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Levi's 501

Discussion in 'Classic Menswear' started by Mike C., Oct 24, 2004.

  1. marc37

    marc37 Senior member

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    l have always been a denim snob (always bought designer label jeans) because Levi was so ubiquitous; maybe l will give Levi a try off your recommendations. [​IMG]
     
  2. T4phage

    T4phage Senior member

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    Originally posted by Phil:
    I would not agree with this statement. I have the recreated 1955 501, and it fits quite differently than my 90's 501. My 1933's are even looser. The 1947's have a higher waist than 90's 501, and the 1966 is slightly looser than 90's 501s
     
  3. Phil

    Phil Senior member

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    Yes, I would have to defer, in terms of fit, to T4phage. I havent ever tried such varying years of fit. However, in terms of look, they all look pretty much the same, no? The actuary design on the pocket, the look of the seams etc?
     
  4. T4phage

    T4phage Senior member

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    Yes, basically the design has remained the same, button fly, etc. Changes include removal of the brace buttons from the 1933 model, the removal of the crotch rivet from later models, the covering then removal of the back pocket rivets, the change from leather to paper patch, the emergence of the red tab in the late 30's model, the change in the shape of the arctuates, the painted arcuates in the WW2 edition (1944), etc
     
  5. LA Guy

    LA Guy Opposite Santa Staff Member Admin Moderator

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    Absolutely correct. I've had the privilege of looking a one of what must be the most comprehensive 501 collections in the world, and the fit, color, and even denim has evolved a lot throughout time. No even getting into a discussion of the changing fits, even the "standard" wash and dyes change. Check out a standard pair of big E 501s vs a pair in the 80's. when stonewashing became the norm. Also, geographical origin counts a lot as well. There are lots of 501s available in the EU that are the same as what are refered to "fashion" jeans in the states.
     
  6. LA Guy

    LA Guy Opposite Santa Staff Member Admin Moderator

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    The shape of the Arcuate has actually changed gradually throughout the years. Also, selvedge denim is no longer
    the norm *except* in premium denim - so that is more faithfully reproduced by, say, Helmut Lang, than by the actual 501 (son of 501?). I would recommend A.P.C. (Helmut Lang #2) if you like a no nonesense fit reminiscent of the old 501s. One great thing about 501's is that they were the original "antifit" jean. I remember that there were even official recommendations on what sizing to buy to pull off different looks (buy your normal size for a fitted, classic, cowboy look, 2 sizes higher for a more relaxed look, and 4 sized higher than normal for a "baggy" look.) I highly recommend to everyone that they turn designers on their head - wearing boot cut jeans baggy and a a little oversized, and fitted straightlegged jeans.
     
  7. T4phage

    T4phage Senior member

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    Oh, all of the Levis Vintage Clothing 501's are made with Selvedge denim, and they are even from the original mills. Awesome recreations, down to the finest detail.
     
  8. j

    j Senior member Admin

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    Phage (or anyone), where do I find these?

    Also, how do the regular shrink-to-fit type end up looking/feeling after a bunch of washes? I had some shrink to fit boot cuts as I said and I didn't really like how the fabric turned out after breaking them in a while. Anyone have experience with the 501 shrink to fit, or the "regular" preshrunk wash?
     
  9. T4phage

    T4phage Senior member

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    I buy mine in Europe, but they should be available there in the States since it is made there (as are all Levis Vintage). Check out their website.

    As regarding fit of the "raw" denim, just buy two sizes up. I wear a size 32 waist, and buy a 34 jean. After a wash in hot water it shrinks true to size. I don't buy any of the prewashed Vintage since I feel it is a sacrelige.
     
  10. T4phage

    T4phage Senior member

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  11. Mike C.

    Mike C. Senior member

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    I bought a pair of those shrink-to-fit jeans a few years back, they were outstanding if I remember correctly. The really do shrink to true size, exactly as the label says.
     
  12. drizzt3117

    drizzt3117 Senior member

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    Levi used to have a hot tub in the SF boutique in which you could sit after you bought your jeans to shrink them to true size, I am not sure if they still have that.
     
  13. justlurkingthanks

    justlurkingthanks Senior member

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    Regular ol' Levi's, particularly the 501s, are beyond reproach. They are the standard.

    All this other noise about distressed, "vintage," premium and all that is embarrassing, wealth-addled twaddle about a garment originally meant for miners and dung-shovelers.

    But that's just me.
     
  14. faustian bargain

    faustian bargain Senior member

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    i think it's gone. probably discontinued the same time as their 'mass customization' service.

    hopefully the latter, at least, will return now that various other retailers have ventured (successfully? ) into the mass customization market.
     
  15. LA Guy

    LA Guy Opposite Santa Staff Member Admin Moderator

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    Spoken like someone who has not read all the previous posts in this thread. Just please don't tell me you liked things better back in the "good ol' days".
     
  16. justlurkingthanks

    justlurkingthanks Senior member

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    I'm not sure what I missed in the thread -- my comment was not necessarily directed to my postmates. I'm just saying I remember when it was Jordache and Gloria Vanderbilt and it was going to kill Levis. By the way, Punk's back. Not to get existential, but what are we all chasing?
     
  17. LA Guy

    LA Guy Opposite Santa Staff Member Admin Moderator

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    Hey justlurkingthanks - punk (and all other things late seventies/early eighties) has been back for a while now. The NY Times is a pretty decent paper, but the fashion news is usually about 6-12 months old. Just check out the runway shows from the last, oh, 5 seasons of Hedi Slimane to see that even the designers have caught on. Or the Neo-punk music scene that culminated in the White Stripes (early 2003). Or any copy of Fader or Black Book in the last 2 years.

    And when 8th graders get wind of a trend, you know that the trickle down effect in nearly complete.

    And Gloria Vanderbilt and Calvin Klein "killing" Levis? Well, hyperbole has always been the vernacular of the fashion world: brown is the new black, black is the new black, classics are the new old, high performance fabrics are the future. Whatever. Just one word: plastics.
    As for the meta-question: "What are we chasing?" who knows? And frankly, in a fashon forum, who cares?
     
  18. justlurkingthanks

    justlurkingthanks Senior member

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    The last point was, punk is always back. (And it's a shame the New York Times has become this lazy -- I grew up on the Times and there was a time I could not wait to get my hands on the paper. But the past 10 years have not been good to newspapers overall.) Doesn't that marketing just make you gag?

    I appreciate the expert observations on this forum. They help me find the quality in the chaff in thrift and consignment stores. Even the castoffs in this culture swaddle me in luxury.

    I just bought my first new garment (besides underwear) in years: A pair of 501s in the bluest of blue. I felt 16 again. OK, I admit it, I'm slurping on the marketing pop, too, and it is deeeelish.

    Sorry, I had a bout of acid-reflux there.
     
  19. Baron

    Baron Senior member Dubiously Honored

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    Amen. The quality difference between the vintage reproduction 501's and brand new regular 501's is astounding. The thickness of the denim, the texture, and especially the dye are WAY superior in the repros. New 501's, even purchased shrink-to-fit (as I always do) fade quickly and unformly. The vintage repros hold their color much longer and, as such, fade unevenly, which looks way cooler and more natural.

    By the way, in LA these are available at Fred Segal and American Rag.
     
  20. bestmastertailor

    bestmastertailor Well-Known Member

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    501's are THE classic American jean and I own several pair. Too bad they aren't made in America anymore. [​IMG]
     

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