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Kings of the Mound Since 1992, Full Count Shirts and Jackets Are a Guaranteed Home Run

In the annals of made-to-fade denim, Full Count’s name is writ large. They were one of the first to experiment with denim substantially heavier than the classic American selvedge, and they were one of a small handful of Japanese brands that drove the explosion of Japanese selvedge in the West around the turn of the century.

Their legendary and lightweight 13.7 oz. Zimbabwe cotton denim marbles beautifully and will, if pushed, generate sharp contrasts at the elbows. Their 15.5 oz. selvedge is primed for contrasts and should, if kept dry, produce stunning combs.

Because Full Count go out of their way to produce denims that mimic the WWII-era Cone Mills selvedge, few can match the brand’s vintage fade potential. They weave their denims at Shinya Mills, using the same vintage looms that once churned out selvedge for Levi’s.

For those who want to recreate the kinds of vintage fades seen on denim jackets worn by the likes of Elvis Presley, Eddie Cochran, and Martin Sheen, you can’t do much better. 

Each of the six pieces we’ve recommended below has the potential to smash a base-clearing homerun in next year’s Redline Rally. They’re heavy hitters and game winners. All it takes is for you to step into the batter’s box, wait for your moment, and swing for the fences.

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Full Count 2101XX Type III (15.5 oz.)

With Full Count’s faithful reproductions of the kinds of selvedge legacy makers were using in the ‘40s, ‘50s, and ‘60s, it’s no surprise that they use these denims to create stunning tributes to the true classics of denim style. Full Count’s Type III is one of the best trucker jackets you’ll find anywhere, and it’s easy to see why.

Much of the magic of the Type III comes from the triangular stitching that runs from the chest pockets to the waist. It gives the jacket a dramatic slimming effect, and Full Count has tweaked the design just slightly to amplify this. While Levi’s leaves a bit of space at the point of the triangles at the waist, Full Count’s version brings the rows of stitching together until they are only millimeters apart. 

Like the classic ‘60s jacket, the 2101XX is cut slim (it should fit snugly across the chest when buttoned). It’s got a pair of buttoned flaps on the waist for those who are wider through the chest than the hips, and the stitching at the back follows a pleasing hourglass shape that will flatter most body types.

Also available in Full Count’s lighter 13.7 oz. denim. You can also shop Full Count at Clutch Café or Blue in Green.


Full Count 4890 Denim Work Shirt (8 oz.)

Sure, we’re suckers for western shirts, but this work shirt presses all our buttons. We love their western shirt as well, but for our money this is Full Count’s best made-to-fade shirt. Every denim lover needs at least one classic work shirt in their closet, and this one’s pure understated perfection. 

The 4890’s light denim and its slim fit both make this a great layering piece, but it can also be worn next to the skin. This makes it wearable all year round, which should help you put those hard miles in when the heat rises. Pieces with double-digit weight often have to spend weeks or even months waiting on a hanger during the summer. The 4890 should remain practical on all but the hottest of days.  

The subtle details allow the gorgeous 8 oz. Zimbabwe cotton denim to take centre-stage here. The thread contrasts, but the colour difference is subtle. Dark blue tonal buttons match the deep indigo colour of the selvedge. Of course, there’s also chain stitch runoff for bonus authenticity points.

You can also shop Full Count at Clutch Café (UK) or Blue in Green (USA).


Full Count 4894 Denim Western (8 oz.)

For fans of Levi’s Barstow, this is about as close as you can get without rummaging around in vintage shops. This is Okayama’s better-than-the-original answer to the San Francisco classic. 

The 8 oz. denim, made from Zimbabwe cotton, has exceptional fading potential, and the pearl snaps provide some eye-catching contrast. Tobacco-coloured and yellow threads draw more attention to the construction than you get with the 4890 Work Shirt, so if you’re looking to make a louder statement, this is the shirt to do it in.   

