Style Q&A: Affordable Raw or Selvedge Jeans. Selvedge джинсы
10 of the Best Men's Selvedge Denim Jeans
Jeans have become an everyday staple for the fashion conscious gent and over the last decade or so there has been a surge in popularity of selvedge denim. The demand for premium quality denim from ‘denim heads’ has meant more and more brands are now producing selvedge denim.
What is selvedge denim
Selvedge (or selvage, self-edge, salvage) refers to the self binding edge of the fabric that is woven on a shuttle loom. Before the 1950s, when denim was considered more of a workwear item than an everyday staple, this method of production was a lot more popular, but as time went on the production methods changed and cost cutting methods of manufacture were put in place. There are few factories in the world that still use shuttle looms, the majority of high end selvedge denim comes from Japan as this is where most of the shuttle looms remain, but with the rise in popularity there are companies in the U.S.A now also producing selvedge denim.
Selvedges are woven so that they will not fray, selvedge denim refers to using one continuous cross-yarm, the weft is passed back and forth through the warp. Selvedge denim can often be identified by the red/orange/rainbow edge running through the inside seam.
Selvedge is often associated with ‘Raw’ denim, whilst Raw and Selvedge are completely unrelated, a lot of selvedge denim is also cut from Raw denim. Raw simply refers to the fact that the denim has not been pre washed. Because it is not pre washed, Raw denim will leave ‘denim bleed’ on trainers/seats/fabrics it comes into contact with, it will also be a lot stiffer than pre washed denim. All denim, selvedge or non-selvedge, is raw when it comes out of the loom. Once it is washed, it is no longer raw.
We have selected 10 of the best men’s selvedge jeans available from 10 of top designer denim brands.
A.P.C. Petit Standard Slim-Fit Dry Selvedge
- Brand: A.P.C.
- Model: Petit Standard Slim-Fit Dry Selvedge
- Price: £135.00
- Our Say:
Founded in 1987, Parisian fashion label A.P.C. produce easy-to-wear, well designed, simple but quality wardrobe staples. The Petit Standard is our favourite jean model from A.P.C, stiff Japanese Raw Selvedge that ages perfectly. Petit Standards have a straight but fitted leg, creating a close silhouette without being skinny. The essential pair of everyday Raw Selvedge.
- Available at: MR PORTER
Levi's Vintage 501 1966 New Rinse Selvedge Denim Jeans
- Brand: Levi's Vintage
- Model: 501 1966 New Rinse Selvedge Denim Jeans
- Price: £215.00
- Our Say:
Levi's are the worlds biggest denim brand, so they certainly know their denim, offering 100's of different styles, washes and fits to choose from including some selvedge. From their vintage clothing collection we have chosen the classic 501 in Rinse wash, with a tapered fit and a wash that is perfect for summer.
- Available at: Stuarts London
Fabric-Brand & Co Jericho Slim-Fit Selvedge Denim Jeans
- Brand: Fabric-Brand & Co
- Model: Jericho Slim-Fit Selvedge Denim Jeans
- Price: £540.00
- Our Say:
Fabric-Brand & Co are an exclusive Japanese denim brand with decades or experience in premium denim production. Whilst certainly not the cheapest, the wash of the Jericho Selvedge denim relay caught our eye. Skilfully distressed to mimic everyday wear, with realistic whiskering and fading creating a beautiful deep dark wash.
- Available at: Mr Porter
Nudie Grim Tim Dry Black Selvage Jeans
- Brand: Nudie Jeans Co
- Model: Grim Tim Dry Black Selvage Jeans
- Price: £164.90
- Our Say:
Swedish label Nudie Jeans Co. are another of our favourite everyday denim brands, offering a popular range of jeans in all different fits from the Skinny Lin to the Loose Leif in every wash imaginable, they have now added Selvedge to their catalogue. The Grim Tim dry blacks make for the perfect pair of all black selvedge, 13.5oz comfort stretch denim cut in straight/tapered leg.
- Available at: The Idle Man
Jean Shop Mick Slim-Fit Japanese Selvedge Denim Jeans
- Brand: Jean Shop
- Model: Mick Slim-Fit Japanese Selvedge Denim Jeans
- Price: £165.00
- Our Say:
Jean Shop has been a well-kept secret for almost a decade, known to denim connoisseurs for their vintage-quality blue jeans and Japanese selvedge denim. Sewn in the US, superior workmanship runs throughout the men's collection. This hand finished pair of 'Mick' are given an artisanal fade treatment creating an authentically aged look, perfect for a more casual look.
