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That 2 year picture really looks like a different pair of white weft denim. Could be wrong though...
Given both the warp and the weft are rope dyed, the core of the fabric remains white. After two years, you're getting to the core of the fabric in the most heavily stressed areas.
Not happy with the holes after 2yrs of casual wear 😕
Hey Anent, holes and wear are an innate factor in raw denim for a few reasons:
1. These jeans are 100% cotton denim (no stretch or stress relief fabrics like spandex or lycra), the fabric will wear against itself more heavily than most modern jeans.
2. Because the fabric has never been washed (the "raw" part of raw denim), it's rigid and compounds the stress. Think about it like rubbing two pieces of sand paper together vs two pieces or regular paper.
3. Because you're trying to avoid a wash for the first 6 months of wear, you're putting that rigid, 100% cotton fabric, through the highest stress part of it's life in the most rigid part of it's life.
Generally speaking, it's a trade-off between the quality of your fades and longevity. If you want these jeans to last as long as possible, wash them a few times before you wear them. This ruins much of the fade potential (so they say, I've never rolled the dice) but softens the fabric so it won't grate against itself and wear as quickly. If you want the best fades (best defined as highest contrast) you need to avoid washing and apply as much natural stress as possible (the best fades I've seen are from guys who work construction/trades). This innately wears down the fabric, creates the holes etc.
Combine these factors with different body types vs fits and you can get holes or crotch blow-out in 6-48 months depending on the individual. Using myself as an example, I had to repair my Ichibans after ~180 days of wear, while some of our other testers have virtually no wear in the same areas I need to have repaired.
YMMV, but Raw Denim is designed to wear, and is innately more likely to develop holes and wear marks than normal jeans, it's more or less the point.
Bit of a late response on my part, but they're similar fabrics. The fit is going to be pretty similar as well. It's not going to be exactly the same as those PBJ's just like these wouldn't be the same as a Levi's Custom Shop, or a any other pair of raw denim.
Your point about price is interesting though. There's a lot of price based perception bias in enthusiast communities, especially those surrounding apparel. The fact that these are $100 and PBJs are ~$200 doesn't tell you much beyond some additional polish on the PBJs (hidden rivets, art on the pocket bags, etc).
Overall, with raw denim, I think it's most important to get the pair you're most excited about wearing. If that means you've gotta wait a month and save, I say do it.
Yeah, absolutely right about bias, I was doing my research about raw denim to make a wise purchase. Thanks for reply, will get these.