Ask You: What Do You Think About Red Fire?

Today marks the debut of a new feature here at Riverside Green: Ask You. We will be sharing questions that we have, or that members of the community have. Tomorrow we’re going to take a look at choosing a cellphone for a rather tech-allergic commenter here, but we are starting off with… Red Fire!


A while ago, one of the commenters here made me aware of the clothing website Gustin. The way Gustin works is simple: they come up with an idea and if enough people “fund” the idea the stuff gets made and shipped. The bad part about it: you don’t get any instant gratification because they rarely have anything “in stock”. The good part about it: Virtually everything they do is made in the United States, Europe, or Japan.

I’ve funded six Gustin items and I’ll be sharing them with you as they arrive. Today, however, we have something that I really want but am not sure that I can or should wear: Japan Red Fire jeans.

Seeing is believing. These photos confirm our theory: the Japan Red Fire is one of those denims that sounds incredible in theory and looks even cooler in reality. An indigo warp and brilliant, fiery red weft make this limited run selvedge from Japan stand apart from anything else in your denim collection.
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Gustin jeans made from sanforized raw selvedge denim from one of the finest mills in Japan. A cousin fabric to our Japan Shine selvedge, this one makes use of a unique weft to spectacular result. It starts out nicely with a deep navy warp, creating a dark top surface. The weft takes things in a totally new direction. It fiery red poly yarn is woven into the weft yarn and this changes the entire character of the fabric. Obviously if you cuff this denim you’ll see a bright flash of red, but what we enjoy more is how the red weft make its presence knows by showing through the top surface of the fabric. It gives the entire fabric surface a subtle red tint and shadow. If you’re ready for indigo denim like no other, act fast as this is a limited run.

Made in California from Japanese denim… sounds legit to me. And the price of $145 is steep but not necessarily any worse than what I paid for USA Lucky jeans back when such a thing existed. The question at hand is: When a 46-year-old dad wears these things, uncuffed of course because I’m not the kind of person who cuffs jeans, it is

a) fun and different
b) try-hard youth-striving
c) sending the signal that I’m interested in dudes

What say you, readers? Red 5, standing by!

80 Replies to “Ask You: What Do You Think About Red Fire?”

  1. Spud Boy

    I would vote “fun and different.”

    If you order jeans like this, how do you know the size will be correct? Will they exchange them if they don’t fit?

    Reply
    • scotten

      That was my first question too. Being a guy, I don’t have a HUGE variability in the size I fit into but 25% of the time – I buy something in “my size” and it doesn’t fit.

      I think the hue of the jean looks awesome, but I’m not sure 1) that it would be as timely as blue jeans or 2) someone your/my age could pull it off either (but I’m no fashion maven so my opinion may not be valid).

      Reply
      • Felis Concolor

        I was wondering why you would link that belt/multitool combination in the middle of your post, and then the mouseover popup indicated it was one of Goolag’s ad services.

        Reply
    • Jack BaruthJack Baruth Post author

      They offer three cuts and a detailed sizing guide.

      With that said, if they don’t fit, it ain’t like they take returns.

      Reply
  2. Gene

    I was prepared to loathe these from the description, but upon seeing the pictures they’re not bad, and they’ll probably grow on me. However, any pant that tapers or otherwise fits snugly around the ankle is horseshit and if anybody wears pants like that I don’t fucking like you.

    Reply
  3. Jesse Shaffer

    It seems to me, that if I were to observe such a fabric, the first thing I would consider is the motivation that put the pants on the person. Going beyond the “free will” of the human spirit – I’d look at this more like an animal thing. The animals use color, albeit not in the nuanced ways that people do. Still, the affect is attention. Why you want that attention is your own problem.

    Reply
  4. Economist

    I think they look pretty cool. The red is not searingly bright and I don’t think they would look out-of-place in most casual settings.

    Reply
      • 98horn

        too bad they don’t have pics of the straight cut. I would wear the material, but my personal style trends towards bright colors, so take that with a grain of salt.

