget, I recommend Uniqlo straightleg or Gap on sale. This should run about $50.00. I would also recommend Lees authentics from their official website if they have your size. Lee is slashing the hell out of their prices. If you just don't want to be bothered too much, go get LVC 47s. They are only $175 and they are almost always available. If you want to go balls out, do research on japanese repro and other denim-culture brands. My personal favorites are Flat Head (incredibly unique color and fade, but still subtle) Iron Heart (excellent middle-of-the-road cut, 21 oz heavyweight), and Oni Blue (super slubby straight-leg)
    [​IMG]
     
  5. Studio27

    Studio27 Senior member

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    Nice breakdown Tarmac. Flathead arcuates may be a bit avant garde for some, and some straight up slub (oni blue/pbj) are cool but again, perhaps a bit much. Iron Heart's are pretty much universally loved as long as you don't want fades. 47 LVCs are pretty stellar. PSG x-posted in sw&d wearing a pair, and I think this is a great look that works well for the non-college-aged demographic: http://www.styleforum.net/showpost.p...ostcount=17488 p.s.: baron has some very nice jeans that work well in the forum crossover [​IMG]
     
  6. Tarmac

    Tarmac Senior member

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    Another tip: Remove garish designs, if you wish.

    There was a big arcuate (backpocket stitch design) lawsuit in 2007. This is when Japanese repro manufacturers were forced to change their "levi's-ish" arcs. Most went the extreme way (a la Flat Head). Yes I hate these, feel free to buy a $2 seamripper the same day you buy $300 Flat Heads, and go to work.
     
  7. Spatlese

    Spatlese Senior member

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    Sage words Tarmac. I bought my first pairs of Uniqlo (selvage) regular fit for cheap recently and can see them getting into my regular rotation.
     
  8. danyllau

    danyllau Senior member

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    dont start off with samurais and sugar canes

    is there a particular reason why?
     
  9. sho'nuff

    sho'nuff Senior member

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    not really sure myself, i know the answer, but maybe Tarmac can better articulate it for you.
     
  10. Tarmac

    Tarmac Senior member

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    I think sho'nuff is implying that it is difficult to buy the 1 pair of top-line repro jeans which are perfect for you right off the bat, when you know almost nothing about them in general.

    Typically, the pattern goes something like this:
    Guy wants stylish jeans.
    Balks at the $300 repro price. "wtf? forget that. I'd rather buy another pair of brown wingtips"
    Buys APC, Cheap Monday, or Naked Famous instead for $150.
    3 months later, he buys $300 repro jeans.

    I think this pattern is fine, it's basically what I did.
     
  11. thekunk07

    thekunk07 Senior member

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    $50-$100=levis

    $125-200=APC or acne

    $200-250=superfine or PBJ

    these are my favorites and the respective price range.
     
  12. kaxixi

    kaxixi Senior member

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    Thanks, Tarmac.

    What is slub? Repro? Selvage? Why would one want these things? And raw denim?

    When looking at measurements, should I be looking for different things than when I look for dress trousers?
     
  13. Tarmac

    Tarmac Senior member

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    Thanks, Tarmac.

    What is slub? Repro? Selvage? Why would one want these things? And raw denim?

    When looking at measurements, should I be looking for different things than when I look for dress trousers?


    Here's a pic which shows slub and selvage. Slub is the random knottiness of the fabric itself, selvage is the self-finishing edge on the outseam. Selvage in itself is almost meaningless, however almost all repro (reproduction) brands use it on some or all of their lines.

    [​IMG]

    For sizing, japanese brands are remarkably consistent. 90% of them shrink to tagged size, then can stretch out depending on how tight you wear them, and how long you wear them between washes. Whoever is selling you the jeans should be able to tell you definitive shrink/stretch info.
     
  14. danyllau

    danyllau Senior member

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    I think sho'nuff is implying that it is difficult to buy the 1 pair of top-line repro jeans which are perfect for you right off the bat, when you know almost nothing about them in general.

    Typically, the pattern goes something like this:
    Guy wants stylish jeans.
    Balks at the $300 repro price. "wtf? forget that. I'd rather buy another pair of brown wingtips"
    Buys APC, Cheap Monday, or Naked Famous instead for $150.
    3 months later, he buys $300 repro jeans.

    I think this pattern is fine, it's basically what I did.


    Cool. Thx.

    I ask a question in the pinned thread but havent' seem to get answered yet. I have MIJ Dior Homme Raw 29 or 30 (21cm and 19cm)... Would any of you know how APC and some of the repro jeans will compare in fit and sizing?
     
  15. Biggskip

    Biggskip Senior member

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    From time to time I see the term "stack" used when talking about denim. What is "stack"?

    Also, if I were to pick up one of the above mentioned brands would I need to worry about the denim "bleeding" the first time I washed it?
     
  16. sho'nuff

    sho'nuff Senior member

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    I think sho'nuff is implying that it is difficult to buy the 1 pair of top-line repro jeans which are perfect for you right off the bat, when you know almost nothing about them in general.

    Typically, the pattern goes something like this:
    Guy wants stylish jeans.
    Balks at the $300 repro price. "wtf? forget that. I'd rather buy another pair of brown wingtips"
    Buys APC, Cheap Monday, or Naked Famous instead for $150.
    3 months later, he buys $300 repro jeans.

    I think this pattern is fine, it's basically what I did.


    yes. you nailed it perfectly.



    Tarmac.
    the Denim Ambassador to Men's Clothing
     
  17. TRINI

    TRINI Senior member

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    I believe the search begins and ends with APC New Standards.
     
  18. lee_44106

    lee_44106 Senior member

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    I was recently into the higher end denim phase also.

    I read really hard in the Streetwear section, looked at a lot of pictures, and end up buying the Ironheart 634S.

    Search over. Very happy. This pair will probably last me forever as I wear it only on weekends, so about 5 hours a week.
     
  19. kaxixi

    kaxixi Senior member

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    What is unclear to me so far is why e.g., APC New Standards > Levi's or Gap.

    If you asked me what differentiated my RLBL trousers from my Banana Republic trousers, I could point out how the differences in fabric, cut, and construction mattered. I am guessing APCs use superior yarn and dye, and that perhaps their stitching is superior as well. Are there differences in cut that I should be aware of, also?
     
  20. kaxixi

    kaxixi Senior member

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    IOW, does BlueMagic dislike Binge and Bmulford's Luckys because of the cut? Or is that he thinks the other details (fabric and construction) aren't up-to-par, and another brand would give them more bang-for-the-buck.
     

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