Denim 101 for Men's Clothing

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

  1. Tarmac

    Tarmac Senior member

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    Actually, you suffer from a common misconception. What constitutes a good "cut" is highly subjective, although a bad cut is nearly universally recognized. (...)


    I definitely won't argue with you. I am not an expert on denim fabric itself, I can only tell weight, feel, appearance, and fade/wear. I do know that I've seen Gap denim which looked/felt exactly like APC. I've also seen denim on some Japanese makers which looked completely ordinary, I have no idea how expensive it was to loom but it looked ordinary.

    Also, I contradicted myself plenty, I said cut is king but then listed all the other reasons why New Standards became popular. Details do make a difference.
     


  2. Teger

    Teger Senior member

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    I sell denim for a living, many of the people who come in to our store (Farinelli's) are older guys who have never before owned 'real' jeans.

    Just like shoes, suits or shirts, you get what you pay for, and the most important consideration is fit followed by quality.

    Most of the mystique following fading and not washing is just really mental masturbation - there's nothing wrong with washing your jeans, and while waiting between washings will increase contrast, the best looking jeans have been washed many times.

    Anyway, on to what makes expensive denim worthwhile, aka what you're paying for:

    * Many of these brands are imported which drives up the prices (however slightly)
    * Weight of the denim
    * Origin of the cotton (I like Zimbabwe cotton the best..)
    * Mill location (Japan or North Carolina Cone Mill is what you want here)
    * Construction detail
    * Selvage
    * "Bonus" features - special fabric pocket bags, exotic patches, expensive custom hand done embroidery, etc.

    Some good cuts for guys who aren't super slim are KMW 1950s, Spurr Pipe/Straight Leg, APC Rescue, RRL Straight, Jean Shop Classic, Sugarcane '47s, LVC 501s, Naked & Famous Weird Guy

    edit: one important measurement to look for, especially if you aren't super fit or don't want a slim jean is RISE. a low rise jean (10" front, 12" back) is going to fit VERY differently than a higher rise jean.
     


  3. Teger

    Teger 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.

    The cut is incredibly unflattering and the wash is ugly. I actually sent bmulford a long PM after that post of his lol
     


  4. Teger

    Teger Senior member

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    Any advice for somebody like me? I've got a 33-34 waist (usually about 34 in the inseam) but pretty big legs. Particularly large outer quads is what I was recently told by a wrestler friend who would probably know such things (and would explain why I always feel like stuff in my pockets creates a lot of bulk). My ass is probably a little big too (though it could just be that the rest of my legs pull the jeans to my ass). I picked up a pair of American Eagle (yeah, I know, got them for $19) "straight" jeans and I think they work ok but I get a lot of comments on the tightness. Its not tightness at the cuff (I take issue with more tapered "skinny" jeans) but rather the upper leg that seems to be an issue. I like wearing them as long as it is paired with one of my tightest tops (sized down dress shirt or something) but otherwise I feel the thigh area looks too tight compared to everything else. Any recommendations on what I could try? I'm not looking toward the really pricey stuff (like to stick under 100...probably under 75 after any discounts) but just something that would fit my legs a little better and still look good. *edit* also, I have a pair of levis 559 on right now and I don't think I have ever liked how they fit and can't quite put a finger on why (they feel fine...just look funny)
    KMW 1950, KMW 2010, almost nay Levi 501 repro cut except the '66. If you want 'stacking' (extra fabric bunching up at the ankle) look at Jean Shop Classics in "Long" or shrink-to-fit Japanese brands With denim you get what you pay for. It's better to pay $200 now than $75 every 4-5 months when your jeans fall apart... The cheapest cut that I'd try on you would be an APC Rescue, but I think you could run in to rise problems
     


  5. farfisa23

    farfisa23 Senior member

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  6. whacked

    whacked Senior member

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    Actually, you suffer from a common misconception. What constitutes a good "cut" is highly subjective, although a bad cut is nearly universally recognized.

    There is a very wide range in the quality of denim, and the prices vary considerably as well, from $1/yard (your Walmart variety jeans) and $20+/ounce (artisanal denim made in very small batches).

    A typical denim is a 3x1 righthanded twill, though other types of twill are also used.. Irrespective of the weight, the quality of the constituent cotton used, the care taken in the carding of the cotton fibers to make the yarn, the care taken in spinning the yarn, and the care taken in the weaving of the yarn into denim, all help to separate a good denim from a bad. Equally important is the dye used and the dyeing technique used. Rope and hank dyeing of the weft (the blue) yarn will produce different effects in the visual effect of the denim produced. I won't go into more detail here.

    Next, the quality of the hardware used, the grade of the thread used, and the grade of stitching (going from a 1/4" stitch to a 1/8" stitch, for example, makes a piece significantly more expensive to make), as well as the QC/QA standards used, all contribute to the cost of making a pair of really premium jeans.

    For the price, RRL (a division of the Ralph Lauren empire) is hard to beat. It is Ralph Lauren's baby, by all accounts, and not really a money maker. Certainly, the margins are very low on the goods. The cuts are also typically agreed upon to be "good".


    Again, LA Guy delivers.


