Super Durable Jeans: The Ultimate Guide to Staying Well

Fruit flies last longer than fashion trends these days, but classic jeans are timeless

Spending the extra money on long-lasting jeans makes sense

Today we’re going to explore what to look for and where to find timeless jeans that will keep looking better as the years go by

Scroll to the end of this article (or skip to it) for some top picks for skinny jeans

That’s when you’ll be the armchair communicator of seeing strong jeans

Some people may not have time to read this entire guide so here is the lowdown on what to look for in a pair of durable pants:

Raw (untreated, pressed, or “washed”) 13 oz denim weight or heavy Selvedge denim (from Japanese or Italian mills) Sanforized (preshrunk) Recommended Products: Levis Vintage Collection, Real McCoys, Edwin, Rag & Bone, Unbranded Brand, APC , Nudie Jeans Co, of & Famous

What exactly is Denim Fabric?

Denim is a Twill fabric: note the diagonal weave pattern

Denim is a 100% cotton fabric that is usually dyed indigo blue

It is valued for its exceptional durability and its unique “finish” that develops with age and use

Excellent Durability

Twill is a strong fabric that is very popular for furniture upholstery, workwear etc

Denim’s unique “fade” effect is actually a result of the natural weakness of the indigo dye

That’s why the jean tends to be lighter at the creases, knee, butt and hems as the indigo fades

This particular variation is called “fade” and is highly prized by jean lovers who go to great lengths to develop this look

There’s actually a huge culture of jean fanatics competing in ongoing international competitions like the Indigo Invitational on Instagram

How Long Can a Good Jean Last?

10 years is a perfectly reasonable lifespan for a sturdy pair of casually used denim jeans

Variables that will affect the longevity of genes include:

What to Look for in Perfect Jeans

Stick with Medium to Heavy Denim fabric

Here comes the Famous 32 oz Jeans (credit: Tate&Yoko)

In general, the heavier the denim the stronger the jeans will be

Jean fabrics are measured in Ounces per Square Yard

Heddelscom classifies jean fabrics into three categories:

If you want a strong, durable jean you should go for 13 oz and up

Keep in mind that very heavy denim jeans will take a long time to break

Think of it as breaking in leather shoes

Also, the heavier the denim, the more the denim will set the stitching and seams

So, if you’re going “whole hog” on heavy-duty monsters like Brand’s 21 oz (See them on Amazon), just remember that the thread and stitching must match the fabric or they may fail prematurely

“Raw denim”(AKA “dry denim”) simply means that the denim has not been dyed correctly, naturally pressed or broken in any way

Most genes these days have been pre-broken by chemical treatments (AKA “washed”)

“Washed” is usually pre-faded, soft and shrinks more at first, chemical baths can significantly reduce the fibers and reduce the life of the jeans

Raw Denim: Pros & Cons

Best fit denim that stays in top condition with a different “wither” Very durable – the fabric is not artificially weakened or compressed High ownership satisfaction

Takes time to break in Indigo dye transfers easily at first (AKA “crocking’) – avoid light leather beds etc

Raw Selvedge (Self-edged) Denim

Selvedge Denim and its finished story

Selvedge denim is a more durable form of denim produced from narrow bolts of fabric on traditional shuttle looms

These classic shuttle machines are unique in that they can produce clean, finished edges on the denim fabric as it comes off the loom—hence the term “self-edge “

By comparison, mass-produced denim is made on fast width projectile looms with a rough, unstable hem and a slightly denser weave

You can recognize selvedge denim by its narrow finished hem which is usually seen below the hem of the leg

NOTE: Selvedge denim can be found in “raw” or “washed” forms, but for the strongest jeans you should find “raw raw denim “

Selvedge denim’s clean, stable edges make denim a long-lasting choice for jeans

Look for Japanese Denim

To be clear, not all Japanese denim is too heavy

What you need is Japanese Selvedge denim

It takes a lot of time and skill to produce selvedge denim

These days high-quality selvedge denim is produced only in special Japanese mills where traditions run deep and skilled workers know how to work the old machines

