Print Page | Close Window

How did you get here?

Printed From: denimbro
Category: Denimbro
Forum Name: Denimbro
Forum Description: general
Printed Date: 24 Aug 2019 at 2:20am
Software Version: Web Wiz Forums 11.10 -

Topic: How did you get here?
Posted By: illumin8em
Subject: How did you get here?
Date Posted: 03 Feb 2013 at 4:51pm
I am curious what everyone's path making it here was? Not so much "here" as in Denimbro (as most of us are mutineers) but more this place of similar interests. What's your story?

After talking with the venerable and generous Dr. H, I am again reminded of how much less I know from the already small amount I thought I knew. Which got me thinking, "why does he know so much, and been in the know for so long?" How did any of the main contributors of knowledge here find this interest? I can't figure out how anybody outside of San Fran and Japan, ever knew that Levi's started "Levi's Vintage Clothing" back in 1996, or any other company reproducing these clothes before the internet.

I guess I could ask individually (Randal, Harris's, and so on), but I figure I could open it to all

Posted By: illumin8em
Date Posted: 03 Feb 2013 at 5:07pm

My story isn't much but I am long winded. I was more Huckleberry Finn / Woody Guthrie than anything else growing up. When all my friends (parents) were buying Nike Jordans and listening to rap, I was picking through yard sales, peoples closets and attics and playing country blues and later the Misfits and Elvis. Unfortunately most of clothes I found were 70's-80's junk and we didn't have a thrift store in town till I was in high school. My preference for the forgotten and bygone bled to pretty much everything I did, it just looked, sounded and felt better in my hands than anything else. I never found much, but cherished and made sure to use what I took.

By age 22 I had given up thrift and was wearing skinny jeans that I though I looked great in and working on starting a photography business. I had been on the hunt for an older cameras and stumbled upon a pair of old boots at an estate sale. They did not fit, but in a couple months I figured out they were WWII Jump boots and managed to find a pair on ebay. During a visit home, my always encouraging mother told me that she used to buy Levis that one could shrink the dickens out of, and I should try there instead of trying on women's jeans (yeah right). I couldn't find them in any stores, and from searching online I actually stumbled on Superfuture, 2005?. I lurked that site for over a year before registering as a member. And that is about it until now. I had no idea this kind of community existed before Sufu.

Posted By: Bob Dale
Date Posted: 03 Feb 2013 at 6:16pm
In high school I got a hand me down pair of 'Husky' 505's I think they were like 29-30's or something and baggy jeans were still sort of cool.  I wore them and was sold on Levis.  They were all I wanted to wear ever.  I didn't really 'skate' but did this embarassing early 00's version of parkore (sp?) and my 505's ripped. I was at a boarding school, and poor, so my 'mentor' bought me a pair of Wrangler 'Hero' jeans.  I was grateful, but I hated those jeans.

I went home and bought like 50$ worth of Levis at the thrift store.  I am pretty sure I saw Selvage on that trip but was more annoyed than intrigued.  20$ for these ''pieces of crap'' - - little did I know. So I took my 6-7 pairs of ill fitting 517's with me and rocked them until college.

I was in to beat to shit jeans in college so my 517s still worked. I had a job at Abercrombie and really liked the trashed jeans for whatever reason.  I couldn't afford them and at the time and boot cuts were all the rage so I stole several pairs of my dads bootcut rustlers and kept  thrifting like a mofo.  I had a few pairs of ill fitting 646's (I called them mom jeans at the time, the rise was so full)  I became legitimately addicted to thrifting.  I went at least once a week with a good friend of mine.  never found anything good, but it kept me in western shirts , ironic t-shirts, and more polyester than studio54.

My good friend heard about /saw a pair of Nudies and discovered superfuture and then styleforum.  Neither one of us were really 'beasty' at the time so all the sneakers and streetwear didn't appeal all that much.  We just wanted shit that fit so we gravitated to styleforum.  I was still poor, but I think by now I'd bought my first pair of 501s ( I still have them, they are my favorite pair) .  I aspired for a pair of APCs sized down 3 as was the styleforum 'way'.  Never could afford them.

My buddy got a great deal on some KMW's from kiya -- and eventually passed the deal on to me.  I was hooked.

got really into styleforum, and posted a ton there.  eventually it got lame and I dabbled at sufu because there was way more info on LVC.  I was un-decided I knew I really liked the 47's but just couldn't decide and was scared to death about sizing on a luxury item.

I saw an initial pair of Roy's MTM offering and was blown away.  The patch reminded me of summer camp and leather crafts.    My wife gave me my pair as my 1st wedding anniversary gift , and then I must have sent 300 (a slight exaggeration) emails to Roy.   We became friends (or whatever you call someone you email frequently but have never actually met). 

There was a lot of enthusiasm surrounding Roy, the thread on sufu blew up just like Roy and then there was the Roy x Cone contest.

Riding the high of the RxC ADH92 and I approached Left Field about doing a contest and we had a successful contest with the indigo dyed chinos last year.

this forum came to fruition, and since then I've gravitated primarily here.

wow ;  that's a long, boring story.

Posted By: colgems1966
Date Posted: 03 Feb 2013 at 7:39pm
  maybe there is something wrong with me, but from the time i was a little boy i was always interested in the past. i was the kind of kid that when we drove over a concrete bridge i'd look right to see what year it was constructed or if you handed me a quarter i'd look to see when it was made and if vintage i'd wonder where all it had been.
  i'm sure movies and TV played a large role in all this as they illustrated to me quite vividly different eras and piqued my interest. the net result of all this is that i was a full blown vintage junkie by age 10. it being the mid 70's you could still easily find stuff and cheap! i remember the army surplus stores back then had all the m-43's, button fly khaki's etc you wanted and for only a few dollars. so i grew up with it and wanted to look like all those people i had seen in old movies.
  the most challenging time for me was when i grown and had to replace all those smaller size vintage clothes i had grown up wearing and had outgrown. prices had risen and there wasn't much true vintage out there to fit my 6 foot frame but luckily i found a few things and the repro market was just begininng to heat up. i have been into it for so long i don't know any other way to dress.

Posted By: devilish
Date Posted: 03 Feb 2013 at 11:04pm
Psychobilly. That was the gateway that started the appeal of the past for me. Even though the uniform was fairly rigid in my particular neck of the woods. MA-1 jacket, band t-shirt with cut-off flannel over the top, rolled up STF's and Dr. Marten boots. Some of the more stylish and adventurous of us branched out into a kind hybrid rock n' roll/40's Britain look. Morrisey would dress that way sometimes but he followed 'the street' not the other way round.

There were a few vintage shops in my home town where we'd pick up old cardigans and shirts, these would be paired with 40's tweed overcoats. There were also trips to London to find the American stuff that could only be had on the Kings Rd or Camden Mkt.

At college in London in the 80's drugs took over and it was known as the 2nd Summer of Love but still my fashion would always incorporate as much vintage as possible and Levi's were always the jean of choice, even then. I always tended to be more rocker than my more hippie leaning friends.

After moving to San Francisco 20 odd years ago, there have been a few minor changes in style over the years and then a few years back I made a decision to start buying the most quality clothes I could afford and in a more classic style. It was time to dress in a way that was more appealing to me as I grew older and would grow older with me.

I still make a hybrid of both classic British and American men's style with denim and tweed. The British stuff is even more expensive than the U.S./Japanese and takes a little longer to save for or hunt down. One day I'll have a 3pc tweed suit made in England to wear when jeans are not appropriate.

I have always had a mind for useless knowledge and minutiae so I try and pick up as much of the history of it all as I can and that is what most appeals to me about places like SuFu, denimbro, The Fedora Lounge, VLJ et al. They are also great enablers for the addiction of collecting.

Posted By: nick
Date Posted: 04 Feb 2013 at 4:52am
Really interesting devilish, particularly the reference to Morrissey which is probably how I started off. I was a huge metal fan in the mid to late 80s and then gravitated towards US guitar bands. Having cut off my hair and stopped wearing band tees, I started wearing plaid shirts, orange tab 518s. DMs, a mackinaw jacket and a quiff. I was always interested in band imagery and how the looks fitted in with the music - loved hardcore/guitar bands who wore anything than standard cargos, jeans, tees, high tops.

That was my A Levels and then university look. But then I became more interested in fashion culminating in a bit of a wild Vivienne Westwood phase late 90s/early 00s. 

