There is a whole lot more to consider than just size when you’re shopping for a new pair of jeans. There are a wide variety of cuts, brands, and dyes available out there. One thing we always take into consideration? The type of fabric being used.
While you won’t catch us saying that selvedge is the only type of denim one should wear, it’s definitely our preference. Not only does this type of fabric have a tougher feel to it, but over time it tells a story. The Indigo dye used to give selvedge denim that blue look sits on top of the fabric’s fibers rather than in them. As a result, it slowly gets chipped away over time – leaving impressions and marks that reflect your lifestyle. That wallet you always put in your back pocket? Your trusty can of chew? It paints a kind of portrait. That kind of relationship with your clothes isn’t something you just can’t buy off a rack – it’s earned after months and years of consistent wear. If that’s a journey you’re interested in going on, you should take a look at our list of the 18 best selvedge denim jeans on the market.
Taylor Stitch Democratic Jean in Cone Mills ’68 Selvedge
This pair of jeans, like a lot of others on the list, are made from Cone Mills Denim. For a long time (110 years to be exact), the North Carolina loom has been producing high quality American made denim fabrics. Unfortunately, the company is closing up shop in 2018. That means quality pairs of jeans like these looser fit 13.5-ounce picks from Taylor Stitch will no longer be available. Get them while you can – because they won’t be coming back.
Railcar Spikes X005
Made from Cone Mills 12-ounce blue line selvedge denim, these jeans boast a slimmer cut, and a button fly. Railcar goods offers up complementary hemming to your exact measurement and 25% off repair for life.
Big John M106D Slim Tapered Leg
Japanese brands like Big John have kept the American tradition of selvedge denim alive much better than the U.S. has. This particular pair from the brand boasts a special sulfur-dyed method. Rather than fading from black to white, it fades from black to indigo and then to white. The jeans are made by hand in Japan and are 100% cotton.
Levi’s Vintage 1967 505 Slim-Fit Dry Selvedge Denim Jean
Ever find yourself pining for the way Levi’s used to be made? Well, apparently Levi’s felt the same way. This selection from their Vintage Clothing collection mimics the 1967 cut of the 505. They’re made from dry selvedge denim and boast the famous 5 pocket design.
Samurai Jeans S710XX 19oz
Out of all the Japanese brands making selvedge denim, Samurai is among the most sought after. This particular style of jeans from the brand are cut from a heavyweight 19-ounce fabric and feature a deep blue color that comes as a result of the rope dyeing method.
Left Field NYC Collect Heavy Slub
These jeans, unlike those earlier in the list, are made from a heavyweight red line selvedge denim from Cone Mills. This 18-ounce fabric is dyed a grey/black, cut to a slim but relaxed fit, and features all American made hardware. A great pick for those looking for black jeans.
Stanton 12.5 Ounce Tinted Weft Jeans
Made by hand in Los Angeles from a 12.5-ounce sanforized denim, these jeans are ideal for those looking for solid Japanese denim without the shipping cost. The pants boast Rogue Territory’s signature lasso stitching on the back pocket, as well as a branded leather patch and set of buttons.
3Sixteen Sl-120XK Kibata Shadow Jeans
On the hunt for a pair of jeans that’ll shrink to fit? This pair from 3sixteen are worth a look. Made from an unsanforized Japanese denim with an indigo warp and a black weft – they’re sure to show more character than most others out there.
Freenote Cloth Rios Slim Straight Jeans
Another pair of jeans made with denim sourced from Cone Mills. This particular selvedge fabric weighs in at around 14.75-ounces – putting it in the medium weight category. The American-sewn jeans boast custom rivets and button tacks, Japanese herringbone pocket bags, and a Red Wing Heritage Oro Legacy leather patch.
Imogene + Willie Charlie Rigid
Imogene and Willie, the American clothing brand, had been getting a lot of request for a more rigid, low rise jean from their clients – so they went ahead and made a pair. They boast a super slim leg, and an original orange selvedge fabric sourced from Cone Mills.
Shockoe Atelier Slim Kojima
Made from a 14.5-ounce slub denim sourced from Collect Mills in Japan and made by hand in Richmond, Virginia – these jeans are truly offer the best of both worlds. The indigo dye on the warp and the natural weft mean they have a textured character and will show signs of wear slightly faster.
Levi’s 1954 501 Jeans
When Levi’s looked to bring back the 1954 cut of their famous 501 jeans, they also partnered with Cone Mills. Using a red selvedge as a canvas, the famed San Francisco-born brand brought back the old-fashioned leather fly, the classic Levi’s ‘V’ stitching, and that two-horse leather patch.
Jean Shop NYC Rocker
When Mr. Porter was putting together the Kingsman Collection, they looked to Jean Shop to make the denim. Why? Well, because their attention to detail is just about peerless in the world of denim. Just take a look at this pair. Made for warmer times of year, the jeans are constructed from a 10-ounce shirting weight fabric and boast a straight leg cut. Comfortable, stylish, and well made.
Nudie Jeans Thin Finn Dry Selvedge
A solid pair of jeans with a modern cut. Made from 12.5-ounce Kaihara stretch selvedge denim they boast a comfortable fit and an attractive dye. According to the folks at Nudie Jeans, it’s best to give these jeans a 6-month window to really begin to break in.
Raleigh Denim Workshop Martin Jeans
One of the benefits of being a denim brand based out of North Carolina is the ability to work closely with Cone Mills. These jeans from Raleigh Denim Workshop are constructed from a signature fabric made exclusively for the small brand. The 13-ounce denim was given a slim cut, a button fly, and a numbered leather patch.
Drake’s Model No.3 Indigo Selvedge Jeans
While all of the selvedge denim jeans we’ve highlighted so far have been made in the U.S. or in Japan, this pair was made across the pond in East London. They feature a one-piece fly, small back pockets, and reinforced rivets.
For a little bit of time there, the go-to Japanese denim brand was Evisu. They struck a chord in the American hip-hop scene and were worn by rappers and musicians like Kanye and Pharrel. While that moment has come and gone, Evisu never stopped making great jeans. This pair from the brand boasts a heavyweight unsanforized denim that’s been given a low-rise and slim cut treatment.
Iron Heart Indigo 14oz Money Denim Slim Straight Cut
These jeans are literally made from money. The warp of the denim is sourced from an 18-ounce fabric while the weft is made from a Japanese paper currency pulp that is lightweight but strong. An ideal pair of jeans for the guy looking to get his hands on something totally unique.
12 Best Black Jeans For Men
Hunting for something a little darker? Take a look at our list of the best black jeans for men.