Denim Review - Oni X Tanuki 21.5oz OTR
Most of you already know that I am a big time “Denimhead”, and it is no secret that I am a huge fan of Oni and Tanuki.
Oni and Tanuki being two of my favorite brands, I would bet money that we’re in for something good, but I am going to do my best to leave my bias aside. For lack of a better analogy, no matter how much I love a restaurant, if I don’t love a particular meal, I won’t pretend that I do.
Today I am reviewing the Oni x Tanuki 21.5 oz collab in Tanuki’s own “Regular Straight” cut. This is a pair that was initially released in 2018 and sold out with the quickness, however it was never released in this cut, which is one of my favorites, so needless to say I was very excited to have the opportunity to pick up a pair.
Cut: Straight cuts and slim straight cuts are where it’s at for me personally. Everyone’s body is different and that is why different cuts exist. I’ve found that being a tall, lanky, athletic-built kinda dude, that wearing tapered cuts just doesn’t work for me. I much prefer a straight leg, and even within that arena I prefer to have different types of straight legs because I wear many different types of footwear. With my Red Wing Huntsman boots for example, I would prefer a wider leg than I would when wearing my Santalum PTC collab service boots. I like changing it up, more or less.
*Note that finding my perfect fit has been a definite journey and evolution in my style. In the past I did wear tapered cuts and enjoyed them just fine, but I have moved on from that.
Tanuki’s regular straight is great. It’s got classic vibes without being too wide in the leg. The rise is roomy and comfortable, without being a diaper rise, nor is it nut-crushingly low. I like the fit all the way through the leg and down to the cuff. Again, it’s giving me classic vintage vibes without feeling like a parachute. Big fan.
Gotta love a true 5 button fly. I'm not planning on squeezing any lemons in my top block.
Measurements: I almost always choose one wash when I have the chance. I am well passed the novelty of soaking my jeans when I get them. I choose unsanforized fabric for the character it exhibits, not for the shrink to fit quality.
I have a very strict rule of thumb in choosing a size for myself when considering unsanforized denim (which is all I will ever wear, from now until the end of my denim days); size for the raw waist measurement, and the one-washed measurement for everything else. In this case, a size 32 works just great for me. I’ve tried 32’s and 33’s from Tanuki, and while the 33’s fit great to start, they always stretch out to be too large. Unsanforized denim, especially loose-weave denim like this, will usually stretch back out to at LEAST the raw waist measurement, and usually beyond.
*Note that in some cases only one-wash measurements are available, in this case, allow for an inch or two of stretch in the waist.
32 One Washed Measurements according to Tanuki’s Chart:
Front Rise: 11.81
Front Rise: 11.75
Fairly accurate. The waist measurement was a bit more generous in the chart than in reality, which I was counting on because I own two other pairs in Tanuki’s straight cut and this measurement seemed a bit large in comparison, and if it started out at just below 34” in one-washed state, it would stretch out to be too large for me.
Details: Not so new any more, but Tanuki’s branded buttons and rivets were a nice addition to their garments. It was a couple of years ago I believe that they started adding these details. I am a big fan of the two brand’s choice of thread colors on this pair, the bright blue detail on the coin pocket is especially stunning and really pops with the lighter color of the indigo.
The dual branded leather patch, though quite distressed from the washing process, is a nice touch. I actually like how the leather patch sort of mimics the old Levi’s paper patches that would distress with washing.
The inner waistband is adorned with both brand’s logos on either end, and the rear right pocket is embroidered with Tanuki’s signature “NI” red and white stripes, which simultaneously signifies tradition and change.
The blue herringbone pocket fabric is something that Tanuki has used in the past. I haven’t experienced the best durability with these pocket bags, and though the print looks familiar, the fabric does seem more substantial, so here’s hoping that they have improved upon the old, with the new.
The pink colored selvedge ID is a nice detail and pop of color.
Through and through I would say that these jeans are more of a Tanuki piece than an Oni piece. The detailing and construction is all signature Tanuki, while the fabric is very much Oni. I feel like Oni just created the fabric and gave it to Tanuki to do as they pleased, which I am not complaining about at all.
Fabric: So far I’ve been talking about how the table is set and about the ambience of the restaurant, meanwhile you’ve all been waiting patiently for the main course. The fabric definitely takes center stage here. The 21.5oz modified secret denim is really something to behold. I had a lengthier conversation than I care to admit with a friend recently, just about the denim that they used in this pair. What I noticed first with this denim is the absolutely mesmerizing hue; it has a tinge of that signature teal that you will find in Oni’s secret denim, but ultimately it is much richer and deeper in color than that. There are areas that pop with a bright almost already faded look, and areas that sink deep as the ocean. While the surface colors are gorgeous, they are nothing without the pops of beige weft poking through the very loose weave of the fabric, creating warmth in the deep and cool blues, a very appealing sight.
*Note that this fabric has a very unique hue that is quite difficult to photograph and color correct. The two photos below are in my opinion, the most accurate representation of the color, but your monitor/screens may vary.
Texture-wise this denim has everything I want in an unsanforized fabric. It’s hairy, neppy and irregular. It is as fun to touch as it is to look at; an appearance that is rough, but with a surprisingly soft hand feel, which will only soften further with wear.
At 21.5oz, this is classified as a heavy weight denim, however due to the loose weave and breathability, it wears a lot lighter than it is.
I love denim that fades well, but I want a fabric that is as enjoyable to wear new, as it is to wear with your mark on it. While I am excited to see how this fabric wears, I am thrilled to wear it in its current state. I could go on talking about these jeans, but I’d rather just start wearing them and I encourage you to do the same.
Congratulations to my two favorite brands on yet again maintaining your place in my indigo-blooded heart.
Available on Tanuki’s website.