Other brands that use real Japanese raw selvedge denim in all or part of their line are: Nake & Famous, Real Mccoys, Hiroshi Kato, Edwin, Levis Vintage Collection, Unbranded Brand and APC

If you want the most durable jeans, it’s a must to find “independent Japanese denim” woven on vintage shuttle looms

Most jeans (raw or washed) come sanforized

Sanforized denim is not a chemical wash or bleach treatment

It’s just a heat and steam treatment that wrinkle the front of the denim

Without sanforization a pair of jeans will shrink by 10% after the first wash

So, unless your slimming expert fits your jeans, stick with sanforized jeans

Most jeans today (green or otherwise) are bleached and would normally say otherwise if they weren’t

Raw unsanforized(AKA: loom-state) jeans are not common at all

Summary: You should be looking for 13 oz or more raw Japanese denim that is sanforized

Raw Denim Perk: Epic Ends

It’s a unique brand of raw denim and a hard-earned badge of honor

One of the dirty secrets to creating an amazing fade in jeans like these is to rarely (if ever) wash them

You can check out his “Dirty Jean Manifesto” here

To get an idea of ​​how cool the fade can get, check out the Heddelscom “Fade Fridays” or the Indigo Invitational on Instagram – a global competition

You can become a denim-head yourself and start sleeping in your jeans like some of these people do!

Perfect Jeans: Top Picks

Finding selfji raw jeans online is really a big pain in the butt because most are small jeans manufacturers

They clearly know “jeans” and have done a great job of pulling together many of the most “hardcore” jeans brands in one place on the internet

Amazon’s selection is great with a few exceptions: namely, Made and Famous and Unknown Brands, but even those have a limited selection on Amazon

Well, most of the tips below look very similar, such is the case with blue denim

However, they will all develop a unique attractive fade over time

Levis Selvedge Vintage 501’s (The Most Iconic)

Levi’s Selvedge Vintage 1954 501’s

You can’t find an iconic pair of jeans that lasts longer than these

Levis 501 jeans described as Kleenex refers to tissue paper

Vintage 501’s are a unique line that hearkens back to Levi’s original heavy duty selvedge shuttle loom jeans

Unbranded UB201 (Good Price)

Unbranded Brand UB201′s (on Amazon)

When it comes to raw selvedge jeans you won’t find a better deal than Unbranded Brand’s sanfordized UB201’s

In return, you can get your hands on a solid selvedge jean for much less than other brand name jeans

APC has a great reputation for making durable jeans

The 145 oz raw denim New Standard denim, in particular, has become a favorite among denim heads

Naked & Famous Wierd Guy Indigo Selvedge 13oz (Amazon)

Simple & Famous Jeans is based in Montreal and produces Japan’s leading jeans

Basically, you’re not a true denim head if you haven’t heard of these jeans- Well, they’re actually quite popular

Nudie Leans on Dean Dry Japan Selvedge

Nudie Lean Dean 130z Dry Selvedge

Again, not a fan of the name, but I can’t deny their lasting name

FYI: “Dry” means raw denim

Lean Deans are another great example of a well-constructed jean that lasts a long time

So much for the real McCoy 906S Jean

So much for the real McCoy 906S Jean

These rugged 1475oz selvedge jeans are inspired by 20th century denim classics

Joe McCoy jeans have a unique reputation for durability

Check out EndClothingcom

Edwin ED-55 Unwashed Selvedge

These 14 oz regular jeans are very tight at first, but you’ll be rewarded with a long, satisfying relationship with them

They will develop a high contrast fade

Edwin Jeans are actually hard to find in North America, but End Clothing carries them

Rag & Bone Skinny Jeans (indigo green)

Rag & Bone Skinny Jeans (indigo green)

Rag & Bone makes purist jeans

Their 14 oz (Fit 1) Skinny Jean in Raw Indigo will last a long, long time

They have a wide line that should be checked out if you’re not into skinny jeans

You can check out these jeans here

Also, if you’re wondering how to care for blue denim jeans, artofmanlinesscom has a very helpful article

Heddelscom also has a wealth of information on finding denim jackets

Here’s a great guide to buying your first raw denim jacket

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