We introduced Buck Mason and their newly produced jeans a couple of months ago. The brand began with other apparel items, setting denim as a future goal, and now they’re going full steam.
I had the opportunity to give a pair of their Slim a test drive. I’ve been wearing them a little over a month now, four times a week or more. I’ve been able to put them through the paces a bit, as it’s the beginning of summer here in Southern California: I’ve taken them on a number of motorcycle rides, long walks around town, and few beach trips.
The jeans have performed wonderfully in all aspects. They provide a classic but updated fit with an unreal price-point for any raw selvedge jean, particularly one made in the U.S., and they’re breaking in beautifully. Here’s the skinny (or the Slim, in this case):
- Name: Buck Mason Slim Fit
- Weight: 12 Oz.
- Fabric: Sanforized 100% cotton Cone Mills White Oak indigo selvedge denim
- Fit: Slim: Mid-rise, slim throughout, 14-inch bottom opening
- Made in: Los Angeles, CA, USA
- Unique Features
- True to size
- Stamped natural leather patch
- Available at: Buck Mason for $135.00
Being the patina-obsessed man that I am, I’m a sucker for natural patches, as they age beautifully with the denim, a badge of battle. The patch is a nice leather that has yet to come into its own, but it should look great in a few months.
One of my favorite details on the jeans is something you don’t see much in the raw denim world. The hardware on the jeans is a super-clean silver, which provides a great contrast to the denim itself. Now, I’m a big fan of classic copper rivets and all that, but the ultra-shiny hardware on this pair gives it a modern flare.
There’s a hidden selvedge coin pocket, another little detail that demonstrates that the boys at Buck Mason are paying attention.
The fit is absolutely stellar–no hyperbole at all. I’m generally a skinny/slim-tapered guy, so the fit was a bit looser than what I’m used to below the knee, but it was a welcome change from the tighter jeans that I usually sport. This is not to say that they are loose all around. Quite the contrary: they are fitted in the seat and thigh, tight enough to not look baggy but loose enough to maintain circulation. The fit below the knee is not overdone, maintaining a clean silhouette. It’s a perfect pair for a more casual look in the workplace or a weekend hangout.
The length posed a bit of a challenge for me. I wear a size 29 waist, and the graduated length at this size is 33 inches. My tailored length is a 32, so the jeans weren’t quite long enough to cuff without wearing them a little shorter than I like. I don’t usually go for stacking, but I decided to give it a shot. Again, the length is by no means extreme; it’s just a little extra around the ankles. The longest length they make is a 34, which some may see as short in the world of raw denim, but my guess is that the average Buck Mason customer is probably not looking to cuff nor to stack.
I am an admitted Cone Mills disciple, but I try to maintain a healthy objectivity when it comes to denim. I’ve worn denim from many of the major Japanese mills, and a number of pairs made from Cone denim. The denim used here seems to be a standard Cone Mills offering: nothing crazy unique, but solid, crisp, deep blue selvedge. While some people out there talk trash on brands using Cone, I find their denim impeccable and far from flat.
At 12 ounces, it’s been perfect for the warm weather of late Spring and early Summer: light enough to not cause pass-out sweats, but heavy enough to withstand the beach breeze. It broke in quickly, more than bearable from the outset but completely comfortable after a couple of wears.
After a month, it continues to develop, with some electric blue showing through at the whiskers, combs, and particularly the seat area. My wallet is a fade monster, so it might be that, but it seems that the denim is a pretty fast fader. The texture is looking nice, a little bit hairy but still fairly smooth.
The jeans have held up in all respects during my various activities: no issues with buttons flying off or pockets or belt loops ripping. If I had any gripes, albeit minor, they would be with the few stray threads that were hanging out, one near the rear pocket particularly unsightly.
One issue that is also fairly minor but something to consider is that the button fly has a weird habit of sticking out at a strange angle—which could make for some awkward moments. The placement of the stitching creates a bit of a tent which sticks up, mostly when seated. Again, it’s nothing that would cause me to dismiss the jeans entirely, but it is something that’s a little bothersome.
The boys at Buck Mason have done their homework when it comes to construction details. Though a hardcore denim enthusiast is probably not their target consumer, they’ve included the requisite details to please a discerning denimhead. There is selvedge fly detailing, and chain stitching throughout, with bar tacks at the stress points. The contrast stitching is classic, two-toned in a lemon yellow and gold.
I can take this pair from work to play without a second thought: they work with a button-up or a t-shirt. I’m excited to see what some serious summer wear will do to the denim, as it is already starting to break in nicely after only a month.
I cannot stress enough what a solid pair of denim you’ll be getting for the price (at a much higher price even). At 135 dollars, you get a prima fit with classic Cone Mills denim and all the little details that both experienced and beginning raw consumers can appreciate. The fact that Buck Mason produces an entire collection is even more impressive, as they obviously put some serious thought into the details and fit of their denim without claiming denim as their only area of expertise.
Oh, and did I mention that they’re made right here in the US of A? That’s right: domestically produced from start to finish, which makes the price even harder to believe.
Still doubtful? Drop in to their Venice store if you’re in the area, or you can try on their denim at home with no risk: if you don’t like it, send it back for free.