People ask: What jeans are you wearing this fall? My answer is always the same: I’m wearing the same jeans I wore last fall, which are the same ones I wore the fall before that.
Unless Levi’s gets caught in discriminatory practices against employees, factory worker abuse or some other horrible scandal, or unless they completely abandoned the quality standards I’ve enjoyed forever, they’ll keep my business. Levi’s has made the jeans I’ve worn my entire life, and I feel no need to change, abandon ship or “upgrade” out of boredom or some perceived urge to keep up with hipsters, bros, brahs or bruhs who work it out with premium $400 selvedge raw denim jeans harvested locally in a refurbished garage. I’m pretty loyal to brands that have taken good care of me.
My go-to Levi’s cuts are the 501 and the 511. To be more specific, my preferred pair of 501s is the Made-in-the-USA 501® Original Shrink-to-Fit Selvedge Jeans, and my preferred pair of 511s is the Slim Fit Selvedge Jeans. Pretty straightforward and simple, as jeans should be. No bedazzling, no special stitching and – for fk’s sake – absolutely no stretch. Regular, heavyweight, selvedge denim.
As I’ve said and written before, trends come and go and the 501 jean is still standing. We get skinny, we go flared or boot cut, but the 501 is still there. I don’t anticipate it going anywhere anytime soon.
The U.S.-made 501s are more expensive than those manufactured elsewhere ($160 as opposed to $60), but buying American is good for everybody. If more people do it, perhaps the prices will level out. As far as I know, a 511 is not available in an American made version.
With respect to my denim game, this fall, last fall and the many falls before that, that’s basically it. Other men have found other solutions with different brands, and that’s fantastic. Levi’s 501s and 511s just happen to be the jeans that work for me, and I’ve never had any real reason to go anywhere else.