Keeping it Simple: Vintage Denim Guide

Keeping it Simple: Vintage Denim Guide

Let’s keep it simple, vintage denim doesn't have to feel like rocket science. Today on the blog we're cracking the code on easy ways to source your own denim, what to keep an eye out for, and how to lock down your perfect pair!
Our favorites are classics: Levi’s, Lee, Wrangler and occasional one-offs with a great wash and fit. Below are some tips and clues to finding a great pair when you’re at KEEPER or scouring your local thrift shop!



  1. Vintage denim is almost always 100% cotton. This means it won’t have stretch (spandex) like most modern jeans. This also explains why it fits completely differently AND lasts a lifetime!
    This fabric becomes EASY to spot when you’re out looking. It’s heavier, thicker and feels completely different. Get to know the difference and you’ll be finding your dream pair in no time.

  2. Fits: a quick rundown on LEVIS most popular styles:

    - 501s are a midrise, straight leg jean with a button fly
    - 505s are basically the 501 with a zipper (almost exactly the same)
    - 517s have a higher waist than the 501s or 505s and a little more open at the bottom (bootcut)
    - 550s a little more tapered and loose in the thighs (your classic mom jeans)
    - Orange Tab, used in the 60s to separate the fashion clothing from the workwear pieces. Early orange Tabs are often considered collectable, so snag a pair when you find them!

  3. Try. Them. On. Even if they look too big or the “size” doesn’t seem like it will work for you. Every pair is different and depending on the fit you’re after you might be surprised! 

  4. Compare your measurements. Have a great pair you love? Jot down those measurements (waist, rise, inseam) on your phone for the next time you’re out looking (or browsing online). We keep a garment tape measure handy at the shop and always include waist measurements on the tag. The likelihood you’ll find another great pair with measurements on hand is that much higher!


Have any other tips you’d like to add? Let us know!

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