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Vintage Levi’s Jean Jacket

Does It Have A Bronze Cinch Back Slider

I spent $2000 on a denim jacket – vintage Levis type 1 unboxing

Bronze slider cinch-back on late 40s Levis jacket. Image via eBay.

If your jacket has a bronze cinch back slider, as opposed to a silver one , then its later than the 1944 issue when metal was being rationed by the US government due to WWII. The bronze slider buckles were also used after the war ended, until the cinch back was replaced with waist tab adjuster buttons on the Type II pattern in 1953. If it has a silver buckle instead, then skip to step 4.

Modern Type Iii Reproductions

Full Count 2101 Type III Denim Jacket at Clutch Cafe.

Levis still produces the Type III, now listing it simply as a Trucker Jacket. There are also a plethora of Japanese brands reproducing various years and iterations of Levis design at a much cheaper price point and arguably higher quality than the genuine article. Check out offerings from:

The design of the Type II didnt vary significantly throughout the course of its issue. The closest marker of its date is the patch label.

Leather label on a Levis Vintage Clothing repro 1953 Type II denim jacket. Image via End.

If the label remains, and its made of leather then your jacket is an early issue of the Type II jacket. Sometime in the 50s these leather labels were replaced with press card labels as found on the later Type III jackets. If you have a leather label issue its older and worth more money.

Expert Tips On Where And How To Buy Vintage Levis

Did you know that vintage Levis are a thing? I kid, I kid. I mean, they are the classic wardrobe staple and have been for almost 150 years so Im not sure if they were ever out of style! A while back, I put together a guide to buying vintage Levis and its one of the most visited posts I have on the blog. As a follow up, I met up with Toni, the gal behind my go-to shop for vintage Levis, Fairseason, to get her tips on our our favorite denim. Both Toni and I are frequently asked about sizing and the various styles, so shes sharing everything you ever wanted to know about buying vintage Levis denim. Heres an expert guide to vintage Levis!

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A young Mick Jagger, an anti-fashion icon sporting a Levis Type I. Image via LongJohn.

Theres no such thing as an official guide for dating vintage Levis jackets. Much of their original archives were destroyed in the San Francisco earthquake in 1906 and subsequent fire. One has to rely heavily on the knowledge of collectors and enthusiasts, communicating through cyberspace and sharing on various forums and blogs, their finds and findings. Sometimes incorrect, poorly written, badly translated or based on counterfeit products, these pieces of information are hard to trust, but that same uncertainty is what keeps the treasure hunt going, and what has kept it going for centuries now. Its the existence of that grey area that allows collectors to transcend the academics, but were here to even the playing field.

Although an official guide would be convenient at times, it would also shatter some of the mystery attached to the Levis brand, as well as deprive us of the privilege of sharing the knowledge weve found. A heavily discussed topic already, this isnt going to be the first, but we wanted to add to and improve the already available guides.

This article will help you sort and identify the types and dates of vintage Levis denim jackets from the three most iconic Levis designs:

  • 506XX Blouse later referred to as the first or Type I jacket
  • 507XX also called Type II jacket
  • Does It Have A Care Label

    Vintage Levis Denim Jacket 70500 Size 38

    Image via We Are Koalas Vintage.

    Care labels were introduced by law to USA-made garments in 1971, the same year as the Big E disappeared. Quoted from the official website of the Federal Trade Commission: To assist consumers in getting information about clothing care, the Federal Trade Commission in 1971 issued the Care Labeling Rule.

    Im unsure about the crossover between the design change of the Red Tab and the care label introduction, but I havent come across an authentic Big E with a care label before. If you have a Type I or II with a care label its definitely either a fake or a reproduction from LVC Levis own reproduction line.

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    Does It Have Silver

    Laurel leaf-donut button on a WWII-issue of a Levis 506XX Jacket. Image via eBay.

    When American manufacturers rationed metal for WWII, casting a button with a hole in the middle used significantly less material. Some donut buttons were adorned with a laurel leaf design which is a symbol of peace and triumph of the human spirit, some were stamped with signature Levis, and some were bare.

    Modern Type I Reproductions

    If youve come this far then youre either the lucky owner of a museum piece of clothing, or youre just really interested in the questionable historical facts found on the internet surrounding Levis and their origins.

    Regardless of your motives, if you know more than I do, please comment away, and we will be happy to include you and your knowledge in the post to get the most accurate descriptions of the jackets.

    As mentioned in the introductions, a lot of these facts are based on other collectors findings and translated from other languages. These sources base their knowledge on their respective research and are not approved by Levis themselves. However, we hope they are helpful in your search.

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    A Guide To Vintage Levis:

    Sizing is very tricky and very different from modern sizing. What are three pieces of advice or tips you can give us when were shopping online or at the flea market?

