Stevenson Overall – Bronco denim vest review

This review, in many ways, has been an attempt by me at catching up with the developments in the denim world over the past 6 years. My blog went on hiatus for 4.5 years from 2012 onward, but in truth by late 2011 my focus on the denim hobby had begun to wane due to various other responsibilities and hobbies. Even though I continued to wear denim jeans and leather boots during the in-between years, I no longer kept up-to-date with the latest developments in denim.

On my return to the hobby last year, some of the biggest questions that arose for me were: What is Stevenson Overall? Why does it look like Rising Sun Jeans? What the hell happened to Rising Sun Jeans anyway?

Let us ponder away~

Overview

The story is that Atsusuke Tagya and Zip Stevenson met at a bank somewhere in Tokyo and got talking to each other due to the cool shoes & belts they were wearing. Zip, of Hollywood Trading Company fame, would of course want to talk to a Japanese dude wearing cool leather stuff. Atsu, on the other hand, was a hobbyist vintage collector who had once made a living exporting Australian goods to Japan. Together they decided to launch a clothing brand, Stevenson Overall, based on a short-lived American workwear manufacturer which existed in the 1920s to 1930s. Though the brand was launched in 2005, actual products didn’t appear on the Western market until approximately 2010 and the brand remained relatively unknown until a couple of years ago.

Atsu has stated that the aim of Stevenson Overall is to distill the styling and detailing of turn of 20th Century garments, and apply them in an understated and minimalist way to produce vintage-inspired Americana that can be worn daily in the present day.

Why do the recent garments from Stevenson Overall look like the ones produced by Rising Sun Jeans? Well, the way I heard it (from a couple of industry insiders), a couple of years ago Mike Hoddis, founder of Rising Sun Jeans and all around work-wear genius, was exited from Rising Sun due to conflicts with the investor who actually owned the majority share in the company. The denim forum regulars who marveled at Mike’s passion and obsession with workwear and its construction must have also wondered how the whole operation was financially viable – looking through the old forum threads now, it did seem to good to be true…

Mike subsequently worked for Atsu for a brief period of time designing some garments for Stevenson Overall, and this explains the similarities between the two brands – the garments in question were designed by the same brain!

Thankfully Mike went on to create more clothes under his new brand, Runabout Goods. My understanding is that there is a non-compete agreement in place, and as such Runabout Goods cannot produce denim goods, which explains the lack of blue jeans in Mike’s new brand.

I had thought Rising Sun would be one of the denims I’d review if I ever restarted this blog, and it’s a shame to see that it is no longer…well, the way I see it, it ain’t Rising Sun without Mike Hodis running the show.

Anyway, enough back-story! Let’s have a look at the Bronco, Stevenson Overall’s button-up denim vest.

Fit

The Bronco vest is a modified version of the Type III jacket, with the arms cut out of course.

My chest size is 44, and this vest is sz 42. The volume in the chest is just right, with no tightness in the underarms.

It’s a snug fit for me near the waist, as there’s a noticeable taper from the top down. In comparison with dressier vests, the shoulders & upper back are wide and the total vest length is fairly long.

The denim is unsanforised, so it will shrink with first wash and subsequently stretch out. In the photos above the vest has been shrunk-to-fit and worn for 1 week.

Overall, this vest has a surprisingly modern fit. I speculate this is due to both the vest being cut for a more typical East Asian body shape and the fact that Stevenson’s garments are generally a bit trendier than the typical Japanese workwear reproduction.

Fabric

Generally speaking, denim can have a red cast or a yellow/green cast – talking primary colours my friend!

Impurities, additives and gradual oxidation over many years can produce a green cast, which is reminiscent of vintage denims. Extreme indigo purity, usually achieved through the utilization of high quality synthetic indigo and foregoing additives such as sulfur, can produce a red cast – as seen on this ‘Grand Indigo’ dyed 13.5 oz denim on this Bronco vest.

The result of the red cast is not only a red tinge to the denim, which I managed to photograph to some extend in the photo above, but also an overall deeper and more violet tone to the blue of the denim. This is most evident when you compare it side by side with standard and faded denims.

This denim has a mild slubbing and a good amount of chatter. The moderate hairiness is also interesting. The hand-feel is textural but not rough, with the weft side feeling slightly furry.

This is certainly one of the nicer denims out there, even in comparison with other Japanese shuttle loom denims.

Steveson Overall has played a trick on us with this vest, in that they have sewn the burnt orange thread over the pink selvedge ID, and so many people believe this denim has an orange selvedge. Look closer!

Peripherals

All the bells and whistles that you’d normally find on a denim jacket can be found on the Bronco vest.

The paper patch is nicely done. I love the graphics and type writer fonts!

Can you see the typo?

The chest pockets are relatively narrow and feature very shapely flaps. The volume of the pockets are just a little too small to be practical – i.e. they can’t hold a smart phone completely.

I’m absolutely in love with the donut buttons on this vest. Custom silver coated, solid and sturdy with great texture. Now this is good hardware!

The buttons are such that they may wobble about, allowing easier buttoning.

The side-cinches are shapely too, in keeping with the whole vest being much more curvaceous compared with Levi’s type III, utilizing details from earlier eras.

The only aspect in terms of detailing that could perhaps be improved would be storage space – this is a vest after all!

Construct

The Bronco vest is very nicely made.

Carefully constructed using a mix of single needle stitching, chain-stitching, and double needle chain-stitched felled seams. The majority of the vest uses lemon coloured threads of a single thickness.

The stitching is dense and neat, the lines being evenly spaced relative to each other and the seams.

There are no loose threads or wonky stitch-lines.

Felled seams are extensively featured and evenly chain-stitched.

The buttons holes are first cut, then densely sewn. The placement of the holes are very precise, running perpendicular to the selvedge lines.

Every seem is neatly folded, and loose threading tucked away.

Again, check out the density of the stitching and the felled seams.

Overall, the sewing is perfecto – nothing I could find to complain about! The is one of the most precisely made denim garments I’ve ever seen.

Opinion

This is my first piece of denim clothing from Stevenson Overall, and I am impressed!

One of the stand-out aspects of this vest – and IMO applicable to most Stevenson Overall’s garments – is that it has a more streamlined aesthetic compared with most other high-end Japanese denim brands. It manages to evoke a sense of old-school cool and incorporate interesting curves in the design without being over-engineered or excessively complicated, which sometimes happen with garments, say, from a brand like Freewheelers. The mix of detailing from different time periods work really well here.

