Are Heavyweight Jeans Worth It? Testing Big John 23oz Selvedge Denim

Big John holds legendary status among many experienced denim enthusiasts. As the pioneer of Japanese denim, the brand achieved numerous milestones, including kickstarting the denim revolution in Japan.

What is the history of Big John jeans?

The brand’s inception dates back to the 1940s when its founder, Kotaro Ozaki, established Maruo Clothing, a sewing business specializing in manufacturing student uniforms, workwear, and U.S. military-style pants.

Are Big John jeans still made?

Yes. Originating from a small sewing factory in Kojima, Okayama, now recognaized as Japan’s denim capital, Big John has been in business for over 70 years.

What are heavy weight jeans?

Denim jeans that tip the scales at over 16 ounces per square yard earn the title of “heavy denim jeans.” When you consider that most jeans fall in the 10 to 12-ounce range, it’s clear these heavyweight contenders are quite a bit heftier. Why go heavy? Durability is a big draw, as these jeans can take a beating and keep on looking good. If you’re facing a chilly day, their added warmth makes them a smart pick. They’ve also found favor with folks in tough, physical jobs where an average pair of jeans just won’t cut it.

Big John gained renown as the first Japanese brand to create a pair of jeans entirely manufactured in Japan. This significant achievement took place in 1965 under the brand name ‘Canton.’ The initial pair of jeans utilised denim fabric from Canton Textile Mills Inc. in America. It wasn’t until 1972 that Big John developed the first denim fabric entirely made in Japan.

The Big John tough jeans are made of 23 pure heavy rope dyed indigo selvedge denim and come in two cuts: Regular Straight and Slim Tapered.

Big John M106G

You may be confused about the two models of the M106G. 00B has a brand logo stitched on the right back pocket and a slightly reddish color. The following are some of its features:

  • It has 4 branded brass button fly that adds a touch of vintage charm and enhances the overall aesthetic.
  • The fly front fabric is remarkably thick.
  • Vertical selvedge ID and flat style rivets on the front pockets.
  • A straight double row of stitching across each pocket.
The Big John 23oz jeans have the same selvedge specification as other premium denim brands, such as Sugar Cane selvedge denim. But there are a few differences, such as lack of the raised belt loops. There are no hidden rivets, instead, they opted for blue polyester thread to stitch at the corners of the back pocket.

The weight of these jeans is impressive. At 23 ounces, they are much heavier than typical denim. This heavyweight material not only gives a sense of quality but also ensures a high level of sturdiness and longevity. You can sense the thickness and strength as soon as you wear them, making you trust that they can last for years of use. It’s important to mention that this heavyweight denim takes longer to break in compared to lighter-weight options. However, the effort is well worth it, as the jeans become more comfortable and fit your body better, resulting in a truly customized fit.

A remarkable feature of these jeans is the dark, intense indigo color. The dye used is of outstanding quality, and the deep color creates stunning fades and distinctive patina over time. Like any raw denim, the jeans form personalized wear patterns that match your lifestyle and movement, making them truly unique.

Although the weight may not suit everyone, individuals in search of a robust, fashion-forward denim masterpiece will unquestionably value the merits of these jeans.The heavy-duty fabric, strong stitching, and quality hardware all help the jeans to resist the challenges of everyday life. Whether you’re doing hard work or just having fun, these jeans can handle it.

Find more denim posts: What Makes the Studio D’Artisan 18oz “GODZILLA” selvedge jeans So Special

Kojima Genes RNB 102R Selvedge Denim Review: A Great Pair of Jeans for Everyday Wear


Stan is an adventure enthusiast with a love for the outdoors and American heritage brands like Red Wing and Filson. With a background in environmental science, Stan combines his outdoor experiences with a commitment to sustainability. His reviews go beyond functionality, exploring the brand ethos and craftsmanship. Stan inspires readers to choose gear that's durable, environmentally responsible, and true to American craftsmanship, making his advice indispensable for outdoor aficionados.

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