7 posts tagged l.a
goodbye Four Barrels..
Back To L.A, going to miss the weather and the slower pace in SF. still wrapping my head around how SF can have more, and vastly better shops for men than L.A. Unionmade, Freemans sporting club, Tailor stitch (150$ for a made to measure shirt with NO MINUMUM ORDER?!) cable car clothiers….chalk it up to a difference in taste.
Bobby’s, 1st fitting at Den.m Bar
Putting on my pair for the first fitting was a strange experience, it’s an adjustment putting on an unfinished garment and verbalizing what you think needs to be done to perfect them. Like any bespoke garment, the first fitting is going to be a loosely stitched “rough draft” of the finished product, as drastic changes are expected and it’s easier to remove excess and nearly impossible to add length. I had the width of the leg and waist taken in and the crotch adjusted. What I’ve come to look for in any pair of pants is a clean profile, a proper waist/rise, and to always make sure the pockets, both front and rear aren’t overly stretched or ballooning out, a common problem with the slim fit trend.
While Zack (Den.m Bar’s fitter) is a true professional and knew all the right questions to ask, it’s important to head into a fitting with a mental checklist, both of what can and can’t be altered and what the proper fit and silhouette look like on you. While you can count on a bespoke tailor to guide you, keep in mind each tailor is going to have their own style and they are going to make suggestions in tune with that.
J’ has been a good friend of mine for a while now, and the only guy I would ever let near me with a tattoo gun. We bounce ideas off each other all the time and somewhere in one of those exchanges came the topic of jeans. I take it as a sign of good taste that he has been looking for a solid pair of selvege denim for months now and found nothing that suits him. The current skinny/narrow leg style doesn’t fit J’s character or build. Muy-Thai, tattooing, and chopper riding aren’t conducive to skinny jeans and neither is J. So he went with a traditional fit with only a slight taper at the leg and a heavier denim (14.5 Nihon Menpu). The only flash is in the pocket bags J’ chose, and the leather patch he took home to tool up himself. More on that later..
Some highlights from the first fitting.
At a certain point in the pursuit of anything it becomes necessary to either have something made to your specifications or make it yourself. Something that has always frustrated me is trying to find anything (a jacket, shoes, or jeans) that has all the details I like, is styled to my tastes and —most importantly — fits. The world of denim is hyper-focused on details, quality and construction. Everyone has their preferences; denim weight, stitch count and variance, type and number of buttons used. For me it has always been a trade off between my ideal style of jeans and finding a pair that fits well. If your $500 limited edition, 32 oz left hand twill Ironhearts, hand dyed by 100 Okinawa virgins don’t fit well, you would have done better to have saved your money, gone to Levis and found a pair that fit.
If you’re removed from a major city the search is even harder: Without trying on the merchandis you find yourself in a grey zone of measurement and comparison. The logical solution, and next step in the growing worldwide interest in denim, is for bespoke and made-to-measure makers to step forward. Shops have already opened in SF, and NY, and now LA has its own with Den.m bar’s opening a few months ago.
"Bespoke" needs some clarification before we go on. Five years ago the word was nearly forgotten, and now its used and abused everywhere, nearly a meaningless catch phrase. Bespoke doesn’t mean customer chosen details or fabric, or a choice in style/ silhouette, or even a garment that is made to your measurments. It is a garment made completely to the customers specification, the materials used, style or silhouette he requests, and whatever details he might ask for. An argument can be made that many bespoke tailors won’t drastically alter their house silhouette to suit a customer’s wishes. When I can afford a trip to Saville Row, we can have that conversation.
I have a few pairs of selvege jeans that work for everyday, so I wanted to go for something that would look good at night, dressed up with a jacket. I went with a slim leg, no coin pockets (so not technically jeans), subdued stitching, a higher rise and a zipper over buttons to keep the pant front flat. All this wrapped up in a Nishinbo 13.5 ounce selvege denim, darker, sleeker, and not too hot for summer. J’s pair is following tomorrow, for you traditionalists out there…
Even L.A can be a small place sometimes. A friend, photographer/cinematographer/caffiend/and fellow cafe racer enthusiast tapped me to do the styling for his next project, he had worked with the guys at Den.m Bar before and suggested we use their Jeans. As the first bespoke denim maker in L.A I was excited to see what they could do and if they lived up to the bespoke tittle. Another good friend J,(our go to for tattoos) came along for his pair to be used in the shoot and I dragged Bri with her camera along as well. Transparency time, we traded the two pairs we will use for the shoot in exchange for a review here, saved the budget, helped out a small business, and you get a review. Everybody wins.