Ten best jeans

Discussion in 'Classic Menswear' started by LA Guy, Feb 23, 2005.

Thread Status:
Not open for further replies.
  1. LA Guy

    LA Guy Opposite Santa Staff Member Admin Moderator

    Messages:
    33,861
    Likes Received:
    11,889
    Joined:
    Mar 8, 2002
    Location:
    Moscow, Idaho
    Ten Best jeans.

    The latest GQ did this, but they have commercial interests.  I have none.  The following are what I consider the best jeans on the market under $250 in the past 5 years, in no particular order.  You can always get 45RPM, but I don't know too many people who actually do.

    1.\tPaper Denim GTO 1-year.  The fit and color are key.  The pinnacle of the of the bootcut jean, coming out just as that trend reached its finest hour.  Slightly flared, low rise, a dark but not rigid denim with a very subtle black undertone and just the right amount of distressing on the upper thighs for an interesting visual effect.  

    2.\tPaper Denim ICN in Clone wash.  The most democratic of jeans.  The relaxed, slightly bootcut leg looks good on everyone; and the slash pockets and squared back pockets made it suitable for both downtowners to wear with hoodies and army jackets and uptowners to wear with button downs.  And the grey blue wash, just amazing, and different from everything else when it first came out.

    3.\tJ.P. Da'mage Rekko.  The rigid denim jean for the guy who doesn't want to start from scratch.  Only slightly rinsed, with the faintest of distressing on the upper thighs, and "nearly rigid" denim everywhere else.  Plus the fit is great.  The mid-low rise will fit nearly everyone, and the butt and thighs are at once slim and relaxed.  There is a slight bootcut at the end; but less so than the Paper Denim.  The color is rich and dark - a true blue.

    4.\tDiesel - Kratt in flattened wash - the ultimate summer jean.  A light/medium colored  denim with some whiskering but mostly just faded on the front.  Doesn't sound hard, but I get compliments even now, after 5 years of laundries thinking up more and more ways of  processing jeans.  The mid-rise, relaxed fit, and what used to be called a bootcut but would now be considered a straightleg is perfect for easy living on a summer day.  Wearing mine a little low, so that the crotch is a little lower than usual helps me up the look a little.  Plus, the denim is tough as titanium.

    5.\tNudie - Regular Ralph in rigid Grey Cast.  No, they are not selvage unlike some other Nudie cuts.  But the greycast blue dye fades amazingly as you wear them in.  No other jean has such a distinctive color.  And the easy bootcut fit, not unlike the Da'mage Rekko make it an easy choice.  You can say you just went to Europe or something too.

    6.\tAPC Anglaise.  Low cut, baggier fit, rigid denim, just like the official website says.  Nothing fancy.  But after a month of wearing and maybe one wash, the ultimate baggy but not too baggy jean to wear.  Fits a little like the Kratt.

    7.\tCorpus Morphy bootcut jean in rigid denim.  Incredible details cut start from the super stylized back pockets to the terrific denim.  And the baggier bootcut looks just amazing on all but the most corpulent.  The jean for the people in the know who don't even need other people in the know to know.

    8.\tRogan Original jean in Ethanol wash - I know I've blasted Rogan in the past, and I still don't personally wear the stuff, but I can't deny that the cut is great.  Doesn't require you to have a perfect body (though that helps), and the wash is terrific, as are the details like the red cotton used to make the pockets which will eventually show through as the thighs wear out (and they will.)

    9.\tLevis 501's  - because they are the original.  There is even a guide telling you which pair to get for what fit.  Your regular size if you want a tight fit.  Two sizes larger for a relaxed, straightleg fit, and 4 sizes larger if you want a baggy fit. Just make sure you get them vintage, pre 1980's.

    10.\tEarnest Sewn - Hutch in Max Dark.  Terrific, terrific jeans.  The wash and hand distressing is amazing, as are the hand details.  The denim is a little too light for a semi-rigid denim - my only gripe.  The mid-low bootcut works well for most bodies.  Let the super skinny guys go for the Filson straightcut model.

