Five Plus One is our weekly series of buyer’s guides. We pick a specific category and dig up five great options along with one that’s a little outside the norm.
Normally, we’re all about selvedge denim, but not this week. There are thousands of amazing pairs of selvedge jeans out there, but they aren’t the only quality options on the market.
There are many valid reasons to prefer non-selvedge denim to selvedge denim; the fabric can be made more cost effectively, it can be difficult to have a visible selvedge ID on highly tapered jeans, or simply for personal preference. Although many assume that high tier jean brands use selvedge denim exclusively, many offer the same high quality pairs made from non-selvedge denim.
1) Levi’s: 501 Shrink to Fit in Rigid Indigo
Sometimes you just can’t beat the classics. Levi’s 501 Shrink to Fit jeans might not be the most extravagant pair of denim, but they offer a great bang for your buck. Made from a mid-weight unsanforized denim, these jeans are the perfect introduction to the world of rawdenim. Or for your seasoned denimheads, they’re a great way to add a classically styled pair of jeans to your wardrobe without breaking the bank on another pair.
Available for $60 from Levi’s.
2) Japan Blue: JB0416GRY Jazz Nep
Japan Blue’s JB0416GRY Jazz Neps are far from classic, but that doesn’t mean they’re not a great pair of jeans. The fabric they are made from is made of a unique blend of cotton, acrylic, wool, nylon, and polyester; the warp threads are grey while the weft threads are black, and colorful neps are present through the fabric. Such non-traditional fabrics are usually produced as non-selvedge, which is why Japan Blue used a felled outseam to keep these jeans looking clean.
Available for $128 from Denimio.
3) Burgus Plus: 740-ST
It’s rare to see raw denim without selvedge these days, and even rarer to see it without a button fly. But that didn’t stop Burgus Plus from producing the 740-ST, a simplistic pair of non-selvedge zip-fly jeans. It can be difficult to design a pattern for a skinny or highly tapered jeans that still has an exposed selvedge outseam, which is why many companies produce such jeans with non-selvedge fabric. That said, with such a narrow leg opening were you really planning to cuff them in the first place? Let those stacks fall where they may!
Available for $133 from Denimio.
4) Iron Heart: IH-634 21Oz.
Iron Heart is known made for making jeans from heavyweight denim that can stand up to anything. Due to the high cost of producing such fabrics and the added labor required to sew it, their jeans are too pricy for many people. The IH-634 21Oz. is produced from a non-selvedge denim, which helps to make the price a bit more palatable. Produced to the same high standards as all of Iron Heart’s products, you won’t be disappointed in this pair.
Available for $275 from Iron Heart UK.
5) Naked and Famous: Skinny Guy – Lightweight Indigo/Indigo
Naked and Famous is known as a brand that constantly pushes the envelope in terms what can be done with denim. From heavyweight to scented and stainless steel to cashmere, they’ve done it all. Their Lightweight Indigo/Indigo jeans add yet denim to their repertoire, perfect for spring and summer, or warmer autumn days. Indigo/indigo denim as been all the rage lately, as the fades that develop will contrast even more heavily against the darker-than-usual indigo hue of the fabric. These non-selvedge jeans are the perfect way to jump into the fad without having to drop a few hundred dollars.
Available for $56 from Tate & Yoko.
Plus One – Kapital: No. KAP-27 Century Denim Okabilly Jeans
Kapital’s products definitely aren’t for everyone, but they certainly break up the monotony that often plagues the fashion industry. Their KAP-27 Century Denim Okabilly jeans are produced from a sumi-ink dyed denim, which has been made even more unique with the addition of indigo sashiko stitching throughout the fabric. They might not be your everyday pair of jeans, but Kapital knows how to pile the cool details into a garment.
Available for $340 from Blue in Green SOHO.