Gustin: The Heavy at 3 Months, The American Initial Impressions

Back in January, I was priveleged to be one of the first to review a new Kickstarter denim project, Gustin. Since the review, Gustin became the largest fashion Kickstarter in history, launched a new online platform that offers Kickstarter-style offerings, where if you get enough “Pledges” on a certain offering, then it will go to production and be fullfilled. They seem to be doing quite well for themselves. Delivery on the Kickstarter project is nearing completion, and I have been seeing a lot of posts of Gustin Jeans showing up.

With that in mind, I asked the friend I gave the pair I reviewed to if I could borrow them for the weekend to update you all on them. Coincidentally, the pair I pledged for also arrived in time for the photo shoot, so I will have the chance to compare new and old.

The Details
Gustin delivered the same details they advertised and planned on: Leather patch, custom buttons and rivets, tucked beltloops, red-accent stitching, indigo-dyed stitching in some places, liberal use of the Chain Stitch, etc.

One detail I missed in my original review, which Kiyoshi Martinez of The Silentist pointed out in his blog, is the back pocket lining. The horizontal blue cross-stitch on the back pockets is actually a lining to reinforce and protect the back pockets. The details are hard to capture on camera, but you can see the liner in the pictures above and below.

So how do they fade?
Here’s something you won’t see many other places at the moment: Progress pictures. I gave Gustin’s The Heavy to my friend Justin, who wore them for about two to three months, no washes. This pair is made from 13.75 Ounce Japanese Selvage.

Overall, the fades are just starting.

 Closeup on the Whiskers.

Blowout is not on the near horizons in the crotch at the moment, but there is pronounced fading in the area.

Folded to show the honeycombs, which are in their infancy.

The New Pair
I personally decided to pledge for Gustin’s “The American,” a 14.75 ounce Cone Mills denim offering. The denim itself is very high-fidelity, with no noticeable slub and a deep true-indigo sheen.

As with all Gustin jeans, this pair came with nice details like custom rivets and tucked belt loops, which will keep the belt-area looking crisp for many future wears.
another detail Gustin utilizes is a red thread for the underside of many of their chainstitches. This detail is also employed by a number of other denim makers including Detroit Denim Company and Raleigh Denim. I was surprised to see that the overlap margins on the hemline were inconsistent from one leg of my new pair to the other, but the stitching still looks like it will last for a long time, and is more consistent than I have seen in Unbranded.
Another minor flaw in the new pairs: There were multiple stray threads stitched into the jeans on the front and underside. All of them came loose by simply grabbing them and lightly pulling, and they appeared to be simply leftover from the seaming process. Ie: Stray threads that are not important and can be safely removed.

In Closing
While some minor issues associated with scaling small operations into higher-number productions seem to have crept into Gustin’s brand, they still offer a great product at an excellent price point. If you are a perfectionist with your denim, Gustin may no longer hit the same mark as when their denim was offered at $205/pair in boutiques: Occasional stray threads and very minor stitching errors such as those on the hemline may come show up in a pair of jeans. They are still one of the best of any selvage jean I am aware of in the under-$100 category for quality that is presently offered, although I expect this field to see new competition in the near future as designers try to offer online consumers more value by eliminating inventory, whether it is through a pre-ordering system like or a custom-order system like Brave Star Selvage. Be on the lookout for what happens with brands Gustin, Brave Star Selvage, and RPM West: It will be interesting to see the impact these smaller brands have on the industry. We may well be looking at the future of Raw Denim, or even of the entire men’s clothing industry, starting here.

As Gustin continues production of denim and ventures into new territory like Belts and Wallets, I plan to continue updating on how these pairs fade, as well as some new products down the line. As always, thank you for reading! If you haven’t checked out our Denim Archives, you definitely should. And a good reason to Like us on Facebook and Twitter: We have started doing the occaisional giveaway, and you never know when the next one will be announced!


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