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Trending / October 2020

Vintage 101: Find the Perfect Pair of Pre-Owned Jeans

Want to shop vintage denim like a pro? Levi’s® tailor Jen Sharkey will show you how. She’ll cover the terms you need to know, the fits to look for, and a few key tips to finding just the right fabric, wear, and size for you.

Denim Vocab

Top Block

The part of a jean that fits around your hips and waist.

Rise

The distance from the crotch point (where all four fabric panels meet) to the top of your waistband. Rise determines where the jeans sit on your body and can create or alter your perceived waistline.

Leg Fit

Not as obvious as it sounds. A leg can be classic, relaxed, slim, straight or skinny.

Classic Levi’s® Fits

501®

The grandaddy of them all. The iconic 501® started out as a men’s fit, but lately has become more unisex. Look for our straight leg and signature button fly.

505

A mid-rise fit with a similar cut to the 501® . The key differences: a zippered fly and a more relaxed fit through your thigh.

511

The new tapered classic. Slim fit, mid rise, narrow at your ankle.

517

A slim-fitting boot-cut jean with a medium to high rise at the waist.

541

An athletic taper with extra room in your seat and thigh.

701

A high-rise, straight-leg, zip-fly women’s jean.

Movin’ On

A range of stretch fits for women, with slim and boot-cut legs.

Tips & Tricks:

Stretch, Out

We love a stretchy jean, but not for vintage. Traditional fabrics just hold up better over time and wear into a beautiful fade.

Holes Are Your Friends

If you see a jean you love but the fabric has a hole in it, buy it anyway! Damaged denim is easily repaired or tailored. And some damage is even considered desirable.

Size Up

Non-stretch vintage denim tends to fit more snugly than modern jeans. You may find yourself needing a size (or two) bigger than usual. This is totally normal. But it’s important to remember, since you can’t always try on vintage jeans before you buy.

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