After my last project, the Edwin’s had their first wash a couple of weeks back, I have been itching to get a new pair on the go.
I was unsure what I was going to go for next but wanted it to be something I had never tried before.
Nudie Have Been Around a While Now
Nudie are a brand that have specialised in making dry denim products since 1999. I remember looking on the web for information on how to treat raw denim quite a few years ago. Nudie had a website, and apart from the odd forum post or two, they were the only denim manufacturer to offer any real insight into the raw denim breaking in process. Respect where respect is due.
From what I remember, they showed image of fades created by users keeping their Snus tins, a type of chewing tobacco, in the back pocket.
At that point I had not come across the brand in any UK stores but I was aware it was Swedish. I eventually saw them when Liberty’s started stocking them as part of their specialist denim line up. This was a few years ago. When I tried them on, they only had a few in stock and the cut and sizes did not work for me. Too long on the leg.
As you know, with raw denim, you have to be pretty exact otherwise you end up with a pair that is unwearable.
However, things are different now, the Nudie range has grown, especially from an export point of view and now the big stores like Liberty and Selfridges keep their complete ranges and sizes in stock.
Making A Decision
For me, buying jeans is a very rapid and exact process. I only ever buy raw selvedge denim and it has to be made by a brand that specialises in denim. For example, Edwin, Red Ear or Cheap Monday. This puts Nudie in the running.
The only time I ever purchased from a company that denim was not it’s core product line was A.P.C. and I regretted it later.
So yesterday, when I popped into Liberty’s, there was a large area dedicated to Nudie so I thought I’d check out what was on offer. Immediately I homed in on the Grim Tim’s.
They had an amazing blue indigo colour with an interesting orange line for the selvedge seam:
You could also tell the quality of the denim, they had used a 13.5oz dry denim that was unsaniforised so had that lovely hard feel to it but was not in any way waxy.
I find that if the denim is too waxy, it makes the breaking in process that much harder. The shape and the hang of the fabric is often distorted by it.
You can see below they have used a slightly brighter than usual tobacco stitching but with a more concealed subtle blue secondary stitch line:
Also, I have to point out the weave of this denim is amazing, it’s made with organic cotton using a traditional tight weave and right hand twill . This type of weave is great for getting sharp fades. You can also see the attention to detail with the coin pocket finish:
Holding them up I could see they were a slim cut but not skinny. I am of a fairly broad build, so skinny jeans do not work on me. I went for my standard W34 L32 and slipped them on.
Snug, yet well fitting.
Unless you are going for a loose fit, which is not really in fashion in the UK at the moment, you need to make sure the jeans fit fairly snug around the waist and thigh. There will be a lot of stretching that takes place over the first few few days of wear. Even the heavier denim will stretch out, just a little more slowly.
I cycle a lot so this process is even more exaggerated.
So when I put on the Grim Tim’s and saw they were snug but perfectly proportioned, I knew I had the right size.
The main shrinkage after washing with raw and dry denim comes from the leg. The waist will shrink a little, but stretches back out once you put them on again. The leg however does not. So make sure sure there is enough length there to begin with, unless you want ankle riders that is!
Here you see the back pocket stitching and suede belt loop badge. This is amazingly soft by the way.
As I say, the Grim Tim cut is a slim fit with a normal rise. The rise however feels a little higher after the Edwin ED-71’s I have been wearing, which have a much lower rise in comparison.
They are also a slimmer, more European fit than the more American styled Edwin’s which are also classed as slim.
The image above makes the jeans look wider at the bottom than they are. This is because of the camera angle. In reality they are quite narrow at the bottom with a 19cm or 7.5 inch opening.
The attention to detail inside the jeans is also good. The rivets are good quality and there’s some silly lifestyle writing on the pocket lining (which is also organic cotton).
Made In…A Few Places
Nudie head office is based in Gothenberg, Sweden.
The jeans say made in Italy, but after some investigation part of the process also takes place in Tunisia. Funnily enough, this is now where the European Edwin’s come from. In fact probably the same outlet. Nudie use a factory there called Denim Authority.
It’s becoming increasingly difficult to buy jeans that are made in country of origin, whether that be the US, Japan or Sweden. When you do however, they come at a high price. Especially the Japanese ones.
I applaud Nudie though – they have been thoroughly open about the manufacturing process and almost over-reveal their sources on the Nudie website. Some brands who shall not be named here, openly advertise “Japanese denim” on their product branding material, only to reveal made elsewhere in the small print.
One Day In
So, where are we at? Well, I have only owned the jeans 24 hours so I cannot comment on much more than the build quality and attention to detail is nothing but excellent.
The cut, for me is perfect and will work well with a casual look with trainers and a t-shirt or a smarter look with shoes and a shirt.
As with all raw denim I buy, I will attempt to wait at least 6 months before their first machine wash. If they require a rinse for any reason during that time, I’ll use this method for rinsing raw denim. When I do that first wash, I use a quick 30 degree cycle and use a small dose of a specialist denim fabric cleaner such as the A.P.C. Fine Fabric Care:
If you are looking to buy online and need some sizing advice, then for me I just went for my standard “go to” sizing and they fit perfectly. They were a little snug around the waist and thigh at first, but once they had been worn a few hours this quickly loosened off nicely. You do not need to size up with this jean unless you plan on washing early on in the process or you want a more relaxed fit.
At 13.5oz they are a heavier denim and will hold their shape well.
If you are looking at buying a pair of the Grim Tim’s and you are looking for some affirmation on your choice, then you have it from me!
They are a great pair of versatile, well made jeans that look great from the outset. They have clean, simple lines and quality stitching with no over the top embellishments, which I hate in a pair of jeans.
I paid £160 for them on the London high street, but I am sure you can pick them up cheaper online.
When looking for the same model as reviewed, this pair is made from rigid, Japanese cast denim, right hand twill with orange selvedge stripe. There are cheaper versions of the Grim Tim cut, but the denim my not be the same so be aware.
As usual I will update the blog with some fade updates over the coming months.