The Truth About Raw Denim – Workwear V.s. Fashion

Gold Miners at Salina Mines, Colorado (Source: Levi Strauss & Co.)

Nowadays, when you say the word “jeans” most people’s minds turn to fashion, shopping malls and brand names like the Gap or True Religion. When you think “overalls”, it’s usually equated with carpenters, painters, and little kid’s jumpers made by OshKosh.

The funny thing about those associations is that they only came about in the last 60 years or so. Up until the 1950’s, companies like Lee or Levi Strauss & Co. marketed their jeans as “overalls”. The reason being that until that point, jeans were worn almost exclusively as workwear, not as fashionable clothing.

I love this tag. Nowadays you can't list "Short & Fat" as a fit...

Once denim became accepted as part of the mainstream fashion, things took off to the point where you can now spend up to $10,000 on a single pair of jeans. Ironic, considering the first guys to buy jeans just wanted clothes that would last them a long time while doing hard work.

Anyways, I don’t want to be pedantic, so I’ll spare everyone a history class. There are plenty of books and websites out there about the history of denim. Today I’d like to focus on modern non-jean workwear that is still being made. I only give a small sample, but there’s plenty of it out there.

1. Studio D’Artisan – Heavyweight Chambray Workshirt

  • Weight: 11 oz.
  • Denim: Unsanforized Studio D’Artisan Original Japanese selvage chambray
  • Dye: Pure Indigo
  • Made In: Japan
  • Price: $205.00
  • Available at: Blue in Green
2. Momotaro - Lightweight Chambray Shirt

  • Weight: 5 oz.
  • Denim: Once Washed Momotaro Original Japanese selvage chambray
  • Dye: Pure Indigo
  • Made In: Japan
  • Price: $225.00
  • Available at: Blue in Green
3. The Flat Head Co. – OV01W Overalls

  • Weight: 12oz
  • Denim: Once Washed The Flat Head Co. Original Japanese selvage denim
  • Dye: Pure Indigo
  • Made In: Japan
  • Price: ¥30,000 (Approx. $392)
  • Available at: Rakuten
4. Fullcount – Denim Coveralls

  • Weight: 13.7oz
  • Denim: Once Washed Fullcount Original Japanese selvage denim
  • Dye: Pure Indigo
  • Made In: Japan
  • Price: $508.00
  • Available at: Blue in Green
Other Photos:

Stay Raw!

-Sean
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Sean

An enthusiast for all things denim, vintage and manly; speaker of Japanese; Rawr Denim's Managing Editor. When he's not being a grammar-nazi, he can be found finishing his degree in East-Asian Studies.

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