Top 7 Selvedge Denim Jeans
High-quality denim jeans that require more time-consuming production, selvedge denim is the go to choice for denim purists who love classic cuts and a raw, unwashed finish. Woven with a shuttle, it’s a much slower, traditional process that produces a higher-quality finish, and self-edges that don’t fray. Selvedge denim is known for being heavy-wearing, taking longer to soften and shape to the wearer’s body, but with time, it moulds to reveal your character, becoming a real product of your lifestyle. With so many selvedge jeans brands out there, at Stuarts London, we’ve rounded up our top 7 picks to get you started on your selvedge denim journey. In a range of styles and cuts with options from some of our favourite, high-quality denim brands, the hardest part will be choosing just one pair.
The 7 best men’s selvedge jeans that you can buy
Naked And Famous Denim
First established in 2008, Naked and Famous was founded by Canadian native Brandon Svarc, who was keen to create a denim brand that shunned celebrity culture and endorsements and focused fully on its products.
Producing jeans that would be known for how they looked and felt, rather than who was wearing them, he hoped that this would result in a more affordable product that didn’t compromise on quality. Made in Canada using high-quality, raw Japanese denim, Svarc rejects the idea of pre-distressed denim encouraging the customer to invest in good quality, raw unwashed denim as a blank canvas on which only the wearer makes their mark.
Producing innovative styles including glow in the dark and scratch ‘n’ sniff denim, Naked and Famous take raw denim and experiment with it, pushing it to its limits. Although sometimes unorthodox with their fabric choices, their jeans are cut to classic shapes with a traditional five pocket construction, making them completely wearable.
At Stuarts, our favourites are these Easy Guy Bat Breaker Selvedge Jeans in black, part of the Batman x Naked and Famous collection and a nod to the Knightfall comic book story. A relaxed-fit with fuller hips, seat and thighs, they make for both cool and comfortable wearing, whilst the subtle, neon green selvedge ID is a nod to Bane’s green venom. Finished off with Bane’s mask embroidered onto the back pocket, they’re a must for comic book loving, denim enthusiasts everywhere.
Since 2012, Nudie Jeans have been on a pursuit of the opposite, with their back to basics jeans. After demand for raw, untreated fabric began to plummet in the early 2000s, Nudie Jeans took the opportunity to create a sustainable jean made from 100% organic cotton to champion their environmental philosophy.
Each pair of Nudie Jeans is manufactured in a fair and ethical way, with no extra treatments and washes being added to their denim. Encouraging smarter consumption, they vow to only work with suppliers that share their values and encourage their customers to cherish their well-worn jeans. Advising the wearer to ‘wear-in’ their jeans for six-months without laundering, they’ll also take back and reuse denim for second-hand products or as raw fabric for new jeans.
A truly sustainable brand that’s helping to drive the denim market towards change for good, we love their ethos and their high-quality selvedge denim. Their Grim Tim Dry Selvage jeans are the stylish epitome of the Nudie brand. Made from rigid selvedge denim from Japan, they’re stylishly woven with an orange selvedge stripe, aesthetically matched with Nudie orange thread detailing. In a classic, dark wash and weighing 13.5oz, they’re cut to a traditional slim-fit, perfect for both off-duty and smart-casual wear.
Edwin Jeans was established in Japan in 1947 by denim enthusiast Mr Tsunemi who was motivated by a desire to bring hard-wearing, American-style denim workwear to Japan. Around this time, Japan didn’t have the facilities to create their own denim, so Tsunemi began his jean journey by importing denim directly to Japan from America.
As popularity for the product grew and grew, Tsunemi could see that Edwin could be more than just an import brand and would have great success manufacturing their own jeans. The first pair of Japanese manufactured jeans came around in 1953, but it wasn’t until the 60s that these techniques were honed and the real Edwin denim jeans were born.
Weighing in at 16oz and featuring a unique rainbow selvedge that’s still a significant feature of the brand’s jeans today, these Edwin Jeans were what put the brand on the map. The brand behind the creation of some of the most iconic washes in denim jeans history, the success of Edwin Jeans saw them branch out into the European market, focusing on bringing high-quality, affordable, beautiful Japanese selvedge denim to their European customers.
