It has been 3 years since I owned a pair of jeans as I prefer chinos, specifically the Uniqlo Vintage Chino. I find jeans to be uncomfortable due to usual heavy denim materials. The low waist and slim fit trends does not help in the comfort department. I also find the pockets to be too shallow for phones.
I think jeans are good looking but I just accepted that it’s not for me. I really want my trousers to be comfortable in terms of softer materials, roomier fit and functional pockets which usually are the characteristics of chinos. Then I came across the local brand Leon Denim with one of their product “Baker Pants In Neppy Denim“. Now, I’m back in wearing denim trouser as it checked all the characteristics I wanted and more.
I first saw Leon Denim while browsing Facebook. I forgot if it is through ads or suggestion. They have an awesome online store which sells pants, shirts, outerwear and accessories. All are made in the Philippines with the materials, usually denim, imported in Japan which are known for its quality.
I love the photos of their products in the website as they show them being used in real-life . The styles are heavily inspired by vintage work-wear. I’m not much into work-wear but I’m on board in their vintage aesthetics so I gave it a try by purchasing their Baker Pants. Their products are on the pricier side but I think that reflects on quality material and construction. You get what you pay for.
The pair of pants I purchased is baker pants in denim instead of jeans. Baker pants have roots in military. The noticeable difference to jeans is the side patch pocket that extends deep instead of jeans’ j-shaped pockets. This website explains more details about baker pants. I love the deep pockets of backer pants as I feel safe on putting stuff in there like phones without the worry of losing it. A quirk of mine is that I also like my hands inside my pockets so it feels good that it can cover everything below the wrist.
It is still lightweight at 10oz even if it’s a denim. You can even see it in the photos where you can identify the softness of the fabric through the drape. On the first wear, it immediately feels soft and comfortable. It will only improve in that department as I wear and wash it more. This is a good thing here in Manila where weather gets hot.
The denim is “neppy” which makes it have those snowy look because of the white particles spread in the fabric. You can learn more about neppy as a type of denim here. I love it as it adds additional uniqueness and interesting character to the denim.
Additional unique details are the button zip fly instead of contemporary zippers. I also loved the side-tab adjuster which are details that can be found in vintage trousers. This makes it cool to wear the pants without belt if you want to.
As I mentioned, it has a work-wear vintage silhouette due to it being high-waist and straight wide fit. This might be the deal breaker for some as the current norm is low-waist slim cut jeans. It is my opinion however that high-waist pants are more flattering for men in terms of proportions as it makes the legs longer, hence taller. Wider fit, but not baggy, is awesome because of inherent comfort. Read articles here and here to have more explanation on why high-waist wide trousers are the way to go.
It came with a tote bag that has cool Leon Denim logo when I received it. Initially it was too wide where I was not able to wear it without a belt. I also was not used to such a high-waist and wide leg opening. But as it is a raw denim, I expected it to shrink a little upon washing, which it did. It is now in better fit in terms of waist and width. Raw denim washing is an experience into itself. They have instructions in their website and YouTube which you should definitely checkout.
After that, I had it hemmed as it was too long when I received it. I’m not sure if that length is to accommodate work-wear look with large cuff or to ensure that it fits everyone lengthwise as shortening is an easy process anyway.
I can’t comment on construction quality yet as I’m no expert in tailoring and I haven’t used these pants long enough. I’ve worn them once a week since I purchased in November and so far so good. I’ll probably just have another article a year or two from now to update how it aged.
Another thing I loved about Leon Denim is my interaction with the people behind it. Even though it is only through chat, I can feel their passion, pride and interest in their products and denim wear in general. They are excited for me to try and wear their pants as much as I am excited myself. That is beside them being helpful in my questions regarding sizing and details.
The baker denim pants are now my go to weekend trousers that I usually wear with just a t-shirt. I like to tuck it in as it embraces the vintage work-wear look. I’m only comfortable wearing it with my Red Wing boots as it is the only shoes I have that is heavy enough to match the denim and its silhouette.
I would recommend this pants to everyone specially for those who are already into jeans and denim-wear as there are a lot of details here that are hard to find in brands like Levi’s. The materials are of great quality. The cottons are from Zimbabwe, then woven and dyed in Japan, and finally, constructed here in the Philippines. For those that just wants to wear denim, this might be too pricey a leap if you’re not sure yet if you would be on-board in this style. I suggest to try more affordable alternatives of baker pants like Uniqlo first. You can also checkout Leon Denim’s website for sale of products with the same style. I’m really happy to be able to own such a cool piece of denim while also supporting Philippines’ local industry. Have a great day!