After that, I started wearing jeans again, picked up a few pairs of LVC 2005ish. And then discovered superfuture around the same time. Always thought sufu was a good resource but the vibe was more of a consumerist thing rather than for aesthetics which is my main thing.

So, i am still interested in how things look and fit and I am a bit more interested now in where they came from. But I do think people get bogged down in detail to the detriment of actually having a good clean look. How you wear things is just as important as what it is or it's manufacturing process. No point in spending x dollars/yen on your clothes if it's the same look you can get at Gap.

Posted By: killer b
Date Posted: 04 Feb 2013 at 4:58am
I think when i heard the idea of not washing your jeans a few years ago it appealed to my slovenly nature, but i found with the cheap prewashed jeans i was wearing at the time it gave a less than satisfactory result.

so i read a bit about it on the internet, and all roads led to superfuture, then here...

Posted By: rayw44
Date Posted: 04 Feb 2013 at 6:21am

Like a lot of others here, old things have always resonated with me. My Dad really piqued my interest in all of this, and he always took great care of his favorite articles of clothing.

He used to mend and darn anything he truly cherished, and my Grandmother likes to tell stories of him asking her to mend things that other people would have thrown out long before. He still does today (he has a sweatchirt from the good old days of Champion that is now more darning than sweatshirt).
I used to wear a lot of his old stuff, and still do. But in my freshman year of college I started to get interested in denim, and I stumbled upon LVC through the Levis website (back when you could buy LVC direct from them). I balked at the $175 price for the 47s, so I bought a pair on ebay for around $95 and also grabbed a pair of fakes for quite cheap.
I wore both of these for sabout a year without knowing much about Sufu. Then I happened to be at the King of Prussia Mall sometime around 2005-2006 because I wanted to see more LVC firsthand at the Levis store that had recently opened there.
One of the employees struck up a conversation with me and asked if the fakes I was wearing was a pair of 47s. I explained that they were fakes and we talked a bit about LVC and the level of quality of these fakes (I thought they were pretty good at the time, except for a paper patch instead of the correct leather version).
The employee suggested that I take a look at Sufu, and I did right when I got home. I lurked for at least a year or so before actually joining, and then "defected" to here. My love of old things has only gotten worse since.
I still don't know who the employee was on Sufu, so if you are here, make yourself known.  

Posted By: Mr Black
Date Posted: 04 Feb 2013 at 6:44am

Here’s my story it’s sad but true…. And very rambling

I guess my first forays into clothing came when I was 10/11.  2-tone fever had gripped the UK and I was swept into it a little bit. I remember going to the army surplus shop to get my monkey boots and first pair of sta-prest (not genuine levis, but at that age I wouldn’t have known the difference). Loved rummaging through the rails and boxes of stuff. The smell was great too. Also had my yellow braces, assorted Fred perry’s and moccasins.

I started secondary school around this time and was given a hand-me down school blazer to wear which had slim lapels.- quite a 60’s cut. Everyone else had massive lapels. My mum let me take in my school trousers a little bit so I started school looking quite cool (so I thought). The older rude boys and skins sort of took me under their wing so I didn’t get any hassle for looking a bit ‘different’.

Anyhoo- that phased out. I wasn’t particulary sporty or academic and my friends were mainly those with a similar musical taste which by then was the Smiths, echo & the bunnymen, Siouxsie & banshees, David bowie, icicle works, Bauhaus. General new-wave stuff I guess. We just used to hang around at school together talking about music and clothes.

We started going to Kensington Market at the weekends which for those that don’t know it was a London haven for ‘alternatives’ be it Goths, punks, rockabillies, late new romantic types etc, whatever. Much like Devilish, the look was quiffed hair, old vintage tweed overcoats, suede front cardigans, moccasins. I guess that was where my rummaging through vintage clothing started

Psycholbilly then came on my radar and coincided with leaving school and starting 6th form college. Also giving me the freedom to wear whatever I wanted. My sister had some old cramps records which really got to me. Started listening to other psychobilly bands and changing my look. Tatty, tightish fitting second hand 501’s which I probably took in a bit, band tees, old army boots, checked shirts. Many of my friends went for the MA1, tight jeans, massive boots look- very bone-heady, but I adopted more of an American 50’s with a twist look. So- lumberjack jackets, checked shirts, baseball shirts and cuffs on my jeans. We’d flit between the great gear market on the Kings Road and Kensington market. Dabbling in vintage.

Musically I preferred the more melodic stuff rather than the punky angry sounds. Couple if years later I’d morphed into what I guess they call a neo-rockabilly. At this time I was friends with a girl at college (very attractive she was) who kindly took me along to my 1st proper rockabilly/Rockin’ club. I was blown away. The music was SO much raw-er. Almost gutteral. The attendees, generally a little older than me were just the coolest things I’d ever seen. Amazing clothes, amazing dancing and some very amazing looking girls. I was hooked.

Round that time- aged 18/19 I was all STF 501’s, checked shirts, bandana’s and dealer boots or boating shoes but slowly I started noticing the finite details of what my hero’s were wearing. Particularly the denim. What was that white line on their turn-ups? why was there this really interesting fading down the side seams, how come mine didn’t fade like that? how come they had a ‘grain’ and faded with so much more contrast than mine? How come that denim trucker jacket doesn’t have side-pockets, and what are those pleats on that jacket? Slowly I picked it up and started buying vintage denim and trying to perfect the look as best I could. At the time 50’s American clothing was relatively cheap and plentiful but I was still on a budget so the rarer items were out of my reach but I still spent most weekends trawling through the rails picking up bits here and there..

I stayed on the scene until I was about 26 ish. Was getting bored of going to the same clubs every week, seeing the same people, hearing the same tunes so it was a natural time to break away. Around that time Acid jazz was pretty popular. I’d always liked old soul & funk so it seemed a natural progression, and I could still wear my old denims J but mixed with 60’s knitwear.

Workwear also came into play with Carhartt, Dickies, Ben Davies being quite popular.

Got friendly with a few moddy types and went to some mod nights aswell. I had a scooter by this time so fitted in OK. Loved the music but just didn’t feel comfortable so stayed on the periphery. Their idea of dressing up was to pull on an immaculate suit. Mine was to slip into some old Big E’s.

Prices of vintage were shooting up and LVC had just started so although I wasn’t wealthy, it made sense to buy new rather than vintage. Al least I knew I could get my size and I could finally afford to get a type 1.!!

A trip round America and a tour of the Valencia Street factory increased my interest and I started buying more LVC.

Not entirely sure how, but I stumbled across Superfuture in early 2007 and started getting more into the repro brands aswell as LVC & vintage stuff. A couple of years later I was made redundant from my magazine job and started working part time at Son of A stag in london and got to finger more of the Japanese brands i was reading about on Sufu. It taught me alot and I was happy just chatting to the customers all day about denim, learning more about the relative merits of this denim or that denim. This cut or that cut,how this pair fades compared to that pair & so on

I guess now I’m just an amalgam of all my past influences- and happy with where I am.


Posted By: proulxsie
Date Posted: 07 Feb 2013 at 11:31am
I've always dressed tomboy-ish but was very misguided and didn't really know one thing from another—I'm now more interested in the details/history as my boyfriend is a bit of a clothing snob after working for Bobby and doing windows for RRL. I like to be a bit more laid back about it than he is though! 

I found DB from researching old elephant bandannys and decided to stay. :)


Posted By: badseed
Date Posted: 07 Feb 2013 at 2:37pm
Ive always been interested in ww2,in partiuclar WW2 US army and the 30s and 40s in general.I also went thru a Reggae,Ska and Soul period as a teenager and kinda backtracked to vintage workwear via Skinhead and Mod style.

I found this website via the Mister Freedom site

And the senses being dulled are mine

Posted By: redchris
Date Posted: 13 Feb 2013 at 5:34am

I think I started thinking about what I was wearing after a Stranglers gig at the Apollo Manchester in 1977, I was 14 and wearing the usual parka/jeans/adidas samba combo that was the standard uniform of my generation. I found myself surrounded by the Manchester Punk scene. Kids wearing all sorts of gear, looking cool.

Within a week I looked as weird as school would allow. In fact an experiment with a bottle of bleach on my hair got me suspended til it grew out.

Flirted with "Casual" fashion around 80-81. Lacoste, Fila etc, plus a shitty attitude. I stopped going to the football just to fight when I went to Uni.

