Jump to content
supertalk6
Sign in to follow this  
jeremy_ichthus

Thrifting

Recommended Posts

Hi,

I come across lots of old, made in US Levis in thrift stores where I live. Just starting to learn about vintage denim, but I don't know enough yet to discern what's worth buying from what's not.

Can anyone give me some tips on what I should be looking for? Distiguishing marks/tags/features, etc.; dates/eras before quality began dropping off. You get the idea.

Thanks.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

well... first thing would be selvage. looks like thisselvage.jpg

most of those are gone before you get there tho.

if youre looking at 501s, look at this http://www.vintagemotorcyclejackets.com/501xx-tags.htm

shows tag details up to the late 70s.

alot of the thrift jeans i find are orange tab. look for zippers that do not say levis, as these are usually older and higher quaity denim(ring ring) i like the 505 and 509 cuts.

i stay away from anything with a batwing logo on the inner tag, as these are later than the mid 80s, and levis had switched to open end spun denim(i think)

look at the denim. the more irregularity the nicer the fading will be if they still have alot of indigo in them. look for well defined fade patterns. black bartacks are better than orange. red tabs are a bit better constructed, and a bit more anti fit. both orange and red tab are good strong jeans.

also, search this site. there have been alot of discussions about this subject, and im sure you could learn alot.

shit...

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

yeah... LEVIS, as opposed to LeVIS is pre... 1972 i think. alot of thrift stores dont even put those out on the floor, as collectors and vintage dealers will pay top dollar for them. ive heard of thrift sotres trining thier employees to find and set aside any big E, and even selvage.

i go to thifts all the time, probably 5 times a week. ive never seen selvage levis or big e, tho i have seen selvae from lesser brands. i have a big yank selvage denim jacket that is beautiful, and im sure thier jeans are too. id look for those and other obcure brands.

for lee, look for the lee tag on the back pocket. also check for the union made tag inside. some lee have a half selvage outseam, so look for that.

wranglers with the blue bell logo are quite nice too.

shit...

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

yeah youll never find those anymore..people who work at thrift shop now a days know whats up..i hate em!!!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

i first look for hidden rivets, because theyre easier to access. when i was just starting to search for denim in thrift stores, i got tired of always unfolding jeans and checking for the selvedge. now i could just feel for them. theyre usually more rigid. the easiest ones to find are the ones made by unicorns. you should feel a magical sensation when you touch them. but theyre much much more rare.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

yeah... ive only found one pair of those.

fuck... im a junkie now.

shit...

Edited by cheapmuthafukr on Jun 10, 2006 at 09:02 AM

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

my thrift store has their redlines etc at ridiculous prices behind the counter hung up 20 feet in the air .. $200 + and none I have seen were deadstock ever just beat ass vintage big E jeans ..

Someone misinformed them ..

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

my thrift place has the word out to price up all selvedge, so that's out of the question. i don't even want to consider if they're worth the money, because really i doubt they're actually that old anyway. just that they're redlines and everyone's out looking for redlines. in a way that's good: they don't watch the orange tabs as closely.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

okay i was taking pics of my new old orange tabs and i was thinking, we should compile some of the info floating about the forums properly. cultpop has a good collection of vintage levi's too, as do a good number of other people. and there's paul t and serge and ringring and etc.

what i'm thinking is when you post info up try as much as possible to back it with pictures to demonstrate what you're saying. for example i had no idea what CMF meant for awhile by the "batwing" and "inside tag", i thought i should've been looking for another tag or something along the outseam.

so to kick things off:

full length of my 505s

dscn4446a7ko.jpg

strange diagonal wear marks on left thigh http://img147.imageshack.us/img147/7492/dscn4466a6fo.jpg

closeup of strange wear http://img147.imageshack.us/img147/8545/dscn4461a5or.jpg

rear patch

dscn4436a7ir.jpg

closeup of bottom right corner (CMF mentioned that the letters had some significance)

dscn4440a8gw.jpg

Talon 42 zipper dscn4432a4ma.jpg

closeup of rivet http://img147.imageshack.us/img147/2457/dscn4425a5du.jpg

inner tag (front)

dscn4414a5wc.jpg

inner tag (back) on this note, i read on the 501xx site that levi's classified their jeans by A, S and F - does this have anything to do with the A on the back tag?

dscn4417a7sp.jpg

if the pics are in the way let me know and i'll replace them with links icon_smile.gif

BTW, i use the term "vintage" very loosely. i'm not even sure how old this pair is, i picked up just the other day. anyone who could venture an educated guess please do so!

