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U.S. and Japanese "Rigid Selvedge" 501's -- Same model or different?

dasai

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Recently, I've been looking at a new pair of jeans to replace my aging and very faded Uniqlo S003's. At first, I was leaning towards the "New Vintage" models from Edwin (as I'm based in Japan and they're easy to come by), either the 503v or 505zx. But these both already have a wash treatment (as well as the slightly tacky selvage stripe on the watch pocket), and I'm starting to think that maybe I should just get some raw jeans and break them in myself. I've thought about going with LVC's, but as much allure as the repro holds (and in spite of the particularly nice fit of the 1966 501's I tried on), I'd just as soon get a pair of modern ones and be done with it. Which brings me to my question. Both the Japanese and U.S. Levi's sites list rigid selvedge 501's; ideally, I'd like to get them in the U.S. and have a friend or family member ship them to me, as they're about $125 cheaper than they are in Japan. The only thing is, the product codes are different, and the U.S. site lists none of the details on the Japanese page that would help verify it as the same garment ("global standard" fit introduced in 2008; selvage from Cone Mills' White Oak plant; measurements by size). The size in particular is a sticking point, because while the Japanese page lists measurements that suggest a true-to-size fit after washing, the U.S. one suggests going a size up from normal to achieve a correct fit. The cynical side of me thinks that maybe this is just catering to Americans' vanity (and waistlines), but I really have no idea. So, are these the same product, or not? (And if not, is the Japanese version worth the ¥20,000?)
 

nahneun

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IIRC, Japanese Levi's are produced at a higher quality standard.
 

Regal

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Originally Posted by dasai

The size in particular is a sticking point, because while the Japanese page lists measurements that suggest a true-to-size fit after washing, the U.S. one suggests going a size up from normal to achieve a correct fit. The cynical side of me thinks that maybe this is just catering to Americans' vanity (and waistlines), but I really have no idea.


I wouldn't size up if I were you. Unless this one type is a total anomaly among 501s (LVC included), just buy your true waist size. I once went up one size on a pair of STF 501s and the results were pretty horrible...since then, I've bought two pairs of LVCs (47 and 66) in my true waist size and they fit perfectly.
 

dasai

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Originally Posted by Regal
I wouldn't size up if I were you. Unless this one type is a total anomaly among 501s (LVC included), just buy your true waist size. I once went up one size on a pair of STF 501s and the results were pretty horrible...since then, I've bought two pairs of LVCs (47 and 66) in my true waist size and they fit perfectly.
Do you mean that they fit true to size after shrinking, or right off the bat? I do plan on soaking the jeans, so an immediate perfect fit would be kind of bad. (I'd like to be able to have a second child at some point.)

I don't suppose some kind soul would be willing to visit a U.S. store and get measurements on the size 32 selvedge STF's to compare and contrast? For reference, the Japanese site lists the following benchmarks (before shrinking):
  • Waist: 88 cm (~34 5/8 in.)
  • Inseam: 94 cm (~37 in.)
  • Hip: 114 cm (~44 7/8 in.)
  • Rise: 30 cm (~11 4/5 in.)
  • Thigh (diameter): 32 cm (~12 3/5 in.)
  • Leg opening (diameter): 23 cm (~9 in.)
 

dasai

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Resurrecting this thread after seeing the Japanese ones in person. They're made in the Philippines using Cone denim from the White Oak plant -- the denim is a major selling point, as one of the hanging-type tags talks about Cone Mills and its history, all in English(!). If both the denim and point of manufacture can be confirmed as the same for the version sold in the U.S., perhaps it's more likely that they're the same?

As for size, the STF's have the same advice (again, in English) to go up an inch in the waist as on the U.S. website. After trying on a pair of size 32s with a pre-wash treatment, I'd be inclined to agree. Your mileage may vary?
 

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