Style Pick of the Week: Mott & Bow Italian-Made Denim

Editor’s note: Expect these posts weekly detailing one standout item coveted by yours truly. Sometimes, these fit within budgetary restrictions and other times, they’re expensive splurges worth saving for. For more Wish List items from Beau, head here, and to see other Style Picks, head here.

Mott & Bow denim

Two different washes, yet the same great price and excellent Italian denim.

We’re back this week with what just might be the item you’re thinking about¬†least during this hot time of year¬†— denim. Specifically, new Mott & Bow Italian-made denim, made in partnership with¬†denim purveyors¬†Candiani. But denim?¬†In the midst of all this heat? Absolutely. And there’s a very good reason for that.¬†From a true Mott & Bow classic, the ¬†Skinny Mosco denim ( a reliable dark jean that wears well no matter the time of year), to the light wash Wooster denim¬†(ideal for wearing in warmer temperatures), the brand can hardly go wrong. (Editor’s note: Truly! If you’ve had a bad experience with ’em, let me know in the comments or via email). The Mott & Bow brand¬†offers a relatively quick and easy shopping experience with free home try-ons and returns, and they offer Slim, Straight and Skinny fits for under $100, for the most part. That goes for offerings they sell via Huckberry, and the gear sold on the brand’s Web site.¬†Which brings us to their latest new release — premium Italian denim. A big thank you to the brand to sending along both pairs in this collection for review and features on Instagram, and today, I’m here to report back that they’re every bit as good as advertised. What exactly are you getting for the very fair price of $128 of Italian cotton denim? Scroll on down.
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A personal favorite -- the Staple, a slight switch from dark denim that just works.

A personal favorite — the Staple, a slight switch from dark denim that just works.

First things first — the brand’s two new styles offer up a nice bit of versatility. The Staple is a medium-dark blue wash that at first glance looks a bit like plain ol’ dark denim. Yet, closer inspection reveals that although these jeans start with a deep indigo base, they’re finished off with¬†hand-sanding and a stone-washing process that gives them some unique coloration and fading.¬†In fact, the above photo shows that off quite nicely. Make no mistake, these certainly aren’t heavily whiskered, overly distressed jeans. If anything, these jeans are a pleasant, premium change of pace from your regular denim. Plus, they’re comfortable as heck — a remarkable 20 percent stretch built in means they wear very comfortable, and the hardware, zipper and front button all feel sturdy. Heck, even the subtly branded back leather patch feels premium and durable. And again, that 20 percent stretch really makes them easily wearable in the heat.¬†Now, style number two — the Warren,¬†also starts with an indigo color. However, this pair is finished off with a¬†lighter six-month wash, which consists of an intensive spraying, scraping and drying process for a well-worn look that’s entirely unique.¬†On that, Denim Science as done by the folks at Mott & Bow is quite impressive, and you really do get a lot for under $130. Both jeans should fit you remarkably well, and know that they look crisp enough to pair with a classic pocket T-shirt¬†and stylish white leather sneakers on the weekend, or as a complement to a tailored chambray blazer during the work week.¬† Oh, and they’re well-priced and in-stock at the moment, so please hop on it — will ya?

Do you own any Mott & Bow denim? Are you considering adding a pair or two of these to your wardrobe?

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The Product Review: Mott & Bow Denim

Mott and Bow denim

Getting full details on a newer denim brand — featuring the Skinny Fit Mosco jean in Dark Blue from Mott & Bow. Organic cotton pocket T-shirt by United By Blue. Glasses by Warby Parker. Stainless steel dive watch by Invicta. Olive leather slip-ons by GREATS Brand.

If you’re looking to upgrade your style, or even just refresh it a bit, there’s virtually no better place to start than buying a classic pair of dark denim.. especially from Mott & Bow. Take it from a guy who’s tried the brand, folks. The styling potential for a nice, inky dark pair in a slimmer fit is virtually limitless — in a business casual environment, they work just like slim khaki chinos¬†worn with a blazer and chambray shirt. And the rest of the time, they’re a great go-to¬†piece¬†matched with¬†a pocket T-shirt and slip-on sneakers in the summer (as seen above), or with a shawl cardigan in the fall & winter. Finding the right pair, built to last and¬†at a decent price, has definitely gotten easier over the years, what with the popularity of American-made brands like Gustin,but¬†if you’re able (or looking) to spring for something a bit¬†further up the price ladder than that, Mott & Bow would be a nice place to start.