    Comment, disagree, or just bow down to this list of great jeans.  Notice that except for Nudie, APC, and Diesel, the former two of which were instrumental in the rigid jean and processed jean trends, all these are American companies, and a lot of them use LA laundries.  Not a concidence, since San Francisco was the birthplace of the jean, and Americans, and New Yorkers and Angelenos in particular, understand jeans like no one else.  

    Honorable mentions: Helmut Lang bootcuts - the only designer with real jeans credentials, Evisu for reintroducing selvedge rigid jeans into the mainstream, and Denime for their recreations of classic jeans.
     
  2. Bergdorf Goodwill

    Bergdorf Goodwill Senior member

    Messages:
    1,228
    Likes Received:
    5
    Joined:
    Dec 7, 2004
    Photos for comparative purposes might be a bit of work, but it would definitely make this interesting.

    Thanks for the effort and knowledge. You're fantastically aware in this field.
     
  3. RJman

    RJman Posse Member Dubiously Honored

    Messages:
    18,647
    Likes Received:
    102
    Joined:
    Dec 10, 2004
    Location:
    In the not too distant future
    You left off Richard James jeans...
     
  4. Bergdorf Goodwill

    Bergdorf Goodwill Senior member

    Messages:
    1,228
    Likes Received:
    5
    Joined:
    Dec 7, 2004
    [​IMG]
     
  5. BjornH

    BjornH Senior member

    Messages:
    503
    Likes Received:
    1
    Joined:
    Sep 18, 2002
    Location:
    Stockholm, Sweden
    Thank you. Which of these would fit, say a 31-31? I'm thinking that some of them would loose their character after removing three inches from the bottoms of a 31-34. Is this not an issue?

    Bjorn
     
  6. petescolari

    petescolari Senior member

    Messages:
    226
    Likes Received:
    2
    Joined:
    Oct 14, 2004
    Location:
    Cambridge, MA
    Jeans 4 and 6 are my favorites. Hands down I have worn both hard for years and they have taken a beating, but have held up. Maybe I will post pictures of them all broken in. I am going to get a new pair of APCs (Anglaise) soon. Such an underrated label.
     
  7. hermes

    hermes Senior member

    Messages:
    1,020
    Likes Received:
    0
    Joined:
    Jan 27, 2003
    Location:
    canada
    well thought out list
    would have liked to see helmut lang's classic cut raw denim jeans make the top ten but he at least got an honourable mention

    no rag&bone?

    and if you have to add packaging to the list, would 45rpm with their flour sack-like strap bags for their jeans win?

    and why is selvage also spelled selvedge?
     
  8. Sevcom

    Sevcom Senior member

    Messages:
    342
    Likes Received:
    0
    Joined:
    Mar 5, 2002
    Location:
    New York
    Agree wholeheartedly with Nos. 1 and 2, and the others on the list are great as well. My only gripe about the 501s is the rise.

    Personally, I think they're better than nearly all of the newer companies that indulge in weirder cuts/processing (*cough*Chip and Pepper, True Religion*cough*). And most of these are better than jeans like CoH and Salt Works, which just seem too derivative of their women's models, and their denim is pretty lightweight.
     
  9. BlvdDandy

    BlvdDandy Senior member

    Messages:
    226
    Likes Received:
    1
    Joined:
    Oct 9, 2004
    Location:
    Los Angeles
    Nudie jeans are amazing. I just bought my first pair, and I can't imagine buying anything else (although I guess for the next six months I'm stuck with these). You owe it to yourself to try some on.
     
  10. oscarthewild

    oscarthewild Senior member

    Messages:
    2,338
    Likes Received:
    4
    Joined:
    May 6, 2004
    Issey miyake, amazing indigo denim.
     
  11. LA Guy

    LA Guy Opposite Santa Staff Member Admin Moderator

    Messages:
    33,861
    Likes Received:
    11,889
    Joined:
    Mar 8, 2002
    Location:
    Moscow, Idaho
    Don't get me wrong, great jeans, but for the money, I think that Corpus makes a better and more innovative product, and for less money, J.P. Da'mage does as better job with the basics. At least one of their models would make the top 20, but they don't get quite to the top ten. I just haven't found their washes or styles appealing enough to make me bump something else to make room for them. And while I much prefer their styles personally to Rogan (for durability, if nothing else,) I can't put them ahead of Rogan since Rogan really paved the way for their signature cut.