    1) Always know your measurements when youre shopping in person or online. This is the best way to know what will actually fit you. If you have a sewing tape measure at home measure your waist at the smallest point & your hips at the largest point. If youre at the flea market you can bring a tape measure with you to take flat measurements of jeans that you cant try on. If your waist is 28 look for jeans that measure about 14 flat at the waist.

    2) Dont rely on your modern size. Current brands often employ a strategy called vanity sizing, which means that if your waist measures 28, your modern size off the rack will be a 26 or 27. This system is insidious for a few reasons. It tells women that we should be smaller than we actually are. It also creates overall confusion because each brand has a different sizing strategy that doesnt address our real bodies. It drives me nuts! Me too, girl, me too.

    We all know that 501s are a fabulous fit. What makes them so great and what are the different styles we should check out?

    Does It Have A Slightly Lower Placed Left Pocket With No Pocket Flap And No Signs Of A Red Tab

    How To Identify Levi’s Vintage Type 3 Trucker Jacket

    If this is the case, then you might be the lucky owner of the first issue of the infamous 506XX Blouse. According to Levis Guide, buttons from 1902-1928 were black donut buttons stamped with Levi Strauss & Co. and no country of origin

    The closest thing I could find to a 1905 issue of the Levis 506XX Blouse. Image via Google.

    Bear in mind that Levis did introduce another and slightly cheaper line of jackets, called Lot 213, that didnt make use of the signature XX-denim. They had a very similar design and are also highly sought after by collectors.

    For example, last year a 20s-30s version was sold on eBay for $3,000 USD. Without the label present, it would be hard to tell these jackets apart without being able to feel the weight of the denim in real life.

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    Design: Type I Ii Or Iii

    First off, start by determining the design of your jacket. Authentic Type I and II jackets are very sought after by collectors nowadays and commonly sell on the second market for $1,000 $6,000 US Dollars.

    Should you be lucky enough dig out one of these from the attic of an older relative, there are ways to determine its production age and estimate its worth, but Ill get back to that in a bit.

    The Replica Levis Vintage Clothing Version

    The Levis 507XX jacket is still available through the Levis Vintage Clothing collection. They made an exact replica of the original with all the specific details. The rigid versions are also still made in U.S.A., just like the originals from the 50s. The details from the LVC reproductions are

    • Style: 1953 Type II Trucker Jacket

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    Does It Have An Intact Levis Label In The Back Of The Inside Neck

    If yes, and the lot number is readable you can check the lot number. If its tagged 557 followed by XX then its older than 1971 e.g. 70505 . The Type III jacket evolved from the 557 series to the 70505, 71205, 70518 and so on, as different fits and lengths being introduced over time.

    To my knowledge, there were only two issues of the 557 series, one in 1962 and one in 1967. Go to step 5 and learn the easiest way to separate early 557 from later issues.

    Vintage Women’s Denim Jackets

    Vintage Levis Denim Jacket

    Vintage womens denim jackets choose your favourite denim wash & era defining style from our selection of vintage denim jackets. The best vintage Levis out there.

    A Thrifted essential vintage clothing category. A vintage denim jacket is a must have for any serious vintage lover. Different eras have different fits. Levis, Lee & Wrangler come in top on quality. Find a personalised gem with embroidered back logo for a unique vintage look.

    Top brands: Levis, Lee, Wrangler, Versace, Armani and Dolce & Gabbana.

    Vintage clothing styles / categories: 1970s cropped, 1980s winged under arms, 90s oversized, mens straight fits and back to cropped in the Y2K range.

    Fits & how to wear: are you cool enough for double denim?!

    Eras: 1970s, 1980s, 1990s & 2000s.

    Countries of origin: USA & Italy.

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    Denim Levis Jeans Collectors

    The original vintage Levis 507XX jackets became true collectors items. As the jacket was produced between 1953 and 1962 it wasnt so long available in the market if you compare it to the other jacket styles from Levis. Later they re-produced the 507XX again with the Levis Vintage Clothing collection. Amongst denim collectors its still one of the most popular styles, next to the Levis 506XX jacket. Some collectors only collect the 507XX style as its more than just a denim jacket. It also represent a very important period in the denim industry. The value of an original jacket is determined by the condition. The better the condition the higher the price. Every now and than you can spot originals on eBay.

    Denim collector and advisor Yutaka Fujihara from Japan with an original vintage Levis 507XX jacket. Yutaka is the shop manager of the famous vintage store BerBerJin in Tokyo. Yutaka made the 501XX A Collection of Vintage Jeans book as a kind of homage to the Levis brand. The book shows 51 unique and rare 501XX examples between 1890 and 1966. Read and see more about the book here. Image via BerBerJin.

    Does It Have A Capital E On The Red Tab

    If yes, then your jacket is from 1971 or earlier. The Red Tab was introduced in 1936 as a mean of defending the Levis brand against copycats, mimicking features like the Arcuate on the back pocket of Levis jeans. The original Red Tab had LEVIS in all capital letters on the front, no trademark and no writing on the back.

