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Levi's "Vintage" 501's

Discussion in 'Classic Menswear' started by JleC, Nov 11, 2004.

  1. JleC

    JleC Member

    Likes Received:
    Aug 3, 2004
    Hi Guys,

    Inspired by Ernest's post, I did a bit of searching, and now NEED (another) pair of 501's. Is there a website that describes the fit of the various "vintage" models that Levi's has put out recently. I check the company website, but couldnt find anything. I know they come in various fits according to year, e.g., 1947, 1966, etc. Any source or info would be greatly appreciated.

    I did "stock up" on US made 501's when I learned that they were moving production overseas, but to be honest, I cant tell the difference between my ca. 2000 "shrink to fit" US made and a pair I picked up a few weeks ago, made in Mexico. Your thoughts on any diminished quality?



  2. Get Smart

    Get Smart Don't Crink

    Likes Received:
    Oct 27, 2004
    A town called Malice
    other than ebay, i've never seen an online store that sells vintage repro levis on a regular basis

    here in so cal, there are quite a few vintage stores that sell 501 and 201 redline repros and the Levis Store in orange county south coast plaza keeps the 501 redlines in stock

    i think the best places to find these is a vintage store that specifically targets its stock for the rockabilly/50's rock n roll crowd since the vintage Levis are huge in that scene. (it's almost criminal NOT to be wearing redlines at a 50s rockabilly/record hop)

  3. Horace

    Horace Distinguished Member

    Likes Received:
    Sep 28, 2004
    I'd like to pick up this thread.

    I did find the site about vintage fit. It's on Levis.com or a link from there. Sorry not to have the actual link.

    As for quality of current 501 v. US 501's : yes I see some difference. But I've got levis going back years. Of more recent vintage I didn't detect much of a difference with the excepetion of some that I tried on that were made in Cambodia. Those had what appeared to me to be shoddily cut pockets or seams on the front. The balance looked off.

    I'm not as impressed with the fabric either. But maybe it's that these things are washed in diff. ways now.

    I like the old type that you had to break in, that were stiff as cardboard. It wasn't too long ago that you could still pick up a pair for under US$20 on sale. Probably early 90's.

    On the whole, I think it a pity that they shut down their factory in San Fran and the others throughout the US.

    Hell, they charge quite for the foreign made jeans now and the US made models that are (still?) available go for $150.

    I know for a fact that it's possible to get US made jeans for under US$50 that are quality in small runs.

    I read a lot about the change that Levi made and the "image" problem they had in the 90's.

    I say whatever happened to making a decent profit and doing what you did well, which was make the 501 and ancillary models. It was an purist icon.

    The only other jeans I've bought are the Patagonia jeans, which are no longer being manufactured either.

  4. LA Guy

    LA Guy Opposite Santa Staff Member Admin Moderator

    Likes Received:
    Mar 8, 2002
    Moscow, Idaho
    $50 retail? Where and what brands? I haven't seen this is a good long while. Wholesale I can believe...

  5. Brian SD

    Brian SD Moderator

    Likes Received:
    Feb 5, 2004
    You can still buy the "stiff as cardboard" Levis, theyre Shrink To Fit. They're like $38 for 501s.

    The made in Mexico Levis are the best quality of the non-USA made ones, and are probably your best bet for new Levis, aside from the expensive repros.

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