    Aside: Although these days, I think that Paper Denim need to go back to their original pricing. Scott Morrisons new line has much better finishing (although I still prefer some Paper denim models and the softness of even their dark denim), and there is no way a Paper denim 1-year should cost nearly as much as the Hutch Maz Dark.

    Bck on subjectL: At least one Rag and Bone model gets on the honorable mention list though. Let me think about it.

    45RPM wins for packaging, yes. Nudie does pretty well too. But I don't at all care about packaging. At all. Just give me the product.

    I have absolutely no idea.
     
  12. LA Guy

    LA Guy Opposite Santa Staff Member Admin Moderator

    Messages:
    33,861
    Likes Received:
    11,889
    Joined:
    Mar 8, 2002
    Location:
    Moscow, Idaho
    Bjorn,

    Diesel, J.P. Da'mage, Nudie, Levi's, and I think Corpus, make their jeans in a variety of lengths. The first 4 offer a 32 length, and and taking off an inch makes no difference in the overall fit. You can get Nudie and Diesel easily in Europe. I only know one store (in Austin, of all places) that stock the not standard 32 length inseam. If you pay them and have them sent to me, I can send them to you at cost.) Same with Corpus. If you like a straightleg model, the Fine is a true straightleg and a pretty amazing jean as well. Levi's should be bought vintage.

    Also, if you are stuck buying a arger inseam, The rigid, no finsh jeans (Nudie greycast Regular Ralph, Corpus Morphy and APC Anglaise) are yoiur best bets.
     
  13. j

    j (stands for Jerk) Admin

    Messages:
    14,914
    Likes Received:
    93
    Joined:
    Feb 17, 2002
    Location:
    Seattle, WA
    (RJMan @ Feb. 23 2005,12:22) You left off Richard James jeans...
    [​IMG]
    Come to daddy. LA Guy, great list. I still don't know what I'm looking for, but at least I know some to look at now. Thanks.
     
  14. Baron

    Baron Senior member Dubiously Honored

    Messages:
    7,199
    Likes Received:
    993
    Joined:
    Oct 5, 2004
    Location:
    Los Angeles
    I'm a big denim fan, but I won't buy any jeans with a manafacturers "finish." It always looks fake to me - I've never seen one that was truly done right. And I feel self-conscious wearing non-Levi's jeans with to much designer info on the back pockets, like Sevens. I buy vintage Levi's, or new jeans that are unwashed, or raw, and let them fade naturally over a few years.

    I have several pairs of reprduction 501's, a pair of Helmut Lang Bootcut, and a pair of Denime, all originally raw. The Helmut lang cut is great, but the denim quaility is mediocre. The 501's are great quality and a classic cut, but I prefer more of a bootcut. The Denime denim quality is unreal, but the cut is super narrow - not an everyday look.

    My newest discovery is vintage Levi's 517's and vintage Lee Riders - the original bootcut jeans. I just got a pair of 517's on ebay, probably 1970's era, with a talon zipper. Great denim, great cut. I also have a big collection of 517 cords. No longer available new, but frequently on ebay.
     
  15. VMan

    VMan Senior member

    Messages:
    5,103
    Likes Received:
    25
    Joined:
    Feb 26, 2003
    Thanks for posting that list LA Guy. I'll second (no pun intended) the recommendation for the PDC ICN Clones. They were the first pair of PDCs I ever bought (2 years ago) and have held up very well. The wash has faded quite a bit, but I think they still look just as good. Great pair of jeans. They have held up much much better than my PDC ICN 3-years, which are quite tattered (but still cool in their own respect). I also agree with JP Da'mage. I'm wearing a pair of the 'City' wash (cut?) that I picked up a month ago, and love the fit. I'll have to check out some of the other jeans you suggested, if I can find them for a more reasonable price. I also noticed that you left Chip & Pepper off the list. [​IMG]
     
Thread Status:
Not open for further replies.

Share This Page

Styleforum is proudly sponsored by