Mott & Bow Review: Great Prices, But Are Their Jeans & Basics Truly Premium?

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by  Dean Stephens | Last Updated:  Feb 10, 2021

Wondering if Mott and Bow jeans are worth the money? There’s so many denim brands to choose from, there’s no point in wasting your time. 

Our Mott and Bow review will show you everything you need to know before decided whether or not to pick these jeans up for yourself. 

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The Adult Man Image/Icon Image Source: Mott & Bow

Mott & Bow

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Bottom line: Despite some minor fit inconsistencies that are, fortunately, addressed with the brand's innovative Home Try-on program, Mott & Bow offers excellent value for money with its growing range of high-quality jeans and basics that easily stack up against the big denim brands.

Ratings:

The Adult Man Image/Icon  Design The Adult Man Image/Icon The Adult Man Image/Icon The Adult Man Image/Icon The Adult Man Image/Icon The Adult Man Image/Icon
The Adult Man Image/Icon  Quality of Materials The Adult Man Image/Icon The Adult Man Image/Icon The Adult Man Image/Icon The Adult Man Image/Icon The Adult Man Image/Icon
The Adult Man Image/Icon  Value for Money The Adult Man Image/Icon The Adult Man Image/Icon The Adult Man Image/Icon The Adult Man Image/Icon The Adult Man Image/Icon
The Adult Man Image/Icon  Craftsmanship The Adult Man Image/Icon The Adult Man Image/Icon The Adult Man Image/Icon The Adult Man Image/Icon The Adult Man Image/Icon
The Adult Man Image/Icon  Customer Service The Adult Man Image/Icon The Adult Man Image/Icon The Adult Man Image/Icon The Adult Man Image/Icon The Adult Man Image/Icon

Pros:

  • Denim has a high quality look and feel
  • Excellent stitching density and a robust build to the jeans
  • Fairly priced for the quality of materials used
  • Home Try-on Program is an innovative offering that adds a lot of confidence that you'll get the fit right

Cons:

  • Limited range of styles available in a long inseam
  • The jeans seem to run a little small in the waist compared to other denim brands
  • The material used in the Driggs tees feel a little thin for daily wear
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If you’re anything like me, you tend to avoid buying denim online for two simple reasons:

  1. The fit is always inconsistent between each brand.
  2. It’s super annoying when you get the fit wrong and you have to send your order back for a refund or replacement.

So I’d always buy in-store. And pay in-store prices. But then I heard about Mott & Bow and their free Home Try-on Program. It had me intrigued.

And when I’m intrigued, I usually do something about it. And no, that doesn’t mean I always finish that something—just ask a third of my books on my Kindle.

Keep reading to get the full Mott & Bow review, including the TAM take on their jeans, sweaters, and more.

What Is Mott & Bow?

Mott and bow jay model standing on train tracks wearing MKE boot company

Mott & Bow is a basics apparel brand for men and women. They specialize in creating handcrafted, premium jeans, tees, sweaters, and shirts at affordable prices.

And how does Mott & Bow compete with the already massive American denim market? According to the brand’s founder, Alejandro Chahin, it’s all about their personal touch. They pride themselves on handcrafting each individual pair of jeans.

Mott & Bow’s founder, Alejandro Chahin, is a classic example of a hard-working immigrant who turned his background into a successful American business. As a boy, Alejandro got his start while hanging around his family’s denim manufacturing facility in Honduras.

After spending long hours watching his family work, he picked up the art of making handcrafted jeans.

As an adult, Alejandro moved to America to study in New York City. After seeing the trends in the denim market, he questioned why consumers were paying premium dollars for premium jeans. With over 30 years of previous experience in the denim industry, he felt there had to be a better way.

In 2013, with the help of Kickstarter, Alejandro founded Mott & Bow to address this very problem. Currently, the company is operating out of the greater New York area. They offer jeans and tops for consumers that want “superior quality at a bold price”.

Denim Science

Mott & Bow boldly declares that its jeans are on par with premium companies, despite costing half the price. They also claim to use “the finest denim fabrics from the best mills in the world”.

The brand attributes the quality of their jeans to their method of using a “manually intensive artistic processes” for each pair of jeans. A process they’ve named “denim science”.

Sounds futuristic? Well, gentlemen, the future is now.

Home Try-On Program

Mott And Bow Home Try-On Program Screenshot

As I’m sure most of you guys have frustratingly figured out, no two brands of jeans fit exactly the same.

Mott & Bow have come up with a unique Home Try-on Program in an attempt to tackle the issue.

