Few things say fall like a new pair of jeans. You can ensure the best look and fit by getting your denim handmade, or at least seriously customized to suit your idiosyncratic tastes and shape. Behold our five favorite options for bespoke or customized denim. By Jessica Allen.
At 3×1, your adventure in denim begins with a consultation with your very own specialist, at which you’ll discuss your needs and wants. After a fitting, you meet with an on-site pattern-makers and select from one of the 80 different types of fabrics on display at any given time. You’ll then experience “thread theory,” or the step in the process when you begin making decisions about belt loops, pockets, and other details. Two or three weeks later, you’ll have your first fitting. 3×1 will make any adjustments, repeating this particular step as necessary.
When the iconic maker of jeans decided to go bespoke, it was very big news. The Levi’s store in the Meatpacking District opened the Made to Order Jeans section in September 2012. True to the name, the store-within-a-store offers handcrafted, customizable denim. Master tailor Ryan Grant-Hays prides himself on ensuring that every single pair of jeans he makes is different from the pair before. Each one is editioned, with a date and unique number, and each pattern is kept on file so you can keep going back for more.
We might be cheating a wee bit by including Denim Therapy on the list. Denim Therapy won’t craft your jeans from scratch. However, the fine folks here will take your rips, your tears, your worn seats and crumby pockets, your sagging crotches and torn knees, and transform them back into the original, top-quality shape that you first fell in love with. They’ll shorten your pants for summer, replace snaps, zippers, and other hardware, and add expandable seams for mamas-to-be, among other services. If you’ve got a denim-related problem, Denim Therapy has the cure.
At Loren, in Greenpoint, you can shop off the rack, browsing a highly curated selection of jeans by in-house labels such as Blksmth and Soldier and Brave. A sign that says “handmade jeans” helpfully guides you, and reminds you that everything here is unique. Designer Loren Cronk looks to the past for inspiration, when jeans were the uniform of choice for cowboys and miners. You’ll have the assurance of knowing you’ve clad your bod in a one-of-a-kind product, made with love, care, and style in Brooklyn.
Founded in 2003, Jean Shop, with locations in the Meatpacking District and Soho, has been called the “Cristal of the denim world.” In other words, ritzy, pricey, and trendy. In addition to bags, shirts, leather goods, jewelry, luggage tags, and scarves, you can get jeans, although you might have figured that part out from the name. The fabric is custom-woven selvedge from Japan, and all jeans are made in the US. Sales associates will be happy to help you with special washes and distresses, to further make the jeans your own.