The world of Kickstarter has been a great outlet for allowing people with a love for denim to try and bring their passion to life. One recent company trying their hand in the Kickstarter game is RPM West. Denimology previously introduced RPM West at the same time the brand was launching their second campaign. The second launch included around five new fabrics all available in limited runs, around 100-250 pairs per fabric. To me, one of the most interesting fabrics was the Japanese Classic #4508. Aside from being described as a 14 ounce Japanese dry indigo selvedge denim, RPM West makes the statement that this is the exact same fabric used by A.P.C. to make their Petit Standard jeans. If you’re not fully familiar with A.P.C., the company is renowned for the quality of their raw denim and more aligned to high end fashion than just strict denim heads. So the bar was set very high for my review of the RPM West Slim Straight #4508 jeans.
Just a small note: I don’t actually own a pair of A.P.C. Petit Standard so sadly I am unable to make a direct comparison. However, I don’t think that will take away from my overall opinion of the RPM West Slim Straight jeans.
Let me start by saying that although I prefer skinny styles of jeans most of the time, I tend to lean away from anything that combines skinny and raw denim. Mainly because I know that raw denim could take months to soften up so a standard pair of raw denim starts out stiff and unforgiving.At first I struggled with choosing a size but utilized the full measurement chart provided on RPM West’s website. I ended up going with a size 31 waist and couldn’t have been happier when I tried them on. The fit was as close to a skinny fit as possible with raw denim fabric containing no stretch. I was pleasantly surprised that everything about the fit seemed just wonderful. The biggest positive for me was the fit around the ankle, it was about one centimeter away from being too small. Sometimes if to wide, this can completely ruin a great silhouette. Because of the long inseams associated with almost all raw denim, I am forced to roll the cuff, if not slim enough at the ankle, a great pair of jeans can end up looking sloppy. Aside from the perfect ankle width, every other aspect around the fit of the RPM West Slim Straight #4508 jeans is spot on. They have a true mid-rise which looks great regardless of your style, tuck in a shirt, pair with a plain tee or throw on a blazer – it all works. The fit around your hips will be snug but not tight, losing up just slightly after a few wears hardly noticeable. The rest of the leg just seems to hug your thights and calves all the way down. A simply superb fit and one that has been missing with previous raw denim brands I have tried. All the proportions are just right.
In reference to the fabric quality, I have to say that it is beautiful. There are two areas on jeans that tend to stretch out the most, the waist and knees (no surprise there). The quality of this fabric allows for very little stretch over time in both of these areas. I think I am up to about 8-10 full days of wear and I have seen very little change to any part of the fit. The knees of course stretch out but not nearly as much as any other pair of raws I own. Even at the start the fabric didn’t feel stiff at all, only sturdy, which is shocking for the heavier 14 ounces fabric. Even the shade of indigo was a welcome addition to my closet full of dark raw denim. The #4508 fabric was a lighter shade of blue almost with a gray undertone which makes me very interested in seeing how they fade and wash.
However, after all that, there were still a few aspects of the RPM West Slim Straight #4508 jeans that clearly reminded me of the youth of this brand. One glaring example was the unfinished belt loops. It appears that these were supposed to have double thick belt loops along the waistband but it was unfinished and left the second loop just dangling behind without being attached. This was a bit annoying every time I went to thread my belt through. There was also no care instructions or manufacturing tags inside the jeans at all. A minor hiccup but still one overlooked detail. Lastly, the hardware, rivets and buttons, seemed a bit on the cheap side and did not match the quality of the fabric. Again, these are all minor details, but when claiming quality equal to A.P.C. (or any other high end brand), you have to take extra care.
Bottom Line: Overall, I feel that the RPM West Slim Straight #4508 is a very strong showing by this new jeans focused brand. Compared to higher end brands, RPM West misses the mark on the details but their price is no match. RPM West jeans range from $95.00 to $135.00 making it hard to compare directly with A.P.C. If you want a skinny fit like I did, go one size down from your normal size. However, if you want them to fit as intended in more of a slim straight way, stay true to size. Although RPM West makes limited runs with every fabric, they are constantly introducing more and more denim into their collection. Head on over to their website to see what is available now.
Feel free to check out my past review here.
Until the next pair,