Denim HQ x Sauce Zhan – Making The Cut


I have child bearing hips, some men do, wide hips are a cause of constant pain when it comes to getting a good fit on a pair of jeans as you have to take a size larger than your waist requires sometimes to get the jeans over your hips, this was a problem which required a solution. Another cause of complaint often spoken about is how can shorter people attain a slim tapered cut when the necessity to hem their jeans means that they are shortened to a wider part of the leg taper, so what if I could come up with a cut of jeans to solve both of these issues ? What if I could make a cut to fit all widths of hips in a flattering manner without giving the parachute pant fit? What if I could alter a cut to allow shorter people a slimmer leg opening without compromising the fit for taller people? I decided that this was a task worth attempting. To begin with I emptied my wardrobe of jeans, gathered together my favourite pairs and worked out exactly what I like and don’t like about the fit, this would allow me to ascertain exactly what the problem is, and where alterations were required whilst remembering that different cuts work for different people, so the problems I was looking at would not be a problem for everyone.

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The first pair of jeans I took out were my 25oz Iron Heart Mega Beatle Busters, which I have been wearing for the first 18 months of HWDC2, they are a mid to high rise slightly tapered cut, with a very similar top block to the signature Iron Heart 634S, although slightly narrower. The taper on these jeans begins at the knee and is not completely dramatic, the cut works well for people who want something a little slimmer than a standard straight cut, without going too slim, I had 2 problems with these jeans. The first problem was that due to the narrowing of the top block I had to go up a size on these for a comfortable fit, this resulted in the thighs being too baggy, which lead to a combination of parachute fit and saddle fades on the back. The second problem came from them being too loose across the width of the knee, which lead to baggy knees. The jeans are ridiculously comfortable, I love the 25oz fabric (actually my favourite IH denim), but I can’t help but feel that my fit in these is sloppy. Also, because the taper begins at the knee I can see how any hem would result in a wider leg opening.

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The second pair I tried were my Samurai 710OG, which I bought to combat the baggy leg syndrome of the MBB’s. The 710 is also a tapered cut, slightly more so than the Beatle Buster, but still the leg feels out of spec with the waist measurement I have to go for to comfortably accommodate my hips. Generally the fit of my 710’s feels more like what I need but it just doesn’t go far enough, it is slimmer and more fitted but I still get the saddle creases on the back of the legs and the knees still bag slightly and due to the taper beginning at the knee they suffer for shorter people. Annoying as I love these jeans and wanted to commit myself to them fully for the next 2 years, they are now relegated to casual/ occasional wear only. So the problem remains that the jeans which I have tried so far are just not slim enough to give me a flattering fit for my build, but I have tried proper slim cuts before and they wont accommodate my hips at all, and mostly lead to my ample frame being quite uncomfortable before I finally sigh and give up on them, I did have another cut to try first though.

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The Trophy Dirt Denim narrow in so nearly there, I like the way that they fit through the thigh and the lower leg although if I was being super critical I would like the thigh to be slightly slimmer. Though this is called a narrow cut, it is only that in comparison to the full Dirt Denim cut, it isn’t a slim jean more of a slimmer jean. The issue that I have with the DD narrow has nothing really to do with the cut of the leg however, it has everything to do with the reasonably low rise which results in 3 or 4 inches of ass cleavage when I bend over. Not something I’m a fan of though I know that a lot of guys prefer a low rise jean, not for me at my age though. It seemed that I didn’t own a cut of jeans that I really loved, which got me to thinking if I had ever owned jeans that I really loved, I think I have. I seem to remember the fit on my first pair of Samurai 710’s was great, but that was a different denim and a different batch, plus I was maybe a little slimmer then.
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The exercise was however worth while, I believed that I had identified the issues causing the problems and more importantly I also had a plan of how to cut some jeans to solve them which was put into practice by Chinese denim wizard Sauce Zhan. The taper begins just above the knee and ends about 9 inches below it, maintaining the slimness through the full 37″ inseam so that no matter where they are hemmed, from 26″ to 37″ you will still have the same width of leg opening. The top block is a mid rise cut slightly wider in the hips than the thighs so the tapered leg does not look off balance with the shape of the jeans, I think (with a slight hint of bias) that the cut is perfect for such a variety of people and situations. It’s slim without being jeggings, designed for comfort and cut to accommodate differing heights and weights. I am hopeful that by wearing and evolving these jeans that I might achieve certain things which so many slimmer denim heads take for granted, stack and combs with definition, something which I have never experienced.

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I must mention the denim and Zhans craftsmanship also. The denim is a raw 15oz deep indigo dipped material, with a bleached pure white weft which hints at the promise of dramatic evolution. The weave is quite tight but still irregular and the surface is quire hairy, but the most striking thing about this denim is just how soft and comfortable it is for a mid weight raw, usually a this weight in a raw leads to a super crispy denim which can be quite abrasive, but this is a very easy to wear material. Zhan hand made these jeans himself, using vintage machines and a hand cut pattern from my supplied dimensions, I have inspected them closely and compared the workmanship against their more celebrated and illustrious counterparts in my wardrobe and I can say with all honesty that Zhans work stands up to scrutiny. In particular I did a stitch for stitch comparison against the Samurai’s and whilst some things are done differently across the two jeans, nothing is really done markedly better on either pair, which is high praise indeed for a little known Chinese jeans maker.

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The next step is to discuss with Zhan about getting further samples made in different sizes and getting some feedback from elsewhere to see if these is anything that I am missing which might require tweaking or adjustment, so far so good and we’re hoping to have a product ready for release in the coming months.

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