In terms of construct, the work on this vest stands with the best that Japan has to offer. No bones for me to pick here, and there are certainly no flaws to be found. The threads are nicely sized, the seams nicely folded & felled, and the stitch-work is incredibly dense and consistent.

The materials utilised are also winners. The “Grand Indigo” dyed denim is deep, dark and very pure – the resulting red cast and overall purple shade is very appealing to me. The hardware and the paper patch are also some of the nicest I’ve seen, with the iron donut buttons being particularly handsome.

If I absolutely had to raise a negative point, then I might say the chest pockets are too small for a smartphone and the vest otherwise lacks storage space, which is one of the primary functions of a vest! Otherwise the shapes of the collar, pockets and side-straps are well executed and really enhance the appearance of the vest.

Recommended?

You bet! In fact, I’m quite keen on acquiring more Stevenson Overall garments in the future.

Check them out at Corlection, who stock the largest selection of Stevenson Overall products outside of Asia.

*

P.S.

Fellow redditors, did you know I also review non-denim stuff?

Feel free to browse through my other reviews via the Reviews tab in this blog’s menu.

For example, check out my review of the Japanese Wallet by mill handmade.

mill handmade – custom Japanese Wallet review, part 1.

You may have noticed a couple of crafts by mill handmade – a one man Aussie leather workshop focused on finely crafted custom leather carries – have been reviewed on this blog over the past 6 months. Rocky, the man behind the brand, has an interest in leathers made the traditional way and a penchant for streamlined & minimalist interpretations of old-school, work-wear style wallets.

If you would like to see the earlier reviews and perhaps read a little bit more about mill handmade, they are available through the Reviews tab in this blog’s menu.

Onto the piece that I wanted to show you today! This wallet is a customised version of mill handmade’s Japanese Wallet, which is currently Rocky’s most complex wallet pattern available.

The lay-out, types of leather and stitch configuration have all been selected by Rocky himself, as a showcase of the ethos & customisation potential of this wallet.

Design

This is the Japanese Wallet in the ‘traditional’ configuration, which refers to the inclusion of a zipped compartment. A ‘minimalist’ version is also available without the zipper, as is a left-handed version.

Leather aficionados should recognise that this bifold wallet is based on the Japanese style of rider’s wallets, or more specifically the iconic HR-01 by Red Moon. Rocky has taken the general idea of a rider’s wallet and streamlined the dimensions and layout.

When folded, this wallet measures 9.4 cm wide x 10.4 cm tall. When fully opened, the width increases to 19.7 cm, accounting for the curvature at the fold. These dimensions are not too dissimilar to the HR-01 ver. 2, and will fit into the back or front pockets of your jeans without jutting out.

The internal lay-out is a modified version of the HR-01.

There are three storage compartments in total – one on the right and two on the left. The notes compartment has been created by the space between the outshell and inner panels.

The quick access card compartment on the right is made with 3 pieces of leather, the extra panel sitting atop the bottom layer being used as decorative accent.

The quick access slot is inward facing and is designed to facilitate quick removal and insertion of frequently used cards. It is more user friendly compared with the card compartments which have featured on various HR-01 designs in the past.

The left side of the wallet features two compartments – a zippered coin pouch and a card storage slot.

The coin pouch allows for secure storage of a handful of coins, with the zipper oriented to open when pulled upwards. It has been cleverly created with one piece of Buttero leather.

The storage compartment opens widely and is deeper than the quick access compartment, giving greater capacity for the storage of cards, receipts and papers.

The notes compartment accommodates well the Australian currency that I carry. Access to notes is easy as the inner panel has been cut moderately deeply, allowing the space to open fairly wide.

Based on the measurements, it is clear that this wallet has been trimmed down compared with most rider’s wallets from Japan. In reality, this Japanese Wallet is easier to handle and sits more comfortably in the back-pocket as a result of the modifications to the leather thicknesses and panel dimensions.

This wallet is fairly manageable in the back pocket, measuring only 13 mm in thickness when compressed and up to twice this thickness when loaded with coins, cash and cards. Although still thicker than the calf skin bifolds you’d find at the local mall, this Japanese Wallet is, by design, lighter and thinner compared with the original rider’s wallets made by Red Moon / Pailot River which measure around 22 mm thick when empty.

Overall, the ideas and ethos behind the rider’s design remains the same, but the pattern has been modernised and the Japanese Wallet is more functional for folks who frequently use their bank cards, compared with older iterations by Japanese makers.

Leather

Impressively, this wallet manages to showcase three different leathers without becoming incoherent. Let’s take a look at each one in more detail!

Shonan Leathers is a small tannery in Himeji, Japan. Sandwiched between the local tourist attraction Kofujiyama and the Sanyo shinkansen line, Shonan is a relatively small and low-tech tannery, being one of the few tanneries in the entire world that continues to pit-tan their hides. It was incorporated over 70 years ago as an amalgamation of several smaller tanning operations.

Shonan – although not as famous as their neighbour Shinki or the much larger Tochigi Leathers – manufactures one of the very best natural vegetable tanned leathers. Top grade raw hides are imported from the USA, and tanned using wooden equipment in African Mimosa tannin pits for approximately 2 to 3 months. The saddle leathers thus produced could then be drum dyed (either black or brown) and even glazed – the result is a small catalogue of Mimosa tanned leathers available in three colours and a couple of different finishes.

Relatively unknown among Western hobbysists, Shonan’s natural saddle leather is highly regarded in East Asia and favoured by many Japanese craftsmen. In fact, per side, Shonan’s leathers are more expensive than J & FJ Baker’s oak bark tanned leathers and even B-grade leather from Shonan sell at higher prices compared with, say, many North American and European veg tanned leathers. Such is Shonan’s quality and reputation for graceful aging, many Japanese craftsmen use only Shonan leather despite the high cost.

The Shonan leather featured on the out-shell of this wallet is their glazed natural saddle leather at 1.3 mm thickness. This leather has a colour that is very pale indeed, and a strong scent of fish oil. In handling the leather, it is more supple – “bouncy” almost – than the colour would suggest. The grain is raw but not dry.

The leather itself does show slight marks and imperfections right from the get go, attesting to the relatively unfinished nature of this leather. The grain structure itself is dense but not overly compressed, with a nice depth to its appearance under natural light.

In terms of hand-feel, in comparison with the more common American and Italian vegetable tanned leathers, the grain on this Shonan pit-tanned saddle leather is much more textured and organic. There is a gentle friction that is further enhanced by oiling the leather, which I find very peculiar.