    To add to the discussion, another great option to consider in the $150 range (or the "gateway drug" to premium denim) alongside LVC,APC, and Lee Gold is Crate. Very nice denim and comes in a variety of (flattering, IMHO) fits. Also, you won't have to deal with wacky sizing like with APC and Lee, and the jeans will fit right off-the-rack, unlike LVC shrink-to-fit denim. Crate jeans retail for $150, can be had with a 25% discount from forum affiliate Secret Service.
     


  7. Casey

    Casey Senior member

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    So far, the only high-end jeans that I've ever owned, not including Diesel, Joe's, and whatnot, are a pair of APC New Standards and I don't think I would necessarily need another brand because they are pretty mch perfect besides the fact that I find a little difficulty sticking my hands in my pockets sometimes. However, I would consider GAP jeans this season since they have a limited edition skinny fit in stores that uses Japanese selvedge denim which I find to be decond for the price. ($78 from what I recall, but I'm not sure.) And if Naked and Famous jeans go on sale at Barneys, I would consider those too.

    However, I was not impressed when I saw a newer pair of New Standards at Barneys CO-OP the other day. I don't know if it's the fact that the pair was 6 sizes larger than mine or the weird top button, but my pair has the swivel button which I like because it seems to place less strain on the denim in that area compared to my other jeans. The new button is more rounded and it looks a little cheap. The denim also seemed much lighter, I don't know if that had something to do with the lighting in the store or if I just didn't notice how light mine were.

    But if I find a pair that seems decent, I wouldn't mind another pair od NS or even Rescues.
     


  8. Teger

    Teger Senior member

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    So far, the only high-end jeans that I've ever owned, not including Diesel, Joe's, and whatnot, are a pair of APC New Standards and I don't think I would necessarily need another brand because they are pretty mch perfect besides the fact that I find a little difficulty sticking my hands in my pockets sometimes. However, I would consider GAP jeans this season since they have a limited edition skinny fit in stores that uses Japanese selvedge denim which I find to be decond for the price. ($78 from what I recall, but I'm not sure.) And if Naked and Famous jeans go on sale at Barneys, I would consider those too.

    However, I was not impressed when I saw a newer pair of New Standards at Barneys CO-OP the other day. I don't know if it's the fact that the pair was 6 sizes larger than mine or the weird top button, but my pair has the swivel button which I like because it seems to place less strain on the denim in that area compared to my other jeans. The new button is more rounded and it looks a little cheap. The denim also seemed much lighter, I don't know if that had something to do with the lighting in the store or if I just didn't notice how light mine were.

    But if I find a pair that seems decent, I wouldn't mind another pair od NS or even Rescues.


    Those Gap jeans use extremely low quality denim and have terrible construction. There's a reason they're $78.
     


  9. LA Guy

    LA Guy Opposite Santa Staff Member Admin Moderator

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    I would recommend, in this order, the RRL Classic, the Jean Shop Classic, and then the KMW 1950, in that order, for a guy with bigger legs. I think that they would all fit well, with variations depending on your body (you would need to try on the jeans to figure this out.) The other considerations are value (RRLs are a terrific value), then rise. The KMW has a lowest rise, or at least, a shorter fron rise than the other two (this is from memory, Teger, correct me if I am wrong), which may be disorienting to a guys who is not used to it.

    Unfortunately, I do not have any recommendations under $100.
     


  10. kaxixi

    kaxixi Senior member

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    With denim you get what you pay for. It's better to pay $200 now than $75 every 4-5 months when your jeans fall apart...

    While I would certainly pay more for longevity, I would also pay more for other details that didn't increase longevity (one buys cashmere regardless of whether it outlasts wool).

    Furthermore, given that I normally wear denim while working on my car, I think the number one contributor to longevity (in my case) will be behavior, not construction.

    I liked the RRLs BlueMagic posted today in WAYWN.
     


  11. Teger

    Teger Senior member

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    KMW 2010s will have a lower rise than all the other jeans I recommended. KMW 1950s and RRL Classics should be about the same (if I remember right), with Jean Shops being the highest.

    How tall are you with a 34" inseam?

    The problem is that not much straight leg denim really goes past 34" in length.
     


  12. Teger

    Teger Senior member

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    While I would certainly pay more for longevity, I would also pay more for other details that didn't increase longevity (one buys cashmere regardless of whether it outlasts wool).

    Furthermore, given that I normally wear denim while working on my car, I think the number one contributor to longevity (in my case) will be behavior, not construction.

    I liked the RRLs BlueMagic posted today in WAYWN.


    RRLs hit around the $210 mark for retail, although you can find them much cheaper (even up to 50% off! [​IMG] ).

    RRLs are very, very nice. I own two pairs myself.
     


  13. zjpj83

    zjpj83 Senior member

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    5ep are my favorite jeans I own. My favorites used to be Nudie RRDS, but they are now to small for my fatness.
     


  14. grimslade

    grimslade Senior member

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    $175 for jeans? I'm appalled.
     


  15. Teger

    Teger Senior member

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    5ep are my favorite jeans I own. My favorites used to be Nudie RRDS, but they are now to small for my fatness.

    You have the low down boots I assume? I love the green cast to their denim, and I can't wait until we do another collab. [​IMG]
     


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