Selvedge jeans

So what’s the deal with this?

Never heard of it? Is it slang, or a cool new band?

A quick Google Search reveals some interesting info:

Read this William Gibson novel to both know the answer but also because it is really good.

Oooh, I’m reading Neuromancer currently and I really enjoy this guys style so far. Maybe I’ll add that one to my backlog! Thanks!

It can be a sign of well-made jeans. Usually paired with raw or lightly treated denim, which is also usually associated with good product. So, generally, you’ll see a higher price tag and some boutique brands pursuing this stuff.

Scott’s link covers the “what” fairly well, but, speaking very broadly, it’s a denim weaving technique that doesn’t present a weaker unwoven seam to wear, meaning it’s less likely to unravel. These days it’s usually applied to traditionally woven denims made on oldschool style looms. The US sold a ton of its looms to Japan after WW2 to kickstart a new textile industry there as we moved to more automated mechanisms, and that legendary, albeit perhaps somewhat problematically trope-y, Master Craftsman/Pride in Work Japanese spirit did indeed mean that many of the old denim mills in Japan are still producing excellent work on immaculately maintained denim looms. Some US manufacturers continue to use the loom production style, or acquired new/old ones recently to start it up again. Again, it tends to be associated with high care/quality mills, though that doesn’t mean all other denim is inferior or that all selvedge brands are flawless.

If you get into the world of boutique denims with deep rich dyes, super-crazy high denim weightings (I’ve read stories about little old Japanese women needing to smash seams repeatedly with a mallet to soften the ultra-high-weight cotton enough to work their needles through it), off-color wefts in the weave that reveal themselves as the main indigo dye fades, customizable lengths, etc., you can quickly rack up a massive price tag, like with any high-fashion item.

But if you wanna drop like $75-100 bucks on a reputable moderate brand to get some jeans that’ll last well, fade in a cool manner, and probably support some respectable craftspeople, selvedge is a good way to go :)

I did not expect denim lore to be up there with Nickolodeon shows in the pantheon of shit Armando is enthusiastic to hold forth about at the drop of a hat.

For like a year I pretended I could feel attractive if I dressed better and started following /r/malefashionadvice and a few style blogs, bought some moderately okay items, etc.

Then I realized that I was still a fat, poorly shaved geek with metalhead hair and squinty eyes, and that hell, most of the cool fashion shit either wasn’t made in fat people sizes, or just generally looked goofy stretched over my voluminous bulk.

So I switched back to metal tees and skate shoes. I kept the raw denim jeans, though. I’ve owned 2 pairs of jeans for the last decade – a dark blue set and a grey set. A belt loop on the greys gave out about a year ago, and I popped an embarrassing tear on the crotch of the indigo pair just a week ago. I’ve replaced both with identical pairs and expect to get another solid decade of ~twice-weekly (each) wear out of em.

This is some metal shit right here. Though tbh I am on like year three of some $16 Costco bullshit being in the regular rotation and they’re holding up fine, heh.

Any specific brands?

OK, I’m sold. What brands for guys who don’t exactly look like the mannequins?

Dude you are the king. I would much rather read your explanation of random things than anything that Google might present me with. You should publish a book of “Armando’s Three-Paragraph Explanations” and make sure to include a D&D relative edition ‘splaining.

Although Scott’s link does demonstrate an excellent practice of Google-fu!

Interesting. The place we went today only had jeans between $300-900. So I guess that is the high end.

Last jeans I bought were $22.99 on Amazon. Wrangler Men’s Rugged Wear Relaxed Fit. They’re fine.

I would pre-order this. Along with RichVR’s book of crazy stories from his life, and maybe a coffee-table edition of Frop Bog photos.

It’s worth noting that my knowledge is pretty out of date, so it’s possible newer/better options are available! But the three that I recall being solid starter items are:

  • Unbranded
    A diffusion brand for Naked & Famous, made from Japanese-produced denim, that runs about $80-110. The Relaxed Fit Straights will be relatively loose (though, as with any raw denim, buy up a couple of inches to account for shrinkage the first time you wash or soak them). Really good quality, and as a bonus, the leather patch doesn’t have an obnoxious brand stamped onto it so you don’t feel like a walking advertisement!
  • Gustin
    A US-produced brand with Japanese denim that are in that same price range. Their thing is basically running off a Kickstarter/Massdrop style model, so I’m not sure what availability is actually like, but they make good shit. If you can find a design you like that’s close to fully funded for an order, it’s a great deal, and the have a lot of varieties and fits.
  • Levis
    They’ve got two tiers. The Shrink-to-Fit 501s are a very classic straight cut jean that favors people with a body like mine, lol. They’re not selvedge, but they’re a slight cut higher tier than the rest of Levi’s line (or at least used to be). They’re also very affordable. Their Made & Crafted Line are a substantial jump in quality, but a much larger jump in price. At that point, you’re probably better off looking into finding a boutique brand on sale (like Naked & Famous, 3Sixteen, Samurai Denim, etc).

Oh yeah. Limited edition runs, designer collabs, hand-produced jean mods, etc. Shit goes rapidly crazy at the high end. But again, fashion.


Edit: Weird thing. Lots of brands only offer one inseam length, or adjust it automatically with waist length but still don’t give you an option. It’s a whole thing in the denim-head community. You’re intended to either self-hem, roll your jean bottoms like a classic James Dean movie, or let the jeans “stack” (bunch up on top of your shoes/slip down over them and get all scuffed up by your heels). The latter two produce “cool” wear/fade patterns that are highly prized steez indeed.

I read this as “Salvage Genes” and was about to get all excited about a new class of regenerative proteins. Bah!

Would it be distasteful to make a joke about denim folded 1000 times?

Didn’t you know that a katana made from 28oz hand-woven selvedge denim, produced on a still-glowing loom from Hiroshima, can cut through any other blade?

There, I did it for you!

That’s a reasonably good guess. I’d probably be barred from entering a store like that by a couple of bison-shouldered security guys wearing dark shades and scowls on their faces.

I thought it was jeans made out shelf paper and thought the hipsters were out of control.

At the place we went, you couldn’t even walk out with the jeans you bought. My friend bought some jeans for $325 and they told him he’d have to wait 1-3 days for them to be hemmed.