Have you ever wondered why some jeans are priced at $200.00 and others are at 30 or 40? What makes the 200 dollar pair of jeans a better purchase than the 40 dollar pair? Is it a matter of fact or mere opinion? Is there really a difference? The truth is there are some jeans worth 2 and 3 hundred dollars. However, the jeans worth that price have some key ingredients. Those ingredients are rawness, weight, selvedge, and Sanforization So what I’m saying is that in order for a pair of jeans to be worth 200 or more they have to be a raw, appropriately weighted, selvedged and sanforized denim. Well what is raw, weighted, selvedge, and sanforization? I’m happy you asked. Raw denim is a denim of heavy denim fabric that has not been washed after it has been dipped in the indigo dye that gives it it’s color. It is unwashed, and untreated, so basically dyed, dried, and untouched. Raw denim has a crisp, clean, look and feel. It is very durable and sturdy. Raw denim is thicker and heavier (hence the durability) because more yards of denim fabric are used per individual pair. Which leads me to the next ingredient a $200.00 pair of jeans must have and that is weight. The weight of raw denim refers to how much a yard of denim fabric weighs in ounces. The heavier the weight the longer the shelf life; the more rigid and resistant the jeans will be to damage.

There are 3 raw denim weight classes; light,medium, and heavy. Medium is the most popular those jeans weigh between 12-16 ounces. They are the most popular because they’re lighter and more manageable than heavy raw denim but more firm than light raw denim So they’re the perfect balance between firmness and flexibility.

The thing about raw denim is that it gets better with time the more you wear them the more personalized they’ll become. Since raw denim is heavy, sturdy, and durable it will take some wearing time before your jeans soften up and fit you like a pre washed softer pair but when they do they’ll fit you to perfection and they’ll last a very long time. A pair of raw denim can be worn more than 1000 times because of its sturdy construction. Another element of quality denim is selvedge stitching. Selvedge is when a fabric is woven together to prevent unraveling. The edges of Selvedge denim are tightly bound and crisply finished reducing the likelihood of curling or coming apart. The last key ingredient to a real quality pair of jeans is Sanforization. Sanforization is the process of stabilizing a fabric by stretching it before it is stitched to prevent shrinking. Denim that does not go through a sanforization process will shrink 5-10%. So when shopping for a pair of jeans don’t allow yourself to be fooled by the name brand or the popularity. Unless the denim is raw, selvedge appropriately weighted and sanforized it’s not worth $200.00 or more! I don’t care if it’s true religion, 7 for all mankind, or Gucci. Unless they have the ingredients I mentioned they are not worth the expensive price. They’re no better than a pair of old navy jeans. They won’t last any longer. So save your money!

Here are a few raw denim brands that will give you your money’s worth:

  • Nudie Jeans
  • Naked and Famous
  • APC Jeans
  • Momotaro Jeans
  • Edwin Jeans