The Most Asked Questions Surrounding Raw Denim | Part 1

  • March 13, 2016
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For those who having been following the brand closely you will know that we concluded a three month Olé Denim pop-up in Winnipeg at the end of 2015. Over the 90 days we encountered a plethora of questions from customers trying to wrap their heads around raw denim and to be honest, I think a lot of people are in that same boat. So we compiled some of the most common questions we were asked and tried to boil those questions down to clear and concise answers.

Walk with us.

What makes jeans raw?

Plain and simple denim is classified as ‘Raw’ denim if it hasn’t been washed after the dying process. The result is often stiff, starchy like jeans with an even dark indigo colour. Though upon first glance it may seem that they would be far from comfortable and a bit bland in appearance, that is the best part. These jeans are now an open canvas that are prepped for personalization allowing you to dictate all sorts of fade types generally where the jeans see the most movement and stress from your body.

What’s so special and why should I care about Japanese denim?

This response could carry on for a few chapters. Check out Kyle’s post on Heddel’s for a well articulated breakdown on why to care: response.


Which cut and which size should I get?

It is safe to say that there is no algorithm or formula for consistency across different brands and price points of raw selvedge denim. Each brand uses different materials, patterns, sizing formulas and factories.

Lucky for you, at this stage in the game, we have only perfected one cut: the 306. So we can provide you with a pretty solid insight.

The 306 is a ‘relaxed’ slim-taper that we currently offer in both 13oz and 15oz denim.

Our size suggestion for the 13oz would be – feel confident buying your true to size. If you are a generally a 32 inch waist go with an Olé 32. For the 15oz, heavier weight, we recommend you size up one.

It is important to note that no matter the size you end up with, you DO want the jeans to fit snug in the waist. You should be able to get the front fly to button up fully but the result should be snug – bordering on slightly uncomfortable at first. You need to take into account the 1-1 1/2″ stretch that is going to occur after the first handful of wears. Because our jeans are sanforized this is the tightest the jeans will ever fit you.

Another thing worth noting is all of our jeans come standard with a 35″ inseam. We understand for the average person a hem might come in handy if cuffing your jeans is not your thing and you’re not interested in stacking. If you plan on getting your jeans hemmed before the first wash, it is recommended to leave an extra 1/2″ to 3/4″.  Although the denim is sanforized, your jeans will shrink slightly on your first wash cycle. We recommend breaking in your jeans a bit before hemming.

If you can’t make it in to one of our retailers to compare the measurements of the 306 with a pair of your favourite jeans at home, this small investment of time can help achieve online shopping success.