1. Win a Broadcaster or one of 3 Teles! The annual Supporting Member Giveaway is on. To enter Click Here. To see all the prizes and full details Click Here. To view the thread about the giveaway Click Here.

Blue Jeans Made In The USA... (kinda long)

Discussion in 'Bad Dog Cafe' started by Torren61, Dec 6, 2020.

  1. Torren61

    Torren61 Poster Extraordinaire Gold Supporter

    Posts:
    6,279
    Joined:
    Mar 12, 2013
    Location:
    Humboldt County, CA
    I was looking in my closet and for the umpteenth time, I reminded myself that I needed some new jeans. So I went looking online for "Blue jeans made in the USA".

    There were quite a few companies that come up. The choices were, to me, mind boggling with all of the cuts and tapers and fabric weights and I won't begin to lay them all out here and try to explain them because I still don't understand all of that.

    Instead, I can give you the benefit of my own experience with a limited number of jeans and companies.

    I WILL briefly take about "selvedge" jeans. These are jeans made from fabric that is woven the old fashioned way. Think about the jeans you used to be able to get and how they were darker and heavier and you get the idea. For a more in depth explanation, you can go here:

    https://toddshelton.com/blog/products/jeans/selvage-denim

    I like the idea of selvedge jeans because they should last much longer than regular jeans and the phrases "buy for life" and "you buy cheaply, you buy weekly" come to mind so I wanted at least one pair of those. Btw, a great deal of selvedge jean material is made in Japan and it is quality product.

    I narrowed my choice of manufacturers to Texas Jeans, Buck Mason, Tellason and Imogene and Willie.

    Texas Jeans are the cheapest of the group at $30 a pair. They ARE made in the USA but they aren't selvedge jeans. In my case, I thought I knew my correct size based on what I've been buying from Levi and Wrangler but when these jeans arrived they were to narrow in the waist. Or, more accurately, I'm fatter than I thought I was so the 32 inch waist jeans had to go back and I had to order 33 inch waist. Texas Jeans don't offer free return shipping.

    The fabric was ok and probably comparable to stonewashed Levis. Stonewashing makes them softer and feel worn. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Stone_washing I would say they are worth the price but keep in mind there is a shipping charge and shipping to my house is $11 which brings the price up to around $40. Even after having the first two pair in my hands, I still sent them back and ordered two more pair so my cost by the time they arrived was getting to be $60 a pair but that was due to my own mistake. AND, when the next two pair arrived, they were about an inch too long so I had to pay $10 per pair to have them professionally hemmed and that brought the cost to $70 per pair.

    The next jeans I bought were from a company called Buck Mason. I ordered some nice jeans from them and the price was quite a bit higher at $145 per pair. The denim was Japanese weighing in at 14oz with 98% cotton and 2% Spandex. I ordered two pair with free shipping.

    They arrived and they looked great and fit perfectly with no need for hemming. I loved them... until I saw the tag inside the jeans that said "Made in Indonesia". Damn, I thought these jeans were made in USA.

    I went back over their website and found this thing they write "We’ve made hundreds of thousands of products in the United States, and have grown our domestic production by over 100% per year since 2014. While we embrace certain advantages of the global supply chain and make products all over the world, our competitors use this as a way to exploit low cost labor, gouging customers by selling expensive, low-grade fashion. When we decide to produce a garment overseas, it’s so we can craft a higher quality garment, not a cheaper one."

    The average wage for a garment worker in Indonesia is between $1 and $2 per hour. I spoke to some other jean manufacturers and they estimate these jeans reach Buck Mason costing around $20 to $30 per pair total for everything it costs to make them. While I'm not against a company making a profit, I'm against them using such low wage workers and then raising the price by that much on the back end. They could have made a healthy profit at half what they charge and still paid the Indonesian workers and extra dollar an hour. So they went back.

    The next company I bought from was Tellason. Okay, sit down. The price for 16.5 oz Japanese raw denim jeans was $230 plus $10.70 tax and free shipping. I KNOW that's a lotta money but you have to keep in mind that these should last for the rest of my life and still have value after that. They're made in the USA and the quality is there. They did not have a size option for length and they come very long. Too long. I had to spend an extra $10 to have them hemmed with the same color thread and not look like they were hemmed. The style nowadays is to turn up the pant legs but I'm old and that is a fad that will go out of style soon.

    These jeans are the real deal and exactly what I wanted. They fit great aside form the length and, as i said, they are a quality made in USA product.

    The next company I bought from was Imogene and Willie. 14oz Japanese denim at $255 after $20 tax and free shipping plus they needed to be hemmed so another $10. Again, a quality made in USA product that should last longer than me. Not as heavy fabric as the Tellason jeans but with really good stitching like them.

