Goodthreads Men’s Selvedge Denim – $50 (with Prime)
About the Author: Adam Terry is a 30-year-old Technical Trainer in the heating and manufacturing industry. He’s #menswear by day and #workwear by night. He enjoys raw selvedge denim, Scotch whisky, and working on maintaining his dad bod.
Hey, did you know Fall is right around the corner? Mornings are getting chilly and the sun is starting to set earlier every day in my neck of the woods. Maybe you’re in the market for a new pair of jeans, but you’re not sure what to get. Some guy on the internet thinks you can live in dark wash denim and lots of these “denimhead” nerds seem to like this raw denim and selvedge stuff. What’s that all about? Pull up a pumpkin, brew yourself a cup of Kopi coffee, and let this denim nerd tell you all about this value-oriented pair from Amazon’s Goodthreads brand.
So, what exactly is selvedge denim? Prior to the 1950s, most denim was produced on narrow shuttle looms. The shuttle is like a ferry that carries the weft (horizontal) yarn back and forth across the loom, weaving a continuous chain without stray ends. This denim had a self-binding edge, or self-edge. The selvedge looks cleaner and ensures the denim won’t fray at the outseam edge.
In today’s world of mass production and efficiency optimization, selvedge denim is a small niche segment of the denim market (albeit an expanding one in recent times since people have come to appreciate it more and more). It’s a more expensive, “small batch” product aimed towards those who care about all of the little details – the fit, fabric, hardware, stitching, etc. An average pair of selvedge denim sells for upwards of $200, so how can Amazon offer a competitive product for only $50? Let’s talk about those little details.
Shown above: Slim fit 32×32 on 6’0″ / 180lbs
Entry level denim brands rarely offer more than two or three fits – usually skinny, slim, and/or straight. Your average Joe will probably fall into one of those three basic cuts, but what if you’re the athletic type? Amazon’s Goodthreads brand has you covered with their skinny, slim, athletic, and straight fits. Their slim fit in size 32×32 fits my 6’0, 180lb frame very well.
• Waist: 34”
• Front Rise: 11”
• Rear Rise: 15”
• Thigh: 12”
• Knee: 8”
• Inseam: 32”
• Opening: 7”
If you need a more unique fit like slim-tapered or the “I never skip legs day” relaxed-tapered cuts, you can easily have one of the Goodthreads’ basic fits tapered by a local tailor for a few bucks or you can invest a little more up front into a pair that already has that unique cut. Up to you.
Made from 99% cotton and 1% elastane for a hint of stretch, the Goodthreads selvedge jeans are immediately comfortable out of the bag. You won’t have to worry about breaking in a new pair of stiff, starchy jeans if that’s not your thing. These feel like they’re made from ~10oz denim, which is on the lighter side of midweight denim fabrics. The twill weave feels rather open and airy, too, which is nice if you’re in a warmer climate or like to wear jeans during the Summer. For comparison, your average pair of Levi’s 501s are made from ~12oz 100% cotton denim and have a denser weave.
The majority of selvedge jeans come in an inky, dark indigo “raw” finish because they haven’t been heavily washed or pre-distressed. This pair feels too soft to be truly raw (and there’s some puckering around the waistband stitching), but the color is still super saturated throughout. Luckily, this dark and inky shade of blue is extremely versatile and can be paired with literally anything – sportcoats, sweaters, oxford shirts, tees, sneakers, loafers, longwing brogues, etc.
If you’re used to buying new jeans that already look “well loved,” you may be shocked to find out that they were sandblasted, lasered, or enzyme washed to achieve those looks. All of those industrial processes can weaken the denim and can be terrible for the environment. Not to mention the highlights and fades lasered into denim rarely look authentic or line up with your body’s natural features.
You might notice that the top donut button, YKK zipper, and pocket rivets feel rather cheap when compared side by side to higher quality denim. You’re starting to see where Amazon made the budget cuts. Higher quality denim brands use custom, beefy hardware designed to last, but of course that costs extra. There is no leather or cardboard patch along the belt line.
Amazon has their Goodthreads denim assembled in India. Overall construction gets a B+ with stitching being a minor nuisance. There are more than a few wavy seams and a handful of loose threads, especially on the inside overlock stitching. I would have liked to see reinforced belt loops and lined rear pockets for higher durability, but again, that costs extra. I am pleasantly surprised that the waistband and hems are chainstitched – a retro aesthetic that harkens back to when the old school Union Special sewing machines were used. Front and back pockets are deep enough to hold an iPhone, too. Sorry ladies…
Whether you’re a denim nerd like me or just an average Joe, you can always count on a pair of dark indigo jeans being in style. If you’re in the market for a new pair of jeans, but you’re not ready to crack open that piggy bank for $200+ Japanese selvedge denim, Amazon’s Goodthreads selvedge denim offers a great value alternative for only $50 delivered right to your door.