        Reply
  5. everybodyhatesscott

    I’d buy a pair if my waist size wasn’t currently 2 inches more than my normal summer level

    Who cuffs their jeans? Is it a euro thing? Hipster thing?

    Reply
    • Jack BaruthJack Baruth Post author

      Based on what I heard at my alteration tailor a few months ago, it’s an aggressively gay thing, although the plural of anecdote is not data. But I watched a gay man cry real tears because his jeans were altered in a way that would prevent his preferred cuffing.

      Reply
          • rwb

            Great story. You also don’t have to take your jeans to a tailor to dress well, but you’re the guy who thinks anyone who’d wear skinny jeans must be pussy, so we’re clearly from different dimensions.

      • Nick D

        Married cis-male here. I have 3 pairs of gustins and one of their Cone denim Black Friday specials on order. I also have a few other pairs of selvedge denim. All are Cone denim except for a pair of Japanese Oni jeans I got at Tate and Yoko in Montreal.

        Three hours from C-bus, cuffing isn’t an aggressively gay thing and seems to be almost standard for any jeans worn by men or women under 50 now aside from bleach-washed shit, although I look down on anyone who cuffs non-selvedge denim and I don’t engage in such behavior. It is snobbish, but so are my cordovan MacNeils.

        I do a simple 1” cuff and tuck in the hem. That way, if I don’t want to have a cuff, I don’t have to.

        Reply
      • tresmonos

        I cuff my jeans. It’s 1940’s-1960’s. Back when you were a kid and your jeans didn’t fall apart like the garbage sold today – your mom would buy you 36″ long inseams and looser fits so you’d grow into it. It is also a 1950’s greaser (hipster) look.

        You know, back when all the denim was selvedge and made here. Wider Sulzer looms appeared in the 70’s and 80’s and made looser, wider more efficient weaves. Now we have the paper thin garbage that everyone buys that has been sanded down by children and washed with excess dyes dumped into the stream where the workers bathe and take a sh*t.

        Reply
      • Ronnie Schreiber

        I’d imagine gay guys would be more concerned over whether the pants are altered to “dress right” or “dress left”.

        Reply
  6. Tyler

    Years ago I attended a speech by a Scottish author. He was attired in what I assume is highland formal, a vest-and-jacket on top and a kilt on bottom. The ladies behind me wondered aloud what one should ordinarily wear with a kilt. I turned and said, “Confidence.”

    To you, sir, regarding Japanese denim: same answer.

    As to (c), context seems to be everything. In the Toledo area, for example, any man in decent-fitting non-football-related clothes who isn’t actively parking a Ram 2500 at B-Dubs is likely to be thought light in the loafers. So the question is, who’s asking?

    Reply
  7. link3721

    I’d say fun and different. They’re different without being outlandish. It’s not like they’re neon colored or something.

    Reply
  8. Martin

    I once bought a pair of blue shoes from Allen Edmonds, thinking to myself, can I not be the devil-may-care man of early middle age? After about a week with them, I realized no, no I cannot. Greetings, fellow children, etc etc.

    Since modern male fashion has lost all connection to anything resembling adulthood, I’ve personally decided to shuck it and return to squareness- collared shirts, slacks, coats. Dull but grown up. Yes, I do have a Lincoln on order, why do you ask?

    Reply
  9. Rick Soloway

    Jack,

    $145 for a pair of pants? Especially for jeans? To each his own, but you could get 10 pair of Members Mark jeans at Sam’s club for that amount. Adding in the risk of non fit, and age appropriateness, and I say “Nyet!!”. YMMV

    PS. I loved your expression “the plural of anecdote is not data” the first time you wrote it. Repetition will rapidly dissipate the fun. Stop now please.

    Reply
    • Jack BaruthJack Baruth Post author

      It’s not my expression, and it’s so often applicable!

      Member’s Mark were made by Wrangler in South American sweatshops, unfortunately.