Stuarts’ favourite, Edwin Nashville red listed selvedge denim jeans encompass everything that the Edwin brand represents. A classic line that was part of the original Japanese collection, this signature cut has remained unchanged for the last twenty years. Designed to be worn high on the hips, these straight leg, high-rise jeans are a traditional cut for denim purists, running at a longer length so tailoring and cuffing won’t affect the selvedge.
C17 Cedixsept Jeans
First established in 1972, C17 Cedixsept Jeans or C17’s for short, grew to be the second-largest retailer of jeans in the mid-eighties, sitting just behind denim aficionados Levi’s in the popularity stakes. After a twenty-five year hiatus from the 90s, French brand C-17 is back with a bang. Harking back to the brand’s traditional roots, each pair of jeans is expertly woven in trusted denim mills including the Cone Denim Mill who have a rich heritage in denim craftsmanship. Championing the classic workwear details of traditional American-inspired denim styles, each pair takes a classic 5 pocket design and features the iconic C-17 blue tab to the back pocket. Finished with copper buttons, reinforced belt loops and strong, sturdy rivets, C17’s are a timeless wardrobe staple built for everyday wear.
A stylish and classic cut, the C17 Cedixsept Kuroki C-Original Fit Japanese Selvedge Denim Jeans available at Stuarts in stunning stonewash were crafted at the famous Kuroki denim mill in Japan. Made by a unique process of twisting the denim thread to create an uneven surface and a slub feel, this style of craftsmanship creates a varied colour finish and a textured outer surface. Cut in a classic 90s style inspired by an archival C17 collection; these jeans are tailored to be worn both high and low rise, depending on the wearer’s preference.
Championing American denim, San Francisco based duo Tony Patella and Pete Searson launched Tellason in 2008. Refusing to make their denim anywhere else in the world for cheap and thus supporting both the local economy and US garment production, the pair had a shared belief that Tellason jeans should be made in San Francisco, the home of blue denim jean culture. Dismissing disposable purchases, the driving force behind the Tellason brand was to create a high-quality product that was built to last; the John Graham Mellor jean. Perfected into a slim, straight fit, with close attention spent on the jean’s finishing details, this striking pair of Tellason selvedge jeans was just the beginning of the Tellason story. A Stuarts’ favourite, these timeless and minimalist jeans with the iconic ‘T’ shadow stitched into the back pockets and branded tan patch are made from sanforized, red line raw selvedge denim. The sanforization process involves the stretching, fixing and shrinking of the denim cloth within the mill to reduce the amount of shrinking that occurs when the denim is washed, for a much more reliable fit.
1873 saw business duo Levi Strauss and Jacob Davies obtain a U.S patent for the process of adding rivets to the points of strain of men’s work pants for durability. This was the birth of blue jeans and the beginning of an exciting piece of fashion and garment-making history. To display the strength of the jeans, the Levi’s logo, two horses trying to pull apart a pair of waist overalls, was created in 1886, with the red tab being added to the back pocket of 501s in 1936. The popularity of Levi’s jeans soon grew and saw offices being set up all over the world to accommodate the demand for the popular, original blue jean. With a history steeped in workwear, defence dressing and popular culture, no denim story could ever be complete without Levi’s, which is why we’re featuring two pairs of Levi’s Vintage ® jeans in our Stuarts top 7 selvedge jeans list.
Quite possibly the most popular Levi’s ever made, Levi’s 501® were the original blue jean and the Levi’s Vintage ® 501 ® 1947 jeans are a homage to this classic pair. Crafted in a Japanese artisan mill to recreate that classic vintage Levi’s 501® selvedge denim style, their dark wash gives the wearer multiple dressing options and true timeless style. A slim fit with pocket rivets and the famous Levi’s® Arcuate Stitching Design®, they’re the classic pair of jeans that your wardrobe is crying out for.
Levi’s Vintage ® 501z 1954 jeans again hark back to the original 501z design. An approachable update to the already established 501® jeans, the button fly was replaced with a zipper to give the jeans more appeal to East Coasters who were unfamiliar with the original design, primarily sold to customers in the west. All other features of the 501® remained, and the 501®z has been lovingly recreated to help tell the story of the evolution of the 501® jean, in original selvedge denim and finished with a light stonewash. The perfect alternative to a classic 501®, add both to your selvedge denim collection for wearable, long-lasting looks.