Naked & Famous has long been known for pushing the boundaries of denim logic. With offerings like glow in the dark, thermochromic, and scratch and sniff jeans, Brandon Svarc and Bahzad Trinos seem to thumb their nose at everyday raw denim. Despite some of their more eccentric models, the Canadian company also has many subtler options every season.
Naked & Famous sent us one such pair from their Spring/Summer ’14 collection to review–the 19oz Heavy Soft Selvedge in their Weird Guy cut. After a month of wear, the Heavy Soft has some design and fit issues, but those don’t overshadow its amazing heavy fabric.
- Name: Naked & Famous Heavy Soft Selvedge Weird Guy
- Fabric: 100% cotton Japanese indigo selvedge denim
- Weight: 19oz. – Heavy
- Fit: Weird Guy – Tapered
- Unique features:
- Hidden selvedge coin pocket
- Buffalo leather back patch
- MSRP: $190 at Tate + Yoko
If you’re into raw denim, chances are likely you’ll find yourself in a Weird Guy tapered fit at one point or another. But for being one of the most widespread cuts in this subculture, there are some notable ergonomic and aesthetic drawbacks.
First, the crotch is too high. As you can see in the fit pics, the denim tends to suck up into the “wedgie zone”. This isn’t as much of a problem with lighter and stretch denims, but on heavier weights it’s not as much fun–I tried to try scale two stairs with one step in them and I immediately regretted it. At 11 inches in the front and 14 in the back, they’re firmly a mid-rise jean, but that center seam could drop a little bit more.
In the same vein, the fly is way too short. It’s 4.5 inches from the bottom of the waistband to the end of the fly opening, compare that to 6.5 on size 31 3sixteen SL-100s and 5.75 on size 32 LVC 1978 501s. Trust me, that inch makes a difference, using a urinal for the first time in these brought back memories of running the hurdles in high school.
The front pockets are also nearly impossible to access. They’re sucked up flush against the front of the jeans, which makes for cleaner lines, but at such a functional cost. I missed more than one call because I simply could not get my phone out while sitting down. Just saying if raw denim ever goes out of style, N&F could make a killing in chastity belts.
The overall silhouette itself is sort of drumstick shaped. The majority of the taper happens between the thighs (12″) and the knees (9″), with only an inch between the knees and the 8 inch leg opening, leading to thigh flare. I’m having a hard time imagining a body type that would find the cut both flattering and comfortable.
Most all of my problems with the fit are balanced with how great the fabric is. This 19oz sanforized selvedge indigo denim was woven in Japan, and it seems to be exclusive to Naked & Famous. To achieve the heavy weight, Naked & Famous wove the denim with double-size warp and weft yarns, so the weave appears like a normal weave magnified by two. The extra size on the weft yarns creates a fleece like fuzz on the jean’s interior, hence the name Heavy Soft.
This is also some of the most uniform and regular denim I’ve ever seen. The weave stacks up at a perfect grid like you’re staring at an LCD screen. I noticed some slight hints of fades after the wear time, but expect high contrast fades with any denim in this weight range.
The break in period was fairly painless, they came vanity sized one inch with my 33 measuring out to 34 and stretching only a half inch. The soft nature of the fabric pretty much eliminated the rougher parts of taming heavy denim–irritation behind the knees, difficulty with the buttons, and bruised hips. If you want to make the jump up to heavy fabrics for the first time, this is a very good option.
The details on the Heavy Soft are fairly plain jane. All of the typical Naked & Famous touches are here: branded donut buttons and rivets, hidden selvedge coin pocket, chain stitched hems. The only things that really set this pair apart from every other Weird Guy in their lineup are the fabric and the thick buffalo leather patch on the back, which is pretty neat, I look forward to seeing how it softens up with more wear.
The lack of detail is really nothing to complain about, the jeans are utilitarian and functional, but if you’re looking for a pair with lots hidden bells and whistles, this isn’t it.
In terms of durability, the Heavy Soft is solid but not exceptional. Naked & Famous reinforced the jean’s construction with flat felled seams and bar tacks. There were a couple stray threads at the end of a few seams, a little sloppy but nothing that would affect the jean’s structural integrity.
There are also raw edges on the interior of the back pockets where the fabric was folded over to make the seam. Again, not something that will make the jeans fall apart faster, but pulling out indigo yarns along with my wallet got old fast and that extra fabric will probably show up in the fades.
Despite the drawbacks in the fit, the retail price of $190 is a pretty good deal for a fabric this heavy and this interesting. Other jeans with a similar fabric and fit include the 3sixteen ST-130, the Left Field NYC 18oz. Heavy Slub Chelsea, and the Oni 512XX. Those pairs have better fits, construction, and details, but they also cost $60, $80, and $115 more, respectively. The fabrics on those pairs might have more irregularity but they also won’t be nearly as forgiving as the Heavy Soft.
If you’re interested in trying your first pair of heavy denim, the Heavy Soft is a good option though I’d highly recommend trying them on first to see if my issues with the fit are also a problem for you. But if Naked & Famous could drop the crotch, lengthen the fly, and loosen up those front pockets; man, that’d be a jean that’s tough to beat.