- Available at: MR PORTER
Edwin Indigo ED-80 Slim-Tapered Denim Jeans
- Brand: EDWIN
- Model: Indigo ED-80 Slim-Tapered Denim Jeans
- Price: £160.00
- Our Say:
Edwin are another big name when it comes to Selvedge denim and the ED-80 feature signature rainbow selvedge - Cut to offer a slim fit with tapered leg. Crafted in Japan from premium 11oz CS Night Blue denim they are another great option for dark selvedge denim.
- Available at: OKI NI
RRL Slim-Fit Washed Selvedge Denim Jeans
- Brand: RRL
- Model: Slim-Fit Distressed Selvedge Denim Jeans
- Price: £345.00
- Our Say:
RRL or Double RL, named after Ralph Lauren's Colorado ranch, offer up a classic range of outwear with selvedge denim being a major part of it. It's hard to pick just one pair from the current collection, but we've gone with this beautifully distressed pair, the whiskering, fading and attention to detail make them well worth the price tag.
- Available at: MR PORTER
AG Jeans Nomad Slim-Fit Selvedge Denim Jeans
- Brand: AG Jeans
- Model: Nomad Slim-Fit Selvedge Denim Jeans
- Price: £235.00
- Our Say:
AG jeans offer up sophisticated, tailored jeans. The 'Nomad' is the lightest and most casual wash on offer, with a slight stretch to the fabric the are ideal for a more relaxed outfit.
- Available at: MR PORTER
Naked and Famous Weird Guy Grey Selvedge Denim
- Brand: Naked and Famous
- Model: Weird Guy Grey Selvedge Denim
- Price: £95.00
- Our Say:
Naked and Famous offer up Japanese Selvedge at a slightly lower price point than some of the previously mentioned brands, but they are still top quality jeans nonetheless. The weird guy has a regular tapered leg and this pair is finished in over dyed grey, hadnmade in Cananada from imported Japanese Selvedge.
- Available at: Stuarts London
orSlow 105 Standard Selvedge Denim Used Wash
- Brand: orSlow
- Model: 105 Standard Selvedge Denim Used Wash
- Price: £265.00
- Our Say:
orSlow have been around since 2005 and designer Ichiro Nakatsu has been creating desirable high quality workwear inspirsed garments ever since. The 105 Satndard are a exceptional pair of jeans, taking inspiration from an archive pair of from his collection, they are cut from an impressive white selvedge Japanese denim with a brushed, neppy finish they play host to a variety of signature details, from oxidised rivets to a vintage style waist patch.
- Available at: END
Converse Selvedge Jeans - The Most Inexpensive Raw Denim Around
Converse Selvedge Jeans – The Most Inexpensive Raw Denim Around
When I say “Converse”, what’s the first thing that comes to mind? I’m guessing it’s the ubiquitous Chuck Taylor sneakers that have been a fashion staple since the 1920s.
Did I guess right?
While those sneakers have earned fame in their own right, Converse’s One-Star label has created quite a buzz with the release of their Straight-Leg Jean in raw, selvedge denim. Sold exclusively through Target, these jeans offer the style & popularity of raw, selvedge denim at an unbelievably low price.
Regularly priced at $40 in-store, the Converse selvedge jeans can currently be purchased for $29.99 on Target’s online store. That’s easily the lowest price for selvedge denim we’ve ever seen, beating out all the pairs featured in our Raw Denim Under $100 Parts 1 and 2.
Admittedly, we haven’t had a chance to see these jeans in-person, so we can’t speak for their quality. Since the jeans’ release late last year, there has been no definite consensus among reviewers.
Some claim that you get what you pay for, though we’d be interested to see how they hold up compared to a pair of $2,000, hand-crafted Momotaro jeans. In the meantime, we have to say that $40 for selvedge jeans certainly sounds like a steal. Give us your opinion in the comments below.
- Name: Converse One-Star Men’s Straight Leg Jean
- Weight: ~12 Oz.
- Fit: Straight
- Denim: Sanforized 100% Cotton Selvedge, Made in China
- Price: $29.99
- Available at: Target.com
Photos (Source: indappersuit.wordpress.com)
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A Guide to Buying Selvedge Denim
“Typically, the most popular denims in the world are going to be a three-by-one right-hand twill weave, 10 to 12 ounces, red cast (vs. green cast), and — right now — vertical slubs rather than cross hatches,” Scott Morrison said, standing in front of a wall of 70 selvedge denims in his SoHo store, 3×1 Denim. He was not speaking in tongues; he was simply speaking the new language of denim.
