Initial Impressions: Gustin Selvedge Raw Denim Jeans

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.

 Initial Impressions: Gustin Selvedge Raw Denim Jeans

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:

Pros:

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.

Cons:

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:

gustin2 Initial Impressions: Gustin Selvedge Raw Denim Jeans

 gustin1 Initial Impressions: Gustin Selvedge Raw Denim Jeans

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.

  • John

    Not bad… Is selvedge worth the extra money in your opinion?

    • http://simplermandotcom.wordpress.com simplerman

      It really depends. Just because something is selvedge doesn’t necessarily make them much better. However, from my experience, most selvedge denim that I’ve worn, especially those made in the U.S., are worth a bit of a price premium due to the quality increase in every aspect that you see (stitching, detail, denim strength, etc.).

      Usually much better in quality and durability than a fashion jean like those at Seven for All Mankind, Hudson, Lucky or whatever.

  • Lehtair

    simplerman:

    “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.”

    Mind if I ask you what other pairs of selvedge jeans you owned?

    - L

    • http://simplermandotcom.wordpress.com simplerman

      Sure, I’ve owned the following brands for selvedge denim: APC, Levi’s Vintage Clothing, J.Crew, Tellason, and Acne.

      • seeldoger47

        Those are alright brands. But nothing spectacular.

        BTW, those Gustins would be a steal if the cut weren’t so awful.

      • http://www.facebook.com/valpyatak Val Pyatak

        I think the Gustin is the good choice. I’ve owned the following brands for selvedge denim: Edwin, Our Legacy, H.W. Carter & Sons, YMC (chinos), Tellason. Tellason the best for me.

  • Justin Huynh

    How tall are you, just wondering out os curiosity.

    • http://simplermandotcom.wordpress.com simplerman

      I’m 5’7″/5’8″. Yes, NBA status.

  • joe

    nice. just bought 2.

  • http://weftyandmash Mash

    You called them Japanese Selvedge, but they are actually made from denim constructed at Cone Mills in Greensboro, NC.

    • http://simplermandotcom.wordpress.com simplerman

      Good call, you’re right. They do have a line with Japanese selvedge, but the ones sold at $81 are from Cone Mills indeed.

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  • http://gravatar.com/lsbrennan Larry_SEA

    Could you share how the sizing compares to your Tellasons? The Gustin sizing chart makes me think I need a bigger size, but I’m doubtful… Thanks!

    • http://simplermandotcom.wordpress.com simplerman

      Sure, so I generally wear a 30 waist size, but went down one size to 29 with my Tellasons. With the Gustins, I went true to size at 30, and they fit similarly at the waist.

      • http://gravatar.com/lsbrennan Larry_SEA

        Thanks! That’s super-helpful. I really wish that sizing was simpler and more consisten. I have pants labeled everywhere from 31 to 34 and they all fit.

      • http://www.facebook.com/valpyatak Val Pyatak

        Tellason Ankara (16.5 oz.) 35 waist size fit me perfectly. I am rather afraid that a Gustin 36 waist size will be a bit big in the waist and a little narrow at the hip and the thigh for me. Shall be glad to hear your opinion

        • http://simplermandotcom.wordpress.com simplerman

          I wear the Tellason John Graham Mellor, so I don’t quite know how that compares in fit to the Ankara. However, I do know that the Tellason in 29 fits me pretty snug everywhere except the waist (seems to have a floating waist, but still fits) while the Gustin in 30 fits ever so slightly snug at the waist and a bit less everywhere else. Two very different cuts. So basically the 29 Tellason fits me, the 30 Gustin fits me, but both have such different proportions throughout the leg.

          • http://www.facebook.com/valpyatak Val Pyatak

            I agree, two very different cuts. I’ll make measurements of my Tellason Ankara (for example, as shown here http://rivetandhide.com/measurement-guide/). Then compare it to Gustin’s size guide.

  • Joe

    Just received my pair about a week ago. Do you have any tips on how to care for raw denim? I’ve heard you’re not supposed to wash them for 6 months or something? Is that true?

    • http://twitter.com/simplermanblog Simpler Man

      Nice man. Yes definitely, there are a lot of tips I can give you. Here’s a good place to start: http://www.rawrdenim.com/articles/denim-care/ , but mainly you just need to wear them in as much as possible until they stink. Then wash them very carefully in the bathtub inside out with some Woolite Dark, and let them soak in there. Then air dry. Of course you don’t HAVE to do these things, but it’ll help.

  • Bigjilm

    Just got my first pair of Gustins and they are beautiful! Advice – order them slightly smaller than their sizing guide would say, and slim fit isn’t too slim. Down one inch and slim fit is perfect for me.

    • bigjilm

      Oh, and a size 34 waist is really, really, really long in the inseem. A 33 waist has an inseam that is only slightly too long for a 6 footer like me. A 34 had an extra six inches in the legs, which is insane, but I guess they get some super tall customers?

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  • Mark in Atlanta

    Received my first pair of Gustin jeans and after the first wash one of the rivets came off. They fixed them for me but when I received the repaired pair, the rivet was in the bottom of the package. It came off again during shipping. Good customer service but apparently poor quality jeans.

  • Damian J

    Could you tell me what model of Gustins these are, and if they used Cone Mills or a Japanese mill to produce the denim; also, the weight (13oz, 18 oz) of denim used? I have a pair of Greensboros on the way to me, and I hope the denim is as beautiful as the material used to make yours.

    • thesimplerman

      This one was cone mills. It was the first Gustin jean, so I’m not quite sure what version it was now that they have a bunch more.