It’s as simple as this—for most jeans (it’s stock and demand dependent), you can pick two different sized pairs when ordering. When the jeans arrive, you keep the pair that fits and return the second pair that doesn’t. And it’s all as free as the air we breathe.

It’s a pretty unique feature, and as I mentioned in my intro, it’s what drew my attention to the brand in the first place.

Mott & Bow’s customer service couldn’t have made shopping much easier, and their return policy makes testing the brand out much easier for first time buyers.

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Mott & Bow
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Despite some minor fit inconsistencies that are, fortunately, addressed with the brand's innovative Home Try-on program, Mott & Bow offers excellent value for money with its growing range of high-quality jeans and basics that easily stack up against the big denim brands.

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What’d We Get From Mott & Bow?

model walking up steps mott and bow jeans blue vest and black coat backlit

This review has been updated a few times since we first wrote it. With over two years of experience with the brand (including putting in some serious miles with their denim), we’re focusing on a few key items for the review:

The biggest focus for the brand is their jeans. We tried:

They’ve also expanded to offer quite a large range of basics, so we picked up a few of those as well, including:

A sweater:

And a few shirts:

Keep reading for our detailed thoughts on the whole shebang.

Mott And Bow Jeans Review

Oliver Raw Denim Jeans

Wolverine 1000 Mile boots with cuffed raw jeans

First up is Mott & Bow’s Oliver Raw Denim Jeans.

These crisp looking bad boys feature a mid-rise with a copper button and zipper. They also have visible copper brown stitching and come in dark indigo (i.e. raw denim).

Model Wearing Mott & Bow Slim Nofolk Raw Jean from Behind Showing Tag

The jeans are made from “13 oz Turkish denim from Orfa Anadolu”. The Oliver fabric goes through sanforization before use, which is the process of treating cotton to reduce the amount of shrinkage that occurs during the first wash.

Since the Slim Olivers are made with raw denim, I knew they’d feel stiff. While the material was rigid and had a lot less elastic stretch compared to the Laight, it feels really high quality.

They’ll need some time to break in but they aren’t at all uncomfortable. Although I know I risk contradicting myself here—their comfort level doesn’t come close to treated jeans, but they’re much better than other raw denim I’ve owned. After a few weeks, the Oliver contoured to my body really well.

Mott and Bow model on train tracks dark blue jeans

There was a bit of tightness around my waist at first, but this is due to raw denim having less give than the treated jeans. After a few wears, they broke in and are quite comfortable now.

The sizes I ordered were spot on, but Mott & Bow’s Home Try-on Program should resolve any sizing issues for most guys. The only cost is a little more of your time in sending the second pair back. But getting fit right for jeans is so important that it’s worth taking the time.

So far the length has been spot on for every pair of their jeans I’ve tried from Mott & Bow but I’d recommend selecting one size up in the waist.

Wolverine 1000 Mile cordovan 8 red color and indigo jeans

As far as appearance goes, the Oliver is my favorite looking pair from the brand. The dark indigo color with the copper stitching looks really sharp, and can easily be dressed up for a more formal look. They’re pretty flattering on my body and look even better as the denim relaxes.

The Oliver jeans will suit any guy searching for an attractive and well made pair of raw denim jeans that transition well from casual to dressy.

You can also get the Oliver in straight or skinny fit if that’s more your speed.

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Mott & Bow are our go-to for slim fit jeans in the sub $150 category. The sturdy 13oz denim of the Oliver, paired with its slim profile, makes for a clean and comfortable design that feels like it should be much more expensive than it really is.

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Laight Slim

Model Wearing Mott & Bow Slim Laight Jeans with Liam Sweater Standing Up and Standing Next to Tree With Hand in Pocket and with White Sneakers - Torso Shot

The Laight is a mid-rise pair of jeans with a silver button and copper zipper. They’re available in light blue, light/medium blue, and medium blue.

The denim goes through an extensive 15-month process to achieve its texture and feel. This process includes washing, hand sanding, spraying, stone washing, bleaching, neutralizing, and drying.

On first touch the fabric felt soft compared to other premium jeans I’ve tried but also sturdy enough to withstand daily wear and tear. They have a solid amount of stretch, which makes them really comfortable for those “on-the-go” days when I’m all over the city.

In terms of fit, for me, the Laight fit halfway between typical skinny and slim cut jeans. This has also been noted by other customer reviews. It suits me fine because I actually prefer this kind of skinner/slim cut of denim for my build anyway.

Despite the skinnier cut, they’re still super comfortable. The softness and stretch of the denim made them fit exceptionally well on first wear. I didn’t feel like I needed to break them in at all.

