I love raw denim jeans but finding new pairs that are both a good fit and made from decent denim can be hard these days. If you’ve read any of my previous posts you’ll know I am an aficionado of Red Ear denim which unfortunately are no longer readily available, meaning I have to look elsewhere when purchasing new jeans. My journey so far has taken me to try Natural Selection and A.P.C., both of which are ok, but I just have not fallen in love with them.
The A.P.C. Standard’s stretched way too much around the thigh to retain a good fit and the (Chinese) denim is way too soft for my liking. I am not sold on the cut either. The 35″ come with a standard inside leg of around 36″ which is way too long for me, even after a first wash and I loath getting jeans hemmed.
With the Natural Selection (Italian denim) I washed them a little too soon. They are OK and have started to fade nicely, but again the denim is very soft, which some may like, but for me it disfigures too easily losing the original cut that was originally purchased.
So last February, whilst doing some last minute shopping before a family holiday to Marakech, I nipped into Liberties to see what was on offer. After a careful browse through the usual offerings I was drawn to particular pair of Edwins. I have only ever owned an Edwin denim jacket, as all the jeans I had tried on previously where always a little too relaxed a cut for me.
The Edwin’s that caught my eye were the (affiliate link) Edwin ED-71 Slim made from red seamed selvedge denim. The denim was a lovely dark indigo and stiff but not overly waxy as some raw denim can be now. A quick glance at the label said that they were saniforized which means that the denim had undergone treatment to minimize the shrinkage on the first wash/soak. This helps getting the size right knowing the jeans won’t shrink 5″ around the waist when you first wash them.
I went for the w34 32l costing £130 – it’s refreshing to still be able to buy jeans with good options on for an inside leg. They felt great trying them on, the 14oz denim felt snug and strong enough to hold the cut over time without becoming too distorted.
For the first time ever, I gave the jeans a soak, as to the manufacturers recommendations. Normally I do not bother with the soak, and just try to wear new jeans for 6 months before a wash, but these, due to the organic dying process, started to bleed indigo die over my suede shoes and white boxers straight away!
To soak them I wore them for 10 minutes whilst under the shower. The jeans bled huge amounts of die so if you value your undergarments and shoes, I suggest that you do the same if you buy a pair. Letting them dry and putting them on again showed that they had shrunk very little and had stopped bleeding – just as the instructions said they would. Fortunately the raw look remained.
The build quality is excellent and they are incredibly well put together using good quality 14oz selvedge denim. Although the only thing I am not overexcited about is the ever-so-slightly excessive back pocket stitching – the double U effect. It is a take on the Levi stitching and has been executed well. Personally I would prefer a little less stitching on the back pockets as I prefer a more understated look.
Nevertheless, these have become my new go to jeans, I love them. They have been worn most days since purchasing, during which they have been worn in Marakech, around the dusty souks and side streets, Provence in France ,where they were used to chop firewood and mow lawns plus a quick trip skiing to Norway. Despite this, they have hardly stretched or disfigured.
Here is how they look after one soak and two months hard wear:
As you can see, the jeans are breaking in exceptionally well, with some nice fading and whiskers forming in the places you’d expect them to.
Overall these are a great pair of well made Japenese jeans and if you are thinking about buying a pair and are just having a read around to help make a decision then these jeans come highly recommended by me. I paid full price on the high street but if you already know what size you need , then grab them from Amazon here and save over £20 (affiliate) Edwin ED-71 Slim.
Either way, if you do get a pair let me know how you get on with them or if you have discovered some great mens selvedge denim, please let me know.
Update: 6 months have past since I wrote this review. Edwins after 6 months wear and no wash here.