Sugar Cane 1947 selvedge denim review

The history of the Sugar Cane brand:

The history of Sugar Cane brand

Sugar Cane, a brand hailing from Japan and a part of Toyo Enterprises, Ltd., is renowned for its American workwear that draws inspiration from vintage styles prevalent in the first half of the 20th century. The brand, which started its journey in the late 1980s, has made a name for itself with its selvage-denim dungarees. They prefer the term “dungarees” over “jeans” to emphasize the robustness and timeless appeal of their products. Sugar Cane dedicated two decades to refining their dungarees, conducting a thorough study and understanding of vintage denim items from the late 1800s to the 1960s. Presently, Sugar Cane boasts a diverse collection of vintage-style workwear and accessories. Most of their items are limited edition, ensuring their collection remains dynamic and engaging for their dedicated customer base.

The Evolution and Roots of Sugar Cane 1947 Selvedge Denim

Delving into the legacy of denim, the Sugar Cane 1947 selvedge denim stands out as a tribute to the iconic Levi’s 501XX jeans crafted back in 1947. These Levi’s jeans, emblematic of American fashion, were sported by legendary figures like James Dean, Marlon Brando, and Elvis Presley. They were tailored from the robust selvedge denim, a fabric recognized for its production on heritage shuttle looms. This process yields a tight weave with a distinct red line edging, marking its authenticity.

Stepping into the modern scene, Sugar Cane Co., recreates this vintage American legacy. Committed to authenticity, they procure their denim from premier Japanese mills known for their exemplary selvedge denim. What sets Sugar Cane Co. apart is their innovative fabric blend: intertwining traditional cotton with sugar cane fibers. This concoction not only ensures a soft and breathable denim but also imparts a faint sweetness to the fabric, allowing it to fade gracefully and naturally with time.

Sugar Cane’s “1947 model” is an iconic recreation, encapsulating the rich details found in the luxurious late 1940s jeans, with four variations standing out as the most beloved within the 1947 line.

SC41947 (Regular Straight)

The STANDARD DENIM journey began in 2002 with model number SC41947. It was inspired by the Levi’s 501xx, which was launched in 1947. Drawing inspiration from classic denim, Sugar Cane meticulously oversees every step – from spinning and dyeing to weaving and stitching – to craft a product that truly embodies the essence of “Standard Denim.”

SC42009 (Slim Straight)

The subsequent model, “Type II,” carries the characteristics of the 1947 version (SC41947), albeit with an adjusted silhouette. It presents a slightly more slender, straight-leg design and a more shallow waist. These balanced jeans can effortlessly complement everything from sneakers to rugged work boots.

SC42014 (Slim Fit)

Following the 1947 design (SC41947) and Type II (SC42009), the “Type III” version revisits the essence of late 1940s jeans but with a modernized, trimmer fit. The rise is marginally lower than the 1947 version and straighter than Type II. Ideal for teaming with sneakers and lace-up boots, these jeans are also offered in a black denim variant with the same contour.

SC42021 (Slim Tapered)

Most recently, STANDARD DENIM introduced lot number SC42021, marking the first slim, tapered outline in the collection. While this slim profile sets it apart, the most significant difference lies in the fabric’s thickness. Both SC42009 and SC42014 employ 12 oz denim for ease of wear, while SC42021 utilizes the same 14.25-ounce selvedge denim as SC41947. Crafted on the identical old power loom, this heavier fabric promises distinctive aging features, such as whiskering on the thighs and honeycomb creases behind the knees.

In this review, I will share my experience with SC41947 jeans and why I think they are worth the investment.


The extravagant details of the vintage jeans from the late 1940s are embodied in the 1947 model, which is Sugar Cane’s iconic jeans. Sugar cane 1947 one wash (SC41947) is made from 14.25oz indigo rope dyed Zimbabwean/American blend double ring spun selvedge denim. The colour fading of vintage denim is uneven and unique when it is worn. This is because the yarn that was used varied in thickness, which resulted in the unevenness of the colour fading. The jeans have brilliant yellow threads that stand out against the rich indigo colour of the fabric. This stitching, made with cotton thread, is meant to age and fade beautifully alongside the denim.


The jeans have five pockets in total, with copper rivets. The selvedge edge is visible on the coin pocket and the inseam, adding some extra flair to the jeans. The part of the crotch that bears the load is stitched with thick cotton thread. Reinforced bar-tack is used in the thicker parts of the fabric seams. The hidden reinforcing rear pocket rivets prevent scratching of saddles and furniture. A leather patch of deerskin with a Sugar Cane logo that looks like the original 501’s in style and colour. The back pocket has a simple design with no unnecessary patterns. The 1947 model is not overly ornate, but focuses on every detail of craftsmanship, which is why we call it the standard denim.


The fit of the Sugar Cane 1947 jeans is based on the original 1947 Levi’s 501 jeans, which means they have a high rise, a straight leg and a button fly. The jeans are cut generously in the waist and thighs, but taper slightly from the knee down. They are not too tight or too loose, but rather comfortable and flattering for most body types.

In wrapping up, the Sugar Cane 1947 selvedge denim seamlessly melds heritage with modernity, artisanal skill with advanced techniques, and coziness with enduring strength. This denim is not just a go-to for aficionados but resonates with everyday denim wearers as well. It represents not just a mere piece of clothing but encapsulates an entire ethos and way of life.

If you’d like to explore more, consider checking out our other relevant articles:

[Sugar Cane Selvedge denim Jeans Comparison: Okinawa vs Hawaii]


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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