I remember reading an article about big E Levi's and Selvage in The Guardian around 1984 and spent the next few years  hunting through Affleck's Palace in Manchester for the odd treasure find of Big E. however, Morrissey and Johnny Marr seemed to have an arrangement that all the best stuff was reserved for them.

Continued flirting with shit clothes. I remember thinking anything Italian rocked. There were these jeans called "Ball" which were a baggy shape and cost serious money.

1996 Bought first pair of Japanese jeans, Edwin, from Richard Creme in Manchester. I had actually gone in to get a pair of Evisu. He explained how Evisu Europe had gone shit, showing me the difference between the last MIJ pair he had (not my size) and the Italian pair over the road at Aspecto.

1997 For Christmas, my girlfriend got me a pair of Japanese Silverstone Groundalls R501XX from Richard. The co. and the shop now gone. Don't know what happened to Richard, he was a big deal in the fashion scene, not least because he was about 8 ft tall.

1999 Bought first pair of LVC 1873 1st Blue Jean from Geese, Manchester

2001 - 2004 Bought tons of LVC from TK Maxx, which inexplicably was selling Valencia St. made stuff for £19.99.

The internet came along, I discovered aeroleather and Lee Japan.

2004 Started buying stuff on ebay, selling it when I got bored or wanted something else.

2009 Discovered Superdenim on Sufu and started learning about other denim brands from Japan.

2011 Got banned from Sufu as redchris, joined again as rusholmeruffian, got banned again.

I was directed here x Ben aka crashtestbrummie. Top lad.

I have spent and wasted a fortune on clothes. I have learned the following :

Disregard branding

Buy the very best you can afford in quality . Do not compromise, you will regret it.

From having almost 20 pairs of jeans at times I am down to 3 : Okinawa, Kato and a pair of Vanishing West. I do not plan to add to this.
The rest of my wardrobe is a mix of Freewheelers and MF.

Posted By: nick
Date Posted: 13 Feb 2013 at 5:49am
Interesting stuff Chris. If that MF peacoat does not work out for you, let me know.

Posted By: illumin8em
Date Posted: 13 Feb 2013 at 6:44am
Originally posted by nick nick wrote:

If that MF peacoat does not work out for you, let me know.

I have no idea if that was sincere, but I laughed out loud, so thanks for a wonderful start to my morning

Posted By: nick
Date Posted: 13 Feb 2013 at 7:17am
You know, I was actually being sincere! I am annoyed that they sold out of XLs but agreed to give me 30% off despite being in the UK. The L is probably too small.

Posted By: Dr_Heech
Date Posted: 25 Feb 2013 at 9:37am
Originally posted by illumin8em illumin8em wrote:

I am curious what everyone's path making it here was? Not so much "here" as in Denimbro (as most of us are mutineers) but more this place of similar interests. What's your story?

After talking with the venerable and generous Dr. H, I am again reminded of how much less I know from the already small amount I thought I knew. Which got me thinking, "why does he know so much, and been in the know for so long?"

I have waited a while now, but after an introduction like that, I thought the time had come for me to give my story. So put the kettle on, or grab a bottle of your favourite tipple. Are you comfortable?   Then I'll begin ... and I'll try and keep it short!

I grew up in (what used to be) a small town, close to (what was then) plenty of countryside. As far back as I can remember, I was always interested in 'old things' -whether it be vehicles, tractors, planes, buildings, drawings/paintings, suitcases, cameras, toys.. etc, etc. I really wasn't interested so much in how it worked, more how it came to be - through design - so how it looked. The Form rather than the function.
Also most of the adults around me growing up were born before the second world war, so that's what they all used as reference to anything about a hard life. So old militaria became a focal point for many years. Even as a small child growing up in the (fairly bleak it seemed) 1970's, I spent too much time rummaging through old barns, sheds, garages, old shops, attics ..etc - Looking at old motorcycles, Landrovers, tools, photos, lamps, pictures, vinyl, toys, clothes, general bric-a-brac - for no particular reason that I could fathom out. Probably because there was fuck all else to do. I just wasn't into 'New'.
It was like I was born too late.

My first foray into clothing, like so many here, came through music. I started getting into music when I was 10 (1978), listening to everything from Bowie to The Jackson's, The Jam to Iron maiden.
Music and fashion during the late 70's/early 80's were fickle things back then (or was it just fickle youth?), allowing you to transcend from one thing to another fairly easily, often keeping the aspects you liked from one niche, and amalgamating them with something else. A sort of clothing customisation of music based cultures?  
There was also quite a bit of fifties nostalgia floating about at the time, helped by films like 'Grease'.

Later the growing Ska and Mod trends helped hone my fashion likes down to the one essential item - Levi's jeans. Although not sure what model (they always had a zipper), but as long as they were drain-pipe in silhouette! - and worn with a black leather (Pvc), Harrington, Ma-1 or Donkey jacket.

But it wasn't until the mid eighties that the Levi's '501' (with the old fashioned button fly) came into the general publics' conscience here in the UK , with those Launderette/Bath adverts.
1985 I think it was?
Stonewash/bleached jeans were in at the time. The trouble was, that the NEW 501 jeans available to buy on the high street, in places like Jean-jeanie, didn't look like the ones worn by some Rock and pop stars.  Why were their fades so awesome? Why did theirs have that white line on the turn-ups? And more importantly, where could I get a pair from?

I'd been going up to 'Town' (London) clubbing on the weekends since 1984, and during the day discovered the delights of Kensington Market and the Kings road, both Vintage Mecca's back then, and so i bought a couple of pairs of second-hand 501's - 'with the redlines in the selvedge', along with my first proper leather jacket. This would've been 1987.

Walking into a shop in Camden soon after, a lady there stopped me, telling me that the 501's I bought were old (stuff about big E tabs, yellow stitching and hidden rivets?) - so from then on, I looked for the slightly older ones.

Then I saw by chance, the BBC's "Design Classics - The 501 jean" (1988?). This was the first historical Levis- based documentation l'd seen (and my first glimpse at the infamous 'Calico mine' 501's). This galvanised my obsession/passion for this one particular item.

By 1990 l got to know one or two sellers/dealers, and whilst I was a student at Art college, through my growing obsession with Levi's, I also became a 'thrifter' for one particular chap. He had a shop in The Garage, in the King's Rd and did weekend stalls in Portabello road and at the Electric ballroom in Camden. He introduced me to Boon magazine.
He helped me to gain a lot of knowledge/insight into different garments/labels, and helped in dating the important and valuable items to look out for. 
So at the beginning of each term, I spent my grant money on clothing, travelling to the Cities and raiding their rails in order to rush back and make a profit, returning said grant money back to the bank with interest. One unsuspecting warehouse locally would allow me special access to bales of clothing fresh from the States. This p/t vocation allowed me to build a vintage denim collection at the time.
I was in vintage heaven.

By 1994, things had dried up thrifting-wise, as every second-hand seller was a vintage know-it-all, and prices were beyond silly.
There were some early Japanese levis repros being imported at the time but they always lacked accuracy imo.
In 1998, after a long conversation with the owner/manager of Flip in Glasgow, whilst pondering over a pair of Lvc 201xx's he had displayed there, l discovered 'Levis Vintage clothing' (both at Cinch and Regents St. Flagship store) around 1999, and considering a dead-stock pair of 501's from the 1960's were fetching £800 upward, it seemed a no brainer to buy Repro (as it was later known).
Plus, it was nigh on impossible to find the older pairs in my size! 

I loved the Lvc line and was hooked!

In 2003, I bought Paul T's book, got my first computer and discovered the internet, so buying real vintage, especially direct from around the world via ebay seemed like childs play.
Cinch and Aeroleather became my shops of choice until the beginning of the slow demise of LVC around 2005/2006 (Since then I probably bought five pieces of seasonal Lvc items)
In 2007/8 discovered Sufu. I couldn't believe it, after all these years there were other people interstested in old Levis. It was a denim/vintage forum(?)
I thought there was only me who was into this vintage denim thing. Now l knew l wasn't alone.
After a year's lurking on sufu l realised the author of said book was a poster there! So joined up, met Paul.T, Erk, Fardin, Airfrog and Electrum and then Roy6.   Dropped Sufu after a few years when it became all 'new fangled' (2011?)  and was invited by Mark to be a sort of mod on DB, so here I am!

Posted By: Bob Dale
Date Posted: 27 Jun 2017 at 6:18pm

Posted By: Mr Black
Date Posted: 28 Jun 2017 at 4:21am
Just been reading back through this thread. A great read. Well done for bumping it Bob. Certainly needs some new stories added.