Morrison grew up in Rancho Mirage, California, as a golfer, went to University of Washington to play golf on a scholarship, drew up a business plan in college to launch a golf company, then finally moved to New York in 1997 and started in on denim. He came to the party at the right time. “I remember going and buying a pair of Replay Jeans and looking at the inside and going, ‘Holy shit, what is Made in Japan? Japanese Denim? Japanese Wash?’ They were $125, which at the time was $25 more expensive than any other product they were making.” This was an advantageous enlightenment; from the late ’90s — Morrison places it around 1999 — onward, premium denim has been booming. What started with Earl Jean, Frankie B and Paper Denim & Cloth then moved into 7 For All Mankind, JBrand, True Religion. Then the wave really caught on, and leading up to the present premium denim companies have begun ad infinitum.
Back in 1999, Morrison and Ken Girard, head of Cone Mills product development, traveled to Japan. Morrison said that at the time, the Cone Mills selvedge shuttle looms in North Carolina were still. Selvedge, or “self-edge” denim (so named for the tightly woven band on the end of sheet of denim), was the classic style of denim — “it’s the record player of denim,” said Morrison — and Cone Mills is one of the founding fathers of the fabric. Starting in 1891, they were a premier fabric manufacturer, and throughout the early and mid-1900s, they made only type of denim: selvedge denim on shuttle looms. But as technology evolved and the economy demanded faster, cheaper denim, the new rapier, projectile and air jet looms took over production. When Morrison and Girard headed to Japan, no one was ordering the slower, more expensive selvedge denim. “At the time, the big brands, Gap, J.Crew, Esprit, Levis, Lee, Wrangler — every one of the American brands were focused on this moderate price point.”
What Morrison and Girard found in Japan were mills focusing on premium denim of the sort North America once made. He remembers it being better across the board, from fabrics to stitching to wash. And it left an impression. “My dogs are named after Japanese denim mills — Kurabo and Nishimbo. I was a bit obsessed, to say the least.” After that trip, Morrison’s travels in Japan (and also in Italy) continued, as did his study of premium denim manufacturing. He believed he wasn’t the only one who’d buy into this domestically born, internationally perfected practice. Morrison’s idea — shared by only a couple other premium denim companies at the time — was to bring this quality back to American jeans. “The premise was, why can’t we do the same thing in the States?” said Morrison.
“I know our customer is this one guy that’ll walk in and be like, ‘That’s fucking awesome, that’s what I want.'”
He did, but it didn’t catch on right away. He says his first two forays into offering selvedge denim failed miserably; customers weren’t ready for $250 jeans. He remembers that things that we take for granted on jeans today — oven baking, 3D-whiskering, hand sanding, bleach sponging — didn’t even exist until the early aughts. But Morrison held his vision, and through two companies, Paper Denim & Cloth and Earnest Sewn, Morrison evolved with America’s interest in premium denim. Finally, in 2011, he started 3×1, his most specialized project to date. 3×1, according to Morrison, offers the largest selection of selvedge denim in the world. They have, at any given time, 70 rolls of selvedge denim on their “denim wall,” and over the years have introduced more than 640 different types of selvedge denim, sourced from 18 different mills across the world. “The mills are the rockstars of the shop,” Morrison said. 3×1 specializes in specialty, and they cater to a distinct, particular client. “I know our customer is this one guy that’ll walk in and be like, ‘That’s fucking awesome, that’s what I want,'” said Morrison.
To get to that point takes a bit of education. And without digging through the annals of denim geek forums, it takes a bit of translating. So, Morrison offered to give a lay of the selvedge land — an overview of what to consider when buying premium denim.
1To selvedge or not to selvedge. The first question to answer is whether you actually want selvedge denim. The selvedge advantage is that you’re getting the best quality cotton, because the actual weaving of the denim — on a shuttle loom — is intense and strong, breaking down slower than a weaker yarn. For non-selvedge denim, or wide-width denim — those made on rapier, projectile or air jet looms — you get a more affordable price, because the process is faster and more economical, and a lower-quality cotton can be used. Non-selvedge denim is also allowed to use pattern utilization (optimizing patterns so the least amount of fabric is wasted), because there’s no need to preserve the side seam “self-edge” ID. Selvedge, according to Morrison, is the holy grail of denim. But if you’re looking for the greatest cost effectiveness, non-selvedge is your ticket, and there are plenty of good options out there.
