Regular Fit Jeans from Ooe Yofukuten, Full Count, RRL, Indigofera and PBJ
Ask anyone in the denim business what’s the most important parameter when it comes to choosing jeans, and chances are the answer will be “the fit.” Consumers think so too (which I revealed in this member resource).
I’ve said it before; the wrong fit can make or break a jean. But it’s not easy to find jeans that fit! That’s why I’ve written a 4116-word long fit guide—get a free Academy member account and access that resource here.
Following up on the guide to slim fit jeans, let’s take a look at the fit of fits; the one that’s called ‘regular.’ I’ve talked to four jeans retailers about their favourites, and I’ve added my own as well.
Ooe Yofukuten OA01 (@Standard & Strange)
The OA01 fit is based on a Levi’s 501 from 1946, with a few subtle tweaks to improve the fit. “If I could only have one jean for the rest of my life, it would be this one. Just give me a stack of them in my size and I’m good to go.”
The OAXX denim is custom made for Ooe Yofukuten in Ibara City near Okayama at a small scale mill. It’s designed to give a ‘vintage’ fade with less contrast, and more of a pale blue hue, Jeremy explains. “Like you’d see on a true vintage pair.”
True to form, the denim is unsanforized, but Ooe Yofukuten one-wash the jeans before they’re shipped, which makes it easier to get the sizing right.
The fit has a higher rise, with enough, but not too much room in the top block, and no taper from the knee down. “It’s a fit that’s never been out of style, but it’s never been fashionable, making it one for the ages,” Jeremy argues.
We don’t tell the story of these when we put them on folks, we just hand them over and let the fit and the fabric do the talking. If people really want to know, we dive into the story of Ooe and their tiny workshop.”
The beauty of the fit is that it works with almost everything, he adds. “I’ll wear them with oxford button downs and a blazer, or with a t-shirt and sneakers. You can’t go wrong. Hell, throw on some CHUP socks and ‘Birks,’ and roll ‘em up, and you’re still golden!”
Standard & Strange have something special coming up in the OA01 cut this autumn. Stay tuned on their new arrivals page.
Full Count 1108 (€299 @Vater&Sohn)
Mikiharu Tsujita has produced some of the finest reproductions in the market,” Constantin argues. “The 1108 is Full Count’s skillful take on the traditional 50’s 501,” he adds.
Establishing his business in 1993 in Osaka, it took ‘Miki’ (as he’s nicknamed) several years of thorough research, as well as numerous trials and errors to establish the high standard of manufacturing that he still preserves today.
The one-wash jean is made from a 13.75 oz. unsanforized selvedge denim. It’s soft and comfortable to wear, thanks to the high-quality, long staple Zimbabwean yarn.
Every jean is reproduced to the highest specifications possible. It’s not only the construction; it’s also the period accurate hardware and stitching techniques.
And it’s a jean that ages with grace. From the fading of the belt loops, the chain-stitched back yokes, the patina of the zinc and copper hardware to the fading of the stitching and denim.
The 1108 is actually on the slimmer side of Full Count’s range. And that’s what Constantin likes about it. It’s very 21st century. Neither too slim, nor too wide. Just perfect for everyday wear.
The jeans have a medium rise, which gives “a solid fit,” as Constantin puts it, no matter if you tuck your shirts in or not.
Visit Vater&Sohn’s website to learn more about the jeans.
RRL Low Straight (@Tenue de Nîmes)
The jeans are the perfect combination between heritage and contemporary cool: Sturdy selvedge fabric, medium waist and a perfect straight leg,” he argues.
The great thing about a solid regular fit jean is that it works with everything. “It’s that 501 feel,” Menno says. “I personally prefer to wear straight leg jeans like they’re supposed to: with a white t-shirt and boots or sneakers!”
Like all RRL jeans, the Low Straight is made entirely in the USA. The denim is “nice and hairy,” as Menno puts it. And while RRL inherently appeals to denim aficionados, the Low Straight secretly serves a much bigger audience, Menno argues.
“The jeans are perfect for a smart casual look with a cashmere jumper and Red Wing boots,” the Dutch denim retailer suggests.
Indigofera Clint No. 2 ‘Shrink-to-Prima-Fit’
Anyone who’s asked me what kind of jeans I’m wearing over the past four years or so have very likely gotten the same answer; Indigoferas.
Ever since I got my first pair of Clint ‘shrink-to-prima-fits’ in 2013, it’s more or less the only thing I’ve been wearing. Founder Mats Andersson and his team have created something that’s clearly inspired by the past without being a reproduction. (Not that I’ve got anything against repros!)
Most importantly, though, they’ve got great fitting jeans, which are made from fantastic denims.
The No. 2 denim—or ‘shrink-to-prima-fit,’ as they call it—is based on the 100% natural indigo denim that launched the brand back in 2009.
“We wanted the character of 100% natural indigo in a fabric that could be slightly more accessible in terms of price point,” Mats told me in a previous blog post. And because it’s ring spun and rope dyed, you get a beautifully vivid fade with loads of subtle slubs.
You can learn more about Indigofera in this interview I did with Mats.
Sadly, the No. 2 denim will be going on hiatus from the spring/summer 2018 season, so make sure you get a pair while their last. Stockists of it include Rivet and Hide, Second Sunrise and Pancho and Lefty.
Pure Blue Japan AI-001 ($673 @Blue in Green)
The AI-001 from Pure Blue Japan is a regular fit jean in a league of its own, as the price tag also reflects.
“The jeans are hand dyed with natural indigo harvested from the Tokushima prefecture in Japan,” Gordon Heffner of Blue in Green in NYC explains.
Only a handful of indigo craftsmen are capable of this dyeing technique and they are certified by the Japanese government to be national living treasures.”
The fermentation process required to produce natural indigo combined with a low annual output is why the jeans are so pricey. The undyed cotton yarns are dipped by hand into indigo dye vats repeatedly until the indigo has penetrated the core of the yarns.
You can read much more about indigo dyeing in this member resource.
The fit is regular, slightly fitted in the seat, a little loose through the legs and with a subtle taper, Gordon explains. “It’s easy to wear, not too tight.”
The 17.5 oz. denim has an uneven texture, characteristic of Pure Blue Japan. It’s woven on an antique wooden shuttle loom capable of creating irregular weaves.
Check out the AI-001 here.
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