Posted By: dudewuttheheck
Date Posted: 30 Jun 2017 at 7:22am
Definitely a great read. I'll take a stab at adding my humble story.

Just as so many others have stated, I also have an appreciation for older items. I grew up going to antique shops in Vermont every summer with my uncle (and Vermont itself is quite an old school place itself) and was introduced to many older TV shows and film's by my dad and loved the overall time period and aesthetic of those films and shows. Old Western films and The Andy Griffith Show were where I really started to notice that I enjoyed a more vintage aesthetic, but I figured that dressing like a cowboy or a sheriff was too costume-y so I never gave it too much serious thought.

My love of the past continued in high school and college. I fell in love with history my freshman year of high school and ended up majoring in the subject in college. Meanwhile, I had started to put a lot more effort into my appearance around my junior year of high school.

Of course, at this point I tried to dress better by simply wearing better fitting jeans, adding some chinos, and vans they weren't torn to shreds. This morphed into my skinny jeans phase due to the fact that I was in a pop punk band for several years.

Once that ended, I tried to up my style game again... By wearing dress shoes and sports coats with my jeans and buying some Clark's desert boots. I somehow stumbled across Naked and Famous jeans while searching for typical young male fashion-forward advice while on styleforum and thought they looked pretty cool. I ought a couple pairs and really quite liked them for their unique fabrics and at that point, I didn't even want them to fade. I just thought of them as luxury jeans that were far more simple and stylish than the crap from lucky and true religion.

What really put me over the edge, however, was leather jackets. Being such a fan of old Western films, I loved the cool old jackets they wore. They were rarely leather, but I took notice when they were. My favorite single Western character of all time is Charlie Prince as portrayed by Been Foster in 310 to Yuma. That jacket and hat he wore never left my mind. I bought a hat very similar to the one in the film (which I still own), but never had the balls to buy his double breasted white leather jacket with cost tails (thank God for that).

Through my research of the hat and leather jackets, I found the fedora lounge and this was my true gateway to where I am today. I learned about different leather and makers and fell in love with leather jackets, engineer boots, and the idea of craftsmanship itself. My discoveries of better boots, hats, and jackets lead me to look for better jeans than my naked and famous which lead to me to searching around sufu and the iron heart forum.

Denim has never been the main part of this passion and it still is not. I have far more pairs of chinos, trousers, and duck pants than denim and I think that's why I spend more time here than on sufu. This place is more concentrated on overall aesthetic (at least in my view) than sick fadez compared to other forums. I'm still quite young, however at 25 so I can't say I know where exactly the future will take me.

My Website:

Posted By: Dr_Heech
Date Posted: 30 Jun 2017 at 8:14am
Nice story Jake, thanks.
You are now a fully initiated member of the Denimbro community


Posted By: likeacannon
Date Posted: 30 Jun 2017 at 2:18pm
This is a great thread idea. I've always had a penchant for a person's genealogy of interests, and love hearing the stories so far.

I grew up in a small mountain town in Northern California that was started because of the Gold Rush, along with every pretty much every town within 30 miles of me. My dad owned a small claim called "Small Hope" (named so because there was little hoe of ever finding anything) and so we would spend the weekends there panning and sloshing for any gold that we could find. My connection with denim was a family one (my dad wore nothing but 501s for as long as I could remember) as well as a cultural-geographic one as I was brought up inGold Country, with gold and indigo in my blood.

In high school in the late 90's I got really into punk rock and skate culture, which further gave way to interest in jeans, t-shirts, and leather jackets, and later was part of the thrift store/Emo scene of the late 90's/Early Aughts. I got sick of buying crappy clothes and having them fall apart so I started looking into American-made garb and stumbled upon the now-defunct CXXVI which led me to Tellason, and their story of making jeans in S.F. like they did during the Gold Rush obviously appealed to my history. I then moved to Portland, Oregon for grad school and met Kiya and Demitra who were opening SEPDX at the time and in becoming friends with them their indigo passion bled even more onto me. 

Posted By: dudewuttheheck
Date Posted: 30 Jun 2017 at 8:06pm
Originally posted by Dr_Heech Dr_Heech wrote:

Nice story Jake, thanks.
You are now a fully initiated member of the Denimbro community


Thanks for making it official

My Website:

Posted By: Double 0 Soul
Date Posted: 06 Jul 2017 at 1:48am
As our resident gobshite ive probably mentioned some of this before but i'll try and piece it all together.
Ive got to start somewhere so im just going to dive into my teenage years... deep breath... around the late 80,s there were many different youth cultures you could choose from (you don't need me to list them all) most would welcome like minded peeps with open arms, just one glance at their appearance would give you enough information to identify who they were, where they shopped, which music/bands they listened to, which pubs and clubs they frequented and on what night, what books they read and where they would hang-out, For instance Goths hung out on the City-Hall steps, skinheads in the stairwell to the markets, breakers in the precinct. Whether you identified with any of the looks or not there's one thing for sure they certainly wasn't generic.
There was also a fair bit of mainstream conformity, men who would go clubbing in a white shirt, tie, black trousers, white socks and shiny shoes, there was still an an archaic element of "If your not wearing shoes or a tie your not coming in" these men would still sport a Chris Waddle-esque mullet with back perm even into the late 80,s and they would strike fear and loathing into my very soul.

I wasn't part of any of these groups nor did i have the desire to be, i spent a lot of my time hanging around derelict factories or decaying flats photographing the graffiti, which was still fresh back then. I would have been dressed in black bomber, long sleeve t-shirt, jeans and a pair of vintage 70,s era fat swoosh Nike running shoes (new Nike's were well out of my price range i remember in '87 somebody telling me about a pair of Nike AM1 with an air bubble in the sole, i immediately caught the bus into town for 2p just to go press it) or occasionally some Dr Martens I would have been listening to early hip-hop, electro and oddly late 60,s psychedelia from my folks record collection, without dosh non-chart music wasn't that easy to come by in those days. I would have been reading Tank Girl and Alan Moore's Watchmen, i was still a school kid and my Saturday job only paid me £10/week so fashion was somewhat unaffordable.
Here's a few pics of the Kelvin flats graffiti from my archives taken on a Kodak Disc camera this would have been 1988.


Kelvin flats was a mini version of Park-Hill. 1960,s i'll feited vision of streets in the sky, it had a terrible rep for urban squalor but i found the community spirit very friendly (even for an outsider like me) until it was demolished in the early 90,s.

When i was 16/17, this would have been 1990, (i know what your thinking 'f**k me Double 0 you've been blessed with fantastic genes) there was a shift in the music i was listening to i was spending a lot of time hanging around independent record shops and having left school and started my apprenticeship there was a year or two before i moved out of my folks house when i actually had disposable income to splurge on vinyl, clothing and my vw beetle, even though i hadn't passed my test.

Years before somewhere around 87/88 i remember going to an outdoor market with my mother and i bought an acid-house cassette from a suitcase which was full of them, it was just a shit quality recording on TDK of a live DJ set from London with a hand drawn smiley face on the cover.
The London/Jamaican patois was something i hadn't heard before but like the rap music of black America (i listened to previously) from my perspective, a white kid from a post-industrial northern city i couldn't really identify with it but i remember thinking  "You know what? Sam Cooke's right a Change is Gonna Come" and in 1989 it did with bleep/bass, this only happened for a relatively short period of time but the sound defined my teenage years.
If your interested this article sums it up perfectly." rel="nofollow - BLEEP

I digress.. back to the 90,s Like a lot of folks back then i had a bit of a bedroom set up but not being particularly well off it was all begged, borrowed or stolen, i had a nice Technics deck but regretfully it was connected to the turntable from my old 1980,s midi system through a Realistic mixer/crossfader that a friend of mine nicked from 'Sound Idea' god knows how it was massive and out through an old NAD amp and Mission speakers. (Kid Koala eat your heart out)

I was all about pirate radio in those days too, there was a station called S.C.R (Sheffield Community Radio) where we could glean rave info and i would tape it incessantly, it was broadcast from Park Hill flats and made its dosh by selling advertising space (the ads are genius) After numerous raids by the rozzes it would eventually re-locate and become Fantasy FM
So if you fondly remember the days when folks said "Safe" everyone was 'Sorted' and men wore their hair in a bob you might appreciate this. It still gives me goosebumps.