Edited by tweedlesinpink on Jun 10, 2006 at 01:31 PM

Edited by tweedlesinpink on Jun 10, 2006 at 01:45 PM

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

from looking at the tag id say 1992 (0892) Things to look for when searching for orange tab vintage:

The numbering on the waist tag will be in a typewriter type font and be black in color

not the 'painted' type as on these. They will also contain more than just 505

they will be like 505-0217, and the size will be in the same typewriter type font

Some Vintage orange-tabs have a Big E, Some have black stitching at the corners of the rear pockets (bartack) Some also have single stitch rear pockets, and some have a single stitch inseam.

IMO Orange tabs are harder to figure out than red-tabs (501,505,517 etc) mainly because I think they were produced in more factories and countries and the tagging system on them was different. 501s are a lot easier to do even just by looking at them, plus there is simply more info available about them. But I would say the market for vintage orange tabs will soon be improving as all the red tab stuff is bought up and held by collectors.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

thanks mopar_jj. does the 08 have any significance? august?

also when you say 501s are easier to look out for...what should i be looking for?

im really new to this old denim game so i'm trying my best to make up for lost time icon_smile.gif

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

These posts fascinate me.

The only thing you will find in a British 'thrift' (they are called 'second shops' or charity shops here) is likely to be old ladies dresses or books.

if someone spots a wrangler Blue bell 36 x 36, i will take them icon_smile_wink.gif

Please click my website for some cool stuff for sale

Various brand new Edwins and new footwear UK 11 / US 12. Updated regularly.

http://mysite.wanadoo-members.co.uk/j-edwards/superfuture.htm

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I am guessing at that, but I think that newer Levis have a date code so 0892 would be aug 92

As for 501s and Thrifting, Start out as follows - (actually you can check all levis like this for an 'acid test' vintage)

- If they are on a rack, go thru all of them looking for black stitching accross the top of the rear pocket corners. All Levis that have this, are 'vintage' , chances are.

-Check the rear patches if they are still attached. Vintage will have smaller print in black and in a typewritten 'older' style than newer ones which have it printed in block letters in red black or brown. Really old will have tpyewritten style in a larger font in black (EG 501XX

-Check the tab - Capital 'E' in Levis -buy em

_check for redlines

-Check for twisted seams

-CHECK for railroad track type wear on the outer seams

-Look on ebay for vintage jeans (redline, big e) to get a look at what you are looking for

beware tho most of what is called vintage on ebay really isnt

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Could someone help me decipher some of what is on the tags of my old 517's. The washing instructions are all in japanese.

Then it has these numbers

359-1717-06-97

517-03 W34

002-040 PI-125

They don't have any of the black stitching you guys were talking about or a batwing.

They are really really worn, but they don't seem that old for some reason. (06-97) June 97 perhaps? Any help is greatly appreciated. They are beautiful with great hige and honeycombs. I'm really curious about them, any help greatly appreciated.

honey, you're my religion

Even though you haven't yet expanded

To include a heaven after

Even though I have demanded it

Edited by LIVENUDEGIRLS on Jun 11, 2006 at 02:24 PM

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

when you make a movie out of something you often despoil it

surfing around ebay i found this little patch photo

feb25050.jpg

i'm guessing that would what an older patch would look like? "718-2215" on the patch instead of simply 718

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Correct format fake jeans imho

Unless the students jeans look like that ??

The typewriter text they refer to looks like this on 70's jeans DSCN2388.JPG

Same on earlier jeans just thinner print type ..

501 lettering is REALLY skinny and some just say 501 instead of 501-0323 xxxx

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

this is an awsome thread. i have been hitting the trhift store hard lately on the quest for the grail/s and have found some ornage tag stuff but i am new to the game and am also having trouble recognizing what is vintage and what is just worn. im glad that yall are adding pics with these post so that i can get a visual idea of whats what. i got to school in a very rural part of lousiana so im hoping some old cowboy will donate his closet and i can get a motherload.

The A, S, F series –This series appeared in 1968 & was a short- lived attempt to market factory second pants at a reduced price. F=Failure, factory seconds that did not pass inspection & have material/construction flaws. S=Satisfactory, these were passable in every inspection category, but with some borderline "faults", like a few stitches unevenly spaced, etc. A=Excellent, overall quality denim, construction details, no flaws. This A, S, F series is easily recognized when the label is gone as two colors of cotton thread are used, orange & yellow. This is the final 501 model to use the waist button V-stitch.