      Reply
      • tresmonos

        Wrangler uses American milled denim from Mount Vernon Mills in Georgia (most of the time). They’re so efficient, that they ship off boats of US made denim to 2nd world countries for cut and sew operations. I’ve contacted Gustin to try and get them to make jeans from their non selvedge raw denim.

        Gustin uses several mills I got them in touch with back when they first started for their organic shirting. They also use Los Angeles Apparel for t shirts and sweat shirts.

        Also look into Bravestar for their Chinos and Denim. About the same price point as Gustin.

        Reply
    • Disinterested-Observer

      FYI (pushes up glasses) the correct phrase is:

      “The plural of anecdote is data”

      (small font) Raymond Wolfinger
      (big font) Disinterested-Observer

      Reply
      • Rick Soloway

        At the risk of being pedantic, “data” is the plural of datum. So, shouldn’t the expression be “The plural of anecdote are not data”? I haven’t been flamed in awhile, so standing by…..

        Reply
        • Rick T.

          Your complaint to the grammar police has been reviewed and approved. An arrest warrant has been issued to Disinterested-Observer.

          Reply
        • Disinterested-Observer

          It is not me you seek, it is Ray Wolfinger. My pedantism (? not sure what the correct term is here and I don’t want to risk looking it up) was that Jack both has the quote wrong and knows better.

          Reply
          • Jack BaruthJack Baruth Post author

            I disagree with the original quote as it is interpreted today.

            Wolfinger was making a point about fussy scientists assuming “virgin birth” for data. I’m making a point about sloppy “I FUCKING LOVE SCIENCE” types who mistake feelings, stories, and wishful thinking for data.

  10. mrwiizrd

    There’s an old adage that you should never wear a hat that has more personality than you do. I think the principle applies here as well.

    I think they look pretty cool, and you only live once, so why the hell not?

    Reply
  11. Scout_Number_4

    I’m no fashionista, speaking for myself I must go with letter B. For you, Jack? You could step out of your Porsche in these and receive an A.

    Reply
  12. tresmonos

    I say do it. I own a pair of Gustin Loomstate jeans as my only japanese milled denim. I like them but I only wear them when I don’t want people judging me for wearing imported sh*t.

    Reply
    • Jack BaruthJack Baruth Post author

      I don’t have a lot of Japanese clothing but I don’t mind the idea of buying it because the balance of payments between me and Japan is firmly in my favor even after you factor in the Japanese transmission in my Accord. 🙂

      Reply
      • tresmonos

        Copy that. I love my Japanese flannels from Gustin. Amazing fabrics. You have no idea what you’re missing until you procure some of it. Just simply amazing. I thought flannel as something that was sloppy and ‘rough…’ the milled fabric that I own and wear is super soft, woven to perfection and substantial yet not too thick. It has a ‘fuzz’ to it, but a very subtle texture that is even.

        If I can’t source the fabric from the US, I source it from Japan. I have almost a 100% vertically integrated wardrobe at this point, including some old Brooks Brothers suiting. I need a modern, US milled, tailored suit that doesn’t make my bank account go to zero.

        Reply
  13. Pat

    When I run into questions like this I find that the answer is often: all of the above

    But you should definitely get these

    Reply
  14. rwb

    I’ve done no research to support this, but I suspect this material is coming from the same place that supplies Tenryo/Strike Gold, Naked & Famous, and Unbranded, though the latter is made in Macau. All of these are selling something similar, Tenryo even has other weft colors (blue/red/yellow/green)

    I’m also reading that Gustin has shown a tendency in the past to copy others’ designs, but that’s based on 3-year-old comments from randos so who knows. Just saying, I think you have options.

    Reply
    • Jack BaruthJack Baruth Post author

      I’m sure Gustin copies stuff because they’re a short run manufacturer with no particular style direction. The “branding” in this case is the business model and the sourcing.

      Looking at the other suppliers, they’re about 2x as expensive and they rarely offer a 38. But I do like the idea of the green weft.

      Reply
    • tresmonos

      rwb,
      They do knock off some designs, but their jeans have a unique cut that works for me.

