I finally gave in and snagged a pair of acid wash jeans off eBay. Part fascination with the late 80’s/early 90’s, part rebellious need to differentiate has had these on my list for a while. I settled on this particular pair because of the tapered leg cut of the old 550 and the unusually bold white/blue contrast of the acid wash. Read the rest of this entry »
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!
I own a pair of Levi’s 550’s. Gifted to me by my girlfriend. They are black, they are too big for me and I love them. Girls have been looking great in tapered jeans for a while now and I don’t understand why there aren’t any around for guys. Is it too soon for a 90’s revival?
On another note, I have been trying to decipher what all the fuss is about selvedged denim. Sure it’s vintage-y and yeah the little details on the upturned cuff are pretty cool. And I am definetly a sucker for quality. But come on, are they really a worthy investment for a guy trying to look his best? I have done the research and the selvedged quality is no doubt better, but $150, $200, $300 is a crap load of money for denim.
That being said, I will probably fold and get a selvedged pair from the Jean Shop in Soho one of these days. For the time being I am looking for a pair of no longer produced, tapered Levi’s 512’s on eBay or anywhere else i can grab a bargain (They are going for $34.95 at zappos.com currently, but i feel i can do better). I think the 512’s which are being advertised as a slim fit will be more flattering on me than my 550’s, which are relaxed fit. Below are pictures of my 550’s.