Thank your lucky stars i wasn't Vogue'ing or listening to Stock, Aitkin & Watermen.

Around this time i was buying clothing from a shop called 'X' i think it was first established in Leeds (nick may be able to confirm?) they were originally a Punk/Alt kind of joint but as rave culture spread the punk clubs became rave clubs they progressed to fill the gap/need for clothing. It was the only place i could buy Dax, I was very fond of their polka-dot shirts, i had a blue/white one where the polka-dots were white pound coins, i wish i still had it. I also liked their high waisted denim where odly we would turn the waistband over (what was all that about) I also shopped at 20th Century Clothing which was originally just a doorway to a basement down the road from The Limit selling jeans, baseball caps, Viking sneakers, Kickers, Champion sweatshirts, tee,s ect. There was a lot more style around this era than the "pundits" would have you beleive, they only seem to recall the style mistakes, dungarees and wot-not.
I was yet to be bitten by the denim bug.

I would be 18 by now and with my beetle on the road could drive to all nighters, or over the Pennines to Manchester usually to buy vinyl stay out Saturday night and drive back on Sunday I met lady-soul in Manchester she was living in a hotel at the time doing a restaurateurs diploma (some fucking use that turned out to be) i didn't sleep much in those days and i would lose that car quite often too, i would wander around Manchester at 6am trying to remember where i had parked it? i had to go to the police station once because i had no idea where it was, what a loon!

Sadly i had to sell it soon after when i moved out of my folks house, i rode a bike for a few years because i still had 3 years of an apprenticeship to go and having left home with not much more than a rucksack, life became more of a financial struggle than i had anticipated but you know what they say.. "every cloud has a silver lining" so through necessity/poverty i started shopping at vintage shops, by this time Maynard the good Doctor and Mr Black had snaffled up all the good shit and what was left was hung up behind the counter with a large price ticket. I would buy Levi's which would often be too large in the waist and too short in the leg, i was known to rock a 36" pair of jeans on a 30" waist often with a 28-30" inseam to boot it just didn't seem to matter, that's why belts were invented. At this time i wouldn't have even known what a red-line was? but it started my denim love affair, the only thing holding me back was funds or the lack of. My look was starting to alter too in the direction of Americana, varsity or denim jackets, flannel shirts, Levi's, pumps and boots. My favourite vintage shop was called Fopp it was crammed full of this garb over two floors, its now the job center.

When i finished my apprenticeship i bought another beetle this 1302's and not long after a 66 bus

They both looked great on the surface but underneath they were as rotten as a pear, i moved on from the rave scene, outdoor raves were becoming fewer and far between and the peacefull atmosphere was becoming agro and the music had morphed from house into either Ambient/Trance or Drum&Bass, Jungle and worst still Speed Garage Aahh! it just wasn't for me anymore and i moved onto the VW scene, i also moved house to another shithole around the corner because my flat  had become something of a flop house for passing stoners and i was getting a bit tired of it.
LVC happened but still to this day i have never seen it sold in Sheffield even in the Levi's store, so beggars can't be choosers, i managed to snap up some 201,s and i had a couple of pairs of 555 47,s.

When i was in my early 20s i decided to buy a house, once again Britain in recession, houses were as cheap as f**k and i had nothing to loose, my cars were fucked and having moved out to Derbyshire cycling to work wasn't going to be an option so i sold them for very little dosh (the VW scene back then was mainly peeps struggling to keep shit-heap daily drivers on the road, most unlike the gentrified scene of today) Most of the old crowd, school friends ect had moved into heavy drugs and were in a worst state than my cars, while i'd spent the weekends driving around the country in my vw-camper dressed like 'Jack the Biscuit' we had lost contact (this was before mobile phones or the internet) mental health issues had taken their toll, suicides, overdoses, prison sentences, what the fuck had happened to them all, it was a lost generation, i went to two funerals in two weeks. I needed to leave it all behind and live a less complicated life.

Around the early 2000,s i found a pair of Sugar Cane hung up in the tailors shop awaiting a hem job, i asked what/where/how and they had come from a local store who sourced 'international men's wear' long before that term became internet-ically rinsed i called in but they were well out of my price range...story of my life.

I lurked sufu for years without posting, just to glean buying info, i remember in the early days before google-translate a Japanese speaker translated the Rakuten order form, this was before (if i remember right) 2000db would proxy. "Put your name here" "Card deets here" and i wrote my card details into a Japanese order form that i couldn't understand, on the instructions of a forum member i didn't know and faxed it to god only knows where...  Now i had definately been bitten by the denim bug.
My Visa card was rejected/not accepted in Japan. Doh!

...and i think you know the rest..

Posted By: Mr Black
Date Posted: 06 Jul 2017 at 2:19am
I do enjoy these wanders down memory lane.

A good tale Neal.


Posted By: Maynard Fried-San
Date Posted: 06 Jul 2017 at 2:44am
^^ I love this stuff!

Helixing my inner beanie

Posted By: Dr_Heech
Date Posted: 06 Jul 2017 at 8:30am
^^^Wasn't that good, my dear old Gran could've done a better job. I'll give you 7/10 for effort Wink

Updated mine a little, forgot to add the BBC's 'Design Classic's -the 501 jean'('s) influence  Embarrassed

Posted By: HP Sauce
Date Posted: 06 Jul 2017 at 12:19pm
Thank you, 00, that was an interesting recollection and I learned something new about the British argot. 
I also learned that entering "Jack the Biscuit" into a Google search string can bring back some, um, colourful results.
To recover, I shall don my toque, grab a two-four, plant myself on my buffalo-check chesterfield and watch re-runs of The Royal Canadian Air Farce, eh.  

HP Sauce

Posted By: CSL
Date Posted: 06 Jul 2017 at 12:28pm
Yeah. Jack The Biscuit. Haven't heard that in years...

Posted By: illumin8em
Date Posted: 06 Jul 2017 at 9:10pm
Great to see an attempt to get this thread back to life folks. I always wished it took off better.

Posted By: Double 0 Soul
Date Posted: 07 Jul 2017 at 12:51am
Thanks gents,
Im partial to a bit of denim-anthropology as well mr b.

Originally posted by HP Sauce HP Sauce wrote:

Thank you, 00, that was an interesting recollection and I learned something new about the British argot. 
I also learned that entering "Jack the Biscuit" into a Google search string can bring back some, um, colourful results.

The only reference i knew of for 'Jack the Biscuit' meant well dressed, dapper as you see" rel="nofollow - here
but i know what you mean, same thing happened to me while searching for 'Donkey Punches' Shocked urban dictionary has a lot to answer for.

Keep em rolling in folks...

Posted By: CSL
Date Posted: 07 Jul 2017 at 10:46am
The internet is a strange place. A while ago I was typing in an amount in centimeters on google to calculate the equivalent in inches. Immediately the first suggestion that popped up was something about penis size. (& I was typing in a chest measurement btw...)Hug

Posted By: HP Sauce
Date Posted: 07 Jul 2017 at 11:12am

I'm still waiting on that "Master Algorithm" that's going to  anticipate all of my information needs accurately.  For now, though, the corporate plan seems to focus more pressing issues for humanity.

Mind you, my path to Denimbro probably owes something to data analytics. 

Thank you Bayesian Boffins, wherever you are.  I'm sure my love of faded blues is why you pursued an advanced education...

HP Sauce

Posted By: smoothsailor
Date Posted: 07 Jul 2017 at 12:48pm
pretty cool read Double O, thanks.

I guess I evolved here from, never wear the whole track suit. Not sure if it was the cool thing to do where I grew up, or it was my own idea, but I nevervliked to wear the whole track suit. The pants with a ma 1 bomber[light blue or green] Or tight edwin jeans with the jacket.
What I mean I was/am very particular about what to wear.
My friend's mom had a jeans shop , late 70's onward . [his father was some big guy at mc gregor] where we would hang out at. I remember a levi's jeans ad campaign were a sony discman fit in the back pocket[someone?] And there was a bit of a fashion trend with a white line on the outside of the jeans, could this have been the selvedge?
Anyway I mostly cared for jackets, flight jackets and varsity jackets. Still playing footie on the school yard. Too young to disco. When my disco yrs came , mid 80's, also came cowboy boots. It would have made sense that denim came with it, but no. I wore them but wasn't particular about them. 501 made a come back at this time but way to expensive for my single mom 2 kids house hold.
My uniform from today , started to take shape from when I was around 17. Sent away from school, started to work and could spend my income on clothing. My first 501, raw no selvedge I guess.
Joined the navy, bought some disco clothes so I could go clubbing in Grimsby, Leeds, Lieth, Dundee, Ipswich, New Castle, ....
After 4 yrs of being a sailor, I left and moved to Amsterdam, After a small stint in New York to try and become a bike messager , its 1993. Trying to find cheap levi's and chuck's, white hanes pocket tee's, waffle shirt's at woolworth.
True romance brought Hawaii shirts, Hawaii shirts brought straw hats, straw hats brought fedora's, fedora's brought internet fora


Posted By: Double 0 Soul
Date Posted: 11 Jul 2017 at 1:12am
Nice one Paul,
Is your sibling equally as stylish or did you get all the style and they're a billionaire or something?

