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stevesoul

1966 501's... in 1966

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A thoroughly enjoyable read, makes me wonder what £5 in 1966 equates to in 2018!

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not bad holiday money!

 

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Edited by oomslokop
wrong photo

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Loved reading this. Thanks for sharing!

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Thank you for sharing, really enjoyed reading this.

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Great story!! My first pair of 501s was bought in the early '80s, so definitely not the same quality denim as a mid-'60s model, or even a post-"71/pre-''79 model for that matter. But compared to pretty much anything else available at the time, these were still like scoring gold!  In the world of jeans, Levi's (501s actually) were something special, and I remember detailing my first pair with the same awe, and anticipation for what it would become once faded. Unfortunately, that era ended abruptly in 1984; I still remember the shock (and disappointment) when shopping for jeans, and discovering that the black bar tacks were gone, the back pockets moved up, and -most horrifying- the selvage was gone as well. My next pair of brand new Levi's would only come 15 years later in the form of a pair of LVCs. In the meantime, flea markets provided used redlines (even Big Es if you were lucky) for $5 to $20, so all was not lost...

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This made me wash my jeans again with a weird feeling of sacred commotion. Thanks for sharing @stevesoul

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On 3/16/2018 at 7:11 PM, KOOL CHRIS said:

My first pair of 501s was bought in the early '80s, so definitely not the same quality denim as a mid-'60s model, or even a post-"71/pre-''79 model for that matter.

I disagree with this. Levi's denim quality was great in the '80s, IME. The jeans from those years aren't cool and collectible, for a variety of reasons, but they lost nothing in actual build and materials quality vs. the selvedge era.

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2 hours ago, 428CJ said:

I disagree with this. Levi's denim quality was great in the '80s, IME. The jeans from those years aren't cool and collectible, for a variety of reasons, but they lost nothing in actual build and materials quality vs. the selvedge era.

I couldn't agree more, some of my favorite pairs are early and mid 80's non-selvedge 501's and I think only those that already know them and own them appreciate them. I for one am a convert.

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7 hours ago, 501XX4EVER said:

I couldn't agree more, some of my favorite pairs are early and mid 80's non-selvedge 501's and I think only those that already know them and own them appreciate them. I for one am a convert.

FWIW, I think Levi's seemed to stay quite nice in terms of build and materials quality, all the way up till the end of mass U.S.A. production. I have a dead stock pair of late U.S.A. era rigid sanforized 505s (at least late enough to have a Website prominently displayed on the pocket flasher – my instinct says late '90s or early '00s, based on the general design of the flasher). They are very well put together, as well as being a great cut (totally true to tag size, with a nice 13" rise in size 36). I also have a 1994 pair of 501's that are as well built as anything outside of super expensive tailor-made jeans (e.g. W.H. Ranch).

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What a great first post. Thanks for sharing, cheers!

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The 1980s Levis seem like they're quite good quality, even if they lack the desirable features (more textured denim, chainstitched hems, hidden rivets, etc.) that inspired Japanese repro companies to do their thing. The problem is that now they're so expensive, a dead stock pair in my size is about $260 on eBay. If I could get them for $50 I'd jump on it, but at that price point, you might as well go with Japanese brands like TCB or Full Count that get you more for your money.

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On 3/15/2019 at 5:06 AM, 428CJ said:

FWIW, I think Levi's seemed to stay quite nice in terms of build and materials quality, all the way up till the end of mass U.S.A. production. I have a dead stock pair of late U.S.A. era rigid sanforized 505s (at least late enough to have a Website prominently displayed on the pocket flasher – my instinct says late '90s or early '00s, based on the general design of the flasher). They are very well put together, as well as being a great cut (totally true to tag size, with a nice 13" rise in size 36). I also have a 1994 pair of 501's that are as well built as anything outside of super expensive tailor-made jeans (e.g. W.H. Ranch).

Yes, I got lucky many times on ebay and one of the best was two pairs if early '80's 505s, both have chain stitched hems and Talon 42 zippers, they're superb jeans with a really nice slim-ish cut with a lovely gentle taper, they're really nice jeans.

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great story...

I'm little bit younger so my first jeans came in 1969. pair of Lee which model really can't identify after the years. They became from day one my second skin. Any day skip.. Washing process for me had spacial regime. Could start late evening and in the morning, still wet I wore them in school. As I was growing at that age of my 11th very fast, they finished beated in one year, completely light blue with holes, with hem finished 5 cm above my ankle and broken zip fly... Next pair were 501's. 

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Cool memories. I remember buying my first pair of 501s around 1981 or 82, having worn vastly inferior Lees and Wranglers before that. Remember that Levi's were high-end, and bc of groups like the Ramones had just a tiny bit of transgressiveness. However the style back then was fades, so I washed them about 3x right away to get as much dye as possible out. I was into the punk scene at the time so I remember taking bleach and putting it in a spray bottle then spraying the jeans on the jet setting. Really cool effect! I agree that STF 501s have lost a lot of luster -- the build quality is still there but the denim doesn't seem to be nearly as burly. Happily there are dozens of artisanal makers including LVC who will sell you old school 501 repros...

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Interesting about Levi's being particularly associated with the Ramones, etc. My boss went to nursing school in San Francisco (Levi's central, obviously) in the early through late '70's, and he said a lot of the punk rock scene there opted for Lees, because they had a good deep black color available – kind of the opposite of the thrashed blue jeans Ramones look.

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