    Final verdict for me: If I have some extra cash from overtime or a gift or I just want a "buy it for life" kind of jean that's made in the USA, I would buy the Tellason jeans again. If I don't have that kind of money to spend and I need some jeans, I would probably buy the Texas Jeans again except I would measure twice and order once.

    Okay, I'm ready for all the guys who are gonna say they would NEVER spend that kind of money on a pair of stupid jeans or they buy THEIR jeans from Walmart and they're made in (insert country) and they're just as good or they only wear cargo shorts. Or... TLDR.

    It's okay. Have at it.
     
    BrazHog, Greggorios, scook and 5 others like this.
  2. suave eddie

    suave eddie Friend of Leo's

    Posts:
    2,192
    Joined:
    Feb 28, 2009
    Location:
    Department of redundancy department
    I've been wearing Levis 501s for over 50 years now. I don't have any idea where they are made now, but at least I can be confident that I know what size to buy without trying them on and seeing how they might shrink.

    What gets me is that occasionally I'll see a display of Levis in my local Costco that to me look completely counterfeit. I've never seen jeans like this anywhere else with a Levis logo on them. They are made of some thin flimsy material that I wouldn't even call denim and the color is nothing like any other Levis I've ever seen. I've forgotten what country they were made in.

    As you've discovered, good luck finding any clothing made in the U.S.A.
     
    mojek, telestratosonic and Torren61 like this.
  3. Torren61

    Torren61 Poster Extraordinaire Gold Supporter

    Posts:
    6,279
    Joined:
    Mar 12, 2013
    Location:
    Humboldt County, CA
    Made in USA and about $40 a pair plus $11 shipping plus tax unless you buy them in the store but out of the last two pair I bought, one developed a hole where the top corner of the back seat pocket is stitched and the other has a hole in the pocket where it was stitched. I had them about six months when those holes developed. Not a bad choice for jeans. I think they're 12oz denim.
     
  4. telemnemonics

    telemnemonics Telefied Ad Free Member

    Age:
    61
    Posts:
    25,371
    Joined:
    Mar 2, 2010
    Location:
    Maine
    TLDR!
    Tried for a while but...

    I pay $40 for Mexican Carhartt and those need to be tried on too.

    Back when Levis were still USA made they had gotten so thin they wore out in two years.
    As a kid a new pair was so stiff they stood up by themselves, literally.
    Nobody makes that stiff a fabric any more AFAIK?

    We didn't like that really, until a month or two made them comfortable.
    But they wore like armor.

    My sense of much of the American made clothing now is that they target hipsters, seems like Brooklyn has a bunch of local makers which makes sense sine all those factories are still there.
    American Giant makes sturdy long lasting sweat shirts in the US, i have three of those and they look new for a couple of years.
    Not sure they make jeans but i gotta buy what I can try on first.
    32 or 33 waist and I need 32/34/36 length depending on the cut and the fabric.
    I'm OK with a touch of highwater if the rest is spot on, and it's harder to get the perfect pair than it used to be?
     
    SRHmusic and Torren61 like this.
  5. schmee

    schmee Doctor of Teleocity

    Posts:
    14,024
    Joined:
    Jun 2, 2003
    Location:
    northwest
    Levi's for me, even if made out of the US. I like more room though and buy 550's for several years now. I wear em out and or stain them too much to pay a lot.
    I will say, some are a bit lower waist than others, I haven't figured out how to tell. Right now I have 3 pairs of 550's. One of the 3 feel a bit more like hip huggers for some reason.
     
    Torren61 likes this.
  6. lil scotty

    lil scotty Tele-Meister

    Posts:
    453
    Joined:
    Jun 29, 2016
    Location:
    Phoenix, AZ
    I have a friend in Indiana who went through a similar, albeit not as in-depth, experiment like yours. I seem to recall that he got some jeans out of Chicago? Anyway, I completely understand your plight and find the whole topic interesting. As I explained to my friend, I don't need or want thick jeans like that: I live in Phoenix. Even what I would consider regular/medium weight jeans, like Levi's 501s, are my "winter" jeans. I am a Levi's guy, so the lighter (cheaper?) jeans suit me fine. I am thrift-store shopper too, so price is definitely a factor for me. Cheers to you, and thank you for sharing.
     
    Torren61 likes this.
  7. suave eddie

    suave eddie Friend of Leo's

    Posts:
    2,192
    Joined:
    Feb 28, 2009
    Location:
    Department of redundancy department
    Are you referring to 501s or the Costco fakes I saw?
     