Anymore of these?? c'mon we dont mind if you worked at C&A, your here now that's all that matters.

Posted By: smoothsailor
Date Posted: 12 Jul 2017 at 1:26pm
Thank you Double O
no billionaire's in my fam. Poor and good looking. At least it brought me some online friends, good future ahead for my sibling 


Posted By: Dr_Heech
Date Posted: 13 Sep 2017 at 7:26am
We could do with some more yarns here.

Any takers?

Posted By: CSL
Date Posted: 13 Sep 2017 at 12:57pm

OK. I’ll jump in. Let me preface this by stating that I’m English & came to the US in my early 20s.

I was born in the mid 1960s which meant that I was becoming aware of what people were wearing circa 1970. I guess you would say the standard look of the day was glam rock inspired. You know, flared pants with wide, three button waistbands, knit tank tops & denim vests, etc. For some reason I had a built in aversion to all that. Even as a child I wanted straight leg pants & would only wear flares grudgingly, taking into account that straight leg pants were perhaps no longer available in that era of mankind.

The first clothes I remember being excited about were those worn by teddy boys, who in their more casual moments sported narrow legged, cuffed jeans. 

At some point in my late teens I found out about Levis shrink to fit & decided they were the ones to have. Of course by that time they were non-selvedge, dark blue (not indigo) denim & by all accounts not the greatest but I enjoyed them anyway.

Sometime around the mid 80s the first vintage clothing shop to bring over US clothes opened in Southampton. Had I have been more astute I could have had vintage Levis cheap but for some reason I had an aversion to wearing 2nd hand jeans. Not sure why because I’ve bought plenty of vintage suits, jackets & shirts & ties through the years & their used status never bothered me…I do recall picking up a couple of pairs of deadstock redlines that were too big & doing inept alterations in an attempt to make them fit.

I came to the US in the late 1980s & was thrilled to discover places called thrift stores which quite often contained some very worthwhile fare. Generally once a week I would make a circuit of the local thrift stores in New Orleans & the outlying suburbs. Sad to say I never did make any big denim scores. I did find a handful of decent Levis dating back to the 40s I think (denim ephemera was not common knowledge back then). Anyway, non of them fit me but I did later sell them all to a guy in California along with a couple of those Japanese black velvet tour jackets that I had picked up somewhere in Indiana. My best ever thrift store find was a Fender Deluxe tweed amplifier form the 50s that I bought for $25 & sold for $500. Wish I still had it. They’re worth a lot more now.

Sometime in the mid 90s I had the opportunity to make a couple of trips to Japan & that’s when I became aware of vintage reproduction denim. I was taken to an amazing store in Tokyo that just blew my mind. Wish I could remember what it was called. They had a lot of Sugar Cane which was a much more interesting brand back then. I bought a 1930s Lee jean, an early Wrangler model & a one back pocket Levis which my first wife put in the dryer & shrank (of course I divorced her). The current Mrs. CSL wears those jeans now. My Japanese friends thought Full Count to be the top brand & based on their advice I did pick up a pair. It’s worth noting that all of the afore mentioned jeans were much wider legged than tends to be the standard now. 

By around 2000 Selvedge denim was staring to become more available in the US. I had a couple of pairs of what I suppose were new Levis redlines (don’t know if they were based on any particular model but they were decent jeans). Also there was a Lee selvedge jean around at that time that everyone thought highly of. One particularly outstanding jean I bought was by a company called BSC (Back Street Crawlers…silly name, I know…). The Fred Siegal store in LA sold those.

I’m trying to remember how I found out about the more recent reproduction workwear trend that we’re all into here. I think Rivethead (who I knew from the Rockabilly festival scene) turned me onto some stuff. Another friend had grown up with John Lofgren & made me aware of his store which I found to be accessible & easy to order from. That’s where I bought my first Freewheelers items. I found out there were cool stores in LA, Mister Freedom & Self Edge. An obsession developed & continues…

Posted By: DarinS.
Date Posted: 13 Sep 2017 at 7:45pm
I got here from a random quest for a nice pea coat. I happened upon the Lone Flag website. When I visited the shop to buy the coat ( a Wolf and Man) I was impressed with the atmosphere and the staff. They were not your typical clothing store people. I was offered a beer, and they invited me to look around and to try on anything in the shop. They stock brands like Tellason, Railcar, Freenote, Rogue Territory, Crawford, Carhart WIP, Bradley Mountain, and a host of others. Talking with them and seeing the passion they had for US made goods and denim made me want to be a part of that culture.

Prior to that visit I considered mass produced brands like Brooks Brothers, J. Crew, and the like to be "nice" clothes. They opened my eyes to a whole new world of vintage inspired and quality hand made goods. I was never a denim guy, I preferred Dickies to denim. When I tried on a pair of Nihon Menphu denim jeans from Railcar Fine Goods, and I learned about the company I was hooked. The jeans fit like no other and have a crazy trouser slant pocket cut. I had to know more. I visited the shop in Monrovia and met Steven. He was hand cutting every garment himself. All made in house by a staff of four people. I was impressed beyond words.

That was about 5 years ago. I became a huge fan of Freenote Cloth after meeting Andrew and Matt the brothers behind the brand. The shirts just fit me right. They stand behind what they make and want the wearer in the best fit possible. I also came to know the Range Tailor from Dixon Rand. Seeing him personally patterning, cutting, and sewing on ancient machines, one garment at a time blew me away. Those are a few of the things that did it for me. Everyone I've met in the denim trade and culture have been great people, who wouldn't want in on that.


Posted By: Double 0 Soul
Date Posted: 05 Jan 2018 at 1:38am
Anymore takers?

Posted By: Geeman
Date Posted: 05 Jan 2018 at 4:25am
About 10+ years or so ago I stumbled across a pair of RRL, in a TK max if IRC.
They immediately struck me as levels above the brand's I wore at the time so I purchased and went on my merry way. Examining them at home the pocket bags told me they made of japanese selvedge denim, don't wash etc. Interesting I thought, so I Googled it..... and down the rabbit hole I went!
The raw jeans path at that time obviously led me try Nudies and the whole dont wash for x months etc. But they weren't doing it for me as it was the fabric and construction that pulled me in so more trawling the net led to me where I am now.


Posted By: Double 0 Soul
Date Posted: 11 Jan 2019 at 1:25am

Posted By: Duke
Date Posted: 11 Jan 2019 at 2:55am
Originally posted by CSL CSL wrote:

OK. I’ll jump in. Let me preface this by stating that I’m English & came to the US in my early 20s.

Carl, shouldn’t ‘my’ be replaced with ‘the’?

Posted By: Dr_Heech
Date Posted: 11 Jan 2019 at 4:51am
Isn't it time you gave us your story, or stories?   

Posted By: Duke
Date Posted: 11 Jan 2019 at 5:07am
Which arrival Doc?

Posted By: Dr_Heech
Date Posted: 11 Jan 2019 at 6:29am
Originally posted by Duke Duke wrote:

Which arrival Doc?

Lol. The first of course!

This forum has a bit of Hotel California about it, you know. The bit about not leaving   

Failing that, you could start a "How did you get back here?" thread.

Posted By: denimsince65
Date Posted: 11 Jan 2019 at 7:08am
Born at the tail-end of the post-war baby boom - 1950, so my teens played out in the 60s.

Got scared shitless riding pillion on a motor bike at 100mph (no helmets in those days), so I decided to run with the Mod crowd. A much more sedate pace of life!

As a typical working class Mod kid, I had three interests - clothes, music, and chicks - in any order you like. We didn't "go drinking" like most kids in town did - we had more specific drugs than alcohol.

