Jeans are such a personal thing. Usually, you have your favorite brand and that is pretty much it until you die. I wore Levis from Junior High School until about two years ago. They fit pretty well and they looked pretty good. However, I have been looking to make my purchases matter more and by that I mean buying American. Levis regretably moved most of their manufacturing to Mexico.
About two years ago (February 3, 2013 to be exact) there was a kickstarter campaign by a company called Gustin. Their idea was that they were making premium jeans that would normally retail for greater than $200 for $80. They obviously cost more than your 501s but I know people in San Fransisco and I don’t know anyone in Mexico where Levi’s makes most of their jeans. I went in on the Kickstarter campaign for $80 and began the three month wait.
So how are the jeans? They are great in a word. They are made of Cone Mills denim (I know people in North Carolina also). I love my Gustin original jeans. They fit great, they have been rock solid in workmanship, and they have worn great. I get a lot of compliments on my jeans. I liked them so much, that I have purchased a pair of lightweight blue jeans, a pair of Italian denim in umber, and recently a pair of black jeans. Again, workmanship and fit are incredibly good.
This is the best Kickstarter campaign that I have ever been part of by far. These are the jeans for the rest of my life assuming they stay in business and, at the moment, business seems to be booming for them.
So are there any drawbacks? Well, I will mention two:
- First, you have to use your real waist size (hint: your pants size is seldom accurate. They refer to it as vanity sizing).
- Second, you have to wait. Gustin is pretty good with communicating but you are waiting for 2-3 months between ordering and receiving. In the age of Amazon (Baltimore just got two hour shipping), waiting this long is a thing but I have not found that I need jeans that quickly.
- First, you are employing other Americans. I love buying American made products. Do I pay more? Maybe. Does it matter to me? You fucking bet it does.
- Two, excellent craftsmanship. These jeans are extremely well made. I think they are a great deal for the price.
- Third, the fade on these has just been amazing.