    Torren61 likes this.
  8. fjblair

    fjblair Tele-Holic

    Posts:
    633
    Joined:
    Dec 29, 2010
    Location:
    NC High Country
    I like selvage denim jeans, but most of the jeans I have owned were the regular material. If you don't have to have selvage there are quite a few made in USA jean manufacturers.
     
    Torren61 likes this.
  9. Torren61

    Torren61 Poster Extraordinaire Gold Supporter

    Posts:
    6,279
    Joined:
    Mar 12, 2013
    Location:
    Humboldt County, CA
    Macy's sells them for that price and the weight is actually 12.5oz denim. I can't speak to what Costco is selling. :)
     
  10. alnico357

    alnico357 Tele-Afflicted

    Posts:
    1,713
    Joined:
    Jun 2, 2015
    Location:
    Arkansas
    Interesting post, OP. Jeans are important to me. At the moment I am wearing Wrangler carpenter jeans. They are OK. I like a loose fit. I have a pair of Texas jeans.

    I'll throw in here that Texas Jeans makes a good blue jean jacket that meets my personal criteria. It was $60.
     
    Torren61 likes this.
  11. suave eddie

    suave eddie Friend of Leo's

    Posts:
    2,192
    Joined:
    Feb 28, 2009
    Location:
    Department of redundancy department
    According to my Google search, 501s are 12.5 oz.
    Those weird jeans I saw at Costco can't be anywhere near that and I'm certain they were not made in the U.S.
     
    Torren61 likes this.
  12. daveIT

    daveIT Tele-Holic

    Posts:
    636
    Joined:
    May 12, 2009
    Location:
    PA, USA
    Check out Origin Maine...everything handmade and sourced from North America.
     
    Torren61 likes this.
  13. reactor99

    reactor99 TDPRI Member

    Age:
    50
    Posts:
    94
    Joined:
    Jan 1, 2017
    Location:
    Georgia, USA
    Torren61 likes this.
  14. bottlenecker

    bottlenecker Friend of Leo's

    Posts:
    3,194
    Joined:
    Dec 6, 2015
    Location:
    Wisconsin
    I just bought a pair of wrangler cowboy cut full starch to try for the first time. $20, hecho en mexico, usa fabric. They feel a lot more solid than the levis, which have been wearing out prematurely for me.

    I thought I would just wear the same jeans for life and ignore fashion, because, you know, they're jeans. But I think I'm done with levis.
     
    soulgeezer, Peegoo and Torren61 like this.
  15. Torren61

    Torren61 Poster Extraordinaire Gold Supporter

    Posts:
    6,279
    Joined:
    Mar 12, 2013
    Location:
    Humboldt County, CA
    I'll check those out. Price looks good but I haven't seen a fabric weight yet. I'll see if I can find out. They're kinda "in your face" on the website...
     
    daveIT likes this.
  16. Jamie_h

    Jamie_h Tele-Meister

    Age:
    45
    Posts:
    124
    Joined:
    Jun 6, 2017
    Location:
    Louisiana
    Good post! When Cone Mills closed down I had just bought some cone mills Levi 501s. They are nice. Check out WH Ranch dungarees. Very cool.
     
    Torren61 likes this.
  17. slauson slim

    slauson slim Friend of Leo's Platinum Supporter

    Posts:
    4,702
    Joined:
    Mar 16, 2003
    Location:
    By The Levee
    In San Francisco I found a place that had custom made jeans starting at $800 per pair.
     
    That Cal Webway and Torren61 like this.
  18. Torren61

    Torren61 Poster Extraordinaire Gold Supporter

    Posts:
    6,279
    Joined:
    Mar 12, 2013
    Location:
    Humboldt County, CA
    That's out of my price range, lol. I stop at $250 per pair give or taker. However, I bet they fit great!
     
  19. Pointmonger

    Pointmonger Tele-Afflicted

    Posts:
    1,119
    Joined:
    Aug 29, 2009
    Location:
    Austin, Texas
    I still have 501's from 20 years ago that are in better shape than ones I've had less than a year. The old ones whisker better than the new ones, too.
     
    Greggorios, Torren61 and Jamie_h like this.
  20. Peegoo

    Peegoo Poster Extraordinaire

    Posts:
    7,039
    Joined:
    Oct 11, 2019
    Location:
    Between the Raindrops
    I stopped buying Levi's years ago when they began falling apart after a few washings. Junk. They used to be really good!

    I found Round House jeans and love the stuff. These are not fashonable jeans; they are ruggedly made and designed for work. They are also super comfortable despite their construction, and they are totally affordable. Great company too.

    https://www.round-house.com


     
    Last edited: Dec 6, 2020
IMPORTANT: Treat everyone here with respect, no matter how difficult!
No sex, drug, political, religion or hate discussion permitted here.