Levi 501s (as an item you could actually buy new rather than thrifting) first appeared in the UK in 1965. Initially, we had to travel to Sheffield to get them, as no shop in Leeds was stocking them.

That soon changed though - by '66, Levi, Lee Riders, Dickies, Wranglers and such were all available through small specialist "men's outfitters" stores. Big fashion chains simply didn't exist back then.

Alongside the denim jeans and jackets - MTM mohair suits from Burtons, shirts from Cue at Austin Reed, Regimental ties, Army surplus A2 flying jackets (20 quid by mail-order!), Full length leather coats (mine was red), Trickers shoes, riding boots, leather driving gloves.

Stayed with that scene from 15 years old till I was 21. By then, the clubs we frequented were getting closed down, and folks were just getting older and more sensible.

Despite what younger folks would have you believe, the Mods had gone completely by the early 70's.

Denimwise, the later 70's were a time best forgotten. All the manufacturers, including Levis, decided that they were "Fashion" creators, and basically completely fucked up all their retail offerings. And the big stores had got hold of denim, pushing out all the old specialist shops.

Going into a store and asking for 501s or Riders? - you may as well have been asking for a piece of moonrock......

However, if you knew were to look (the US and Canada), they could be obtained.

Which is what I did.

Eventually, Levi and the others realised that tradition, rather than the latest flared or baggy fad, was a better way to sell jeans, and I didn't have to search so hard.

An the more modern stuff, you guys know all about.

So, in short, I started buying American workwear in 1965, and I've done so ever since


Posted By: Duke
Date Posted: 11 Jan 2019 at 7:11am
Originally posted by Dr_Heech Dr_Heech wrote:

Originally posted by Duke Duke wrote:

Which arrival Doc?

Lol. The first of course!

This forum has a bit of Hotel California about it, you know. The bit about not leaving   

Failing that, you could start a "How did you get back here?" thread.

Ok Doc - your bullying has worked - I’ll compose a tale ...

Posted By: Dr_Heech
Date Posted: 11 Jan 2019 at 7:30am
^l've learned from the best of them.
I'm saving my tin of Scottish shortbreads especially for the occasion   

Posted By: Dr_Heech
Date Posted: 11 Jan 2019 at 7:33am
Great story @denimsince65. If anyone epitomizes the Hotel California effect, you are the Major (off)fender

Posted By: robroy
Date Posted: 11 Jan 2019 at 9:08am
Originally posted by Dr_Heech Dr_Heech wrote:

Great story @denimsince65. If anyone epitomizes the Hotel California effect, you are the Major (off)fender

Major major offender indeed

Posted By: denimsince65
Date Posted: 11 Jan 2019 at 9:38am
Originally posted by Dr_Heech Dr_Heech wrote:

Great story @denimsince65. If anyone epitomizes the Hotel California effect, you are the Major (off)fender

Cheers, man.

A couple of things helped me.

One, back in the mid 70's and 80's, I used to travel to the East Coast of America and Canada, buying and selling records. New York, Philly, Boston, Baltimore, Washington and Toronto (and occasionally, over to LA) - so finding good denim was easier than if I'd been stuck in the UK.

F'rinstance, the old style Type 3 (i.e - without the side pockets) lasted a good while longer in Canada than it did everywhere else, and old stock 501s and Lee Riders were easier to find up there.

There was a great store on Yonge Street in downtown Toronto, as I recall.

Second thing is that I am still the same basic shape as I was in my 20's, so I can still wear my old jackets. Sadly, waist has gone from 28 to 34, so all my old jeans have long gone....


Posted By: Duke
Date Posted: 11 Jan 2019 at 1:54pm
I’ll make this post as if I am telling a story, for I was taught as a child in my world that truth is a matter of the imagination and to never tell a story that is not interesting, so there is a hurricane in it, and a hurricane usually promises to be interesting.

It was a queer, sultry autumn, the autumn they guillotined Hamida Djandoubi, and the sun shone, having no alternative, on nothing new yet I didn’t know why I was sullenly sipping a beer on the Corso Vittorio Emanuele II although surely the knowledge that this was also a time of the fewest tropical storms in 2 years more than a decade was cause enough for the depression.

Even the unexpected intrusion of Gío, given that sobriquet before he built his sprawling empire amongst the meneghini, almost unpardonably late for lunch with his progenitors of whom ‘Don’ Ugo Armani answered only to his beloved Maria Raimondi, apologising again but not halting in his quest to understand why my jeans were unique to his eyes.

“Anche la cravatta ha un cuore” he heard me say. But the past is a foreign country, things were done differently there.

Now I exist only for Denimbro ...

Posted By: Maynard Fried-San
Date Posted: 11 Jan 2019 at 2:40pm
And you may find yourself
Living in a shotgun shack
And you may find yourself
In another part of the world
And you may find yourself
Behind the wheel of a large automobile
And you may find yourself in a beautiful house
With a beautiful wife
And you may ask yourself, well
How did I get here?

Helixing my inner beanie

Posted By: CSL
Date Posted: 12 Jan 2019 at 12:49am
Originally posted by Duke Duke wrote:

Originally posted by CSL CSL wrote:

OK. I’ll jump in. Let me preface this by stating that I’m English & came to the US in my early 20s.

Carl, shouldn’t ‘my’ be replaced with ‘the’?

Haha! Actually I came over on the Mayflower. After all, it did sail from Southampton.

Posted By: CSL
Date Posted: 12 Jan 2019 at 12:54am
I'm still blown away by Denimsince65's reminiscence  about Army surplus A2 flying jackets (20 quid by mail-order!).

I recall buying a reissued version from a stall in Kensington Market circa 1986. It was 100 pounds & they painted a patch to my specifications. I still have it. It's pretty high quality really.

Posted By: denimsince65
Date Posted: 12 Jan 2019 at 5:28am
Originally posted by CSL CSL wrote:

[COLOR=#ffffff]I'm still blown away by Denimsince65's reminiscence<span style=": rgb43, 43, 43;]  about Army surplus A2 flying jackets (20 quid by mail-order!).</span>[/COLOR]
<span style=": rgb43, 43, 43;">
<span style=": rgb43, 43, 43;">I recall buying a reissued version from a stall in Kensington Market circa 1986. It was 100 pounds & they painted a patch to my specifications. I still have it. It's pretty high quality really.</span>


A bit more detail:

My Dad used to get a weekly newspaper/magazine called "Reveille". I think he'd read it ever since WW2, and it always featured scantily clad girls and "scandalous" stories, which he liked. Almost like a tabloid version of "National Enquirer".

The extra bonus for me was the classified ads section always seemed to feature stuff that I didn't see elsewhere - and one regular one was for "ex army leather jackets", with a drawn image of an A2.

20 quid was a fair bit of cash back then, but a mate of mine got one which looked brilliant, so I took the plunge.The only thing wrong with them was the knits, which had lost their stretchiness.

Here's a pic taken at an all-nighter at the Twisted Wheel Club in Manchester in around 1968.

Dancing in an A2 jacket, 501s and leather driving gloves.....


Posted By: HP Sauce
Date Posted: 12 Jan 2019 at 5:30am
Originally posted by CSL CSL wrote:

I'm still blown away by Denimsince65's reminiscence  about Army surplus A2 flying jackets (20 quid by mail-order!).

I recall buying a reissued version from a stall in Kensington Market circa 1986. It was 100 pounds & they painted a patch to my specifications. I still have it. It's pretty high quality really.

I agree.  Denimsince65's story really brings things to life (although Duke's could work with the inclusion of a couple fire-breathing dragons commandeered by sulky blonde teenagers).

I remember visiting London in 1976 as a sulky teen and being unimpressed by the denim offerings.  There seemed to be lot of wide-leg ugliness and nothing like the cowboy cuts I was used to seeing back home in Canada. 

Never mind. At that age, I wore a lot of cotton gauze hippy stuff anyway.   London was replete with that kind of thing.  Embarrassed

HP Sauce

Posted By: denimsince65
Date Posted: 12 Jan 2019 at 6:10am
Originally posted by HP Sauce HP Sauce wrote:

I remember visiting London in 1976 as a sulky teen and being unimpressed by the denim offerings.  There seemed to be lot of wide-leg ugliness and nothing like the cowboy cuts I was used to seeing back home in Canada. 

Never mind. At that age, I wore a lot of cotton gauze hippy stuff anyway.   London was replete with that kind of thing.  Embarrassed


Did you visit the Biba store on Kensington High Street?