2Find the right weight for the wear. The variation between denim weights typically fluctuates between 8 ounces and 16 ounces (it goes up to 32 ounces, in the extreme). If you’re getting raw denim (untreated and unwashed), 13.5 to 15 ounces is typical and 14 ounces tends to be the magic ticket for achieving both quality wear-in and relatively quick comfort. The lighter the denim, the quicker the wear-in time and the more comfortable off the rack. Heavier denims tend to be hardier and have the potential for more unique wear patterns.
3Do you like a green or red hue? Denim tends toward a shade — either a greenish/blueish one or a more reddish/purplish one. Greencast denims typically come from Japanese mills, and redcast tends to be more associated with the typical American look. Greencast denim is dyed with a green sulfur dye before being dipped in indigo, while redcast denim goes straight into the indigo. As the indigo fades over time, wear and wash, the hue will rise more prominently to the surface. As for the dip, the darkness of the indigo is dependent on the number of dips during the indigo bath. Most indigo dyes are now synthetic, a technology invented by Adolf von Baeyer (for which he won a 1905 Nobel Prize in Chemistry), but there is a small faction still making indigo as a plant-based product. Those tend to be the highest cost, and often lighter in color.
4Consider your yarn character. Morrison looks carefully at the surface of a denim; he’s studying character. The more character of the thread — especially with slubs and nep — the more “workman” style the jean. Jeans with less “character” tend to be more formal and refined. This character comes about from thread diameter (thicker = more character, thinner = less character), and the presence of irregularities in thickness within the yarn weave.
5Tackle the final stretch. This may be news: selvedge denim now comes in stretch. It’s one of modern denim’s most promising developments, born out of improvements that allow synthetic fibers to be used on shuttle looms. It also offers more comfort and the same quality and look of a top-tier selvedge denim. In women’s lines, stretch is a de-facto element in many jeans, and Morrison anticipates it’ll continue to grow in popularity among men.
A Selection of Morrison’s Favorite Denims
L: XX133 – Mill: Kaihara, Japan; Weight: 13 ounces; Details: Black, BlackR: XX336 – Mill: Kaihara, Japan; Weight: 9 ounces; Details: Supima Cotton, Brushed Back
L: XX71 – Mill: Kurabo, Japan; Weight: 14 ounces; Details: RedcastR: XX434 – Mill: Kurabo, Japan; Weight: 9.5 ounces; Details: Indigo, Indigo, Rainbow Selvedge ID
L: XX445 – Mill: Candiani, Italy; Weight: 10 ounces, Details: Stretch Selvedge, 98% cotton, 2% stretch.R: XX60 – Mill: Kurabo, Japan; Weight: 13 ounces; Details: Khaki Weft, Greencast, Blue Selvedge ID
L: XX362 – Mill: Kaihara, Japan; Weight: 13 ounces; Details: Heather Gray Melange YarnR: XX452 – Mill: Kuroki, Japan; Weight: 14 ounces; Details: Redcast
Selvedge Denim - What's It All About
The Rundown on Selvedge Denim – What’s It All About
If you have even a passing interest in raw denim, you’ve probably heard the word Selvedge more than a few times. No, it doesn’t refer to someone who vends lettuce, selvedge refers to the way a textile has been woven.
You can spot selvedge denim by the tell-tale colored lines that often run along the outseam of a pair of jeans, but what exactly does that mean?
What is Selvedge Denim?
Selvedge outseam on a pair of Companion Denim jeans.
Selvedge goes by many spellings (selvage, self-edge, salvage) but it all equates to the same thing–the self-binding edge of a fabric woven on a shuttle loom. That definition may sound a bit jargony, but trust me, all will soon make sense.
It’s also important to note that selvedge denim is not the same as raw denim. Selvedge refers to how the fabric has been woven, whereas raw refers to the wash (or lack thereof) on the fabric itself.
How is Selvedge Denim Made?
In order to understand how manufacturers make selvedge denim, we first have to understand a little bit about textile manufacturing in general. Almost all woven fabrics are composed of two parts with two parts: warp yarns (the ones that run up and down) and weft yarns (the ones that run side to side).
