The Devil in the Detail: 001 (Warehouse Brown-Duck & Digger Nonpareil Overall Jean (Rinsed)

Greetings all and welcome to our inaugural edition of ‘The Devil in the Detail’, where we take a deep dive into some of the most intriguing, original and beautiful details of selected products from the Son of a Stag archives. We’re all about the little things here, and the fine, nuanced points of design which make a garment special, and if you are too, why not join us as we delve into a geeky wormhole of heritage glory.

So, let’s get stuck in. To open this season of devilish details we have chosen a piece from the good people at Warehouse & Co, and more precisely, their Brown Duck-Digger sub-label. From the outset this jean is a stand out product. It has been playfully dubbed the ‘nonpareil’ model, a rare word in English but which is used to describe something which is unmatched or unrivalled. It actually comes from our smashing together of the French ‘non’ meaning ‘not’, and ‘pareil’ meaning ‘same/similar’, to create a French sounding word which isn’t actually used in France! Anyway, to call your jeans unrivalled is certainly a bold claim from the offset, but not one without merit.

Detail shot

As the name implies, this jean really is different from the rest. A combination of heritage features from the late 19th and early 20th centuries have been carefully blended to create something unique and to buck our traditional expectation of classic denim tailoring. They have been constructed using the single stitch technique, a long process by which one individual craftsman sews every single stitch on a single needle machine, a process necessary before the 20th century invention of the twin needle. A deep back yoke sees a uniquely sloppy and yet precise looking rear profile, with riveted back pockets overlapping the seams and arching up towards the waistband, whilst the front watch pocket has been sewn into the waistband and then riveted on top with pure copper punch-through rivets.

Detail shot

Detail shot

The mouths of the front pockets have been decorated with a western arc stitch detail which interestingly combines the world of luxury with the more familiar realm of denim, which is to be worn and worked in. And these jeans are indeed made to be worked in, and then some! The crotch construction features a reinforced panel to prevent over wear from being in the saddle all day and night, and even boast the infamous crotch rivet. This feature was removed from mass jeans production in the late 1930’s for one of two reasons depending on who you believe; the first being that the rivet gradually tore through the valuable leather of horse saddles, and the second being that when the wearer stood too closely over a fire, they might find a phantom burning sensation where there ought not to be one. Ouch!

Other features on this model are a brilliantly crafted one piece fly construction, central stitch belt loops, custom woven cotton brand patch, and an early 1900’s model cinch back. But for me the most interesting design feature of this most interesting jean, is the sewn over selvedge line. A common technique of early denim production would be to cut the pattern in a way which maximises denim usage, often meaning that one side of the jeans would have a selvedge line, and the other would be simply overlocked. Well, the same thing is happening here, except, the whole thing has been top stitched down! For many in the denim community, this is a sacrilegious act of heresy which we don’t often see for good reason. Another might argue that this charming feature simply is doffing its cap to a period when the selvedge line simply wasn’t so important. This is how denim was made, and every valuable square inch of this blue gold would have to be accounted for!

However you feel about the selvedge line, the ingenuity of this feature packed jean can’t be questioned. The brand has built an enviable reputation for quality and attention to detail, and it is showcased masterfully in this latest offering. We love this jean here at Son of a Stag, now all we need to do is choose between the raw and rinsed version. Decisions, decisions...

Join us next time for ‘The Devil in the Detail’ when we cast an eye over the Buzz Rickson's X William Gibson Pea Coat!

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