The 4894 fits snugly across the chest and shoulders. If you’re broad through the chest, size up. The tails are quite long, which tall guys will love, but they might be on the long side for shorter gentlemen, so check the measurement chart carefully.

As good as it is, Full Count’s denim western isn’t always available. If you’re looking for one, try Full Count retailers Clutch Café (UK) or Blue in Green (USA).


Full Count 2102 Type II (13.7 oz.)

If you want to replicate Martin Sheen’s legendary jacket flip trick (in the video below), you’ll need a butter-soft and beautifully faded Type II.

The Full Count 2102 will get you half-way there. You’ll need to take it the rest of the way with at least a full year of steady wear.

Like Levi’s short-lived Type II, Full Count’s 2102 features a pair of button-down chest pockets that sit very low on the chest. They’re easier to access than the higher chest pockets on the Type III. The look is dramatically different, but those who make the switch to the Type II often say they prefer the lower pocket placement. 

The jacket’s boxy fit makes it ideal for those who are big through the chest or belly. If you are shaped like a barrel, Full Count’s version has double pleats running down the front placket that can be opened with a seam ripper or a sharp knife. This will give the wearer even more room, but it will change the look of the jacket dramatically.

The 2102 is also available in Full Count’s 15.5 oz. denim. You can also shop Full Count at Clutch Café (UK) or Blue in Green (USA).


Full Count 4050 Army Pullover (10 oz.)

We saw a few pullovers in last year’s Redline Rally, and, as much as we love button-up and snap-up shirts, denim pullovers like this one are a refreshing change and are a quick way to get noticed in the competition. If you’re looking to introduce something entirely unique to your collection, this would be our recommendation. 

Tipping the scales at 10 oz., the grey-weft denim is a touch heavier than either the Work Shirt or the Western Shirt. The stitching, like the weft, is grey, creating a nice touch of contrast, and the engraved iron buttons might be the best buttons we’ve ever seen on a Full Count piece. To top things off, you’ve got a vintage-style cotton patch.

The Army Pullover is a way-back throwback to shirts issued by the US Army in the 1940s, and it was one of the first styles that Full Count introduced when they founded the brand in 1992. Vintage lovers have always been drawn to the style, and we’re hoping to see a few of these cross the line in next year’s Rally.

You can also shop Full Count at Clutch Café (UK) or Blue in Green (USA).


Full Count 2107EC Type I (13.5 oz.)

While the vast majority of Redline Rally competitors pick from the wide variety of eligible indigo pieces, blue isn’t a must. It takes a special kind of courage to wear white for a full year, but there are good reasons to do so. Like other lighter shades, ecru and tan pieces takes on a beautiful patina of age.

Like the classic Type I that this jacket is based on, the 2107 has a back cinch that will help take some of the boxiness out of the fit. There’s just a single button-down pocket that sits low on the chest. For contrast, there’s the red-line selvedge visible on the inside of the placket, and they’ve thrown in a handful of copper rivets at the stress points.

The boxy fit will make the 2107 an excellent choice for those who are embracing the recent turn towards wide legs and baggy fits. It’s an unmissable opportunity to have one foot in the present and the other in the past.

The 2107 Type I is also available in 13.7 oz. denim, 15.5 oz. denim, and 13.5 oz. black denim. You can also shop Full Count at Clutch Café (UK) or Blue in Green (USA).


Got a Shirt or Jacket? Register for the Redline!

The Redline Rally is our year-long fade competition. There is no better way to generate above-the-belt fades than to join the Rally. Year Two kicks off on January 1, 2023.

Like the Indigo Invitational, the Rally helps you move one piece to the center of your rotation and do some real damage. Even slow faders produce results if they stick with the program.

Author

This article was written by Bryan Szabo, founder of the Indigo Invitational Fade Competition. Bryan's on a mission to educate newcomers to the world of raw denim on some of the finer points of buying, wearing, and fading denim.

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