Find it Friday – Vintage Levi’s Denim Jeans Buying Guide

It’s Find it Friday and today we are taking a look at everyone’s favorite piece of clothing…JEANS! We couldn’t help but be completely denim crazy when we saw this pair of Vintage Levi’s jeans sell for over $2,000 on Ebay.

I’m sure you’ve seen hundreds of pairs of jeans during your yard sales travels, but after reading this blog post you might start to pay more attention to them, because there are pairs of jeans that could be worth thousands of dollars! We are talking about the Levi’s “Big E” Vintage Denim Jeans.

According to the Levi Strauss website here are the 3 items you should look for when appraising Levi’s jeans:

  1. Check the Red Tab: Take a look at the right back pocket. Do you see our famous red tab? Is the word LEVI’S® in all capital letters, or does it have a small letter “e” instead? The Tab with LEVI’S (also known as “Big E”) means the jeans are from before 1971.
  2. Look for Care Tags: Care tags began being added to Levi’s garments in the 1970s.
  3. Examine the Inseams: The style of inseam on almost all Levi’s® made before the mid-1980s featured a single felled inseam, which is a single stitch running down the inner thigh.



Denim Hunters gives us a few more pointers on how to date vintage Levi’s jeans:

1. Figure out if the jeans are made of Selvedge Denim. If so, these jeans were likely made pre-1980s.

2. Jeans with a single stitch on the back pocket were made before 1976.

3. If the rivets on the jeans are made of copper and have raised lettering, you are holding a pair of pre-1960 jeans.

4. If the leather patch is indeed made of leather and not of a cardboard substance, they you are looking at a pair of of jeans made before 1955.

Now if you think you’ve got a pair of Vintage Levis’ you can always but you aren’t sure, you can even join the Vintage Fashion Guild Forum and ask a member to verify that they are indeed vintage.

Check out more Find it Friday posts: