In our monthly Staff Style column, real Levi’s® employees show off the clothes they work on every day. Last month, two of our baggy-fit aficionados demonstrated how to pull off the oversized look. This month, in honor of Valentine’s Day, a pair of Levi’s staffers tell the story behind the Levi’s® they love above all others.
Merchant Michael Burch and Senior Performance Marketing Manager Victoria Cao.
On Michael: A custom Western shirt (actually two shirts stitched together to look like a dress) and a pair of shrink-to-fit 501® jeans. “My sense of style is very much tied to my identity,” Michael says. “As a queer man, the way I dress signals to my community that I’m visible. I want to be seen—not for the sake of admiration, but so that other young queer people know they can show up in any space in the world as authentically as they want to.”
On Victoria: A pair of our Balloon Jeans that she wears at least once a week, plus a classic Trucker Jacket and a vintage top purchased in Paris. (So fancy!) “I’m pretty meticulous about what joins the wardrobe family,” Victoria says. “My style is simple. Less is more.”
Michael: “I actually wore these jeans on my interview for the Baltimore store manager position that I got when I joined the company 10 years ago. They were super crisp at the time They’ve traveled with me all over the world. It’s a little bit of fashion, a little bit of function. The top is what I refer to as the Double Western shirt. It’s two black XXL Western shirts that’ve been pulled apart and reconstructed by the Levi’s® Tailor Shop, which gives it that long, very Japanese look and feel. It really is a piece of art.”
Victoria: “Balloon jeans are our new fit. They were released in 2019, so I’ve had them for less than a year. Because I work at Levi’s®, I was able to get a sneak peek before they were available, and I knew right away that I really wanted to add at least one pair to my wardrobe. I liked them in blue and I liked them in black. So when they were released, I was like: ‘I’ll just get both colors.’”
“No other jean that I own fits as well as those do.”
Victoria: “I love the wash on these Balloon Jeans. It’s sort of a cliché, but it’s dress-up and dress-downable. I’ve done both. I’ve paired these jeans with a T-shirt and more casual shoes, or with a nice sweater and heels. They’re super versatile. I also like that they’re tapered at the bottom. I have a lot of wide-legged pants that don’t paper out the bottom. But I’m barely 5’2”, and the tapered bottom really works with my height. I don’t have to roll these up.”
Michael: “The 501® is what started this company, and what I love about it is that it’s one of the most customizable pieces any person can own—especially a shrink-to-fit. I broke them in for years when they were cardboard stiff, sitting in the bathtub when they got stretched out and letting them shrink back down to size. Now no other jean that I own fits as well as those do. They’re super soft and buttery. It does not matter what trend we’re hitting, they always look cold as ice.”