To weave a fabric, the loom holds the warp yarns in place while the weft yarn passes between them. The difference between selvedge and non-selvedge fabrics is all a matter of how the weft yarn is placed into the fabric.
Vintage Shuttle Loom
Up until the 1950s, almost all denim was produced on Shuttle Looms. A shuttle loom is a weaving textile loom which uses a small device called a shuttle to fill in the weft yarns by passing back and forth between both sides of the loom. This leaves one continuous yarn at all the edges so the fabric self seals without any stray yarns.
A shuttle full of weft yarn.
How warp and weft fabrics intertwine on a shuttle loom.
Most shuttle looms create a textile that is about 36 inches across. This size is just about perfect for placing those selvedge seams at the outside edges of a pattern for a pair of jeans. This placement isn’t just aesthetically pleasing, but practical as well as it saves whoever’s sewing the jeans a couple extra passes on the overlock machine and ensures the jeans will not fray at the outseam.
An example of how the quarters of a pair of jeans conveniently line up along the selvedge of shuttle woven denim.
The demand for more denim after WWII, however, soon forced mills to adopt mass-production technology. A shuttle loom can place about 150 weft yarns per minute on a 36 inch wide textile. A Projectile Loom, however, can place over 1000 weft yarns per minute on a textile that’s twice as wide, thus producing nearly 15 times more fabric in the same time span.
A modern projectile loom, note the much wider textile.
The projectile loom achieves its speed by firing individual (and unconnected) weft yarns across the warp. This is a much more efficient way to weave fabric, what’s lost though is that cleanly sealed edge. Non-selvedge denim produced by projectile looms has an open and frayed edge denim, because all the individual weft yarns are disconnected on both sides.
An example of overlocked non-selvedge denim.
In order to make jeans from this type of denim, all the edges have to be Overlock Stitched to keep the fabric from coming unraveled.
Why is it Popular Today?
Selvedge denim has seen a recent resurgence alongside vintage workwear styles from the 40s and 50s. Japanese brands obsessed with recreating the perfect jeans from that era went so far as to reweave selvedge denim in new and interesting ways. Now that selvedge denim is back on the market, the small detail on the upturned cuff quickly became one of the “things to have”.
The selvedge craze has become so popular that some manufacturers have even resorted to knocking off the selvedge look and producing fake selvedge appliques to mimic the colored lines on the outseam.
Fake selvedge on jean cuff.
Who Makes Selvedge Denim?
The overwhelming majority of denim made today is open end and non-selvedge. There are only a handful of mills left in the world that still take the time and effort to produce selvedge denim.
Those colored lines on the outside edge are called Selvedge IDs as they used to indicate which mill produced the denim. Cone Mills in North Carolina had a red id, whereas Amoskeag Mills up in New Hampshire had a green id. Nowadays, most selvedge ids are used purely for decorative and ornamental purposes, but a few of the old mills live on.
A variety of selvedge ids. Image via Taylor Tailor.
The most well known is Cone Mills which has produced denim out of their White Oak Plant in Greensboro, North Carolina, since the early 1900s. They’re also the last selvedge denim manufacturer left in the United States. Other noteworthy mills include Kuroki, Nihon Menpu, Collect, Kaihara, Kurabo, Nisshinbo, and Toyoshima, all of which are in Japan, Candiani and Blue Selvedge in Italy. Almost all of the artisanal denim brands will specify which mill their denim is coming from, so look for the names listed above.
The increased demand for selvedge, however, has prompted many mills in China, India, Turkey, and elsewhere to produce it as well. So it may be difficult to determine the source of your fabric from many of the larger brands and retailers.
Where to Buy Selvedge Denim?
With the current rise in popularity, you can most likely find selvedge denim jeans at your local mall (try Gap, Urban Outfitters, and J.Crew). If you’re in a major city, though, chances are you’re not too far away from specialty denim store that can show you a wide variety of options.
Have a look at what’s near you with our store guide tool, The Scout.
Now that you’ve read all about selvedge, have you also read our comprehensive Guide to Raw Denim?Tags: denim, denim addicts, denim amateurs, guides, lee, levi's, old style loom, production, projectile loom, self edge, selvage, selvedge, selvege, video
Raw Denim Myths - The Truth About Selvedge Denim
Raw Denim Myths – The Truth About Selvedge Denim
I overheard a conversation in a local denim shop today, and it got me worried. Two teenagers were looking at jeans a table away, one of them kept flipping up the cuffs to check the outseam. When his companion asked him why, he replied “I’m looking for selvedge…that other stuff is peasant sh-t.” Seriously.