Also making a cameo appearance is Shonan’s brown glazed pit-tanned leather, out of which the zipper pull-tag has been made. A very textured and deep coloured leather indeed!

I am very excited to see how the Shonan leathers will age over the next few weeks! I have heard it is one of the most responsive leathers being produced today, and I will explore this a little more in Part 2 of this review, in a few days.

The inside panels of this wallet utilises Conceria Walpier’s famous Buttero leather at 1.0 mm thickness, a leather which has become popular with many leather crafters over the past couple of years. Having been a family operation for more than 40 years, Conceria Walpier is now part of the Genuine Italian Vegetable Tanned Leather Consortium, a group of two dozen Tuscan tanneries which specialise in traditional tanning methods. Badalassi Carlo, whose Minerva leather was recently featured in the Rolling Dub Trio review, belongs to this same consortium.

Buttero leather is accomplished in different ways than Shonan’s saddle leather, the Buttero being a more processed / finished leather. Buttero is drum tanned and heat finished, available in many colours, and preferred for its relative durability among vegetable tanned leathers & the slightly more rigid temper – it is a popular choice for high-end custom wallets.

This is my first experience with the natural version of Buttero leather, but if my experience with coloured versions of Buttero is anything to go by, it should be an easier leather to keep clean compared with other veg tanned leathers when used as panels on the inside of a wallet, where dirt and grime have a tendency to accumulate.

This natural Buttero has a firmer temper, denser grain and slightly higher sheen compared to less finished veg tanned leathers; it feels very solid in the hand. I am not sure what type of heat treatment the leather has undergone, but the surface appears glazed and is quite slippery. The smell is dissimilar to the Shonan leather, the Buttero having a sweeter, creamier scent. Generally speaking, Buttero is prized by craftsmen for how easy it is to work with and its grain consistency & depth of colour. I’m very curious to see how this natural Buttero will wear and age – I suspect the colour will develop along a slightly different path compared with the Shonan saddle leather used for the outshell.

Chevre goatskin at 1.2 mm thickness from the French tannery Alran has been used for pocket accent. Alran’s goatskin has been renowned for its durability and depth of texture & colour for over 100 years, being frequently used on hand-bags and other accessories by fashion houses such as Hermes. Chevre is being increasingly used by private label craftsmen for small carry goods such as wallets and watchstraps.

This particular goatskin is Alran’s Chevre ‘Sully’, a combination (chrome + veg) tanned leather that has a very durable and textured grain, with a slightly spongey hand. Chevre goatskin certainly makes for interesting contrast with the Buttero natural cattlehide.

Construction

The first aspect I examined when looking this wallet over was the edge burnishing and the matching of the panels.

One of the unusual aspects of a rider’s style wallet is the number of edges and panels relative to its small size, and hence the finishing of edges and the precision with which the panels are put together are testament to the skills and effort the craftsman has invested into a particular piece.

As you can see in the photos here, on this Japanese Wallet, all the edges have been slightly beveled and smoothly burnished with beeswax. The panels match each other accurately, all the edges being neatly aligned.

The only area where the edge finishing is slightly less polished is the hole at the bottom of the inner spine/ridge.

The zipper is nicely installed through hand-stitching, the YKK zip tucked away so that even when the wallet is compressed, the zipper won’t scratch the leathers and can’t be felt in the back-pocket.

The pull tag of the zipper is neatly made despite its small size. The zip is sturdy and works well, but is a little stiff to pull at first.

The saddle stitching on this Japanese Wallet is impressive. Unlike the Pailot River rider’s wallet reviewed a few months ago which is machine stitched, Rocky has spent considerable time hand-stitching the entire wallet!

Even though this wallet is not too much bigger than a bifold, the sheer number of panels and compartment attachments means that there is a lot of fiddly stitch work involved, some of it hidden inside the compartments too.

However, precisely because of the small and compartmentalized nature of this Japanese Wallet, any untidy stitching will be very noticeable.

I am glad to say that Rocky’s saddle stitch on this wallet is fairly neat. The ecru waxed linen threads sit nicely on both the Shonan and Buttero leathers.

There are a couple of irregularities here and there in terms of the overall flow of the stitches and their alignment with the edges (you can see it in the photos here if you look closely), though the errors are relatively small.

The individual stitches are nicely spaced and very regular.

Semi-circular holes have been punched into the edges of the notes compartment to prevent crinkling of the leather. This is a smart feature which is also present on HR-01 version 2 wallets by Pailot River.

Considering how this wallet has been put together on a whole, I’d say the execution is at least above average in comparison with hand-made pieces of similar complexity. The gold embossing on the Chevre accent was a very nice addition too, something I have not seen on other rider’s wallets.

Opinion

Overall, I would say this Japanese Wallet by Rocky at mill handmade is not only considerately patterned but also nicely put together.

Even though the design is based on the HR-01, the modifications and updates Rocky has included in this first iteration of the Japanese wallet are quite thoughtful and visually appealing, resulting in this rider’s style wallet being more modern in appearance and much more user friendly for people from cultures which rely on cards rather than cash for everyday transactions.

Rocky’s design also feature slightly thinner leathers to minimize bulk, and as a result the Japanese Wallet should be much more beginner friendly too. I’m fairly used to wearing 4 cm thick long-wallets, so I sometimes forget even a work-wear style bifold can be challenging for the uninitiated. Don’t get me wrong, the Japanese Wallet is still considerably rugged, though it is much more manageable compared with the more traditional Japanese styles of the rider’s wallet.

The leathers used here are very interesting indeed, being some of the rarest in this hobby. Shonan Leather’s glazed Mimosa pit-tanned leather in particular is an absolute treasure which I have wanted to try for some time now, ranking very close to Baker’s oak bark pit-tanned leather in terms of the slow-made and very natural methods of tanning, resulting in leathers that are as close to ‘natural’ as possible. The Buttero and Chevre are more processed but their qualities are fantastic too, being some of Europe’s finest leathers; the Buttero in particular is a much better leather compared with many of the unnamed or generic “Italian veg tanned” leathers I’ve come across in the past decade.

In terms of craftsmanship, the level of detailing and effort invested in this wallet obviously surpass that of production-line or machine-made wallets. This wallet was neatly hand-stitched & burnished, with no glaring defects.

Given that this wallet is named the Japanese Wallet, I take it that Rocky is not only paying homage to the Japanese masters and high-end workshops who sit at the very top of work-wear style leather-crafting, but also that he intends for mill handmade to compete at the same levels of craftsmanship.

