This review of my first pair of custom Choochai Indigo 16oz Super Slub jeans is long over due. Part of me wanted to hold off on this review until I got roughly 30 days wear on the jeans to make a fair assessment on their construction quality. The other part of me has a full-time job, two small humans, a wife and a dog who thinks it’s time for “walkies” every time I touch a doorknob. Time has been limited to say the least. That said, with the COVID-19 outbreak (Is it time to quarantine your jeans) and subsequent social distancing practices now in place across the United States, I find myself with a little more free-time.
Since this is the very first review of any product here at The Arcuate, let alone a pair of jeans, let alone a custom pair of jeans at that…too much? Let’s establish how we are reviewing products in general. First, “Aesthetics;” in this case we are going to take a look at the denim itself, finishes and nice touches. Here we will talk about characteristics of the jeans that make them stand out from or simply blend into a crowd. Second, we are going to discuss “Quality;” this will include construction and overall perceived and experienced durability. Finally, “Value;” this is more practical stuff, including price, shipping and how the first two review points weigh into the overall value. Overall, we will give products either a “Definite Buy,” or “Nice to Try.” Fair? Tough shit if not; this is our blog, and these are our rules. OK, so, let’s do the damn thing!
First impressions are everything, right? No one goes to the bar and says, “Check out the intellect on that guy, damn;” or “I bet she’s well-read.” Shoppers can make snap judgments about a product in only 90 seconds, and 90% of them will base this perception purely on color. This would hold true for jeans and denim in general, and we know this to be true as denim heads based on our lust for indigo and fades!
The denim itself comes from the famous Kuroki Mill in Japan. It has a deep inky indigo appearance that almost looks more black than blue. Initially, when starting the custom process with Choochai (more on this later), through the photos he was sending, the denim almost looked shiny; come to find out this had more to do with the extremely slubby nature of the denim and the varying levels of “grin-through” from the weft. Additionally, this denim reveals almost a greenish hue under bright sunlight, a truly interesting feature that was a serendipitous discovery after purchase. Additionally, following about a week’s worth of wear, these tough as hell jeans start to reveal a hairy textured finish. This pink line selvedge is incredible in person, between its deep color, heavy texture variation thanks to the varied width slub yarn and hairy appearance that reveals itself with wear.
The finishes I could mention in this review are endless, so I will keep them to some of my favorites. Choochai Indigo works with a number of excellent fibers which he colors with natural dyes to create his stunning scarves (review to follow). He used the same material to create my pocket bags and also to line the yoke, rear and even coin pockets of this pair of custom jeans. They are incredibly soft to the touch and feel almost nonexistent when wearing. I think these touches, specifically the lined pocket add to the overall quality of these jeans as it protects the rear pockets from premature wear and holes while still allowing for pressure points on them denim on which we rely for pronounced fades.
Choochai Indigo has also included branded buttons and rivets, something you’d expect to see on RGT jeans, Iron Heart jeans and other big brands; a nice touch to be sure. Some of my favorite, more subtle details of these custom jeans are the triple stitched inseam and yoke, with a navy exterior stitch and contrasting golden yellow interior stitch, chosen specifically to match his Elephant logo on the coin/5th pocket. Choochai Indigo chose the Elephant image as a logo as it is a well-known symbol of Thailand, home of this brand and its creator. Overall, I am really impressed that a small outfit like Choochai Indigo has gone to such extreme lengths to make sure the finishes are world class on these jeans.
Simply put, these jeans are bullet-fucking-tough. The first thing some of you may have spotted is there is no coveted chain stitching along the waistline, and this is true at the hem as well. Chain stitching, while sexy-as-hell, often comes at a cost. Yes, monetarily, but also this stitching type uses more thread and, while more aesthetically pleasing, isn’t as strong as others. Seams joined with chain stitching often unravel easier; so, ask yourself what is truly important. Also, don’t believe me, don’t take my word for it. I double roll my cuffs, so no one ever sees that stitching any way. Basically, don’t let it be a deal breaker. I have beat these jeans up over the last couple months, between wrestling my toddlers, skating, house and yard work and general tomfoolery. These things are tough as nails. Like really tough nails. The toughest fuckers you can find. I don’t know a lot about nails, guys. Sorry.
Keep in mind, these were a complete custom job, a service Choochai Indigo offers in addition to ready to ship denim Jeans and Jackets. Custom, in this case, was every last measurement to my specification, stitching color, button and rivet color based on two choices, selvedge ID locations and more; Choochai is thorough!
Pretty straight AF forward here, gang. Between the top-quality denim, high end finishes and attention to detail plus the hardwearing high-end construction of these jeans, I’d say the value is up there with brands like Rogue Territory. Choochai may feel embarrassed for me to say this, as he is one of the humblest men I have ever had the pleasure to work with, but he has a real gift and his attention to detail and dedication to customer satisfaction is unlike any I have experienced. Coupled with a price point around $250 for custom jeans, inclusive of shipping from Thailand, I’d give an overall rating of “Definite Buy.” Given that these were a custom, the price will likely vary, so keep that in mind. His standard stock rings in at about $120 shipped for both jeans and jackets.