If you’ve been following me for a while you know about my love for jeans. And if you read this post then you know that I’ve been on a hunt for vintage Levi’s for a while. But somehow luck always avoided me. Until now. Because I can say I’ve found them. But lets see the full story from the beginning.
The glory of vintage jeans are not a new thing. There are people who kept saying stretchy skinnies are dead (but we know they’re not ;)) and non stretchy, wider, looser jeans and pants for that matter are back in full swing (well, this is true). First just vintage Levi’s (and Lee and Wrangler) came back then few years ago clever people found the golden goose.
Reconstructed or redone jeans (from vintage jeans) which are old but new at the very same time. Genius if you ask me. Or others. Apparently fashion loving people share my thoughts too as Vetements, Off-White and Re/Done jeans are selling like crazy (and if they wouldn’t have that way to hefty price tag).
But as I’m neither rich nor
stupid irresponsible I sticked with good old vintage jeans. After all, I had the time (at least) to wait for the perfect ones. However, as lived in Hungary 2 years ago I have around zero chance to find the them but now with living in the UK that’s changed.
Maybe at this point you’re wondering what’s perfect (if there’s such a thing) and I’ll tell ya in a minute. So the perfect vintage jeans for me:
- the Levi’s 501. I choose for Levi’s because I don’t have any experience with others and I opted for the 501 because of the button fly and straight legs. They say 505 is a good choice too but it’s rather for girls with less curves.
- are light or maybe mid blue colored. And after these black and dark. 🙂
- have a high (and I mean high) rise and the waistline sits around my waist.
- of course they fit me well around the waist and hips…
- and doesn’t produce that weird crotch thing.
- the legs are not too wide.
- and in a really really perfect world the length would be fine too.
Something like these:
I started reading about how to find vintage jeans but everybody recommended to try them on. Ok but where? I think there could be a pretty huge selection in the US (but correct me if I’m wrong) and there’s a bigger selection here in Europe too but it’s hard to find a place where they have more size, fit and color at the same time. So I either get luck or screw. But mostly screw. There’s too much unknown in the equation compared to my rather small patience.
So I started to look for online stores. My very first ones were from Urban Outfitters as they use their own sizing (XS, S, M…). I remember I was hesitating between XS and S but eventually I ordered XS. And it was a smart decision as they were quite big (the label reads W28). I used them for a while but eventually I ended up selling them.
With this experience in mind, the second time I tried the cheaper E-bay and W27. But they were no good enough again, this time because that weird crotch. So again I sold them. Then I thought I should try one more size smaller (W26) because if you look closely those above picture all of the jeans are pretty snug. And they were snug indeed, not painfully snug but I could feel them. But the crotch thing came back again.
I have pictures about size W26, however not the best ones. Anyway, you can see what I’m talking about. And you can see the granny shoes too which I returned too. 🙂
It was like they would have been big and small at the same time. I was very disappointed. And I gave up, turned to fast fashion stores and started to buy those TopShop straight jeans which I like too but they were not what I originally wanted. I hadn’t thought of vintage jeans again, until a week ago when I found the Peekaboo selection in Topshop’s basement at Oxford Circus.
What I tried to push deep inside came once again up. So I started seeking vintage jeans online again. And I got luck. I found a store who are selling vintage items with proper measurements, size charts and pictures. Then I asked my questions, measured myself and gave it a go.
Here they are, and I just love them because they’re exactly what I wanted.
What convinced me here that’s the fact that these were made for women, the rise is high (more than 10”), and the waist and color size seemed fine too. Of course they’re way too long but that’s the easiest to fix with a pair of scissors (or folding back).
And what I learned about online hunting?
- Forget everything what you learned and experienced with stretchy jeans. These are not stretchy jeans. They are made of 100% cotton which is not so forgiving. The material is heavier and thicker so they won’t be your newest skinnies.
- Don’t trust the back labels and don’t be afraid to go one or two size up. I usually wear w25 and eventually W27 became the winner. But after you learned your size you can use the label as a starting or side point.
- Measure yourself. As after a while I figured it out most important thing with these jeans are the waist size. I always thought it’s stupid because your hips are your widest part but in this case you have to treat it like it’d be a skirt. If you want them to sit high on your waist, you have to measure your waist. And because of this other important thing is the length of the rise which is measured from the crotch seems to the top of the waistline.
- Opt for jeans which were made for women. The best if it’s written on the label inside but id you trust the seller just ask it. However if you want to wear them lower, any Levi’s could do.
- Don’t care with the length. As I wrote above it’s the easiest to fix. You just have to decide whether you’ll use scissors (and sewing machine) free for yourself or bring them to a tailor or alteration service.
- Ask for the width of the legs too. Yes, there’s a difference. My jeans have legs with 7” width and I think they’re just fine, not too loose not too slim. Of course a tailor could fix this too.
- On the other hand the color is important because you can’t change that later. Lot of people says this should be the most important as you can change everything else.
- Don’t be afraid to ask the seller about anything. Especially if you can’t see the item’s sizes. And it’s important whether the seller accept returns and if he/she does then with what conditions.
- And last but not least don’t chase perfection. Yes, this was my biggest mistake. Of course you should have a picture in your head but don’t forget that these jeans are not new and as I said above they’re not stretchy so they won’t fit you like those second skin skinnies. Somebody else broke them in long time ago which cannot be made undone. Also nobody is perfect if you won’t take them to a tailor probably there will be a crotch or something else. You either accept it or take them to fix.
Am I on the end of my journey? No, don’t think so but I calmed down which is one of the best feelings. 🙂
Do you have your perfect vintage jeans or still on the hunt?