      Their CPO jackets are a complete knock off (the one the internet cried over) but they’re ugly IMO.

      You can’t beat their quality, price point and vertical integration as well as their breadth. Other clothing lines can compete in cost, but can’t offer as much as they do. Think of them as a contract manufacturer that ships directly to you.

      Reply
      • rwb

        I just put in for a pair of these* so it’s arguably moot, but what do you like about the fit relative to say, a 501 cut?

        *Jack, if I ever again complain in your presence about not being able to afford brake pads, I want you to punch me in the fucking face as hard as you possibly can. Also I’m sorry I didn’t even look at the available sizes for the Tenryo stuff- I was pretty amped on the yellow weft myself until I saw that. Japan.

        Reply
  15. ScottS

    I think these would be cool for a rock star.

    You defined yourself as “a 46-year-old dad “, so I have to go with b. or c.

    Sorry.

    Reply
  16. Charlie

    Can you wash them? Or is it like other selvedge denim where you should really wait until they’re gross to wash? I picked up a pair of Lawless Denim back when they were a thing, and as much as I love them, I wish I could wash them more often without losing dye. Do you think the red dye will last?

    Reply
  17. Nitro Cory

    If they were actually red I’d say A. But they’re pink, so C. But on Jack maybe B because I don’t think a gay guy would ever have that hair.

    Reply
  18. Nick D

    I do have a few HSMs but they are badly outdated. A good friend worked at the local department store and would set aside sale items in my size, which was most excellent while it lasted.

    Reply
  19. I COME IN PEACE

    B man, B. I’ve noticed your penchant for this kind of frilly stuff, so do whatever floats your boat. Or if you’re looking for attention. From dudes.

    Reply
  20. Dirty Dingus McGee

    Them’s some mighty spiffy britches (spits out some backy juice).
    For myself, they would be B. For you? Probably 25% B, 75% A

    Reply
  21. Doctor Awesome

    I imagine I saw the Gustin listing around the same time as you did.

    I couldn’t name what it was that I thought was wrong with it until just now. (Aside from the assumed amazing and interesting fade.)

    These pants scream mid 90’s cross color denim to me.

    Gold jacket: fun

    90’s retro pants: desperate (and possibly hipster)

    Reply
  22. Daniel J

    Lee and Levi’s for me, so no thanks.

    I remember in the early 90s colored jeans were a thing for girls, and it was god awful. And now for men? No thank you. Give me a regular pair of blue jeans.

    And now, of course, I see jeans going for 100 bucks or more with rips and tears all in them. Some of them are even fairly risque. I just SMH.

    Reply
  23. Danny

    Have you worn a pair of selvedge jeans before? I’ve always wanted to buy a pair but they consistently look so rigid that they’d probably stand up on their own, and that can’t be comfortable for the first year of wearing them..

    Reply
    • Vincent

      In reality, selvage denim is comfortable enough after a couple weeks. They do get better after that gradually, but it’s not like you’re going to be miserable for a year.

      Also, there is now selvage with stretchy yarns woven in. I had (they don’t fit anymore) a pair of Naked and Famous Slub Stretch Selvage which were as comfortable as anything right from the first wear.

      Reply
      • rwb

        So, I’m a crazy person, but with any new pair of unsanforized raw denim, after wearing for a couple-three days I’ll sit in a tub filled with very hot water, wearing them, for as long as I can, then hang-dry inside-out.

        After this and about another day’s wear, they should be vastly more comfortable than when they arrived.

        Maybe that process is extreme, but it’s how I was taught “shrink-to-fit” works so it’s what I do. Yes, you will feel like an idiot sitting in a tub with jeans on; you’re also free to think I simply am an idiot for doing this, but my pants fit nice so I don’t care.

        Reply
  24. Booty_Toucher

    Judging from the photos I’ve seen of you, you’re EXACTLY the type of person I’d expect to wear these jeans. Go for it, bruh, matches your image.

    Reply

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