Picture of Model Wearing Mott & Bow Laight Jeans and a Flannel Shirt and White Sneakers While Standing in a Backyard

If you have a tall, slim build like me, you probably find it difficult to buy jeans slender enough for your waist and long enough for your legs. I wear a 30” waist with 34” leg for most brands, but unfortunately, Mott & Bow Slim cut jeans weren’t available in my size. I opted for a 31” x 34” pair instead.

Despite going up a size, I was surprised by how well the 31” x 34” Laight fit, both in the waist and inseam.

If you’re in the market for a comfortable pair of jeans and don’t mind delving into the skinnier side of slim, then the Laight Slim is well worth a look.

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Mott & Bow Laight
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The Laight has the most stretch of any Mott & Bow denim with 16% elasticity. Still, it's made with mid-weight 12.4oz cotton denim so it retains its structure while keeping things comfortable.

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Jay Slim

Mott and Bow Jay Black Denim Jeans with Milwaukee Boot Co

Of the three jeans I tried, the Jay is the lightest weight. Made with 10.25 oz Italian denim, these have a ton of stretch. They also have more of a high rise compared to the other Mott Bow jeans I’ve tried.

Something I’ve noted about all Mott & Bow jeans (though it’s most prominent in the Jay) is that the leg opening is quite wide compared to other brands.

If you really like a tight taper around the calf and ankle, you might find these to be too wide. However, if you wear boots, you might love the opening.

Mott and Bow Jay Black Jeans with Milwaukee boot co boots

The Mott & Bow Jay only comes in black, and that’s precisely why I got it. They’re colorfast, and the picture you see above is from after I’d been wearing them for six months. They’re jet-black when they arrive and they’ll stay jet-black for a long time.

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Mott & Bow Jay

This lightweight 10.25oz Italian denim has an excellent balance between stretch and structure. The slim fit is Mott & Bow's most popular, but the Jay is also available in straight and skinny.

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Mott & Bow Basics Review

Liam Textured Cotton/Wool Crew

Model Wearing Mott & Bow Slim Laight Jeans with Liam Sweater Standing Up and Standing Next to Tree With Hand in Pocket and with White Sneakers

Now, let’s talk sweaters. Particularly Mott & Bow’s midweight textured cotton/wool crew sweater, the Liam, which I picked up in Sand.

The Liam is made from 70% Supima cotton and 30% wool with a reverse jersey knit (the material is literally knitted the other way around for a little extra kick in the comfort department).

It has an all over coverstitch and noticeable V insert at the neck to give it those classic sweatshirt vibes.

Model Wearing Mott & Bow Slim Laight Jeans with Liam Sweater Standing Up and Leaning On Tree with White Sneakers

This cosy piece is designed as a classic fit, and it definitely feels that way to me, which I really like.

As a tall guy, I find a lot of sweaters are either too tight or they’re far too long. But this one is just right.

It’s also really comfortable, and feels great against the skin, and the sand color pairs really nicely with denim. This has been a go-to sweater in the fall and winter.

Wythe Slim Semi Spread Collar Shirt

Model Wearing Mott and Bow Slim Mercer in Olive with Slim Semi Spread Wythe in Dark Blue and holding onto bridge railing

Mott & Bow are best known for their jeans, but I didn’t want to pass up the chance to try a few of their basics. And you don’t get much more basic than shirts.

I wear a lot of dress and casual shirts so I jumped at the chance to review this Semi Spread Collar shirt.

The Wythe is 100% cotton and made from a 60’s two ply yarn dyed indigo fabric from Albiate 1830 in Italy. The dark blue is formed by a three month wash that has been stone washed, rinsed, and dried.

It’s designed to be slim fitting but not constricting, and with a flexible length to easily allow for tucked or untucked.

My first impressions were that the material has a nice thickness without being uncomfortable and also breathed well so there’s no need to worry about overheating.

The buttons were noticeably sturdy and didn’t seem like they’d become loose or fall off, and the stitch density looked decent.

Unfortunately, the arms are a little short for my height (not an unusual problem for me with dress/casual shirts though) but the length of the shirt itself was fine for both tucked or untucked.

I like the Wythe for casual wear: the material feels of good quality, it fits well, and it’s durable.

Classic V-Neck Driggs and Slim Crew Long Sleeve Driggs Tees

Model Wearing Mott & Bow Slim Laight Jeans with Slim Crew Long Sleeve Driggs Tee in Black, with Legs Crossed on Bench - Right Aligned

Can a fella have too many t-shirts? Well, I think so. I refresh my tee collection every year because they wear out so quickly. Nothing looks fresh about sporting a tattered tee.