    The design of The Red Tab was changed several times, with the trademark R and LEVIS on both sides being introduced in 1950. But in 1971 the capital letters were changed so that only the L was capitalized. If your jacket has a small e-Red Tab and no side pockets, then your jacket was most likely produced between 1971-84.

    If it has a Big E, then its starting to get interesting. These jackets are commonly found and are typically priced somewhere between $100 $300 USD.

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    Does It Have Side / Hand Warmer Pockets

    If your jacket has four pockets in addition to the two chest pockets, its been produced around 1984 or later. That year, Levis produced jackets and other clothes for the American team during the Olympics in LA.

    Jackets with side pockets will not have a capital E on the Levis Red Tab, located on the left chest pocket. If it does its likely to be a fake. If it doesnt have side pockets, it could be older than 1984 and you can proceed to step 2.

    Look Out For Fakes Or Reproductions Sold As Vintage

    My Current Vintage Denim Jacket Collection | Vintage Lee, Carhartt, Levis,

    An authentic vintage Type II jacket should feature:

    • Red Tab should have a trademark R and writing on both sides
    • The main thread color should be lemon yellow.
    • One- or two-digit stamp on the backside of buttons*
    • Authentic wear to the denim
    • Selvedge inside front placket
    • Fit should be short and boxy

    Customized Type II jacket. Notice the writing on both sides of the Red Tab. Image via Long John.

    *If it has a three-digit stamp on the inside of a button, e.g. 555, the jacket is an LVC reproduction and should be sold as such. These are still nice jackets, but theyre no collectors pieces.

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    The History Of A Levis Jeans Icon

    One of the most iconic denim jackets ever made is the Levis Jeans jacket Lot Number 506XX. The 506XX jacket was originally introduced in 1905 . The follow-up jacket was the 507XX, also known as Type 2, by Levis. The 507XX jacket is the modernised version of the 506XX. The most important switches in this follow-up jacket is that its less boxy than the 506XX, a little bit longer, they added two breast pockets instead of one and removed the cinch back. The Levis 507XX jacket is also called Type 2 as its the second denim jacket introduced by Levis. Officially the jacket was introduced in 1953. This same year Levis introduced their two sideLevis Red Tab. This means that the word Levis is written on both sides of the legendary Red Tab. The first editions of the 507XX jackets were produced with leather tags in the neck. The later versions have the paper tags. They switched the leather patch into paper tags as its cheaper in production so it was better for the growing denim competition in the market. The Levis 507XX jacket became the ultimate worker jacket for cowboys, farmers to complete their Tuxedo style.

    The complete Levis Vintage Clothing reproductions of their three main denim jacket designs: 506XX , 507XX and 557XX . Image via Heddels.

    Denim Jackets That Are Made To Last

    Levi’s is known for their artful construction and exceptional attention to detail, and the durability of their products has captured the loyalty of customers for generations. Their unique collections and impressive colors never go out of style, because Levi’s clothing line builds on their rich heritage of quality and authenticity, with an eye on future-focused style. This, of course, extends to their line of denim jackets for men, which are meticulously stitched together and crafted with the best denim and premium fabrics.

    Levi’s denim jackets have been worn and loved by loyal customers for decades, and JCPenney is proud to bring you a wide variety of Levi’s denim jackets that truly go with everything including the classic trucker jacket. These popular jackets are the perfect length to give you a flattering silhouette, and you can layer it over your favorite T-shirt to transform your outfit into a timeless look. Or you could be a bit more daring and match it up with a pair of Levi’s jeans for a truly striking ensemble. However you dress, a Levi’s denim jacket is sure to become your go-to jacket in no time, and JCPenney is here to help you find the perfect fit.

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    Does It Have A Levis Red Tab

    As previously mentioned, the Red Tab was introduced in 1936 to combat copyright issues. The 1936 issue of the 506XX, Type I jacket, was the first with a Red Tab. So if you have a tab and the features mentioned in step 5, then you probably own a 1936 issue. If there isnt a Red Tab , you might have an even rarer issue from 1928.

    Famous People Wearing Levis 507xx Jeans Jacket

    Vintage Levis Denim Jacket

    After World War 2 a lot of young people were starting to wear jeans in their daily life. They were the rebels who saw soldiers wearing them in their spare time. Until the fifties jeans wasnt a fashion item, it was only made for labours and allowed for labours to wear them during their work. People from the lower class were wearing denim, so it was very uncommon what these young kids did. The youth was also inspired by the upcoming film industry where rebels as James Dean in Rebel without a cause and inThe Wild One were dressed in double denim, white t-shirts and a pair of boots. Later in the early sixties even was spotted in double denim suits.

    In 1973 the film Badlands came out with actor . has a kind of James Dean look in this cult film. Hes wearing a Levis 507XX jacket and a pair of 501XX jeans.

    One of the best parts of the Badlands film is the scene where is doing the denim flip trickwith his 507XX jacket. Check it here

    Elvis Presley wearing the Levis 507XX Jacket.

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