In my short lifetime, I have seen jeans come and seen them go but nothing will be as long lasting as Levi’s jeans.
In the late 70s and early 80s, when Levi’s jeans were just turning 100, we were inundated with Sasson, Jordache, Calvin Klein, and many others. These jeans were a bit on the high end, marketed to ‘preppies’ and middle class suburban kids. Not to mention that these jeans were great until that moment they began to fade or get that worn spot in the knees and then it was over.
During that period, Levi’s started marketing jeans geared for urban and hip hop wear. What some of us billed as ‘Levi’s Flavors”, the jeans that some of us grew up with in the 80s came in nearly every color of the rainbow and including pinstripes, then of course stone washed and acid washed varieties as well.
The 90s gave way to ‘distressed ‘ jeans such as Major Damage, Get Used and so many more and somehow Levi’s still hung in there. That’s not to say that Levi’s haven’t made styles to fit the times however, but Levi’s never had to go out of the way to make drastic changes just to get people to buy them.
Even today after Hugo Boss, Tommy Hilfiger, and Guess jeans have had their run and now when some of the top jeans like Diesel, True Religion, and Lucky Brand jeans command top dollar, there will still never be another that is as time tested like Levi’s.
What makes them classic?
The greatest thing about Levi’s jeans is that in the 100+ years of existence the design of the jean has barely been altered. If anything, Levi’s started the trend with the tag on the right rear belt buckle in which everyone has imitated at one time or the other. Levi’s made small alterations to the logo but never made a play to be as outrageous and ‘in your face’ as many jeans makers past and present. I think it’s worth noting that Levi’s are the most easily Identifiable pair of jeans because they are classics in jeans
- They are timeless
Due to the simplicity of jeans, it doesn’t matter if you just bought some yesterday or 10 years ago. Levi’s are Levi’s. it doesn’t matter if you are a skate head, fashion model, grandparent or rock star, with the different 500’s variations, especially the 501s, there is something for everyone. They have been around so long, that there are even a few collectors who actually collect them.
The best part of Levi’s is that in most occasions, the more you wear them, the better they fit and look. Most jeans don’t fade well after a few washes and even fewer are absolutely ruined the moment they hit water. But not Levi’s. They get better with time. In the years I have bought them, I have had no major issues with them. They have faded well but they look distinguished as they are broken in.
- You can get them practically anywhere
As it says, it doesn’t matter where you go, be it the actual Levi’s store, Macy’s, JC Penny’s, Wal-mart or wherever, you can always find Levi’s somewhere. And speaking of collectors, some of the best places to look are thrift and consignment shops as well. Some people get them new to wear, others get them because they want to beat them up and if you just paid $300 bucks for a pair of jeans you may not be so eager to do so. Levi’s jeans are the epitome of ‘everybody’s jeans’.
For an icon that has been around for over 140 years, these jeans have been a part of the American lexicon. They were developed for American workers, have been trendy among bikers, artists, skateboarders and more. Chances are, if you own a pair, your parents and grandparents owned some too. it’s hard to not see the value in Levi’s jeans and what they have done for American pop culture.
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