The Flat Head 3009 review by beautiful_FrEaK

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

This time he examines the The Flat Head 3009!

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


Last week I received the The Flat Head 3009 I bought from the Rakuten shop Frisbee. Transaction was very easy and smooth with Rakuten checkout. I wanted a pair with the Japanese arcs before the introduction of the ultra-suede arcs. I only found two shops carrying the 3009 in size 36, so I thought I’d better hurry up. The 3009 jeans I bought and receive is the 2014 model with the double stitched back pockets and front pockets. The 2014 model costs 29,000 yen while the new 2016 version with the ultra-suede arcs will sell for 32,000 yen. With shipping and customs I paid pretty much the same amount I would have if I’d purchased from Rivet & Hide or from Vater & Sohn. But I wanted the Japanese arcs, personal preference…

The fit: I bought a size 36 and expecting them to run true to size pre-soak – which they did. This would lead to a good fit at the waist with a bit of stretch. All measurements were as expected; only the rise was lower than I thought, resulting in a more modern top block. In the top block the 3009 model remind me a bit of Samurai S5000 cut. The 3009 has a significant taper and, all in all, I have a rather slim fitting 3009 which is not restricting at all.

I can lift my legs as high as my body will allow and I can bend over without any problems. Since I wear a belt, bending over doesn’t result in a plumber’s crack! I soaked these jeans twice and then machine washed them without detergent, skipping the spin cycle. I think they are 95 % done with shrinking. See measurements below.

Overall, I would say it’s a mid-rise slim tapered fit.


After one day of wear:

Measurements (pre-soak /post-soak):

Waist: 36 / 33,7 FR: 11,25 / 10,4 BR: 15,5 / 14,5 Thigh: 13,5 / 12,5 Knee: 9,8 / 9,1 LO: 8,6 / 8,2 Inseam: 35,75 / 33,125

The fabric: The Pioneer denim surely doesn’t need an introduction. It’s been around for years and there are many fading examples, ranging from crazy high-contrast fades to more vintage looking fades. This is of course based on how you size & treat these jeans.

Due to the strong vertical fading (“falling”) of past samples, I initially expected a rough and textured denim. However, the denim was the total opposite! In its raw state the surface of the denim felt smooth and sleek, and when I tried them on for a pre-soak fit check the inside felt silky, like they were coated with wax.

In these aspects this denim reminded me of a sanforised fabric. From pics and specification the Pioneer denim sound similar to Eternal denim but Eternal denim has a stronger texture. Fortunately, the denim changed significantly after wash. Now it has a dry and rough hand-feel, with the slubbing and hairiness starting to show.

Although I soaked the jeans twice and followed up with a machine wash, the denim remained very stiff after it had dried. The indigo tone is very deep and has a purple hue. I fail to remember how my Eternal jeans looked when new, but they might have been darker and were without the purple hue. In my opinion the strong pronounced vertical slubs give the denim a quite engineered look. Denims from Fullcount and especially Warehouse have a more “natural” vintage look to them. I am not sure if The Flat Head claims to be an accurate reproduction brand. I think it is more reproduction-inspired with its own twist.


The details and construction: The jeans have the typical repro details: hidden selvedge coin pocket, hidden rivets, chain-stitched hems, top button V-stitch, leather patch, raised belt loops, etc.

Hardware: Detailing is the aspect in which The Flat Head is extremely strong. Like Samurai, they are filled with little details but TFH is not as loud as Samurai. I really like the iron buttons and the engraved back of the buttons. I was very surprised though to see that my size 36 only has 4 buttons in total. I expected 5 buttons and I am sure older issues of the 3009 featured more buttons. The copper rivets are nice too.

Threads and stitching: The vast majority of the used threads are brown. Only the double stitching use brown and lemon stitching. A little more color would have been nice. The SPI is relative high but I have seen higher SPI on other brands. Threads of different strengths are used depending on the points of stress – nicely done.

The double stitching is a very nice detail and done with a cotton thread and a poly-cotton thread with the purpose of added strength and durability. On the front pockets that is not necessary for me, why? See below. On my right front pocket the double stitching a little wonky/not aligned, but I don’t want to complain about this…it’s a complicated thing.


Assorted details: The belt loops are raised as are the top of the back pockets. The top of the back pockets is raised more than on any other jeans I have encountered. I think there was a discussion about how the Japanese brands focus on some vintage details and exhaust it to the max: The Flat Head definitely fits this mold. The leather patch is made of goat skin, which has a medium thickness that is not exaggerated nor flimsy. The patch printing is rather bland.

The printed pockets bags look nice and sturdy, but they are rather small…which doesn’t really matter as the pocket openings are so hard to access I probably won’t use them at all. So, the double stitching will become superfluous.

Construction: The overall construction quality is very high, but I would not put them at the very top of the Japanese brands I’ve encountered so far. Also with this pair, you have some loose threads on the inside. Further, I found the belt loops of my Ooe Yofokuten executed way cleaner than on TFH with their “Atu Mesu” technique. Durability will be proven over time. It’s unfortunate that the front pockets are so hard to access – the openings are simply cut too small.

Conclusion: Overall, I am very happy with the The Flat Head model 3009. They have a nice slim and modern fit, with a crunchy and dark denim that is already showing great potential. My main complaint is the smallness of the front pockets, which I can live with as I usually don’t put stuff in my front pockets anyway. The level of construction is very high and I am curious to see how well the double stitched back pockets will hold up.

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