Now, it’s no secret that raw denim is everywhere these days. From Converse to Burberry to artisanal Japanese brands, raw denim has staged such a strong comeback that it’s now a household term. (When I tell people I manage a website about “raw denim”, most of them give me a funny look but they usually know what I’m talking about.)
However, with raw denim’s sharp increase in popularity has come equally increased interest in selvedge denim. It’s pretty common knowledge that jeans made from selvedge denim are considered more desirable than those with flat-lock seams. The typical explanation for this sounds something like this:
Selvedge denim can only be woven on shuttle-looms, which are rare because they’re the same exact vintage machines that Levi’s sold to the Japanese when they upgraded to modern, high-capacity looms. The Japanese have continued the artisanal methods using these vintage looms that produce better quality (and subsequently more expensive) denim.
The above explanation is not completely false, but it’s also not entirely true. Selvedge denim can only be woven on shuttle-looms, yes. Levi’s (as well as other brands) did sell their shuttle-looms when they upgraded, yes. Japanese mills have continued using the arduous and less cost-effective shuttle-looms to produce denim of an artisanal sort, yes.
All that being said, shuttle-looms are not that rare. A number of manufacturers still produce modern shuttle-looms, many of which are being used to produce selvedge denim at lower costs than the mills which do still employ the vintage looms. A perfect example of this is the aforementioned $40 Converse Selvedge jeans versus the $2,000 hand-woven Momotaro jeans.
Photo Courtesy of TaylorTailor
Contrary to seemingly popular belief, selvedge denim does not always equate to high-quality denim, just as wide-loom denim is not necessarily synonymous with mediocrity. The adage of “You get what you pay for” still stands (Up to a point. Those $2,000 Momo’s aren’t made of unobtanium and unicorn hair…the crotch can still blow).
As for the vintage Toyoda Type-G looms from the American brands, most of them did, in fact, end up going to Japanese buyers after the Second World War. The Japanese brands continued using them largely due to the availability of spare parts in Japan, where the looms had originally been manufactured. Many Japanese mills continue to produce selvedge denim on modern looms of the shuttle variety.
The 1924 Toyoda Type-G Automatic Loom. (Photo courtesy of AutoReview)
All of this is not to say that selvedge denim is worthless or overrated, but I start to worry when I hear selvedge getting hyped up to be the ultimate in denim. I guess caveat emptor ultimately applies to everything. Now if you’ll excuse me, I have to get off my soapbox.
An amusing advertisement for Toyoda looms.Tags: Denim, denim production, editorial, guides, japan, japanese denim, momotaro, op-ed, raw denim, selvage, selvedge
High Quality Men’s Selvedge Jeans For Under £100
High-End Denim At Low-End Prices
Jeans come in a dizzying array of fits and washes these days. But regardless of the style, if you’re seeking a durable pair that will stand the test of time, then focus your attention on those constructed from selvedge denim.
Made on a shuttle loom, which creates tightly woven strips of heavy-duty fabric, selvedge denim boasts a technical finish on its edges that reinforces the material and makes it less prone to unravelling, or fraying. Simply put, it’s made of strong stuff.
However, selvedge’s unparalleled quality often comes at a price – with many Japanese and US brands (we’re looking at you Iron Heart, The Flat Head and Pure Blue Japan, etc.) pumping out pairs that cost upwards of £200.
But we’re here to tell you that it doesn’t have to be this way. A number of high street brands are experimenting with vintage manufacturing techniques to produce affordable selvedge options that won’t hammer your bank balance.
Take a look at a few of our favourites on the current market, below.
UniqloSlim-Fit Straight Stretch Selvedge Jeans
Uniqlo is fast establishing itself as a high street haven for men in search of quality basics – to this end, its everyday jeans are reassuringly comfortable and handsome.
This slim-fitting, straight-legged pair is not constructed from raw denim, like so many selvedge jeans are, so they’re extremely comfortable and can be washed regularly without dramatically altering their colour.
Wear yours with a hefty turn up (let people see that signature selvedge stitching) and keep things classic with a white crew neck T-shirt and leather trainers to finish.
Available at Uniqlo, priced £34.90.
