The LVC 501
The 501 is Levi's most famous, sought after model. It was the original, the one that started it all. The fit that so many other brands recreate and mimic. True vintage 501s can go for a pretty penny and are the pair that thrifters, collectors, and denimheads around the world look to find in the 2nd hand stores.
LEVI'S® VINTAGE CLOTHING (LVC) is one of the brand's higher end lines that offers a taste of the company's historic past for those who don't want to spend hours going through old clothing racks or spend thousands of dollars. The 501 has gone through many variations throughout the years and has changed due to wars, lack of raw material, and the economy. Just as tough as the denim itself, the 501 has made it through it all!
The different 501 LVC models, excluding the 1947, are below:
*All Photos Above from Union Made
Levi's has even done "special edition" models for various anniversaries that are released on May 20th (called "501® Day" to commemorate the date of the 501 patent):
*All Photos Above from High Snobiety
All of these models and we are not even taking into account all of the other 501 models that Levi's has come out with! If you are looking to get a pair of 501s that are selvedge, and possibly raw, the LVC models are what the brand currently offers. Unfortunately, you have to be more diligent if you want a pair that is "Made in the USA" from this collection because like most Levi's jeans these days, most of them are imported. In my opinion, it is really is a shame for this 'heritage' line.
Initial Impressions of the 1947
The model I have is the Dark Wash and was comfortable right away. The fit is perfect and I got my usual size 32" waist. Regular rises seem to suit my frame better as well as slim straight fits. The inseam is also 32" which I thought I might need to get hemmed to around 29"-30" but the length is perfect on the 1947 501s for some double cuffing without appearing too obnoxious.
Don't get me wrong, these are a nice pair of jeans for those who want to feel like they are owning a piece of history (so to speak) and rock the brand and model that started it all. The fit is good, the fabric feels great, and the construction is solid. If the price point was lower, I would say that these are a very nice pair of jeans. However, since Levi's feels that their name is worth more money than the actual quality of their products, you are better off finding these second-hand or during a sale.
Jeans I Own that Replicate the 501 and are Very Well Crafted:
Companion Piece: (Some) Alternatives to Levi's Vintage Clothing 501s
About the Company
I had been checking out the Railcar Fine Goods jeans at Mildblend Supply Co. and came away impressed with the build quality and the fabric. When I was finally able to get a pair on my legs, they did not disappoint! The slub denim, even at 16.5 oz. (it seems to be available in 15 oz. weight as well at some retailers), was comfortable right away, before and after the initial soak. With raw denim being known to require a break in, this came as a pleasant surprise, especially at the higher end of the mid-weight category.
My Spikes X034 are a size 32" and has a standard inseam of 34" (32" on waist sizes 28" and 29") and mine are hemmed to 29.5" which seems to be just right (I am 5'9"). I am really impressed with the overall fit which not only looks great, but is as comfortable as sweatpants! With the top notch construction, I can see this pair of jeans ones that I will be wearing for along time!
Purchase the Spikes X034 16.5 oz. from Railcar Fine Goods
Purchase the Spikes X034 15 oz. from Context Clothing
My pair of Kasuri Selvedge was a great Christmas gift from my soon-to-be bride. What makes this pair of raw denim unique is the dyeing method: Kasuri. Kasuri is a traditional Japanese method for dyeing cloth in order to make patterns. The patterns form because certain threads are bound before the dyeing process so the indigo has a harder time staying on the cloth. This process is repeated until the desired pattern is formed. I would recommend clicking the above link to learn more about this interesting Japanese dyeing method. It really is quite fascinating!
The thread used is more of a passive gold which is a nice contrast to the shades of blue, black, and white of the denim itself. All of the hardware is branded with Naked & Famous and they decided to go with a black leather (although I have seen it listed as blue) patch branded with their usual logo. The overall fit is Naked & Famous's Weird Guy which, according to their website, is the most popular and is a "standard" cut. In regards to the sewing of the inseam, it seems to be a flat-fell seam which will have pretty good fraying resistance.
I have only worn the pair of handful of times but it looks like the much sought after honeycomb fades will be look as good as the best of them. There was no break in period for the jeans as they are of a lighter weight. I plan on wearing them as my main summer pair and am really looking forward to seeing their evolution after the hot weather ends!
Chicago isn't known for having the best selection of brick and mortar stores that cater to people who are into quality clothing and goods. If you live in the suburbs, most likely you have to make a day trip into the downtown area to find a boutique or specialty store. One such store in Chicago is Mildblend, a place that sells raw denim, well-made boots, and other quality items.
Mildblend has a great atmosphere and very friendly staff. At the time, I was really having trouble finding raw denim jeans that fit my frame. I wanted a slim fit, but not too skinny that my legs didn't get any oxygen either. It was overwhelming at first looking at their selection. Luckily, one of their employees assisted me on finding the perfect pair.
After trying on about five pairs, I decided on the ST-120x by 3sixteen model because of the fit, design, and overall look. Listed below are some of the jean's specifications:
The fabric is probably my favorite denim out there! 3sixteen describes it as "indigo warp and black weft threads." The jeans are definitely dark in color and could be seen as black, not indigo, in certain lighting. That's one of the reasons I love jeans!
With such a dark color and no fades, I was easily able to dress the jeans up. Church? Jeans. Work? Jeans. Wedding? No, just kidding on that one. Regardless of if I should have worn them to a wedding or not, the 3sixteen's look great as part of almost any outfit!
The one con of the Shadow Selvedge is that it attracts dog hair like non other. My lint roller as been the jean's best friend! Yes, the sticky sheets do remove some indigo, but definitely not enough to effect fading.
Since getting my ST-120x jeans, I have worn them constantly for the last seven months. They have been on many adventures: Rome, got engaged in them, worn them during presentations, taught classes in them... Yes, I have definitely gotten my money's worth with this pair!
Check out the close up of the ST-120x Jeans below:
ST-120x After Seven Months of Constant Wear & Two Washes