We talk about jeans here a lot. It’s obviously something we’re passionate about and not something we get sick of talking about. We discuss a lot of different brands and styles of denim, some familiar and some not, and today we want to delve a little deeper into some labels you may not be familiar with.
Now, just because they’re a little obscure doesn’t necessarily mean that the design or the fits are going to be obscure. We’re fairly picky about what fits of denim are best so you won’t see us recommending an aggressively bootcut jean with dragon designs on the back pockets. What we like out of denim (raw or otherwise) is a simplistic design and a focus on quality of fabrics and craftsmanship.
You wouldn’t think it would be too hard to find jeans that fit within these simple parameters but you would be incorrect. Without naming names, a lot of popular labels out there rely and gimmicks and washes to sell their pants. While this may work for some, we here at DSS prefer to spend our hard-earned dollars on something that will stand the test of time. Something you can really beat up and know it’s not going to break down on you.
With those things in mind, we chose to discuss and present to you three labels that you probably haven’t heard of or come across at a department store but are producing quality jeans. Again, we feel that we don’t need much to be pleased outside of quality and that’s going to be our main focus here. Here are three jean brands you may not have heard of that are doing great things in the world of denim:
This is a company we may have mentioned in previous posts but we think it bears repeating. They’re a company out of Japan (where a lot of quality denim producers reside) who’s producing extremely high quality denim. What makes SG interesting is how they play with the colour of denim subtly. You’ll find a few instances of them crafting jeans with an indigo warp, and a weft (the subtler thread) of a non-traditional colour like brown. It creates a very interesting contrast and offers you something different while remaining within the parameters of quality and simplicity that we demand.
SGs are not going to be widely available but you can find them at shops like Self Edge, out of San Francisco and New York. These are not cheap, and are certainly for someone who’s looking to add something new and interesting to their collection. Jeans like this are probably for the more serious denim type, but they offer options for those looking for an extremely well-made pair as well. One of my favourites and the pair I’m currently wearing.
The Real McCoy’s is a very interesting brand. What they do differently than any other companies is to try and replicate vintage designs and feel to the best of their abilities. You’ll see with Real McCoy’s a lot of vintage touches on their denim like cinch-back wastes, classic fits, and rigid denim. This is born out of the company’s founder’s love of classic American work wear and sportswear.
Many argue that clothing made decades ago was of a higher quality due to the lack of modern production techniques and perhaps a greater appreciation for quality. These are the ideals that RM holds dear and it absolutely shines through in the garments. If you’re looking for something interesting vintage looking while maintaining the highest standards of qluaity, the Real McCoy’s are certainly a safe bet.
They won’t be mixing in too many different colours or introducing different fabrics to the fold; they’ll stick to what they do best which guarantees a fine pair of denim every time.
While it’s easy to tell you to buy this and that, it may not always be in one’s best interest, or you may not have the funds accessible, to spend that much money on a pair of jeans. We can appreciate that, because $350 for a pair of pants isn’t what some would deem to be a practical way to spend their money. With that in mind, we wanted to offer an alternative for that guy.
USDG isn’t doing anything, far as I can tell, too far out of the box but they do make a quality pair of selvedge denim for under $150. The jeans are produced in the USA and made out of Japanese denim, so you can assume the quality will be there. These are a great option for the guy who has maybe owned a pair of Levi’s or Gap selvedge denim in the past and is looking to branch out while staying within a budget.
Again, they won’t offer you anything that will blow you away in terms of colours or any other interesting aspects, but you can rely on them being built solid and withstanding any beating you throw their way.
Each of these labels brings something a little different to the table, which is kind of what we like about them. As I mentioned earlier, none of these jeans will be adorned with any designs or other accoutrement you don’t want or need. They definitely are wardrobe essentials. They’re fantastic pairs of pants from labels you may not have heard about.
We like to think there’s something here for everyone from the contemporary denim guy, to the vintage guy, to the guy on a budget. Take a look at what each of these labels has to offer and decide what suits you best. At the end of the day you want something comfortable that’s going to withstand the beatings you give it, and we feel we’ve given you three great options to just that.