Denim is a staple in most everyone’s wardrobe, and with so many options available, it can be overwhelming to stay on top of what’s currently in fashion versus what was simply popular on Casual Friday two years ago. Selvedge denim is one such option that has gained popularity in recent years. It’s a Japanese take on weaving denim that allows for added stretch in a tighter fit, and, purportedly, tougher and more resilient jeans. But what exactly is selvedge denim, and is it really better? If not, why is it so expensive? And, most importantly, should you actually invest in a pair of selvedge jeans?
What is Selvedge Denim?
Selvedge denim, a type of denim woven on shuttle looms, stands out with its tightly woven self-edge (or selvage). Made from high-quality cotton yarns, this denim often features a signature color or pattern on the selvage edge. Due to loom limitations, selvedge denim is usually narrower than non-selvedge options.
Is Selvedge Denim Actually Better?
Selvedge denim is renowned for its superior quality and durability. Its tight, dense weave creates a fabric that not only looks and feels authentic but also prevents fraying and unravelling. This attention to detail and craftsmanship sets selvedge denim apart, making it a better choice for those seeking long-lasting jeans. That said, you’re dealing with a specific type of jeans, so you’ll need to be ready to pair proper tops and accouterment with your selvedge.
Why is Selvedge Denim so Expensive?
Selvedge denim tends to be more expensive due to the time-consuming and labor-intensive production process. It is often made in small batches, resulting in limited availability. The use of high-quality materials and craftsmanship, as well as the sourcing from specialized mills, adds to the overall expense. Additionally, the demand from denim enthusiasts drives up the price.
How to Break in Selvedge Denim
To break in your pair of selvedge jeans, wear them regularly to allow the fabric to mold to your body shape. Avoid excessive washing in the early stages to promote natural fading and creasing. Try cuffing or stacking your selvedge denim to create unique wear patterns. Incorporate movement and stretching exercises to help loosen the fabric. Embrace the journey of breaking in your selvedge denim and appreciate the evolving character it develops.
How to Wash Selvedge Denim
To ensure the longevity of your selvedge denim, follow these simple washing tips.
- Start by turning your selvedge jeans inside out to minimize color loss.
- Use a mild detergent specially formulated for dark or raw denim.
- Opt for cold water to prevent excessive shrinking.
- Instead of using a dryer, hang or lay flat the jeans to maintain the fabric’s integrity.
- For quick refreshes between washes, consider spot cleaning or steaming.
How to Wear Selvedge Denim
To create a casual look with selvedge denim, pair them with a classic white t-shirt and sneakers. For a more polished appearance, dress up your selvedge jeans with a button-down shirt and leather boots. Experiment with different cuffing styles to showcase the selvage edge, and layer your selvedge jeans with a denim jacket or flannel shirt for a rugged ensemble. Don’t be afraid to mix and match different textures and colors to create unique outfits.
The Best Selvedge Denim Jeans
Banana Republic Slim Rigid Selvedge Jean
Crafted with organic cotton, the Banana Republic Slim Rigid Selvedge Jean offers a five pockets without sacrificing the slim-fit style that defines authentic selvedge denim. Made from high-quality denim for durability and longevity, these jeans are a classic and versatile addition to any wardrobe. Dress them up or down for a variety of occasions. The jeans weigh 14 ounces and feature a standard zip fly and, though they’re a tight fit, can fold over boots or be worn straight.
J. Crew 770™ Straight-fit Jean in Japanese Stretch Selvedge Denim
Crafted with 98 percent cotton, the attention to detail of these jeans makes for all-day comfort, even if you sacrifice a bit of the stretch of other selvedge options. The J. Crew 770™ Straight-fit jean in Japanese stretch selvedge denim still stretches more than the average non-selvedge jean, making it a versatile style that can easily transition from casual to dressier occasions. Made from Japanese selvedge denim, these jeans feature a mid-rise and a straight leg in classic J. Crew fashion.
Bonobos Selvage Stretch Jeans
Bonobos Selvage Stretch Jeans offer a classic yet comfortable option for denim enthusiasts that looks great cuffed at the bottom or worn straight. Crafted from premium denim sourced from Japan, these jeans combine the timeless style of selvage denim with added stretch for enhanced comfort. With a slim fit and slightly tapered leg, they can be dressed up or down for any occasion. The high-quality construction and attention to detail ensure a durable and stylish pair of selvedge denim jeans.
Everlane Selvedge Slim Fit Jean
The Everlane Selvedge Slim Fit Jean offers a sleek and modern silhouette that combines style with comfort. Crafted from high-quality Japanese selvedge denim, these jeans are designed to withstand the test of time. The slim fit creates a streamlined look, while the various washes available allow for versatility in styling. From the artisan sewing to the use of quality materials, these jeans exemplify the craftsmanship and attention to detail that defines selvedge denim.
Hiroshi Kato The Pen Slim – Indigo Raw 10.5oz Selvedge
Crafted with high-quality Japanese selvedge denim, Hiroshi Kato The Pen Slim offers a lightweight and comfortable feel with its 10.5oz weight. The slim fit, 4-way stretch design gives a contemporary and tailored look, while the indigo raw denim allows for personalized fading and creasing over time. These jeans, made of 96 percent cotton and 4 percent polyurethane, combine artisan craftsmanship with modern style, making them a positive addition to the closet of any stylish guy.