Levi’s501 Original Fit Selvedge Jeans
When Levi Strauss patented the original design for jeans back in the 19th century, he probably didn’t expect the world to embrace them with such enthusiasm. Yet here we are pulling on the same 501 silhouette as our ancestors did.
This style has earned its iconic status among modern sartorialists thanks to its ease of wear and versatility – they can be teamed with pretty much everything you already have in your wardrobe.
This season, though, try wearing with a pair of suede brogues for a fresh, contemporary springtime look.
Available at Levi’s, priced £100.
Gap1969 Straight-Fit Jeans In Japanese Selvedge
Constructed from beefy 13 oz. premium denim on a vintage Japanese shuttle loom, Gap’s 1969 straight-fit jeans are strong option for anyone who wants to play the wardrobe long game.
You see, this style has been dipped multiple times, creating a rich indigo colour that fades and becomes more individual with each wash. Essentially, this is a pair of jeans that can tell the story of how you live in them – and, of course, whether you’re the kind of man who washes his jeans regularly or just puts them in the freezer to keep them fresh.
Available at Gap, priced £64.95.
Whistles06:35 Selvedge Denim Jeans
Since launching its menswear brand last year, Whistles has become a firm favourite with style-conscious gents. And when you look at the quality of its denim output, it’s not hard to see why.
Like the Gap 1969s, this is a 13oz style in indigo selvedge denim. However, the peculiarly named 06:35 is a trendier fit that features a straight leg that tapers toward the ankle.
Available at Whistles, priced £95.
AllSaintsKeiko Iggy Jeans
AllSaints isn’t all cowl necks and leather jackets, you know. It’s also a purveyor of fine jeans.
The brand’s Kieko cigarette jeans, for example, are cut from premium selvedge denim in a modern slim-fit. The dark indigo shade makes them an excellent option for nights out or smart-casual office dress codes – try teaming with a crisp Oxford shirt, unstructured blazer and pair of tan brogues.
Available at AllSaints, priced £98.
Style Q&A: Affordable Raw or Selvedge Jeans
"Affordable" used loosely – none of it's cheap.
I'm a big fan of Imogene + Willie's jeans, especially the classic Willie Rigid. While I'd love to support a local business (I'm in Nashville) and I don't doubt their quality, the price at $250 is holding me back a bit. Do you have any recommendations for something similar that won't set me back so much? – Brad B.
Ahh, the great denim dilemma. Where to find high quality selvedge/raw/dry– the stuff that feels like cardboard at first but will wear in and mold to your body quite nicely over time–at bargain prices. I admit to not being a denim expert. In fact I only own one pair of jeans. I much prefer other versions of trousers, but there are plenty of denim heads out there who wear and swear by the stuff. In that case you may find it difficult to find a good pair made of the best denim (usually from Japan) at less than $250. Many options go for over $300 and a bespoke jeans from Brown, Deim will run you over $500. Fear not my friend. There are plenty of options for the sub $250 market and we’re here to explore them.
↪ Need Supply
A brick and mortar shop located in Richmond, VA with an online store front which exclusively sells independent labels from the US and abroad. Need Supply carries several high end and lesser known denim brands like A.P.C, Ruell and Ray, Naked and Famous and others ranging from $40 to $300. Fits are offered in slim, straight, and relaxed and raw denim is available as well.
↪ GAPThe GAP is another resource for selvedge denim. GAP options come in one color and fit that sits at the waist, straight through the thigh and has a tapered leg. At less than $90 it’s a strong entry level consideration.
An online store front which offers a full range of apparel and several denim options from $148-$345. Most of the brands are independently owned and/or manufactured in the USA or Japan. Pick your poison from Momotaro, Jean Shop, Kapital, Left Field, and The Stronghold. To sweeten the pot Context also offers free shipping.
↪ J Crew
The ubiquitous collaborator offers several selvedge options from their in house label to their exclusive partnerships. Fits and washes vary across the board. The in-house label comes in a slim-straight (slim) and 484 (slimmest) fits. Washes range from dark solid to washed out white. Partnership offerings come from Wallace and Barnes, Levi’s, Lee, and Chimala. Prices range from $155-$350.
Gustin is a newcomer to the denim world but have been manufacturing men’s apparel for the last six years. Their denim is hand crafted in San Francisco, crowd sourced amongst your peers, and sold at wholesale prices. $81 to be exact. Gustin is wrapping up their exceedingly successful Kickstarter campaign to raise funds for their denim project.