Keeping this in mind, I have raised my own expectations and standards of critique in this review to that of, for a lack of a better description, Japanese standards of wallet crafting. Bar some minor deviations in stitch alignment and a center ridge cut-out that could perhaps be further refined, this Japanese Wallet rates well under strict considerations, a testament to the effort Rocky had invested into the designing and making of this wallet.

At AUD $430 (or AUD 415 without gold embossing, AUD $390 without zipper), this hand-stitched Japanese Wallet is very well priced. In fact, the pricing is the same as Pailot River’s rider’s wallets, which are machine-stitched…the decision between the two comes down to Red Moon’s heritage & brand versus the extra time & effort Rocky spends in piecing together this cleverly designed wallet. As far as private label custom wallets go, Rocky’s Japanese Wallet is good value indeed.

Futhermore, Rocky has in stock some of the most curious and interesting leathers, such as the Shonan and Buttero featured here, which will delight the leather geeks among us. You could easily have the outshell of this wallet made with green shell cordovan, or have the inner panels stitched with contrast threading. Such is the advantage of having custom work done: your wallet can be made exactly to your liking with textures and colours that interest you.

All in all, this mill handmade Japanese Wallet is a great option for people who are looking for a high-end, custom handcrafted wallet with ample storage space. I am very happy to see work of this caliber being made in Australia!

Please look forward to Part 2 of this review, where I will share with you some photos & thoughts after I have oiled & tanned this wallet and used it for a couple of days. In the mean time, have a look at Rocky’s freshly minted website at mill handmade.

Brown’s Beach Jacket – beach vest review

I’ve long wanted to try some Brown’s Beach Jacket garments, and not being the type to drop $$$$ on vintage jackets, I’ve kept my eye on modern Japanese reproductions for some years now.

However, as I live in Australia, you can understand that a Brown’s Beach garment is simply impractical and for the longest time I’d put off buying a jacket, given I might get two or three weeks of wear per year due to the generally hotter weather here on the world’s largest island. Last year I finally pulled the trigger, settling on the compromise of a vest, which I should be able to wear during most of our winter days.

So, what’s so special about Brown’s Beach Jackets and Vests?

Overview

Brown’s Beach Jacket Company was founded by an American named William Brown in 1901. The story goes that the signature 2-ply wool/cotton blend fabric was created in the 19th century by one Mr. Beach, though it was Mr. Brown who – through much hard work and business savvy – managed to make Beach cloth a household name in the USA. Mr. Brown initially focused on producing sturdy jackets out of Beach cloth, which he successfully marketed to outdoors-men and workers, later on also producing vests and other garments. Brown’s Beach products were immensely popular and enjoyed thirty-odd years of success and renown – the famed Beach cloth, a woven blend of 73% wool & 27% cotton, offered fantastic protection from the elements and was noted for its performance and durability in inclement weather.

At some point close to mid-century, the brand was sold to Jacob Finkelstein and Sons who continued to manufacture Beach cloth garments under the same brand, alongside a variety of other workwear including flannel shirts, socks, and the like. By mid-century, however, synthetic materials had begun outperforming and undercutting natural fibres for outdoors clothing. After struggling for some years, Brown’s Beach Jacket was shut down in the late 1960s. The latest advertisement I could find dated to 1967.

Some half a century later, Japanese dudes took an interest in reproducing Brown’s Beach Jacket garments, and our story becomes a little more murky. It is said that John Lofgren of Speedway first acquired the Brown’s Beach Jacket trademark in the late 2000s. However, Fullcount claims to have acquired the trademark in 2007. Further, Lost Hills (another Japanese clothing workshop) also acquired the trademark in 2012. How this all works out legally, I have no idea.

What I do know is that Brown’s Beach Jacket replica garments appeared on the scene around 2010, and currently, only Fullcount and Lost Hills are reproducing Beach cloth garments under the Brown’s Beach Jacket brand.

That’s not to say other Japanese makers don’t make Beach cloth garments…in fact, everyone does! You can find similar 1930s Brown’s Beach Jacket designs currently being made by Sugar Cane, Cushman’s, RRL, Kapital, Samurai, The Real McCoy, Trophy Clothing, etc., just to name a few. Only Fullcount and Lost Hills are allowed to use the Brown’s Beach label, however.

This solid-black Brown’s Beach vest we’re examining today was made by Lost Hills, with 1930s detailing and a non-traditional fabric colour.

Fit

This vest has been cut with a vintage-style, tubular fit. As such, it is quite closely fitted, finishing at the waist, and seems to have been designed as an intermediate layer between a shirt and an over-coat. Which make sense…I suppose both William Brown and the folks at Lost Hills would want us to wear a Brown’s Beach Jacket over the vest.

The neck has been cut lower than most vintage Brown’s Beach vests I’ve seen on the Internet. I can imagine that the original, higher neck versions might be a little uncomfortable and are probably appropriate for weather that is much colder than what I have here in the land of convicts and kangaroos.

A word of caution: You’ll need to size up on these vests! I have a 44 inch chest, and needed the largest 46 size in this vest. If you have a chest any bigger than 44 inch, I’m afraid Brown’s Beach has nothing to offer you for now.

Another word of caution: This vest is very warm! Aussies may be able to wear this vest during winter, with jackets in the same Beach cloth being fairly impractical. If you are from South East Asia, don’t even think about wearing anything made of Brown’s Beach – you will develop hyperthermia! The only way to wear a full set of Brown’s Beach clothing is to do so in the snow, or if you develop hypothyroidism.

Fabric

Beach cloth has traditionally been a two layer woven fabric made of ~70% wool and ~30% cotton. This particular cloth here is a fairly exact 73%/27% reproduction.

Whilst the weave on our vest is reminiscent of vintage Brown’s Beach cloth, the solid black colouring is a modern take on the classic salt n’ pepper colours. This black fabric makes the vest look sleeker, and less ‘costume-y’, yet dirt, lint and animal hairs will be more noticeable.

The is a heavy & very warm fabric, relatively breathable but largely resistant to water and air. The cloth has a lot of body and feels substantial in the hand – truly, this cloth was designed for colder climates and the outdoors.

Peripherals

The woven tags are nicely reproduced, down to the fonts of the text.

The 1930s style snap buttons, being wide than the buttons from later decades, are very cool indeed. I’m curious as to how they would age.

The buckle at the back cinch works well and is fairly solid. The cinch itself is made of a solid black cotton fabric, which does cause it to stand out somewhat.

