Worn Out is our series of product reviews where we take an in-depth field test with many of the most sought after items. Whether it’s raw denim, shirting, footwear, outerwear, or accessories, we’re here to show you the good, the bad, and the ugly before you make your purchase.
Like many, my first dipped toe into the sea of raw denim was a pair of A.P.C. Petit Standards. As a tall, lanky guy, I was hesitant to go straight into denimhead fits like the LVC ’47 or a Japanese make. Even though I liked the slubbier hand of those jeans and many of the premium details, a slimmer, less “hey, look at my fancy jeans” approach felt like a safer first step.
As I got braver (and a shade less lanky–pancakes and ice cream, I’m looking at you) a fuller cut felt just right, and I’ve been wearing mostly that fit for the past couple of years.
But as a recent Californian who has discovered that there is a section in the grocery store that sells vegetables exclusively, my lankiness is making a return engagement, so these new Kojima “Old Boys” from Shockoe Atelier could not have come at a better time.
“Handmade in small batches in Shockoe Atelier’s Richmond Virginia workshop with a 14.5oz. slubby silver cast denim from Collect Mills in Japan,” these beauties are the ideal hybrid (another concept I learned out here–the cars are partly electric!) of a hefty weight denim and a trim, slimming fit.
- Name: Shockoe Atelier Kojima Old Boy
- Fabric: 100% cotton indigo selvedge denim from Collect Mills
- Weight: 14.5oz.
- Fit: Tapered
- Unique Features:
- Rolled and tucked belt loops
- Narrow selvedge line
- Double-pronged copper rivets with black finish
- Shockoe tobacco leaf logo-stamped rivets and buttons
- Veg-tanned leather patch from small-batch family producer in North Carolina
- Hand-numbered and signed
- Free repairs for the life of the jean
- Available for $275 at Shockoe Atelier
Whereas some jeans are relatively Plain Jane with a just a couple of notable details to ratchet up the price, the Kojimas are composed entirely of cool Bonus Features that make them a steal at $275.
Due to the warp/weft, these jeans have a true “silvery” sheen, and a slighty slubby hand. (Though were they a jar of peanut butter, they’d still be more creamy than crunchy). There’s a crispness to the denim that I like, as during wear you can almost hear each crease and wrinkle crack into place.
Even the belt loops get an all-class treatment, and with the blackened finish on the hardware and the narrowed selvedge line, these jeans have a more tailored, let’s-eat-at-a-place-with-tablecloths quality.
Not surprising–Shockoe Atelier was founded in 2012 by Anthony and Pierre Lupesco. Their family has been in the luxury menswear business for over 40 years, building on the tradition and craft of the great European luxury houses, but with a distinctly American point of view.
I love the tobacco leaf back patch, a subtle nod to my jean’s Virginia heritage.
The construction is top notch, the hand-numbering and signing coming off as less a free gimmick and more a demonstration of pride in workmanship. These are solidly made indeed.
But wait–there’s more! Not only will Shockoe hem your raw denim jeans (of course with a chain stitch) free of charge, but they will also repair your jeans for “any unwanted tears, scuffs or blowouts.” Forever. They’ll even call you to make sure they’re repairing them in the way you want! You know what proper denim darning and repairs can cost, so all of a sudden a pair of Shockoes are both a bargain, and an investment worth making.
The Kojima Slim Fit is a low-mid rise, with a slim seat and thighs with tapered leg. For my body type, slim cuts too often have too low a rise for me, showcasing more of my rear view than anyone wants to see. These Old Boys manage to sit low enough for a sleek, contemporary look while allowing me to avoid a ticket for Public Exposure.
The button fly is long enough to make it comfortable to use, and my 35″ waist felt true to size. (Shockoe’s size chart takes all the guesswork out of ordering.) Normally I wear a sizeable cuff, but I’m wearing these straight, looking forward to some nice puddling fades around the ankles.
From conception to construction through packaging and a lifetime commitment, the Shockoe Kojima “Old Boy” Slim Fit is a super premium experience at a price that’s barely at the midway point of the price spectrum.
You can pay a lot more and get a whole lot less elsewhere. These are now in my permanent rotation, perfectly beefy in construction, borderline “waify” in fit. (“Waify?” Have I already been on the West Coast too long?)
You can pick up your pair for $275 at Shockoe’s website.