Is there really difference between premium jeans and inexpensive pairs? When you buy premium denim, you get what you pay for. The attention to design including distressing, stitching, and other details, as well as the quality of the fabric, increases with price. Here are three luxury denim labels that you need to know about. While all of these pants are pricey, think about them as investments in yourself.
1. Ron Herman denim
Unless you live in Los Angeles or Japan, you probably don’t think of Ron Herman as your go-to source for denim, but that doesn’t mean it shouldn’t be. Ron Herman is a store within a store at famed LA boutique Fred Segal. The denim epitomizes the Los Angeles look.
The Authentic Straight Leg Jeans in Koki are the perfect ripped jeans. These jeans are made with Japanese selvedge denim, but are made in the USA. While a lot of ripped jeans are overly ripped, or not ripped enough, these get the idea just right. The added patchwork is a thoughtful and distinguishing detail.
On the other hand, if you are looking for a more basic pair to wear every day, Ron Herman’s 01 Slim in Raw Jeans fit that definition. Made in Los Angeles of Japanese unwashed raw selvedge denim, these slim fit indigo colored jeans look good with everything from button-downs to blazers. They are polished enough to wear to the office, but casual enough to wear everywhere else.
2. Nudie Jeans
Nudie Jeans isn’t so much about nudity as ethics (think naked like the earth). Made of 100% organic cotton, this label is manufactured in safe and fair working conditions. While Nudie does not own the factories where its jeans are made (most companies do not), it only works with manufacturers that agree to comply with its code of conduct. In terms of corporations, that’s pretty impressive.
Nudie really gets boot cut jeans for men right in a way so many other labels have failed because it understands there is a big difference between boot cut (good) and bell bottoms (really bad). Nudie’s Boot Ben Moon River Jeans are tight from the hip to the knees. The ’70s-inspired design has a proportional flare at the leg opening. Because the boot cut is subtle, you can really wear these jeans with any kind of shoe, even your favorite pair of kicks. They also have a little stretch for a lot of extra comfort.
If you prefer a slimmer fit, check out Nudie’s aptly named Lean Dean Slim Fit Jeans. Made in Italy, these slightly stretchy jeans have a natural indigo color. They also have a leather patch on the back. This is just one example of the thoughtful detailing Nudie puts into its work.
Chimala is kind of a cult brand. These Japanese jeans sell out fast and aren’t so easy to find, so if you come across a pair, get them before they are gone. Each pair of artisanal jeans is handcrafted in designer Noriko Machida’s workshop.
If you find relaxed fit too relaxed, Chimala’s Wide Leg Denim Jeans are a great modern alternative. They are considered mid rise, so they will never look sloppy (which is the main problem with relaxed fit jeans in general) and always look stylish. Made from 13oz denim from the American Cone Mills plant, the sturdy fabric will last you for years.
If you are more of a slim-fit kind of guy (or just want more than one pair of Chimala), check out the Slim-Fit Selvedge Washed-Denim Jeans. They are impeccably designed, hand-sanded, and just lightly whiskered, giving these jeans a vintage look but a modern feel.