Construction

This solid black vest features black threads and black piping, resulting in a much more subdued appearance than more traditional reproductions of a Brown’s Beach vest.

The pockets & seams are neatly stitched, piped and bar-tacked at points of stress

The twill fabric used for the piping is sturdy and not prone to pilling.

Due to the nature of the Beach cloth, both the front and back faces hide stitching very well, and as such the tonal threads are not visible usually. Even so, on close inspection, the stitches are clean and straight – nothing hangs loose.

The combination of pocket shape and piping lends the vest a very distinct, early century workwear appearance.

Opinion

All in all, an interesting twist on the classic Brown’s Beach vest.

The solid black fabric, although having the same weave, is visually distinct from the traditional heather/salt n’ pepper appearance of Beach cloth. The piping and the snap buttons contributes to the unique flair of Brown’s Beach garments, though on the solid black background they don’t stand out as much as they do on more traditional pieces.

This vest is much more subtle compared with the average Beach vest and is not as immediately recognizable as most Brown’s Beach garments can be, yet the understated appearance allow it to pair with other garments more easily, without looking too much like 1930s cosplay. (Nothing wrong with that by the way, I do it occasionally when my family members aren’t around.)

As far as vintage garment reproduction is concerned, I think the modern Japanese versions of Brown’s Beach garments are rather well done. Every now and then some truly hardcore vintage Brown’s Beach collectors will remark that the modern Beach cloths are not quite the same as the originals in terms of density, though I am nowhere near expert enough on this topic to comment about the minute differences.

However, some of the limitations of reproduction clothing are apparent on Brown’s Beach vests, the most significant of which I believe is the sizing of the pockets – way too small! These pockets are truly useless in the age of palm-sized smart phones…

Other than the size of the pockets, however, there’s really not much to complain about this vest, and quite a lot to like! I particularly enjoy the texture of Beach cloth, and I feel it combines fairly well with denim in terms of contrasting handfeels. The vest itself is also made to a high standard, and would not be out of place when combined with artisan made Japanese jeans or bench-made boots.

Overall?

Highly recommended! For workwear geeks, a Brown’s Beach cloth garment is a must try at some point.

Just remember to size up.

White’s Boots – Retrospective Review and Reflections after 5 years.

A couple of long time readers have told me that I don’t rant enough on this blog anymore, and that my posts have become too structured. So,today I’ll sucker you in with some White’s Boots photos and rant at you!  (~˘▾˘)~

Over the years, I’ve noticed that the majority of denimheads, provided they stay in the hobby long enough, will eventually develop an interest in quality leather footwear. Works boots, and in particular American style boots, have developed alongside denim dungarees – the combination of the two not only makes logical sense but is, for many a purist, an authentic way of experiencing Americana.

You will have noticed that wearers of raw denim are usually either sneaker freaks and/or boot nerds, and the choice in footwear is of course influenced by many factors. Through this retrospective review of White’s Boots’ classic dress boots, I’m hoping to contemplate some of these factors, and share my thoughts about footwear that we pair with blue jeans.

Although my interest in raw denim started in my teenage years, it wasn’t until I was in my early twenties that I started to wear bench-made work boots & shoes. As a teenager, sneakers and sports shoes were just easier – easier to put on, easier to walk in, easier to take off, easier to maintain, and easier to throw away & buy a new pair.

I ventured into leather boots after I became a medical student – rocking up to the hospital in sneakers just isn’t the done thing – and I had a variety of very average experiences with Italian shoes and cheaper American boots. As a result of a series of unsatisfactory shoe choices, I grew to be very black and white about my footwear – no mediocrity, it’s either bench-made shoes or bare foot, nothing in between.

Overview

After some positive experiences with bench-made English and Australian work boots, in 2011 I ordered my first proper pair of American shoes – Alden’s 403 ‘Indy’ high work boot – and suddenly my clothes made a lot more sense, it was properly Americana. Something in my head clicked, and I knew then that I am a boot nerd.

Later that year I custom ordered two pairs of the same boots – White’s Boots’ classic dress boots. The Classic Dress boots are basically the Semi-Dress boots made with their new C461 last, meant to give the boots a more vintage-style, military-inspired toe shape – this was, partly, a response to Viberg’s increasing dominance in the high-end heritage wear market with their sleeker and lighter boots made for the urban lumberjack. I had two pairs of the Classic Dress made, each with medallion toe caps, in different leathers: The burgundy pair is all bison, whereas the black pair is a mix of bullhide and bison.

Before I talk about my thoughts about these boots, keep in mind my perspective…My life is not rugged at all, my work is entirely intellectual, I don’t do any physical labour. I wear work-boots because I’m a denim and leather geek, I wear them as a hobby, there is no practical reason why I wear rugged shoes. The only thing that my toes need protection from is my pen, when I accidentally drop it.

It shouldn’t surprise you then, with each pair of boots worn once every one to two weeks, even over 5 years my boots are in pretty good condition. I won’t go into finer details such as thread colours, etc, as these are completely custom boots and I’d really just be critiquing my own choices. ¯\_(ツ)_/¯

Uppers

The two pairs, made to the same specs apart from leather/colour, are remarkably consistent. The basic pattern of the upper should be familiar to you – it’s the Semi-Dress pattern, one of the defining boots of the Pacific Northwest style of footwear.

The leathers are heavy duty, oily and nicely textured – custom spec’d of course, and altogether a different level compared with the basic oil-tanned bovine leathers that feature on most American boots. The uppers are neatly & densely stitched and precisely put together. Even just looking at the body of these boots, you can tell they are a league above the ready-to-wear brands that are popular on the Internet these days. Look at how neatly those medallion toe caps have been applied!

The eyelets and speedhooks are very nice quality too, as sturdy as the rest of the boots. The finishes of the metal hardware have been extremely durable.

This C461 last has an upturned toe, which is slightly pointier than White’s other lasts. Personally I think this last makes the Classic Dress even more ‘dressy’ compared with the Semi-Dress. The medallion toe-caps add further to this divergence in aesthetics.

Sole Unit

The stitch-down and the sole unit, of course, further differentiates true Pacific Northwest boots and low-end ‘heritage-style’ footwear. The double row of fairly neatly applied stitch-down. The monstrous double natural mid-soles, sitting on top of full thickness Vibram outsoles. The Traveller’s heel with natural leather stacks, peachy and uncoated, much more raw and exciting compared with how English shoemakers would make them.

