Levi's 501

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

  1. Nick M

    Nick M Senior member

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    True, thanks, but I prefer the Japanese websites - better pics, more detail, and you get to see all the weird washes, lots of obscure models, and funky Japan-only designs.
     


  2. VMan

    VMan Senior member

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    I used to have an aversion to Levis, just because they are so common everywhere. Looking on that site, I like the 527 Bootcut in the Jagger and 3D washes.

    The 567 in 'Conditioned Dark' is also nice, and reminds me of Helmut Lang jeans, though probably not with the same fit.
     


  3. VMan

    VMan Senior member

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    (VersaceMan @ 24 Oct. 2004, 10:35) I believe you can find this denim guide on the Levi's website itself, at least for current production models.
    True, thanks, but I prefer the Japanese websites - better pics, more detail, and you get to see all the weird washes, lots of obscure models, and funky Japan-only designs.
    If you go to the main site, then under country select 'asia' then 'japan', you will find many models that differ from the US. Especially under the 'Vintage' tab.
     


  4. T4phage

    T4phage Senior member

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    One has to remember that the "fit" of the 501 has been evolving ever since it's inception. The 501 from the 80's has a different fit from the 90's version.

    The nicest 501's I've seen are from their Levis Vintage Clothing line. All U.S made using original Cone Pine Mills cotton from the original manufacturer. The 501's from the Vintage line come in several fits reflecting the period they were originally made. The 1933's in my opinion is one of the loosest, 1947 the slimmest, 1944 (WW2) relatively loose, 1955, etc.
     


  5. Phil

    Phil Senior member

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    There are a few things about Levis 501s that make them special. First of all, consistency. Yes, the fit of them has evolved over time, but they are basically the same pair of jeans that you could have bought 50 years ago. Second, the button fly. I just dont like the feel and look of a pair of jeans without a button fly. It seems to make the fly area softer, if that makes any sense, and lie better, at least for me. Thirdly, someone had commented about the "washes" of the jeans not being very interesting. Thats kind of the point of 501s. People above a certain age, and even some who arent (im 31), actually look for jeans that dont have "special washes" . We like jeans to look like jeans. Which generally means a variety of blue (perhaps black, but I dont own any myself). No silly "whiskers" or heavy distressed areas. 501's come in a variety of colors, but whats nice is they have avoided some trendy details that you find on all the designer jeans these days. I guess what I am saying is its comforting to be able to walk into a Levis store, grab a pair of 34 waist, 32 inseam (in my case) 501s and walk out of the store and know they are gonna fit and that I will be happy with them. Concerning the actual fit, thats like anything else. Its totally subjective. Someone mentioned them fitting terribly on the thighs. For every person like that, there is someone else who loves the way they fit. Obviously one pair of jeans isnt going to fit every body out there.

    And lastly, along the sames lines, I like how they are impervious to changing trends and styles. Look at some pics from the 1970s. You see plenty of silly jeans. Flared legs, funky pockets etc. The guy who wore those probably thought he was really stylin' at the time. Ten years later he probably wanted to burn that picture. Same guy in a pair of 501s in that pic from the 70s looks just fine 10 or 20 or 30 years later. Perhaps the guy today wearing todays version of the silly trendy jean will want to burn his pic 10 years from now, who knows.
     


  6. 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]
     


  7. 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
     


  8. 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?
     


  9. 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
     


  10. 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.
     


  11. 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.
     


  12. 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.
     


  13. j

    j (stands for Jerk) 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?
     


  14. 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.
     


  15. T4phage

    T4phage Senior member

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