Levi's Vintage Collection 501 Fit Guide

by Danni Solano

Levi’s Vintage Clothing Fit Guide

501®

Levi’s iconic 501® Jean started in 1890 and has been in production ever since. Altered throughout the years to better perform for the worker of the time, the 501® Jean has seen changes in fabric, fit, logo and hardware.  Today, Levi’s® Vintage Clothing reproduces the significant fits starting at 1890 up to 1978, providing the perfect fit for all.

The Levi’s® Vintage Clothing 501® Jean as a whole is a straight leg fit with a higher rise and a button fly. All of the fabric is 100% unsanforized cotton (shrink-to-fit). This guide is designed to show the difference throughout the years, small or large, to help assist in getting the perfect 501 fit. Please note that if planning to wash right away size up one to two size because shrinkage is a factor. 

 

1890- “A Loose, Anti-Fit Waist Overall” 
Details:
* 9oz plain selvedge denim
* Pocket bag print
* First “Two horse” leather patch
* One back pocket with exposed rivets
* Single needle arcuate
* Cinch and suspender buttons
* Button fly
* Front rise: 13 1/2
* Bottom opening: 17 5/8
* Knee: 18 5/8

 

1933- “A Wide, and Relaxed Fit”
Details:
* Light weigh Cone Mills red selvedge denim (12oz after wash)
* ”Two Horse” leather patch
* N.R.A. (National Recovery Act) label
* Two back pockets with exposed rivets
* Cinch suspender buttons and belt loops
* Single needle acrucate
* Crotch rivet
* Button fly
* Front rise: 12 7/8
*Bottom opening: 18”
*Knee: 19 3/8

 

1944: “A High Waisted, Regular Fit”
Details:
* Cone Mills 1940’s 12oz red selvedge denim (14oz after wash)
* “Two horse” leather patch
* Random Pocket Bag Material
* Two back pockets with concealed rivets
* Capital ‘E’ red tab
* Painted on Arcuates (Rationing for WWII)
* Unbranded Rivets
* "Laurel leaf" Unbranded Buttons
* Button Fly
* Front rise: 13 1/4”
* Bottom opening: 17 1/2 
* Knee: 17 3/4”
 

 

1947: “The Classic Slim Fit With A Straight Leg”
Details:
* Cone Mills 1940’s 12oz red selvedge denim (14oz after wash)
* “Two horse” leather patch
* Two back pockets with concealed rivets
* Capital ‘E’ red tab
* Twin needle arcuate
* Watch pockets rivets returned after war
* No crotch rivet
* Button Fly
* Front rise: 12 1/4”
* Bottom opening: 16 3/4” 

* Knee: 18”

 

1954: “A Narrow Tapered Leg And A Zip Fly”
Details:
* Cone Mills 1950’s 12oz red selvedge denim (14oz after wash)
* “Two horse” patch
* Two large back pockets with concealed rivets
* Capital ‘E’ red tab
* Twin needle arcuate
* Zip fly
* Front rise: 11 1/2”
* Bottom rise: 15 1/4”
* Knee: 18”

 

 

1955:  “A Square Top Block And A Straight Leg”
Details:
* Cone Mills 1950’s 12oz red selvedge denim
* “Two horse” leather-like patch
* Two back pockets with concealed rivets
* Double- sided capital ‘E’ red tab
* Twin needle arcuate
* Button fly
* Front rise: 12 3/4” 
* Bottom opening: 17 1/4”
* Knee: 19 1/2”

 

 

1966: “A Rounded Top Blocked And A Tapered Leg”
Details:
* Cone Mills 1960’s 12oz red selvedge denim (14oz after wash)
* “Two horse” leather-like patch
* Bar tacks replace rivets on back pockets
* Double-sided capital ‘E’ red tab
* Twin needle shallow arcuate
* Button Fly
* Front rise: 11 3/4”
* Bottom opening: 16 5/8”
* Knee 18 5/8”

 

 

1978: “A Slim Fit, Square Top Block and Low Rise” 
Details:
*Cone Mills 1970’s 12oz red selvedge denim (14oz after wash)
* “Two horse” leather-like patch
* Two back pockets with bar tacks
* Twin needle arcuate
* Small ‘e’ red tab
* Button fly
* Front rise: 11”
* Bottom opening: 15 1/2”
* Knee 18”

 

 

 

Information Provided by Levi's® Vintage Clothing




Danni Solano
Danni Solano

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