Even just by looking at the sole unit, it is clear that boots like this were either made by White’s, Nick’s, or Wesco. Viberg has gone their own Goodyear-welted way, whereas lower tier American boots will feature an oddly plastic ‘welt’ with, usually, no mid-soles at all.

The internal anatomy of these boots are, of course, entirely made with leather…lots of it too. From the mid-sole up, it’s basically a solid leather shank surrounded by a mountain of leather, building up White’s trademarked Arch Ease arch support. From the lining to the heel pad, everything is high quality leather.

Opinion

All in all, as fair as quality goes, my two pairs of White’s Classic Dress boots are excellent. There is a reason why the Japanese enthusiasts consider White’s Boots to be “The King of Boots” – everything from the materials to the construct to the toe-shape & overall aesthetics are simply spot on. If you are interested in denim culture and Americana, there’s no substitute for a pair of White’s dress boots – having a pair is almost a prerequisite before being admitted to the advanced levels of our denim hobby.

Granted, the boots produced by White’s and the other Pacific Northwestern makers are not as neat as those made by the Japanese brands that imitate them (think Rolling Dub Trio, White Kloud, Zerrow’s, etc), but the Japanese brands are usually at least 50% more expensive.

So then, why don’t we see more White’s Boots on the internet or on Instagram. Why is it that every denim bro and his little brother seem to  be rocking Red Wing’s boots, when White’s are clearly – from a serious hobbyist’s point of view – the superior boots? Or, why have a bunch of seasoned denimheads decided to run around in PF Flyers?

Firstly, the price of admission can be steep. Not everyone can fork out $500+ USD for a pair of custom, bench-made boots.

In terms of practicality, the first thing that White’s Boots owners will tell you is that these are substantial boots! Even if White’s Dress boots are already lighter than their Smoke Jumpers, the Dress boots are still massively heavy. They are, for example, much heftier than English country boots  of the same height. This matter of mass, as well as the prominent arch, means that you have to learn how to walk with these rugged boots – beginners will struggle with the rocking step that these boots demand.

Lower-end shoes have much less leather both on the sole unit as well as internally, with most using quite some amount of lighter synthetic materials – this type of boot is lighter to wear, and don’t require significant breaking in. Comparing to sneakers, White’s Classic Dress boots are about 3 to 4 times heavier. If you throw these boots at someone, you’ll knock them out cold.

Of course, given the custom nature of these boots, it is possible to make them lighter – close trim, ditch the lining, single layer mid-sole, wedge sole etc. You’ll end up with something that looks a bit more like Viberg or Truman Boots, boots that are a little more practical for city folks who don’t fight forest fires or farm the land.

I would imagine that the learning curve with regards to how to walk properly with these boots, as well as the break-in period required, represent significant barriers to most denimheads deciding whether or not to upgrade their footwear. To put it another way, hefty boots like these White’s are simply not practical for a city dweller working an average urban job.

At the end of the day, these boots are more difficult to put on, significantly heavier than other footwear, require longer break in and do not ventilate as easily as fabric footwear. It is little wonder many people stick with sneakers. I suppose, over the course of years, we must somehow integrate our clothing hobbies with our life in general, which often takes us down the path of least resistance, or we risk burning out in the hobby. The staunchest raw denim fan will eventually machine wash his jeans (everyone except Swissjeansfreak I suppose), and the geekiest boot freak will eventually reach for shoes that are easy to wear more than he’d reach for his 10 inch Packer boots.

Then again, the logic of practicality doesn’t exactly sit comfortably with denimheads like us, does it? We’re looking for a sense of authenticity, a feeling of the good old days, a philosophy of doing things the right way, the ownership of goods with some kind of ‘meaning’ – we are particular about our clothes, and our boots need to have soul! If comfort and ease of use are all we care about, we’ll all be wearing sweatpants instead of raw denim jeans, and we’re not the kind of people who’d wear sweatpants in public, right?

To conclude, if you like raw denim, you should try a pair of bench-made Pacific Northwestern boots at some point, and you can’t go wrong with a pair of White’s Boots.

Weaving Shibusa – Melbourne Panel

Fantastic denim day out to go see Weaving Shibusa!

Big thanks to Charlie at Corlection for sending me there  🙂

We’re very lucky to have ACMI here in Melbourne, who provided a great cinema and tutorial room for the documentary screening and subsequent panel discussion.

Weaving Shibusa is a great documentary about Japanese denim, a fantastic primer for new denimheads! Even more advanced enthusiasts will find it interesting, as it features interviews with the founders of brands like Fullcount, Ironheart, Stevenson Overall, Japan Blue / Momotaro, etc.

My camera met one of its ancestors! A hand-cranked Parvo J-K from 1922.

The panel discussion after the documentary screening was hosted by James Nolen of ACMI. Featuring (left to right): James, Marty from Godspeed, Nick from Denham Jeansmaker, Chris from Pickings & Parry and Ant from Anthill Workshop.

Left to right: Marty, Nick, James, Ant and Chris.

Denim banners, Nick’s awesome collection of Buddy Lee dolls, Marty’s very nicely worn Japanese denim collection and some Denham jeans and items.

It was interesting to hear about how these guys got started on their denim journey, all of them coming from different backgrounds as far as denim and men’s clothing go.

Marty’s very nicely faded Iron Heart jeans from around 10 years ago.

Very happy to be able to attend such an event and see such a great gathering – this would have been impossible in Australia even just 5 years ago.

Ant’s fantastic work on a denim jacket!

Some of Ant’s vintage sewing machines – you’d have seen better photos of these babies elsewhere on this blog.

It’s really nice to see such growth in our local denim scene here in Australia, and I’m looking forward to more events like this in Melbourne!

Left Field NYC – Xinjiang cotton denim Charles Atlas jeans review

I’ve been wearing Left Field duck chino pants for a few years now – since 2011 in fact – and have been very happy with how they have worn in over time. Even during the heydays of the denim & workwear revival, when there were no shortage of Japanese heavy weights and American start-ups, Left Field had been very interesting to me due to the combination of detailing and fabrics. With their recent batch of Charles Atlas jeans released in various fabrics, I decided to finally give Left Field denim jeans a go as well.

The jeans reviewed today are made with 14.5 oz Xinjiang cotton twisted yarn denim in the Charles Atlas cut. Alongside the 16 oz slubby Xinjiang cotton jeans, the new releases in Xinjiang cotton denims were designed to be lower priced alternatives to Left Field’s usual denim offerings, featuring the same construct and details, with Chinese denim substituting for Japanese and American fabrics.