A slim, tapered fit allows this pair of jeans to sit nicely over slip-on sneakers for the summer months. Denim by Mott & Bow. Sneakers by GREATS Brand.

A slim, tapered fit allows this pair of jeans to sit nicely over slip-on sneakers for the summer months. Denim by Mott & Bow. Sneakers by GREATS Brand.

Founded by University of Michigan engineering grad Alejandro Chanin, who grew up around a family of denim producers, the brand has expanded aggressively thanks to a Kickstarter campaign that shot very quickly past its goal last year. Mott & Bow has set out to perfect what it calls “denim science” using fabric sourced from Turkish mills,¬†and the brand does a nice job of walking you through the steps in its process on its website. As an added perk, Mott & Bow offers a home try-on program with free shipping both ways — an ideal way to test out a pair.¬†I had the chance to catch up with Alejandro earlier this spring¬†for a chat about M&B,¬†and he¬†was nice enough to provide me with a sample of the brand’s Skinny Fit Mosco Denim in Dark Blue for review (also covered in a shorter piece on GearHungry).

Wear these jeans with everything from a pocket tee to a blazer. Braided leather belt by Target Merona. Stainless steel dive watch by Invicta.

Wear these jeans with everything from a pocket tee to a blazer. Braided leather belt by Target Merona. Stainless steel dive watch by Invicta.

The brand itself differentiates between its models through a neat touch — the street names of its NYC home. The Mosco is one of 6 models in its Comfort Denim line, which features jeans with 2% elastane stretch built in. Slim and Straight fit options are available, both of which still look nice and tailored, but the Skinny option (with a narrow 13 1/2″ leg opening)¬†was the pick for me. Overall, Mott & Bow jeans fit and feel quite similar to a pair of Stretch Slim Fit Jeans from Uniqlo; if you’re into a pair of heavy selvedge denim, the Mosco and some other options¬†likely won’t be for you given their lighter weight and hint of stretch. However, the Rivington, a raw, never-been-washed offering, comes in Slim and Straight fits for the company’s standard price of $96. And it’s also worth checking out the Norfolk Raw Slim if you want a sturdier jean in a slim fit.

A sturdy leather patch and simple back pocket stitching complete this pair.

A sturdy leather patch and simple back pocket stitching complete this pair.

The color of the Mosco in Dark Blue¬†is rich and deep, although pre-faded options are available replicating¬†everything from 2 months¬†to 18 months of daily wear¬†(the Waverly in Light/Medium Blue would be ideal for spring & summer). Colors like¬†Dark Gray¬†and Black can also be picked up for $12 more. The fit on this¬†Skinny pair¬†is excellent — akin to that of a pair of Bonobos Slim Tailored Jeans¬†or even something from J. Crew’s 484 line. Mott & Bow definitely gets¬† a lot of things right. The tapered leg sits nicely over¬†chukka boots, while it can also be rolled a few times (as seen in the photos above).¬†The hint of stretch keeps these comfortable, too. The rivets and back logo patch have sturdy placement, small details that upgrade it from similarly stretchy, but cheaper,¬†pairs.

No wild stitching or branding from Mott and Bow -- just a clean logo across the interior back waistband.

No wild stitching or branding from Mott and Bow — just a clean logo across the interior back waistband.

Wearability with a new pair of denim is key. These Mott & Bow jeans feel so comfortable thanks to the resin rinse process — designed to replicate raw denim — that there’s no break-in time needed. In a size 34×32, I’ve found I can also cuff them if needed.¬†The simple detailing and nice color make these the ideal¬†pair of dark denim¬†—¬†I’ve worn them with a khaki blazer¬† and a casual shirt, as well as a long-sleeve henley.¬†¬†The delivery presentation of the denim itself is also well-done¬†— custom black¬†tissue paper and a large ‘M’ emblazoned on¬†a black box change things up from the standard brown box presentation some brands go for, as you can see below.

The packaging and presentation on a pair of Mott & Bow denim.

The packaging and presentation accompanying a pair of Mott & Bow denim.

The one drawback might be that price — at just under $100 for a regular pair, it’s a good deal more than other options.¬†¬†Of course, cheaper pairs are out there, but the fact that Mott & Bow focuses exclusively on great-fitting denim means the brand is putting everything it has towards that product; the results reflect that. For now, sticking to a tried-and-true pair of Levi’s¬†is a safe option if you’re on a budget, but¬† if you want to switch things up and add to your dark denim rotation, Mott & Bow could be¬†just what you’re looking for.

Do you own any Mott & Bow denim? Have you ever considered buying from the brand?