This review is of Nudie Jeans’ Skinny Lin in Black-Black
If you are someone who is into raw, selvage denim, or honestly just a person who loves denim more than the average person at all, you have probably heard of Nudie Jeans. When it comes to the world of premium denim, Nudie Jeans is one of the most prominent companies on the. scene. Nudie Jeans is headquartered in Sweden and their emphasis is on sustainability and transparency: click onto any product and you’re met with a plethora of drop downs that reveal everything from the who grows the cotton to how it’s ginned to how many employees work at the dyeing facility to how Nudie audited the rivet supplier.
They are a highly ethical and sustainable brand that offers a wide range of fits and styles for all body types and personal style.
Nudie Jeans Pros and Cons
Here’s a summary of my year of wearing and learning about Nudie Jeans.
Pros for Nudie Jeans as a company
- They exclusively use organic cotton
- Huge emphasis on sustainability and transparency
- Regularly audit and check to make sure their production is safe and ethical
- Hude range of fits and styles on offer
- Free repairs for life (as long as you are near one of their repair facilities, or a partner facility)
- Easy to buy and a great entry into the world of raw/selvage denim
- Offers all inseam lengths for all waist sizes
Pros for the Skinny Lin in Black-Black specifically
- Fits very well and tight throughout the entire hip, waist, and leg
- Stitching is to a high standard
- Good fading for denim that is not raw
- The addition of the elastane in the denim makes the tighter fit very comfortable
- The jeans stretch to fit your body but do not stretch out to the point where the fit is messy and awkward
Cons for Nudie Jeans as a company
- Very limited in the free repair facility options
- Mass produced; no ‘small batch’ feel
- No options for heavily textured or rare fabrics in their denim choices
Cons for the Skinny Lin Black-Black specifically
- Multiple crotch blowouts in my time of owning these jeans
- Not made of raw or selvage denim
- Denim is mixed with elastane (some people love, some people hate)
- Not very breathable due to the addition of elastane
- Thick chain stitch on the inseam which makes it hard to get a clean, flat cuff when I roll the jeans.
About Nudie Jeans
From someone who’s Instagram algorithm understands him more than he would like to admit — meaning I pretty much only see posts of selvage denim, heritage boots, mechanical watches, and tattoos in my explore page — I would say about 60-75% of the denim I see is from Nudie.
Like I said in the intro, Nudie Jeans is headquartered in Sweden, a region that’s surprisingly interested in selvage. There are some amazing brands out of Scandinavia such as Norse Projects, Our Legacy, and ACNE Studios. Nudie Jeans also pride themselves on using only 100% organic cotton for their jeans and being as sustainable as possible.
To ensure their ethical standards are met they partner with Fair Wear Foundation (FWF), making sure the materials used are safe, and they conduct regular audits of everyone in their supply chain from yarn spinners to zipper manufacturers. FWF does annual Brand Performance Checks and for the last 8 years, Nudie has been in their “leaders” category.
Nudie Jeans offers a wide range of fit/style options for both men and women, and is one of the only raw/selvage denim manufacturers that offer a range of inseam lengths for their jeans, typically from 28 to 36 inches. (That is a huge plus for me, who ideally wants a 29”-30” inseam.)
Lastly, Nudie Jeans understands that premium jeans are meant to be worn for years and years, and because of this they offer free repairs on all of their jeans at their retail stores or mobile repair stations for life.
For this review, I will be focusing on the pair that I have owned for about 3.5 – 4 years now. That is the Skinny Lin fit in the black-black color.
Skinny Lin Fit and Sizing
The Skinny Lin fit from Nudie Jeans is one of the two sizing options that I would say falls into the “skinny jean” category of jeans that Nudie offers. It has a low rise and is a pretty heavy taper down to the ankle, but not at all a “painted on” skinny jean fit.
The 33” waist size that I have now has a front rise of about 9 ¼” and a back rise of 15”. It is designed to fit tightly from the waist down. To make it more comfortable and improve the fit on the lower back, Nudie Jeans gives this style a curved waistband, making it a surprisingly comfortable jean to wear.
A lot of jeans I have worn have a rise that is too high for me and the jeans will sit above my waist on my stomach and back in a way that is just uncomfortable and slightly bothersome. While this may be just personal preference and body type differences, the low rise and curved waistband on these jeans work very well for me. Lastly, all of the jeans in this fit are made with their stretch denim for easier movement and comfort.