Let’s take a look.

Fit

The Charles Atlas cut is one of Left Field’s newer fits, basically a variation of the ‘high tapered’ cut that has become popular in the past year or so. This cut keeps a higher rise, a more traditional fitting in the waist, seat & thigh, combined with a rather aggressive taper starting from around the knee and down to the hem; the Charles Atlas is suitable for people with larger or more muscular lower body builds who do not want the traditional wide-leg aesthetics.

In the photos here, as per Left Field’s recommendations, I am wearing the jeans raw at true-to-size. I’m guessing there could be approximately a 3 to 5 % shrink after the first wash, given the denim is sanforized – please see the next section for more details regarding shrink-to-fit.

Fabric

This 14.5 oz denim is very interesting. It is a sanforised, wide-loom denim with twisted yarns.

I have previously introduced two different Xinjiang cottons on this blog with the Sauce Zhan and Red Cloud reviews in 2016. The main aspects to take note with Xinjiang cotton are the extremely long staple length and its hand-picked nature, resulting in a fabric that has excellent comfort and strength properties.

Looking closely, the warp side is relatively regular, with a moderately deep indigo tone which is not inky dark. Some variegation in texture is seen when looking at the fabric from a longer distance, but this is caused by irregularities on the weft side peeking out, rather than the fabric possessing significant loom chatter. The handfeel of the warp side is textured, yet not overly rough and certainly not hairy – it is pleasing to touch.

The weft side is very curious indeed, almost resembling old-school Wrangler broken twill, yet is much more irregular. A couple of people have compared it to the weft appearance of the denim on Red Cloud’s R400. The hand-feel, in particular, is surprisingly smooth and almost supple, contributing greatly to comfort. Another aspect to the intriguing hand feel here is there seems to be a great deal of ‘body’ to this denim – it feels heavier between my fingers compared with the advertised 14.5 oz weight, and has an almost cushioning effect.

To be honest, not many raw denim jeans are comfortable to wear initially, often because the heavy weight fabrics are not only thick, but often rough, tough, and sometimes even abrasive. This is not a problem with the Xinjiang cotton denim we have here, which almost feels luxurious in comparison with especially shorter staple Texan, Japanese and Australian cottons denims. So, even though this Xinjiang cotton denim has been offered as an introductory alternative to more expensive Japanese and American denims, I do think it offers a few interesting aspects which are not usually found in stock fabrics from, say, Cone or Kaihara mills.

Do keep in mind that although this denim is sanforized, it does shrink noticeably after the first wash, with at least one inch shrinkage of the inseam and noticeably less space in the seat. With water contact, also, both the warp and weft side become more textured and somewhat rougher to touch.

Construct

Left Field has a strict philosophy of having their products made in America. Certainly, for Americans who want to support local businesses or fans of Americana in general, this is a big plus.

The jeans overall has an interesting thread colour scheme: It features two colours – burnt orange and navy – with the more visible components of the jeans such as waist band and pockets sewn with burnt orange threads, and the tonal navy thread being used in the crotch/fly area and as the secondary colour down the inseam.

The internal construct is very neat, with a clean looking fly too!

The button holes are well made, being densely sewn too!

External components such as leather patch, belt loops and back pockets are also accurately attached.

The chainstitch at the hem is fairly dense too, but perhaps slightly too close to the rolled edge (not a big issue).

The hidden selvedge in the coin pocket is buried deep! I almost couldn’t photograph it properly.

The inseam is constructed with the felled seam method, which is much appreciated and certainly much neater then the more common lock-stitching!

However, there was one defect on my pair – the chainstitch on the felled inseam near the crotch had broken, and after wearing the pants for the first time started to unravel.

This necessitated a 15 minute hand-stitch repair done by myself…even though this is not a cosmetic issue, given where the defect is located, it is a functional one (the seam was opening up and at risk of further tearing), and so this disappointed me somewhat.

Hardware & Peripherals

This pair of jeans features some very cool details, and Left Field’s efforts in designing this pair are certainly noted!

First, the leather patch design is pretty cool, and the workwear roots of denim is strongly advertised. The leather is on the thinner side, yet oily and supple. The patch is well made and nicely sized.

The belt loops are neatly attached, tucked into the waistband, and raised in the centre!

The bandanna fabric pocket bags are smooth and sturdy, the graphics delving further into the workwear theme.

The custom hardware featured is pretty imcredible, especially considering the pricing of the jeans. The rivets are custom Universal, thick and good quality, featuring Left Field’s skull logo.

The top button, again, harkens to the miner theme of these jeans, and features an interesting oxidation effect.

Opinions

At $145 USD, this pair of Left Field jeans is one of the very best value options I’ve come across in the sub-$200 category. Everything from the custom hardware to the Xinjiang cotton denim are above and beyond what I would expect in this price range, and having it made in a first world country by, presumably, fairly treated workers is a big bonus too.

Also, I am a big fan of the Charles Atlas cut – it is comfortable for my slightly larger than average build and gives a modern appearance without being too ‘carrot’-like in the fit. Reproduction enthusiasts need not apply, but Left Field will have other fits that may interest folks who are after strictly vintage cuts.

Even though I did not buy this pair of jeans because of the relatively low price – my reason for purchase was the fascinatingly weird Xinjiang cotton denim – nevertheless, it is also great to see that Left Field has managed to keep the construct and detailing at the same level as their usual $200 to $300 USD jeans offerings, providing a great introduction for new denimheads.

The jeans do perhaps lack the extreme sophistication of top-tier Japanese brands in terms of minute details like varying thread sizes and colours, but at this price range I wouldn’t expect this at all. Even sub-$200 Japanese jeans usually only feature monotone and one-size stitching.

The fabric itself is great – this Xinjiang cotton denim is certainly not traditional or repop in any way, but I love weird denims. It’s not just a gimmick either: IMO the various Xinjiang cotton denims I’ve tried so far all offer different and significant advantages over the more reproduction style denims, especially in regards to hand-feel and comfort.

The high-tapered style cut and the long staple cotton fabric makes this the most comfortable raw denim experience I’ve had in a long time, even in the currently very warm Australian climate.

The defective chain-stitch near the crotch was a concern, and certainly my initial enthusiasm regarding these new jeans dampened during the repair that I had to do at home. This is why I always check my new jeans inside out, given that broken chain-stitching is prone to continuously unravel if not mended early. I’m chalking this down to bad luck, rather than poor workmanship, as the rest of the jeans are very well made.