Edited by deadkidz on Jun 12, 2006 at 02:20 AM

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

a>th_Picture008guide.jpg

http://s72.photobucket.com/albums/i190/mopar_jj/Picture008guide.jpg

th_Picture012guide.jpg

http://s72.photobucket.com/albums/i190/mopar_jj/Picture012guide.jpg

I have marked the vintage characteristics on these 2 jeans.

Also, check out for pictures of Levis vintage - some things are pointed out in the pics

Any questions on this stuff - fire away!

Mjj

http://s72.photobucket.com/albums/i190/mopar_jj/

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

wow MJJ mad props. i've never seen real old traintracks like that, you can even the "rails" running down the outseam and not just the "sleepers" across the selvedge.

i like how you put very succintly "buckleback = $$$" icon_smile.gif

when you mentioned the big Es in the orange tab range, do you have an estimate of how old those are? likewise for black bartacks?

CMF's mentioned that the zipper is a good mark, but then the pair i have with the talon 42s are early 90s so not that old at all. what about scovil and the others?

btw numero uno is that really deadstock from the 70s? i'm blown away

too many questions

Edited by tweedlesinpink on Jun 12, 2006 at 06:04 AM

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Both Pairs are repros BTW, The traintrack ones are from the first line of repros from around 1992, they are redline but have some modern detail like the pockets are DS

the bucklebacks are japanese I believe, Not sure tho, someone could correct me on this

Big E was supposed to be stopped in 1972 for red tab, I guess orange would be the same although I have a pair of bellbottoms with Big E so I am not sure for the oranges.

And there seem to be loads of E jackets out there.

Here are some that I bought

http://cgi.ebay.com/ws/eBayISAPI.dll?ViewItem&item=8428861196&rd=1&sspagename=STRK%3AMEWN%3AIT&rd=1

http://cgi.ebay.com/ws/eBayISAPI.dll?ViewItem&item=8428863834&rd=1&sspagename=STRK%3AMEWN%3AIT&rd=1

These are 'fairly' vintage - 70s

Zippers are pretty good judge - the problem with the talon 42 is that someone may replace a newer zipper with a new 'old' talon 42 that someone had for ages. They are common.

Scovill or Gripper Zipper are usually a sure sign

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Quote:

my thrift place has the word out to price up all selvedge, so that's out of the question. i don't even want to consider if they're worth the money, because really i doubt they're actually that old anyway. just that they're redlines and everyone's out looking for redlines. in a way that's good: they don't watch the orange tabs as closely.

--- Original message by tweedlesinpink on Jun 10, 2006 11:57 AM

Where exactly is this thrift store you hit?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Tweedlesinpink - those are not from the 70's no - early 80's , BUT the print type on the labels where the model is listed is the same on the 70's jeans is what I was trying to show

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Quote:
Quote:

my thrift place has the word out to price up all selvedge, so that's out of the question. i don't even want to consider if they're worth the money, because really i doubt they're actually that old anyway. just that they're redlines and everyone's out looking for redlines. in a way that's good: they don't watch the orange tabs as closely.

--- Original message by tweedlesinpink on Jun 10, 2006 11:57 AM

Where exactly is this thrift store you hit?

--- Original message by patience on Jun 12, 2006 04:28 PM

singapore icon_smile.gif

i'm going to head back in a fortnight's time, to dig again. hopefully i'll get something of note.

mjj, just as an incidental question--where did you get all your info from?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Quote:
Quote:
Quote:

my thrift place has the word out to price up all selvedge, so that's out of the question. i don't even want to consider if they're worth the money, because really i doubt they're actually that old anyway. just that they're redlines and everyone's out looking for redlines. in a way that's good: they don't watch the orange tabs as closely.

--- Original message by tweedlesinpink on Jun 10, 2006 11:57 AM

Where exactly is this thrift store you hit?

--- Original message by patience on Jun 12, 2006 04:28 PM

singapore icon_smile.gif

i'm going to head back in a fortnight's time, to dig again. hopefully i'll get something of note.

mjj, just as an incidental question--where did you get all your info from?

--- Original message by tweedlesinpink on Jun 13, 2006 06:22 AM

Duh.

I'm in Singapore too, you got a shop name or address?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Picked it up on my own mostly - Got the David Little book(VINTAGE DENIM) but knew most of it beforehand - There are no real good sites(at least in english) for vintage levis.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now

Sign in to follow this