Reviewed: The Under 510 Bruce Jean in Cone Denim - The Best Jeans for Short Men are Here!
Under 510 has taken their Bruce jean, made for short men requiring inseam lengths shorter than 30” inches, and made them out of world famous Cone Denim fabric that has stood the test of time for over 125 years!
Under 510 Cone Denim are here!
I previously reviewed the Bruce jean in black from Under 510. The biggest pull with these jeans (and the brand as a whole) is that they accommodate shorter sizes down to a 26” inseam which makes them a no brainer for men of under average height. The quality of the jeans is definitely up to par with others in this price range. But I got really excited when the guys at Under 510 invited me in to the shop to check out their brand new jeans made of Cone denim! Cone denim is most famous for their denim made in North Carolina’s White Oak factory, but that factory unfortunately closed down recenlty, halting the production of USA made Cone denim. However, Cone denim as a brand still produces their fabric in China and two plants in Mexico, and Under 510 managed to get some for their new jeans.
So what makes these special? After all, the composition of the fabric is almost the same as the black Bruce jean - ? -
Well for one thing, Cone Denim represents 128 years of heritage and commitment to quality and sustainability originating in Greensboro, NC. But of course, the quality of the denim itself is higher than your average denim you might find at other retailers like Gap, Zara, H&M, or even Joe’s or 7 for all mankind.
So although the composition is the same for the pair of cone denim jean as it is for the black pair of Bruce jeans, I immediately notice a big difference in the quality of the dye in the fabric.
Usually in a dark jean like this, you could feel and even see the inky character of the dye embedded in the fabric. When mills dye their denim, the yarn doesn’t actually absorb the indigo; rather, the indigo adheres to the cotton fiber and ultimately rubs off, resulting in beautiful, complex, fading that makes denim such a desirable fabric. Not all dyes are the same though and one way to tell if your jeans are made with high quality dye is by the “crocking” or “bleeding” of the jeans.
For example, I had a horrible experience with Uniqlo’s stretch selvedge jeans. If I rubbed my hands, or way worse, my shirt or shoes on the jeans, the jeans significantly stained the other fabrics. Even after TWO washes, the jeans were still emitting tons of inky chemicals that not only ruined my clothes and shoes, but also release damaging waste product into the environment.
You will still inevitably get some bleeding with these jeans but it’s not nearly as much. I tested these out in my cheap bike sneakers and there was only a bit of blue left around the collar of the shoes. An additional tip is to cuff the jeans when wearing colored sneakers because obviously there will be less bleeding from the interior compared to the exterior of the fabric when coming in contact with your shoes. Also, I would advise against wearing suede shoes with these jeans as suede tends to take bleeding more easily.
More important than the lack of bleeding is that they feel great! Not only do they not have that icky, inky hand feel despite their deep indigo color but they retains a soft and rugged texture synonymous with denim. I really believe a big part of experiencing true denim fabric is how it feels to the touch and when you feel the Bruce jean, it feels how I want my denim to feel.
Additionally, the dye has an absolutely gorgeous color to it. It’s that rich indigo color that goes with everything and has a lot of variance, giving the jeans great depth when you look closely. You can dress these up with some leather oxfords or dress them down with some boots or sneakers. I also predict that these will fade much like my selvedge jeans would (I own a number of Cone denim jeans from the obsolete White Oak factory). I’m personally looking forward to minimally washing these (another aspect of Cone denim being more environmentally friendly) and seeing unique fades develop with continual wear.
Now, these jeans are 92% cotton and 8% stretch which means these are extremely comfortable. Most modern consumers require stretch especially those of us who are frequently on the go. For someone like myself who is used to chunkier, heavyweight, 100% cotton selvedge jeans, these are a really welcomed change of pace. I feel like I’m wearing sweatpants when I put the Bruce jeans on. Most importantly, the stretch in these jeans means that they will retain their shape really well even after significant wear. Specifically the knees will not stretch out and sag, but will recover and retain their original form.
Although the Under 510 states these are a slim jean, these fit my moderate build very close to my legs and so I would undoubtedly call these a skinny jean. Because of the stretch I really like the fit, and I needed a skinny fit jean that I could dress these up more easily with loafers and dress boots than with a wider legged jean. Also worth noting is the replacement of rivets in favor of small black “buttons” and the navy thread used on seams instead of typical gold thread. These details offer a more streamline look way more suited for dressier consumers, which is obviously the main demographic Under 510 is targeting.
My harshest knock on these is the quality of the construction. Due to the fact that these are made in Mexico, the stitching is not the greatest. You can expect these to resemble typical Levi’s mainline jeans in quality of construction, many of which are also made in Mexico. However at this price point, I’m much more concerned with the fit and feel or the fabric than I am in the construction. They will hold up I have no doubt but I did take some pictures of the loose thread I found in areas of concentrated stitching. (I promptly used the scissors in my Swiss Army knife and trimmed of the loose threads pictured).
Overall I think these jeans are a great success, if not for being a quality product for shorter guys, for introducing the casual jean wearer to authentic Cone denim fabric that brings with it over a century of heritage and innovation. I think at $50 retail price, these are absolutely worth a try, especially if you’re and shorter guy and need an inseam under 30 inches. If you want to give them a go, feel free to use this link which lets them know I sent you. With free shipping and returns, there is little risk!