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After Two Years of Wear, Here’s Why I Argue the Big John Rare 008 Is the Perfect Jean

There comes a time when your favourite jeans are just too worn; even putting them on you run the risks of new holes and additional repairs. I prefer to retire my jeans before this happens and save them for special occasions only. About a month ago, my beloved Big John Rare 008 reach that state.

The Details of the Rare 008

Through this extensive review, I am going to take you through the finer points of these jeans, which I’ve come to love so dearly after wearing them for almost two years.

I will talk a bit about history, argue why the fit and construction strike the perfect middle-ground between contemporary and heritage, and take you through all the unique details of the jeans. Last but no least, I will examine the denim and how it fades, which is the main reason that these are the best jeans I’ve ever owned.

Big-John Rare 008 Denimhunters

A Celebration of History

Big John was the first to make jeans in Japan. The company was founded as Maruo Clothing in 1940 by Kotaro Osaki and, until the mid-60s, all the jeans they sold were imported from the US. It wasn’t until 1973 that Big John, in cooperation with Kurabo, made the first 100% Japanese-made jeans.

The Rare 008 jeans were launched in 2010 to celebrate their 70th anniversary. They represent the very best Big John could make, from the best material and the finest construction,  and they’re not entirely “traditional” in terms of historical detailing as you will find out.

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A Good, Solid Fit

First off, the fit. It’s a classic straight leg with a medium rise, plenty of room through the thigh, and straight from the knee down. I would say it is a good, solid effort at a straight fit but not the best contemporary example compared to, say, the Iron Heart 634S.

Having said this, I never had any trouble with movement and they looked good with both bulky Red Wing Engineer boots and the more refined Chippewa Service boot.


Construction and Features: Abandoning Tradition for Sense

Apparently, when Big John decided to make these jeans, the goal was to make a pair that would last ten years. Although they are extremely durable, my jeans won’t last that long.

If they were to go into a “normal” person’s wardrobe, I could imagine these jeans would last a good long time. But, given the way that most of us denimheads wear our jeans, ten years is nigh on impossible.

That being said, you can’t blame Big John for not trying. The choice of denim has a lot to do with this, but for now let’s look at how they were put together.

On page two, I put the details of the Big John Rare 008 under the microscope.

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  • CVanDriel

    This article reads very familiar. Myself I own a lot of jeans and I also have my favourite pair. It is not the most expensive nor the heaviest pair but it is just right, hard to explain.

  • Jeff

    Great article. I have two pair of Rares. They do wear extremely well. So well, that I purchased the Rare trucker jacket. Tough to find, but worth the effort.

  • Denimhunters

    Hi Jeff,
    You’re more than welcome to send us pictures of your Rare items to [email protected].

  • P.P

    Wow! I can see the relationship between the Rare denim and the owner was so close.

  • Evil_OOb

    I’m breakin’ in a pair of R009 since 1 year… My favorite!

  • Denimhunters

    Hi Evil_OOb
    We would love to see what they look like 🙂

  • Evil_OOb

    Of course! Just take a look at my instagram to have a vision of them!
    For the record, I repaired a crotch blow out with selvedge denim from Edwin SEN ^^ If you need more, just tell me!!!!

  • Denimhunters

    Great stuff!!

  • Evil_OOb

    I have the R009 (slim version) and it’s a truly amazing denim! The vintage fade with a green cast is what I like the most! If you want I can share picture of my own pair!

  • Daniel

    Awesome review! Any idea where to buy these in Berlin?

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