How To

A Vintage Expert On How To Find Your Perfect Pair Of Levi’s

You know about 501s, but do you know the 517s, the 950s or the ‘Student Cut’?

I love Levi’s and vintage denim, but I definitely don’t love digging through piles of jeans at thrift stores in search of the brands I know and trust (FYI, thanks to Ondine’s advice, I’m now all about Wrangler for fewer wedgies!).

Then there’s the whole stripping off/trying on saga that follows – you know, the one where you realise nothing actually fits and you’ve just wasted 3 hours of your life and leave empty handed?

But if you’ve ever been lucky enough to find your perfect pair before, you’d know it’s worth tripping over your ankles in jeans which are obviously for children just to hit the denim jackpot again.

But, we wondered, is it all down to luck? Apparently not.

When we called-out for your tips on where to find the best vintage Levi’s, one particular commenter upped the anti with a full-blown guide to shopping vintage denim like a pro. Yep, we’re talking about a legit Levi’s expert here (and my hero!).

See the ultimate 4-step guide on how to ACTUALLY shop for vintage Levi’s below, and make sure you keep the comments coming… we read every single one and we love hearing from you!

Words: @lainyblack
Photographer: @danrobertsstudio

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1

Take note of the style & know your measurements

“When searching for the perfect Levi’s – visit well-stocked second-hand shops (whether thrift, charity, vintage, etc.) and try on a tonne of jeans. Once you find a pair with a fit you like, note not only the style and label size but bring a measuring tape and take the jeans’ *actual* measurements (waist and front rise, at the very least.).”

No idea where to start? See the store suggestions on our forum for ‘where to find the best Levi’s?

Jemimah Di Natale on STREET 365. Shot by @danrobertsstudio.

1

Take note of the style & know your measurements

“When searching for the perfect Levi’s – visit well-stocked second-hand shops (whether thrift, charity, vintage, etc.) and try on a tonne of jeans. Once you find a pair with a fit you like, note not only the style and label size but bring a measuring tape and take the jeans’ *actual* measurements (waist and front rise, at the very least.).”

No idea where to start? See the store suggestions on our forum for ‘where to find the best Levi’s?

2

Start browsing online for the best price

“Armed with your preferred style and their actual measurements, you can scour the internet for your favourite colour, finish and the best deals. Etsy and eBay are bursting with vintage Levi’s.”

More bang for your buck. You can find them online for $25 (half the cost of your average vintage store which is $50).

Juliana Salazar on STREET 365. Shot by @danrobertsstudio.

2

Start browsing online for the best price

“Armed with your preferred style and their actual measurements, you can scour the internet for your favourite colour, finish and the best deals. Etsy and eBay are bursting with vintage Levi’s.”

More bang for your buck. You can find them online for $25 (half the cost of your average vintage store which is $50).

3

There's life beyond the Levi's 501

“Expand your search to cuts other than the 501. Try the Levi’s 505, for instance — it has a zipper fly and a slightly higher rise which can be extremely flattering.”

“There is a cut from the 80s and 90s called the 950 that has a high rise and tapered leg.”

Levi’s 517s look great because they offer a nice, natural (high) rise and a boot cut leg.”

Phoebe Torrance on STREET 365. Shot by @danrobertsstudio.

3

There's life beyond the Levi's 501

“Expand your search to cuts other than the 501. Try the Levi’s 505, for instance — it has a zipper fly and a slightly higher rise which can be extremely flattering.”

“There is a cut from the 80s and 90s called the 950 that has a high rise and tapered leg.”

Levi’s 517s look great because they offer a nice, natural (high) rise and a boot cut leg.”

4

Think about your body type

Levi’s 501s from the 80s and 90s have a slightly different waist to hip ratio that work nicely for those with classic hourglass figures.”

“Willowy girls looking for a close fit should look into the ‘Student Fit’ cuts, they come in small waist sizes and have a more narrow hip.”

Roberta Pecoraro on STREET 365. Shot by @danrobertsstudio.

4

Think about your body type

Levi’s 501s from the 80s and 90s have a slightly different waist to hip ratio that work nicely for those with classic hourglass figures.”

“Willowy girls looking for a close fit should look into the ‘Student Fit’ cuts, they come in small waist sizes and have a more narrow hip.”

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