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5 Pairs of Unsanforized Jeans for Under $250

With unsaforized jeans returning to popularity, we’ve found ourselves looking for a pair (or 5) that fall into the lower two tiers (Entry & Mid) of the raw denim world. The unsanforized denim game has mainly taken place in the “end level” tier of raw denim, with most pairs listing upwards of the $300 mark.

Unsanforized jeans can be some what of a guessing game for those just starting out. While we’ve offered our thoughts on unsanforized denim and if it’s worth the effort. Some people feel the need to find out for themselves. For those of you who don’t want to drop $300+ on a pair of jeans for your first pair of unsanforized denim, we’ve come up with a list of 5 pairs of for under $250.

1. Levi’s 501 STF

The Levi’s 501 Shrink-to-Fit have been a staple of raw denim since the beginning. Most people (if they’re old enough) remember going down to the store, buying a pair of 501’s in a size or two too big, going home and sitting in the tub with the jeans on and having them shrink to their body.

Levi's 501 STF

Image courtesy: liquorstoreclothing.com

The 501 STF is a straight fit jean made from an unsanforized 12.5 oz. 100% cotton non-selvedge denim with an indigo warp/white weft. The 501 fit is a classic high waisted fit that is straight in the leg. It features a button fly, contrast stitching, and a Levi’s branded patch. Check out our full guide if you’re looking to get started on a pair.


  • Name: Levi’s 501 STF
  • Denim: Unsanforized, 100% Cotton Non-selvedge denim
  • Weight: 12.5 oz.
  • Fit: Straight Leg
  • Other Details:
    • Made in Egypt
    • Classic Levi’s red tab
    • Back pocket arcuates
  • Available for $47 at Levi’s

2. Combatant Gentlemen Slim Selvedge – $70

Combatant Gentleman is an online retailer for those who want to “dress smarter”. They offer suits, shirts, overcoats, and of course denim at a reasonable price. Their model is to not deal with mark ups through retail stores, as well as discrete brand mark ups, while keeping their denim produced in downtown Los Angeles, California.

Combatant Gentleman 02

Their denim comes in two fits (Slim & Slim Straight) and three different colors (Indigo, Black, & Grey). It’s relatively lightweight at only 11.9 oz. and all three colors are unsanforized 100% cotton denim. See our in-depth review here.

Combatant Gentleman 01


  • Name: Combatant Gentlemen Deep Indigo Slim Selvedge
  • Denim: Unsanforized, 100% Cotton Japanese Selvedge
  • Weight: 11.9 oz.
  • Fit: Skinny
  • Other Details:
    • Natural tanned Spanish leather patch
    • Blank copper hardware
    • Vintage twill pocket bags
  • Available for $70 at Combatant Gentlemen

3. Japan Blue 16.5 oz. Monster Skinny – JB0212

Japan Blue is a member of the larger Japan Blue Group, a conglomerate of Japan Blue Jeans, Momotaro Jeans, Rampuya, and Collect Co. Mills. However, Japan Blue has a lower price point and a more experimental/zanier take on making raw jeans. The Japan Blue 16.5 oz. Monster Skinny is a pure indigo rope dyed selvedge with a hard slub to the denim. The fit of the jean is slim in the leg, has a low rise, and tapers from the thighs.


The JB0212 features details such as contrast stitching, gold finish branded buttons, gold rivets, hickory stripe pocket bags, blue thread inseam stitch, and button fly.

JB0212 Full

  • Name: Japan Blue 16.5 oz. Monster Skinny
  • Denim: Unsanforized, 100% Cotton Collect Mills Selvedge
  • Weight: 16.5 oz.
  • Fit: Skinny
    • Other Details:
    • Woven with cotton from USA and Australia
    • Leather patch from Tanner Goods
    • Hickory Stripe pocket bags
  • Available for $126 at Denimio

4. Naked & Famous Okayama Spirit

With jeans ranging from a reflective denim, to a scratch and sniff, Naked & Famous is known for their unique and out of this world denim options. For this jean N&F was able to channel the legend and lore of denim from Okayama, Japan. Working closely with a small studio mill in Okayama, they were able to produce a unique 16 oz. slubby denim that has an almost hand-woven look to it.

N&F Okayama Spirit

Details include special rivets that read “JE T’ADORE TOUTE NUE” or “I LOVE YOU NAKED” for the non-Francophiles, a 10 oz. natural vegetable leather patch, an exposed selvedge coin pocket, and logo buttons. The Okayama Spirit Jeans are available in the Super Skinny Guy, Weird Guy, and Slim Guy fits. So no matter your shape and size, N&F has you covered.

N&F Okayama Spirit Fit


  • Name: Naked & Famous Okayama Spirit
  • Denim: Unsanforized, 100% Cotton Japanese Selvedge
  • Weight: 16oz.
  • Fit: Super Skinny Guy, Weird Guy, Slim Guy
  • Other Details:
    • Rivets read “JE T’ADORE TOUTE NUE” (i.e. “I LOVE YOU NAKED”)
    • 10 oz. natural vegetable tanned leather patch
  • Available for $198 at Tate + Yoko

5. Red Cloud R423XX

The Shenyang-based company Red Cloud produces jeans and other workwear items using the same vintage machinery employed in many better-known brand factories. If “Made in China” isn’t something you’d typically associate with a high-quality garment, then Red Cloud will turn your world upside down.

All of their textiles are made from 100% Chinese cotton from Xinjiang province, which many hold in the same regard as cotton from Zimbabwe and Texas.

Red Cloud R423XX

the R423XX is Red Cloud’s 1947 military-inspired denim. This mid-weight 13.5 oz. slim straight jean separates itself from the rest of Red Cloud’s products by including unique detailing; including the Japanese goatskin leather patch and laurel leaf buttons.

Red Cloud R423XX


  • Name: Red Cloud R423XX
  • Denim: Unsanforized, 100% Chinese Cotton
  • Weight: 13.5 oz.
  • Fit: Slim straight
    • Other Details:
    • Cotton from Xinjiang province
    • Japanese goatskin leather patch
    • Laurel button detail
  • Available for $189 at Tuckshop & Sundry Supplies

Want to see more unsanforized jeans in your price range? Have a look at the Heddels Scout!

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