To be perfectly honest, there are a few brands that are ubiquitous with the term “entry-level raw denim.” A.P.C., Nudies, Unbranded and Naked & Famous tend to be the major names in discussions of sub-$200 selvedge denim. Luckily, that category has a new contender - United Stock Dry Goods.
United Stock gave us the chance to sample a pair of the Canadian brand’s Narrow Fit from their upcoming fall line, and other brands have reason to worry. Featuring 12.5 oz. Japanese redline selvedge denim, construction in the U.S. of A., and a price tag of $135, United Stock Dry Goods is one of the biggest bangs for your buck in raw jeans today.
The brand offers three cuts: Classic (regular straight), Narrow (slim fit), and Slight (skinny fit). We found the Narrow to be a very flattering cut with ample room in the top block and a nice tapered silhouette reminiscent of Levi’s 511 cut.
The cuts were designed by Sydney Mamame, United Stock‘s co-founder who previously worked as a bespoke tailor. His experience shows as the jeans fit well, while still allowing a good range of motion.
The 12.5 oz. Japanese selvedge has a clean and even hand even though the weave is kind of gauzy. It’s nice that there are some subtle imperfections in the fabric and out of the box they are slightly hairy, but the otherwise uniform denim is perfect for a first pair of raws.
The weave and their medium weight makes them easy to wear year-round. The indigo is also good and dark, suggesting the possibility for high contrast fades with extended wear. Creases were already forming after two days with lots of folds in the honeycombs.
The contrast stitching is solidly constructed with primarily single-needle work reinforced by bar tacks. United Stock also makes the extra effort to add a chain-stitched hem and double chain-stitch on the waist, details normally seen on higher-end vintage denim.
Detail-wise, United Stock takes a subtle and understated approach. The only thing that sticks out is the exposed selvedge ID coin pocket, something we could have done without, but with Japanese selvedge at that price you can’t blame them for showing it off.
There are many other vintage-inspired touches as well, like the donut button fly, bar-tacked back pockets, a stamped leather patch, and the chain stitching. The hardware is done in a bright nickel finish, which stands out from the dark indigo. A year from now, its expected that the nickel will tarnish and the denim will fade nicely into complimentary tones.
United Stock Dry Goods seems to really get it. In a market where dozens of small denim studios try to differentiate themselves with gimmicks, this young company sets itself apart by making a minimalist jean from high quality materials, constructing it very well, and offering it for a good price.
This formula may not be new, but it’s a standard for a reason. This pair may not have the most personality of the market, but at this price point one could do a lot worse. If you’re at all considering Nudies, A.P.C. or other jeans at this level, do yourself a favor and check these out as well.