Retro Day 5 …. Levi 501’s


One of the biggest decisions I had to make as a teenager was to which brand of Denim jeans would I wear. Ultimately, once a decision has been made on the make and style, usually one carries on wearing that same brand.

At the age of seventeen, with an uncontrollable amount of testosterone raging through my veins and at a time when most of us lads were learning how to drive, or were hopelessly trying to get it off with the girls and also getting jiggy with it. If you knew what that meant and were able to, you were lucky, and especially if your hips where lose enough on the disco-dance floor.

A big factor concerned then, was as in fashion now. Who did one actually wear? And not what one was actually wearing! I’m sure you probably have all heard that statement by now.

The three main contenders available were Wrangler, Lee Cooper and Levi Strauss,  and with a trim twenty-eight inch waist and a decent amount of Gluteus Maximus, that criteria certainly annihilated the Wranglers as they pushed my buns flat. The Lee’s were a definite no-no, they just didn’t cut the mustard for me, I think it was the stitching!!  But the Levis, just had the finishing touch which kind of gently rounded up the produce and pushed the junk in the trunk nicely forward.

Of course, at the time, Levis were far pricier than the other two contenders. Only the best for me I thought and then the conclusion of deciding what style to choose. Somewhere in my travels I had noticed a role model wearing the 501’s, thin leg, slightly stone washed, bottom fly button undone. Yes, it was a guy from my home town, absolutely stunning he was, I should have realised then that something was up, as I was soon to learn the reason why the lower button was left unattended.

It would seem I had already made my lifetime choice and that being many years previous. Sadly the only problem I encounter every time I purchase same, is the leg length, and being vertically challenged the minimum available is a 32 inch inside leg, my crotch to hem measures only twenty-seven and one half inches. At least now you realise just how I managed to be honoured with the nick name of ‘Stumpy’. Once my dear ageing seamstress has done her magic, there is always enough remaining to possibly make a scarf !

The television adverts for Levi Strauss have been running for many years, scenes including Drug Stores, Prison, Elevators, Oil rigs, washroom, both Gay & lesbians have been featured, even the cuddly toy Flat Eric, Mermaids, Kung Fu scenes and an original made in 1970 with Hippy cartoon characters as if on a psychedelic trip.

Of all the commercials made for Levis, my favourite has to be the classic Launderette scene with Nick Kamen and I certainly wouldn’t believe you if you told me it wasnt yours and I am aiming this statement to both man and woman.

So, even now at my age, I can still manage to squeeze into what I consider the best brand name for Denim, however, you wouldn’t have ever caught me in double denim, that has never been my style.