We all have seen those picture perfect girls on Tumblr wearing bootylicious vintage Levis and wondered how to find a pair. Unfortunately, like shopping for most vintage, finding a pair of vintage Levis isn’t always the most straightforward task. It’s a process that takes time, patience, and lots of try-ons, but is well worth it once you score the right ones. Below is a complete guide to finding the perfect pair of vintage Levis, because every girl deserves to wear this universally flattering and classic style.
What are the best styles to look for?
501s are the most popular style out of the bunch. They are high-waisted, straight-legged, and have a button fly closure. The button fly allows for more room and is perfect for a girl with a booty. 505s are very similar to the 501s, the only difference is their zip fly closure creates a snugger fit. 550s are the jeans I am wearing in this post, they are Levi’s version of a cropped jean. Note that most vintage jeans are high-waisted. However, if you are looking for a lower rise, order 2 or 3 sizes up bringing me to my next point: sizing.
How the hell do you know what size to buy?
Vintage denim fits smaller than regular denim, so forget everything you know about regular denim sizing. Expect to go at least one size up from your regular waist for a slim fit and 2 to 3 sizes up for a boyfriend fit. Keep in mind that the older the pair of jeans, the more high-waisted and stiff they will be. I always recommend buying jeans when they fit very snug around the waist and booty because they do stretch after being worn.
Alterations may be necessary since most vintage denim isn’t tapered which can sometimes make the jeans look baggy around the ankles. I had a pair of mine tapered on both the inside and outside seams and they came out looking great. Any reputable tailor should know how to crop, taper, hem, or even cinch the waist and shorten the rise.
And what about the wash?
Embrace the imperfections! These jeans have been worn for decades before you, so don’t expect them to be flawless. The wash is impossible to recreate and every jean is unique in color and fade of the denim. This is what makes vintage Levis so special!
Where do I shop for my perfect pair of vintage Levis?
There are actually a ton of places you can find a nice selection of vintage Levis. A personal favorite of mine is The Vintage Twin, this online boutique offers reworked treasures and customizable denim options at what they call their Jeanius Bar! Its a service offered in their NYC popup shops where you can add shredding, holes, and paint to your chosen jeans until they are just right. A few other online joints I recommend are Bliss & Mischief, Denim Refinery, and RE/DONE. Happy hunting!