With our guide Imparfaite, find the vintage Levi's 501 jeans of your dreams
A few years ago, we too would bravely wander the aisles of vintage shops in search of the vintage Levi's 501 jeans of our dreams. Since then, we have launched Imparfaite, and these years of learning in the field allow us to find for you the most beautiful vintage 501s in France.
We decided it would be cruel not to share with you the knowledge we have gained over the years. What you are about to read here is the in-house bible of 501 vintage at Imparfaite. Knowledge that has been kept secret until now. But today we're going to tell you all about it...
#1 Is a vintage Levi's 501 really for me?
We often hear "I like vintage 501s, but on others, because they don't fit me". Rest assured, it is not iconic for nothing, it fits everyone.
When you're used to stretchy fabrics and tight-fitting calf-length cuts, the tight fabric of the vintage 501 and its slightly wider fit may seem strange at first.
But it is the absolute must-have for three simple reasons:
It makes a flat stomach
It's a trousers with a mid-rise waist and a tight fabric, avoiding the feeling of a bulging belly at night.
It slims the legs
Close to the body at thigh level, and a straight cut all the way down. You'll never have to worry about your calf sticking to your jeans again, they make your legs look long.
He's got the butt of his dreams
It lifts them up and gives them a perfect shape, without the famous unsightly crease that some jeans make.
No matter what your body type, the vintage 501 flatters everyone.
#2 What is the difference between the vintage 501 and the modern 501?
The new Levi's 501s are nothing like the vintage Levi's 501s. They have more stretch in the fabric, the cuts are more fitted, and the industrial washes are no match for a fabric with fifty years of age.
It's simple; the new Levi's doesn't have one hundredth the cachet of the old one.
And so much the better, because a beautiful vintage is on average 30% cheaper than a new one and 100% more eco-responsible.
We love combining business with pleasure.
#3 How to choose your vintage Levi's 501 jeans?
1. Find your vintage size
The hardest part of finding your vintage Levi's 501 jeans is finding your size.
Vintage Levi's jeans fit much smaller than current Levi's. For this reason, you should always go up two sizes from your current size.
Example: I'm a small 36, I wear 25 in modern Levi's = I wear 27 in vintage Levi's.
Here is a simple table of correspondences to keep in mind:
|EN?||32||small 34||34||small 36||36||small 38||38||small 40||40||small 42||42||small 44||44|
If this chart makes you dizzy, don't worry, we've created the Levi's Calculator Jean that will do the work for you, and define the vintage Levi's 501 of your dreams.
2. Putting on your vintage Levi's 501
When you receive your precious jeans and put them on for the first time, you have to lie down on your bed and pull them over your hips. After a few minutes, they will fit you and you can finally breathe.
This mythical fabric has not moved for 50 years and does not intend to move for the next 50 years, but it must be earned. Once you put it on, the magic happens, the Levi's 501 fits like no other jean, and it becomes almost impossible to wear anything else.
3. Adjust the size according to the desired style
You can wear it three different ways: Tight for a very sexy (but admittedly less comfortable) look, normal, or boyfriend.
For a close fit, take one size smaller than your own
For a classic wear, take your usual size
For boyfriend wear, go up one or two sizes than your own
4. Choose the colour that makes you happy
For the colour, it's up to you. Sublime in white, hot in dark raw, essential in light blue. The only ones we don't like are the ones with zebra stripes or the yellowed ones. It's a matter of taste.
5. Beware of copies
As one of the most powerful brands in the world, 501s are victims of counterfeiting. The result: bad cuts, flimsy fabrics and six-legged horses on the labels (for real).
At Imparfaite we only work with vintage professionals who check them from every angle, to make sure you only get the best.
#4 What length to choose for your vintage Levi's 501 jeans?
The length we like is the one that reaches the ankle.
There are three ways to shorten it:
1. Roll it up
Easy, you just roll your jeans up
2. A flat backhand
More pointed, you make a big backhand
3. Cutting it
Our favourite, we explain
Our tutorial on how to cut your vintage Levi's 501
Most women who are advised to cut their jeans short get scared, but it's actually quite simple. We have created a guide to help you, the most important thing is to choose your length by trying them on to make sure you don't cut them too short. Here are the steps:
How to avoid the camel toe effect?
First of all, we reassure you that a camel toe can happen to anyone. It's even happened to some of the biggest...
On a Levi's 501, the longer the leg length, the longer the fly height. If you want to avoid the camel toe effect:
If you are less than 1.68 cm tall, anything will fit
If you are between 1.68 and 1.78cm tall, you should use the L32 or L34 lengths
If you are taller than 1,78cm take from L34
#5 How to wear your vintage Levi's 501 jeans?
With an Austrian blouse for a romantic look
Total denim look for an 80's look
With a cardigan for a cosy look
With an Asian top for a sexy look
With a t-shirt for an easy look
#6 Can you wash your Levi's 501?
All vintage Levi's on Imparfaite have been washed and are completely waterproof. You can wash them in the washing machine, always inside out, at 30° or 40°, but the tumble dryer is forbidden. So dry it in the open air, you're doing it good, and the planet too.
At first it is very tight, but after a few minutes it becomes more comfortable with your body, and relaxes very slightly to achieve the perfect fit.
If you like them very raw, i.e. dark blue, try to avoid machine washing as much as possible as it tends to give them a patina. On the contrary, for your white jeans, never mix them with colours, which would give them a greyish look.
#7 Why do I need levi's 501?
Because it has been dressing the coolest girls of every generation for over a hundred years: from Cindy Crawford, to Jeanne Damas, to Lady Diana and...you!
Levi's brought out the 501 in 1890 for American workers, this tearproof and solid fabric from Nimes (denim) was a textile revolution. In the middle of the century, Levi's democratised the 501 and made it sexier by adding belt loops and the famous "red tab", the little label on the back pocket that attracts the eye.
It is from this point that it seduces cool kids all over the world, and marks, in our memories, the silhouettes of our heroines.
Wearing the same Levi's as Brigitte Bardot, Cindy Crawford, Françoise Hardy and many others has become a dream accessible to all.
Since then, new icons have taken over the symbol. Camille Charrière, Jeanne Damas, Anne-Laure Mais and Sabina Socol swear by their vintage 501s, which they wear in summer and winter, with trainers or heels... In short, the Levi's 501 is to jeans what Burberry is to trench coats: a must-have.
And now let's find your ideal Levi's jeans
Well done, if you've made it this far, you've become a 501 pro.
And now let's find your ideal Levi's jeans
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