This is precisely why I tried both a short and long sleeve tee from the brand. I chose the Classic V-Neck Driggs in Dark Gray and the Slim Crew Long Sleeve Driggs in Black.

Mott & Bow describe their Driggs t-shirts as “not too tight or loose and preshrunk”.

The fabric is made from 100% combed cotton and the yarn is soft and lightweight, and tightly knit for durability. The tees are then speciality dyed for a “relaxed, slightly worn-in look”.

When I opened the packaging I could feel that the material of both shirts were very soft and pleasant against my skin. The fabric is made in a way that won’t wrinkle easily and will conform well to the body. The tees also provided a good amount of stretch, though the fabric is a touch thin.

The fit of the t-shirts was perfect. Both tees are long enough for tall guys, and the sleeves on the long sleeve crew didn’t fall short, which is a typical problem for me.

Because the fabric is so relaxed and also has a lot of stretch, it fits well without looking tight. I liked the look of these tees but in all honesty, I probably won’t be able to get many repeat wears out of either because of the thin fabric. But if this doesn’t bother you, and you’re looking for a tee that breathes well, conforms to most body shapes, and feels great on your skin then the Driggs tees collection is worth a look.

My Overall Thoughts on Mott & Bow

What I Like

  • The quality of the denim feels almost identical to more traditional ‘premium’ brands. I genuinely found it difficult to tell the difference when I did a direct comparison between Mott & Bow and a more expensively priced premium brand such as Diesel.

  • The jeans have excellent stitching density that will withstand repeated wear. They’re clearly built to last and the denim is robust but still comfortable.

  • The jeans are very fairly priced for the quality on offer.

  • The denim has a really sharp and classic look, and the color options are well thought out. I’ve got several compliments from wearing different Mott & Bow jeans out with friends.

  • The classic look and cut of these jeans mean they can easily go from casual to dressy.

  • The cut of the jeans is very complimentary, especially through the waist.

  • The Wythe shirt has good quality fabric and excellent stitching, and it’s genuinely flexible enough to either tuck in or keep it untucked.

  • The short and long sleeve Driggs tees have soft fabric that conform well to the body without being tight

  • The Liam sweater is fantastic—well made with some attractively subtle design touches, and it fits and looks great.

What I Don’t Like

  • There’s a limited range of sizes available with a long inseam. That could be a problem for guys with a tall and lean build.

  • The jeans run a little small in the waist. Mott & Bow’s Home Try-on programs should reduce problems stemming from this.

  • The fabric for the tees is a bit thin for my taste.

The Verdict

Mott & Bow boldly claim that their affordable handcrafted denim is just as good as more expensive brands.

I’ve personally owned a variety of jeans, both cheap and pricey, and admit that I really like Mott & Bow’s slim cut jeans at this price point.

Not only do they feel and look great, but they’re clearly well-made. You can see it in the stitching, and you can feel it in the zippers, buttons, pockets, and even the denim itself.

And I like that they have a classic design that will hold up from season to season and trend to trend. Yes, I ran into a few fit consistency issues. But, I personally think the difference between Mott & Bow jeans and premium brands is negligible at best. Most people wouldn’t be able to make a distinction in quality, especially when compared to premium jeans in the $150-$200 range.

The brand is clearly still honing its broader basics line of tees, shirts, and sweaters, but I was surprised by the quality on offer there, particularly of the Wythe shirt and the Liam sweater—which I’m a big fan of. The t-shirts need a thicker fabric to make it into my rotation full time. 

If you’re in the market for well-made jeans that look great and come in at an affordable price, I recommend giving Mott & Bow a try.

And the best part? With the Home Try-On Program giving you two shots to get the fit right, you have to be pretty unlucky not to nail it.

Exclusive Discount Available
Mott & Bow
(Get 10% off your order with code ADULTMAN10)

Despite some minor fit inconsistencies that are, fortunately, addressed with the brand's innovative Home Try-on program, Mott & Bow offers excellent value for money with its growing range of high-quality jeans and basics that easily stack up against the big denim brands.

Shop Mott & Bow Read Our Review
If you click this link and make a purchase, we earn a commission at no additional cost to you.

FAQs

Are Mott & Bow jeans good?

Mott & Bow jeans punch above their weight and offer excellent value for their price. We especially like the slim Oliver Raw Denim jeans.

Do Mott & Bow jeans shrink?

Like all new denim, Mott & Bow srinks, but only a little. They’re either washed or sanforized, so the majority of the shrinking is already done by the time you try them on for the first time.

Where are Mott & Bow jeans made?

The denim for Mott & Bow jeans comes from either Turkey or Italy, and all their jeans are made in the owners family-run workshop in Honduras.

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