By now you have come to the sad conclusion that finding the vintage Levi’s of your size is a bit like going in search of the perfect boyfriend for you and your mom: nowhere to be found. Yes, because when you think you’ve managed to grab the perfect vintage pair of jeans for you, when you try, there will always be something wrong with the size, model, fabric or color.
Not everyone knows that when we find a Levi’s 90s jeans we should add two sizes to that of the vintage denim label we want to buy. For example if with normal jeans you are an American size 28, the vintage jeans suitable for you will be a size 30. You need to check the label behind the denim where the length (L) and the waistline (W) are indicated. It is the number next to the letter L that interests us. These numbers indicate the denim size: 28, 30, 32, 34.
To find the correspondence with the European size we need to add 10 more sizes to the one we see indicated in the vintage Levi’s to find the correspondence with our size. For example, if the Levi’s is a 28, the Italian size will correspond to a 38. At this point the Levi’s which will be for us will be of size L = 30.
I’ll reveal something that changed my life and that will make it very easy for you to find the right size of your 90s jeans. On this page of the Imparfaite site you can calculate the size of your vintage jeans and at the next vintage market or online site you can buy the perfect pair of denim without worries!
Wait to rejoice too though, and to think that all your problems regarding vintage sizes are finally solved. In fact, a second variable comes into play when we buy a vintage jeans: the model.
The vintage Levi’s belong to different series: 400, 500, 900 … available in many different models.
The 501 is the most popular and iconic (very high waist and infinite buttons instead of the zipper) I don’t think it needs many presentations. The 534 is always high-waisted and slightly narrower than the 501, perfect for leaner physicists. The 505 have a slightly lower waist fit and a more straight and less tight cut suitable for all types of leg, from the lean to the less long-legged. They differ from the other models for the zip instead of the classic buttons, but substantially do not change much compared to the silhouette of the classic 501. The 511 instead have a medium waist and dress very tight, while the 550 are the mom fit, with a high waist, straight and less tight leg. And we only just described the 500 series!
At this point I found out how to find the size that is right for us. I would like to recommend the Levi’s models suitable for your body type:
For pear-shaped physicists, the 516, 517, 518 and 608 are perfect. They are bootcut jeans, that model with a waist that is not too high, tight at the waist and slightly flared at the ankle. They will stretch their legs by thinning the waist.
For apple physicists, I recommend the 505, 595 and 631. A high-waisted, cropped and straight-leg model.
Rectangle physicists will find the boyfriend jeans model perfect. A soft model with a not very high waist that you can find in the 501, 530 and 633.
For the softer and rounder figures, the 525, 530 and 536 models with medium / low waist will be perfect for you.
Hourglass physicists will be enhanced by models 417, 534 and 901 which will enhance your b-side and your shapes that we all envy you.
Now you are wondering:
Why do all this effort to understand my size of a vintage jeans when I could find the Levi’s jeans that’s right for me in the store?
One of the reasons I love vintage jeans is definitely the 100% cotton fabric. This feature is nowhere to be found in modern jeans and the reason why vintage denim is so resistant and durable over the years as that great-aunt you hate and that has always to complain about your life without anyone having hinted at the fact of wanting a very useful opinion. In short, that relative you have always asked yourself about the secret of his long life.
Reasons why to wear Levi’s:
- the most beautiful girls have been wearing it for decades
- Oldies but Goldies: levis have better quality
- Vintage Levis are cheaper than new ones
- they adapt to everyone’s shapes
Way to style your Levi’s:
With a jeans jacket
Jeans on jeans. There are those who love this combination and those who find it a fashionable insult. I personally am on the side of those who love to look like a body made of jeans and I am proud of my total denim looks. One way to wear our timeless vintage Levi’s is therefore to combine them with a denim jacket maybe even the second-hand one and with a long story to tell.
With a crop top
High-waisted jeans will allow everyone to be able to wear a crop top that leaves the belly uncovered. Don’t worry if you don’t have a sculpted abdominal… vintage Levi’s are also useful for this! The resistant denim fabric will wrap your hips giving it a sinuous shape worthy of being left uncovered.
With a trench
A vintage denim is worthy of an equally particular and refined style. Combining it with a long and light trench coat you will immediately transform a simple denim into something elegant and refined. Who said that only sporty and casual girls wear jeans? A vintage Levi’s can in fact be used on many occasions, even in the most refined ones.
With a wide and light blouse
A must-have to wear with your vintage jeans is a wide and light shirt. No matter what color it is, the important thing is that it has that retro and chic style that will make your look like true Levi’s addicted perfect for any type of occasion.
Another feature of vintage Levi’s are the labels behind the back pocket of denim that indicate when the jeans were made.
red tab: it is the most common and the first to be produced
orange tab: it is quite rare because its production only goes from 1979 to 1995. Some models are also produced only with this particular label.
white tab: indicates the Levi’s for gals line (Levi’s for girls) or the corduroy jeans line
silver tab: a very rare line! It represents a premium line and represents the grunge style of the late 80s and 90s
If you happen to come across a Levi’s model where the letter “e” is written in capital letters (LEvi’s) you must consider yourself very lucky! This means that that pair of jeans was made before 1971! After this year, the brand decided to produce the tab with the most common Levi’s wording.
After this guide on how to find the model and size of your perfect vintage denim shortly you can also discover a selection of vintage stores in Milan where you can buy all the Levi’s you want!
In the meantime, take a look at new Japanese version of the Levi’s Vintage 501.
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