As part of my holiday shopping ritual, I purchased a few pairs of original Levi 501s from local apparel retailer, Fred Meyer (substitute Kohl’s, JC Penney, etc). Each pair cost me 31.00, a sum which seemed quite fair and reasonable for a classic clothing staple. As far as I can tell, 501s have remained unchanged, fitwise, stylewise, since I began wearing them in junior high. Granted, the stitch and rivet count on the pants have no doubt dropped off and I’m not even going to check, but I’m pretty sure country of origin is no longer the U.S.A). Nevertheless, Levis give me one of my few chances to shop from the past (albeit, from Fred Meyer in 1988 rather than a Chicago department store in 1905).
Browsing JCREW to find for some clothing exchange possibilities, I came upon a special, slim fit edition of 501s (see example above). I continue to muse about the two-tiered, twin branding that continues to happen to many modern histiage brands like Woolrich and Red Wing (but so far, not to Filson). I’d love to own a pair of these special edition Levis but I wonder, really, whether the pricing and bonus styling corrupt the core product in some way.
I’ve been thinking about brand cushioning releases like these 501s