Denim, leather and tequilaPosted: February 15, 2011
The experience began as I walked through the door, greeted by friendly folks, weathered leather goods, and folklore worthy premium denim lining the walls. On West Broadway in Soho, Jean Shop brings the honky-tonk to downtown New York.
The shop hosts custom leather jackets and shirts (recently added as one of J. Crew’s third party offerings), vintage bandanas and thick leather jean belts. On this visit though I kept my diet to just denim, trying on their Rocker jeans as per recommendation.
Think “Rocker” like Elvis. These jeans live in jukebox diners effortlessly accompanying white tees (cigs in sleeve), grungy boots and greased pompadours. A straight leg cut (as is all selvedge denim), loosely fitted and cut not too low on the waist. I was advised to squeeze into the snuggest pair I could button up and let the denim loosen up over time to ensure the best possible fit.
I was also advised to go with their heaviest, 15 oz. denim. The good people there said these would break in better over time than their lighter weight denims. Though it takes a little more work. Jared, one of the shopkeepers, wearing his own well worn pair, told me about breaking his in. He said the kick-push of riding his skateboard caused his upper thigh to bruise because of how thick the denim was! Hats off to you sir, Jean Shop fifteen ounce denim is apparently more than just a one night fling, it is a commitment.
Now the selling point for many a Jean Shop customer is not their legendary denim, or their era-less, cool shopping environment, but their customization services. Once you have found the right fit, come up with your own personal combination of rinses, washes, tie-dyes, rips, holes, tears, scuffs, stains, irregularities, smudges, and anything else one can possibly think to do to a pair of jeans. If you don’t know where to begin, you can purchase one of a kind pre-created pairs off the rack. These guys will literally do anything short of personally wearing them in for you (though I didn’t ask…). Personally, I would prefer to damage and mold in my pair myself. Jeans tell a story, like Jared’s, and I want to be the author. Luckily, They’ve got me covered with a new pair of raw Rockers.
And finally the tequila. I won’t give away any secrets, but these guys have the customer service game cornered. Thanks for the hospitality!