Overall, I feel Left Field’s denim jeans are a great option for American-made jeans, and I really like their approach to fitting, detailing and fabric selection. Certainly, Left Field’s products are worthwhile considerations for people who are interested in Americana or workwear – this pair of Charles Atlas jeans being no exception.

Full Count 1108 review by beautiful_FrEaK

Indigoshrimp is excited to feature another review by reproduction enthusiast beautiful_FrEaK.

This time he examines the Full Count 1108!

Words & photos by beautiful_FrEaK. Editing & formatting by indigoshrimp.

~

Probably this is common knowledge to most denimheads but it doesn’t hurt to cover it again.

Full Count is part of the Osaka 5 and was founded in 1992 by former Lapine employee and co-worker of Hidehiko Yamane, Mikiharu Tsujita.

First, Tsujita partnered with Yamane when Evis(u) was founded but left soon after to create his own brand according to his vision of the perfect jeans. In describing Full Count, Tsujita states it is a brand for the purist, clearly a different vision than Yamane’s Evisu with the painted gull and other quirky details.

Full Count was the first Japanese repro brand to use Zimbabwe cotton as this cotton, according to Tsujita, is closer to the cotton which was originally used in the 1950s for Levi’s jeans. The reasoning behind this is that Zimbabwe cotton is long staple cotton with only one crop per year. For Tsujita it’s very important that the denim is also comfortable, something you notice immediately when you step into a pair of Full Count jeans.

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The pair in question here is the Full Count 1108 in their standard 13.7oz denim. The 1108 was first introduced in 1995 and is Full Count’s take on the Levi’s 501 from 1966, but it is not a true ’66 repro as all the details are still from the 1940s (but more on that later on).

The fit

The 1108 should resemble a Levi’s 501 from the late 1960s, so you would expect a slimmer pair of jeans with medium rise and a gentle taper. The 1108 indeed has a very slim top block. They are cut quite straight through the hips and have slim thighs. When you are about to choose your size for the 1108 always keep the thighs in mind and also the quite straight top block! The rise is medium with a slight tendency to high rise.

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Many other Japanese brands design their 60s models with a quite strong taper, not so Full Count. You have a taper but it is gentle, especially when compared with the slimness of the upper legs.

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Another thing to note about Full Count’s jeans is the placement of the back pockets which are spaced wider apart than most other brands. This has the advantage that you don’t completely sit on your wallet but it also might enhance the size of your butt. Especially in combination with the higher back rise this can result in a quite sloppy look from behind (worse on the 0105 and 1101 cuts)

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The denim

Like I already mentioned, the denim clocks in at 13.7oz and is made of Zimbabwe cotton. With his flagship denim, Tsuijita wanted to create the feeling and look of 40s denim. Of course, it’s also unsanforized but can be bought raw or in one-wash state, whichever you prefer. The weft is natural and the warp is dyed with pure indigo (to my knowledge). The denim is woven by Shinya mills, based in Okayama.

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The denim has a very hairy surface and (for me) the right amount of irregularities. You have small slubs here and there, a bit of loom chatter and combined with the hairiness and weight of the denim you really get the feeling of owning some vintage Levi’s from the 40s/50s.

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Thanks to the Zimbabwe cotton and the way the denim is woven, you will experience a fairly soft denim which is very comfortable to wear and you wouldn’t want to pull off again. The surface of the denim still has a rough hand though. Full Count is not known for high contrasted fades and because of the softness of the denim, this is harder to achieve, but still doable like some examples on the internet can prove. Since this denim should resemble 40s denim it shouldn’t hurt that the fades are more into the vintage department. Another thing to know about FC’s 13.7oz denim: it streeeeetches!

The details

This is something I really love about my 1108: all the fine and subtle details only you know about. The 1108 has a 60s cut but all 40s details. For example you will find hidden rivets, hidden coin pocket selvedge, a V-stitch at the top button and only one chainstitch at the waist band.

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I really dig the selection of the color and thickness of the threads used on Full Count jeans. It has the right amount of variation for me and the contrast stitching to the dark denim is simply beautiful!

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The belt loops are raised and so are the hems of the back pockets. Another beautiful detail is the slightly curved shape of the back pocket. Something Tsujita noticed on well-worn Levi’s is that the top of the back pocket is curved through constant use. He found this nice detail and added it.

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You also have branded buttons and rivets as you would expect it from such a renowned brand. The leather patch is fully branded but I can’t tell you from which leather it is made, though I think it’s goat skin.

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Like every good repro brand, there is the homage to Levi’s in the form of a red tab and Levi-esque arcuates which can be modified to exactly resemble Levi’s arcs.

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The construction

Full Counts are very neatly sewn together and the construction is up there with the other big repro brands. The stitching is tidy and well executed. The rivets and buttons look sturdy and haven’t let me down on my 1108 or 1101, yet. The softness and pliability of the denim should result in fewer damages in high stress areas. But with most jeans crotch blowouts are inevitable if you have that certain build (like I do).

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Another thing to consider when wearing Full Count is their use of cotton threads. This may result in early broken stitches especially on the arcuates and front pockets. Rumors on the raw denim forums say that Full Count jeans are designed that way to contribute to a certain look, but we can’t be sure about that.

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Conclusion

The 1108 is a great and quite modern cut. It isn’t as tapered as some street wear brands and for some repro guys it might be too slim in the top block, but for me it is great! The wide back pocket placement might put off some people, however.

Their flagship denim is one of my favorite denims around as it is so versatile and can be worn nearly throughout the whole year. I honestly can’t say anything negative about it.

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I dig all the subtle details and the contrast stitching on the dark indigo and I am very happy with the construction – I’m quite positive they will hold up over the next years. Though, if you are concerned about cotton threads and broken stitches you should think twice.

Honestly, I am so happy with my current 1108 (my 3rd pair of Full Count jeans) that I already pre-ordered the 1108EX 25th anniversary model and also plan to get the 1108X (15.5oz denim which I owned a couple years ago but I got too fat for them and sold them) later on.

Although I am a collector, I have the feeling that the FC 1108 could be THE jeans for me, my ‘501’. I can totally see myself wearing this pair exclusively for years to come.

So if you are in the market for a repro pair of jeans with a slim straight fit, definitely give these 1108 a chance, you won’t regret it!

* More information available via Paul Trynka’s loomstate blog!

http://loomstate.blogspot.com.au/2014/07/magic-number-mikiharu-tsujita-and-full.html