Freenote Cloth Indigo/Indigo Rider’s Jacket Initial Impressions Review

Within the last week, Freenote Cloth released a new spring jacket – a Indigo/Indigo 14.75oz Denim Rider’s Jacket in a very subtle manner. No Instagram or other social media posts accompanied the new product in their online store. I stopped by their flagship store in Highland Park a few days ago in the afternoon, and saw this jacket on the racks.

The jacket had a dark indigo color with hues of burgundy. The liner was a cotton paisley pattern Greg (@denimhound) agreed with me that this was our favorite version of the Rider’s Jacket thus far. When I first started learning about Freenote Cloth in late 2014, I had recently missed out on their limited release Raw Flecked 14oz Rider’s Jacket.

Since then, I would say that Freenote’s Rider’s Jackets, specifically the waxed canvas versions, became their staple product. Quite similar to 3sixteen’s Shadow Selvedge Type 3s Jacket (link to my review). There was perhaps one other denim Rider’s Jacket in Cone Mills denim sometime in between.

What’s cool about the Rider Jacket is that it carries features of a Type II denim jacket with the front pleats, but also adds practicality with handwarmer¬† pockets. In my experience, Indigo/Indigo denim tends to fade in a very fast and pleasing manner with high contrasting fades.

In terms of sizing, this version runs slightly larger than their past waxed canvas Rider’s Jackets. I went with the same size as my previous Freenote Cloth Rider Jackets – a size Large. It’s roomy enough to layer a thick flannel or a sweatshirt underneath and still have much mobility. With my initial measurements to my waxed Rider jacket, this version most noticably runs 1.5 inches longer in the sleeves and at least 1 inch longer in the body length. Perhaps the difference may be attributed to the waxed cotton shrinking in wet weather. For now, I’ve decided to cuff the sleeves once upon themselves for a shorter length. In the future when I do wash it, I plan on a hot soak to shrink the fabric in all areas..

The cotton paisley lining is a wonderful pattern that I think Freenote hasn’t used before (?). Most of their Rider Jacket linings have been Chambray (for the Spring edition) or some sort of Jacquard Wool Blend (Fall/Winter). For it being a “Spring” jacket here in LA, it’s pretty darn warm compared to say the 3sixteen Type 3s Shadow Selvedge, likely because of the fabric weight plus a liner.

A couple small but major tweaks that I have noticed. The chest pockets are both longer and wider which allows me to safely stash my phone (iPhone X). The front pleats are also slightly wider in diameter. The handwarmer pockets are also denim inside which increases the pockets’ durability.

One major change I noticed was the large price increase. When the Raw Fleck Indigo Rider’s Jacket was released in late 2014, the price was $330. Even considering some inflation, this jacket is priced at $450 which makes it their priciest Rider Jacket to date. Many of Freenote’s products are limited edition because they use custom fabrics from Japan, and I can confidently say (after handling many other brands) that the price reflects the quality well.

The measurements of my three Freenote Cloth Rider Jackets are listed here (in inches). The increased body length and sleeve length of the Indigo/Indigo line up with my experience. I’m surprised that the chest “only” measures 44 inches total but that does line up with the website’s measurements!

Here’s a handful of pics and fit pics for now. If you have any questions about sizing, my opinion, or anything else, feel free to shoot me a DM on Instagram (@imaunit) or leave a comment below!

 

Freenote Cloth Waxed Canvas Rider Jacket RJ2 Review

Freenote Cloth has been a low key, hidden gem brand that I recently found in the past few years. I first saw their product instore at Standard & Strange in Oakland in around 2013. Ever since I purchased my first Freenote Cloth jacket at a pop up in March 2016, I’ve really been a huge fan of their outerwear. I met Dave, one of the three owners and also the sales director, and had a real down to earth talk about the retail side of menswear. I remember hearing that vendors typically purchase wholesale at 50% of their price, so when a store has a typical sale of 15-20% off, they still make a large chunk profit even after overhead costs. When items go further down into 30-40%, likely for reasons to clear space for new items, they’re still breaking even.

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