From my experience, this is a very well fitting and very comfortable pair of jeans. I currently own a waist size of 33 in this pair which measures about 17” across when laid flat brand new. The inseam length I have is 30”. I am 5’ 8” with about a 28” actual inseam measurement and always cuff the bottom of my jeans. The 30” length is perfect for 2-3 rolls on the cuff depending on the shoes or boots I am wearing with them.
Fades, Wear, Break-in
This is my second pair of these jeans. I owned one pair for about 3 years, lost about 80 lbs, and rebought a pair that fits me again.
For the pair I had for 3 years, I was very pleased with the wear and fades I received. Keep in mind, this is not a raw black denim jean which means the jeans have gone through a washing process in order to make them softer for the wearer right off the shelf.
These jeans specifically have also been blended with elastane for added comfort and stretch. No break-in period is needed for comfort because of this.
While the fades will not be as impressive as a raw denim will be, due to the over-dye process they use with their black-black color you will still receive some really nice fading. This jean is dyed with a deep indigo dye then over-dyed with black so as it fades with wear and washing, the deep indigo will become visible through the black over-dye. On my 3 year pair there is some solid fading in the thigh, back pockets, and behind the knee.
What I also enjoy about these jeans is that they do stretch with wear, but not too much. Some tighter jeans can stretch too much and begin to fit awkwardly, but these stretch to where you want them to, and no more. You can expect to get some bulging in the knees, some stretch in the thighs, and some stretch in the waistband, but nothing excessive. In fact, the new pair that I bought about 4 months ago and have worn pretty heavily and done one wash on (literally last week), still measures 17” on the waistband, which is what it was when they were new.
I did have about 3 or 4 crotch blow-outs, which seemed like a lot, but again, they have free repairs for life.
I actually just took the old pair I wore for 3+ years and measured everything and compared it to Nudie Jeans’ size chart on their website. The waist, knee, thigh, and hip measurements are still almost exactly what they have listed on the chart for a new pair.
On the pair I had for 3 years, I did have about 3 or 4 crotch blow-outs, which seemed like a lot, but again, they have free repairs for life. However, since there are no repair shops or repair partners near me, I opted to take them to my local tailor who fixed them up. If you also are in the same situation, you can get a free DIY repair kit from them and you can fix them yourself if that is easier. They do not offer any shipping of their jeans to their return shops due to the environmental impact it would have according to their website.
Nudie Jeans Pricing
Nudies Jeans is in what a lot of people who call the entry level price point for premium denim. The jeans I am talking about here, the Skinny Lin fit in Black-Black retail for $185.
Some might ask what makes these jeans around $100 dollars more than other brands like American Eagle. These jeans are built to a higher standard, with higher quality, organic materials, and they go above and beyond to make sure the factories are safe and ethical. Regular audits to assure safe work environments and paying their workers living wages all costs money, which goes into the price of the jeans as well. Personally, I am willing to spend more money on a garment knowing that the individual that made it did so while earning a living wage in a safe and healthy work atmosphere.
This makes this a very high quality jean for the price in my opinion, and it’s on the more affordable side for what Nudie Jeans offers. Their raw selvage denim, or what they call dry selvage denim, can range from about $250ish – $400 for their more rare and premium fabric offerings. Some of the higher priced, and more premium/rare options are exclusive to their members, which you can sign up for on their site.
If you love denim but have never spent a lot of money on denim before, and can’t quite bring yourself to spend 300 -400 dollars on some premium denim, this is a great brand to start with. On the other hand, if you have been in the denim game for a while, and/or love wild, experimental denim fabrics, Nudie may not be for you. (For that, we love Tanuki and Naked & Famous.)
Are Nudie Jeans Worth It?
I would say yes. For $185, or less if you look hard enough, you are getting a premium denim from a highly sustainable and ethical company. You can be happy while wearing them knowing that the individuals that made the jeans are being treated and paid well. You will get some nice fades and a great fit, as well as a denim that will last you years and years. I owned my first pair for 3+ years, and had I not lost so much weight, I would still be wearing that same pair today. I also love how no matter what body type or personal style you have, you will be able to find a jean that fits your body and style preference.
Sure, they are not the most premium or perfect jeans, but for the price I think you will have a difficult time finding a better pair of jeans with the sustainability and ethical practices that Nudie Jeans has.