7 Storeys of Art-Deco craziness, and brilliant high fashion stuff for girls.

We used to go to the original store round the corner on Kensington Church Street (I remember bumping into Slade in there), but the big store was just phenomenal! Happy days!


Posted By: Duke
Date Posted: 12 Jan 2019 at 6:20am
Ok then, maybe hurricanes aren’t all that interesting but it’s a true story, mostly.

I might never have spoken to Giorgio Armani, but I was in his hometown that summer with my friend Joe (Giuseppe) who was the best dressed guy I ever knew.

We grew up together in a small village, his father owned the ice cream shop, the best place ever to hang out. Especially when your own family never had much and I’d get free (sic) ice cream for helping sweep up or whatever.

Even as a small child I was obsessed with detail and design, my Lego models were not what you’d expect from a boy at my age - compromises in colour, shape or aesthetic weren’t acceptable in my mind.

Clothes weren’t important to me then or even until my late teens although I suppose I was quite fastidious in my appearance but only for the sake of being clean and tidy ... and probably colour coordinated. I remember that jeans were my favourite thing because they seemed to look ok wearing football tops and I felt quite cool with tees and sweats.

I did like clothes that had a specific purpose - I liked seeing workmen wearing dungarees (bib overalls) or donkey jackets, that type of thing ... even the white cotton jacket Joe’s dad wore behind the counter at the cafe.

All simple stuff really.

And that despite knowing and being around quite a few members of some well known (top of the pops even) punk bands and being immersed in that culture. Much as I enjoyed being with those guys, I was never in awe of them, they didn’t influence me nor did I even like how they dressed - I just saw that as attention seeking, trying too hard to make a statement. Even the music was just ok - half of them couldn’t even play their instruments any better than I could - but I liked some of it, the way I like bits of pretty much any other type of music for the reason I still don’t understand except that I connect.

But then Joe turned up one day wearing a black wool slim double breasted suit with a narrow collar and the trousers finished just above the ankle in a turn-up - holy fuck, I’d never seen anything like that! Who knows, it was maybe the first Comme des Garçons suit in the UK but it was outrageously simple and simply outrageous.

The fire was lit - that was the clothes I wanted to wear.

I was at the age then where I was looking to work and working meant I could buy these clothes, but you had to travel to get them - not just to Edinburgh and Glasgow, but down into Englandshire and further.

There were so many great designers to be discovered apart from CDG ... Yohji Yamamoto, the Antwerp 6, Vivienne Westwood. Their designs and clothes were amazing, but I only ever liked the plain styles - albeit they may not have been simple.

The best at that were always the Japanese designers, and it made me inquisitive about other things Japanese - the design approach and the culture.

Fortunately (and unfortunately) my work meant travel - sometimes too much travel - but some of that travel led to Tokyo ... more wow!

Coincidentally, this was a time that I now believe was the root of where I am now - the move away from wearing every colour and style of black to something I could wear all day, every day. Instead or reinterpreting and reinventing historical clothes, the clothes that had functional purpose, people were replicating them in obsessional detail.

I’d made a few acquaintances in Japan, a couple of which were young enough to get me more detail and information, but it took many years for me to phase out of Yamamoto/Miyake/Kawabuko et al into a place closer to now.

The internet boom, broadband and all that high tech malarkey eventually accelerated the process and now I could feed my appetite for knowledge more quickly, more efficiently.

I started reading different forums to see what else I could discover but too much of what I read was written by folk who understood more than they knew - I think, by and large, that’s what make Denimbro a little bit different.

Posted By: Duke
Date Posted: 12 Jan 2019 at 6:22am
Great memories DS65 - when I was a young lad Reveille was the periodical of choice

Posted By: denimsince65
Date Posted: 12 Jan 2019 at 6:40am
Originally posted by Duke Duke wrote:

Ok then, maybe hurricanes aren’t all that interesting but it’s a true story, mostly.


Good stuff, Duke.

A thing I've just remembered (tend not to think so far back these days) is how I used to wash my denim.

The Mod look of choice for jeans was as faded as possible. The idea was to get blue denim to an almost blue tinged white, whilst avoiding holes and fraying.

The implement to achieve this was one of these:

I don't know the correct term for it. my dear old Mum just called it "the boiler" - and what a piece of kit it was!

It was essentially a huge gas fired kettle! Stood about 3 foot high.

We kept it in the shed, so had to hump it into the kitchen to use.

After giving your jeans a good scrub (often using VIM scouring powder), you then boiled up the stuff for hours in the thing.

I tended not to put jackets through the process, although I did process a Wrangler jacket that was already pretty faded...

Mates whose households did not posess a "boiler" used to give me their jeans to boil up for them. Happy days!


Posted By: CSL
Date Posted: 12 Jan 2019 at 10:53am
Good stuff, Guys!
A lot of fun reading here.

Posted By: HP Sauce
Date Posted: 12 Jan 2019 at 4:43pm
And, Duke, I take it back.  You do tell a great story, one that makes a lot of sense to me.

It's a beautiful thing to see clothes that are constructed to enable purposeful activity.  Even better to see the person wearing them actually capable of undertaking the purposeful activity, if you get my drift.

I am envious of all the Bros, such as yourself, who have managed to see Japan.  For all the hours of great online Japanese sewing tutorials and beautiful pattern books I've watched and read,  I feel an increasing kinship with the place.

One other random observation:  Thinking back on CSL's story, 00's, yours, killerb's, denimsince 65's, and maybe (judging from his excellent unembedded YouTube posts) Redchris', Denimbros all seem to have a thing for music, huh? 

Lucky thing jeans were made for that purpose too...

HP Sauce

Posted By: Double 0 Soul
Date Posted: 13 Jan 2019 at 12:44am
^^When i was young'un my mother bagged her proper job off until i was old enough to look after myself and got a job (amongst others) at the local village chippy, working at dinnertime (which is what lunchtime is called in the north) and in the evenings after i'd gone to bed.
Anywho, come the infant school 6weeks holidays i too went to work in the chip shop and one of my jobs was loading up the potato rumbler which was a very similar looking contraption, i bet thats what they're still using today for these holey-highstreet denim monstrosities.

Posted By: Duke
Date Posted: 13 Jan 2019 at 2:29am
Thanks HP - the first post was a bit of fun but it actually gave the exact time and location of that little trip ... as does the second in a more general way using the first as the reference.

Although I’m a music fan, I’m not a devotee of any one or any style in particular. I could never be arsed with the limited arguments on whether Hendrix was the best guitarist (he wasn’t - any more than Shinki leather is the best), or the guys who went out of their way to ‘discover’ artists never before heard (jeez) but I do agree that it seems quite a few Denimbros grew up with a particular musical culture that might have influenced other factors. I mean I grew up in and with the punk culture from the mid to late 70s and I thought little of it then so clearly that’s shaped me.

Anyhoo none of it is especially relevant in the grand scheme of things - I like what I like and I like that other people like what they like because I like learning from that.

Posted By: Double 0 Soul
Date Posted: 13 Jan 2019 at 2:55am
Originally posted by Duke Duke wrote:

... as does the second

That was a good read on the previous page Mike, i might have missed it if you hadn't prompted^ me.

Posted By: Duke
Date Posted: 13 Jan 2019 at 3:45am
I wasn’t really prompting but thanks Neal

I haven’t really said much about my interest in the earliest Japanese ‘workwear’ but I guess that’s all been more widely covered in other threads in earlier times. Plus I think DS65 has more and better anecdotes so I tried to up my writing game and shortened the autobiography

This thread is a nice little reveal on the background of the contributing members, I think it’d be interesting to hear more from others ... and maybe even a related topic of the Likes and Dislikes?

Posted By: Maynard Fried-San
Date Posted: 13 Jan 2019 at 12:38pm
Originally posted by CSL CSL wrote:

Haha! Actually I came over on the Mayflower. After all, it did sail from Southampton.

I know it was a long time ago but I’m pretty sure it was Plymouth CSL (seasick face!)

Helixing my inner beanie

Posted By: CSL
Date Posted: 13 Jan 2019 at 4:59pm
Maynard, Yes. It started in Plymouth but then docked in Southampton for two or three months to take on supplies. Down by the water there's a place called Mayflower park where I played in the paddling pool as a child. More info than you probably wanted or needed but there 'tis.

Print Page | Close Window

Forum Software by Web Wiz Forums® version 11.10 -
Copyright ©2001-2017 Web Wiz Ltd. -