By now, you probably know that I love denim. Denim shirts, denim pants, denim jackets, love 'em all. Add characteristics like raw, selvedge, and made in the U.S.A (or more specifically San Francisco) to that denim, and now you've got my undivided attention. Well, two guys I met in SF recently, Josh Gustin and Stephen Powell, did just that by showing me their line of raw selvedge, made in the U.S.A. jeans, proudly branded Gustin.
At first, the guys and I talked about the history and vision of the company. Some really interesting stuff these guys are doing, which I'll go into in a sec. More importantly though, we talked about their main product, their jeans. They whipped out some of their denim, and I got a chance to look at and feel them out, and boy was I impressed.
I've owned over 5 pairs of selvedge jeans since discovering selvedge several years ago, and it was clear that these Gustin jeans were on par, if not better in construction and quality than most of my other pairs. Thus, I asked if I could try a pair at home, just to give them a true test. They kindly said yes, and I jumped on the opportunity.
So I've been wearing these Gustin jeans for the last three days now, and I have to say, I'm still pretty impressed. Here are some of my initial thoughts:
1. The weight of the denim is hefty and strong. Feels rock solid and looks very durable.
2. The attention to detail is surprisingly high. Belt loops are nicely tucked, the stitching, buttons, and pockets are all flawless, and the accent selvedge signature is tastefully placed.
3. The jeans are incredibly simple. No unnecessary stitching, design, or whatever. Very clean lines, stitching, and color.
4. The price? Whoa... I'll get into that below.
1. The jeans don't fit me all that well in the thigh area. I have weird leg proportions, so that might be why, but they flare out slightly when I wear them.
2. The rise is a more standard rise, which to me is a bit higher than I prefer. Since I'm shorter, I prefer more of a low rise jean.
Here are some extremely poor quality cell phone pictures of the fit on me:
Now, here's the juicy part. The two guys over at Gustin are tired of selling their jeans to boutiques just so that these boutiques can turn around and sell them for a hefty 100% profit to their customers. Sure the jeans might be worth $205, but the team at Gustin thinks that they can do the consumer a solid by changing up their business model a bit.
Instead of selling to boutiques, they've decided to start selling their jeans at wholesale prices directly to the consumer. So instead of $205 for a pair of these jeans, they're going to be selling them for $81. Now I don't know about you, but to me, $81 is an absolute steal for Cone Mills raw selvedge denim, constructed in San Francisco. Frankly, this makes all my other selvedge denim purchases seem like a waste of money. That's only $25 more than a pair of Levi's you might buy at Macy's. Crazy!
Now, I don't endorse products that I don't believe in, but this company Gustin... I do endorse. Not only is their product high in quality, but the entire experience is wonderful. They take in user feedback for their future designs, offer amazing shipping and return policies, and provide excellent customer service along the way. Not too shabby in my book.
They're starting it all off on Kickstarter, and there, you can read all about them, and get the full scoop. You can also purchase their jeans on there if you help raise them money. I suggest you get over there right now and pledge $81, and get yourself a pair of nice raw selvedge denim. Probably the best deal you'll get on a pair of jeans like this for a while.