THE BREAK-IN: Levi’s Vintage Clothing
Written by: SNC Team Photography by Ben Ferrari

Today we kick off our BREAK-IN Series, an ongoing experiment into the metamorphosis and longevity of a garment/accessory as it gets broken in. If we all look in our closets right now, we have pieces that have been there for many years, nestled among our newer purchases and random acquisitions. Why do you love that pair of jeans so much? Why do you hold on to those leather boots even though the next time you wear them might be their last hurrah? Because the truth is you’ve beat ’em up so much, and taken them to hell and back. 

In this new editorial series, we aim to visually catalog that “Break-In Process.” We’ll be taking new items of clothing/accessories from different brands and rockin’ the hell out of them to see just how well they adapt to our everyday lives. The good folks at Levi’s Vintage Clothing were kind enough to send us three items to initiate this project. Read below to see the first impressions from the SNC team, and we’ll report back after a month to tell you just how well the process is going. 

 “That timeless nature and staying power is a truly respectable quality …”

Anthony chose the Levis 505-0217 W34 L34 – Here are his first thoughts ….

The men’s Pre-Shrunk (Process 686) 505-0217 Original Riveted Levi’s Jeans is a very attractive piece of clothing.  It looks extremely authentic and once you put them on, you feel like you are now part of a secret society of quality jeans.  It fits like a true classic pair of Levis and the waist is true to size – actually the waist fits a little small.  I am usually a W33, but these W34 were quite snug.  The waist band sits a tiny bit high but nothing close to the high-waisted looks of senior citizens.  The denim is not soft by any means – it is rigid but not abrasive to the skin.  It has a straight leg that looks fitted but it cannot be classified as “skinny jeans” – there is enough room for your junk to breathe.  It hugs the thighs a little bit, but once again, it is not restrictive when in motion.  I wore it with sneakers and the opening fell very nicely on top of the kicks, but I also could tell that it would look awesome on a pair of boots as well.  The break-in has started in full earnest and I already sense that the hardest part of this will be getting used to the rigidity of this raw, heavyweight denim. One great feature that I really love about this pair of jeans is the slightly slanted two back pockets – they are simply dope.  It will be a great view for people walking behind me.

Geo picked the Levi’s Orange Tab – 1960’s 606 – “Super Slim” – W34 L34 – Here are his intial musings …

As I’ve gotten older, I’ve veered away from loose-fitting clothes and opted for a more fitted look. It’s a little bit of a mind trick too, because wearing clothes that don’t give that much allowance force me to watch what I eat and also go to the gym whenever I can. With that thinking in mind, I opted for the super slim 1960’s 606 jeans from the Levi’s Orange Tab label. The first thing I noticed upon trying them was a sense of heritage and history that emanated from the garment. After all, these jeans were first sold in the 1960’s – it’s a testament to their value that they are still being made and sold today. That timeless nature and staying power is a quality I truly respect. With regards to the fit, I definitely felt some heavy constriction around the thigh section, but I absolutely loved how they seemed to taper as they got towards the ankles. A silhouette like that usually means they”ll work exquisitely with black dress shoes, brogues or even leather boots. The denim fabric itself is pretty sturdy, but not the coarsest I’ve ever felt. I can tell that with enough wear, it’s going to loosen right up but still maintain its streamlined shape – at least that’s what I hope. I’ll let you know …

Ben chose the Levi’s Type 1 Jacket because he didn’t feel like breaking in another pair of jeans, here are his thoughts

This jacket is super lightweight.  Lighter than you would expect but significantly heavier than a denim shirt.  It feels light on your body which is nice, because it was like 68 degrees the day after I got it.  I got a medium, so it’s ‘true to size’.  These are “shrink to fit jackets” so the general methodology is to get a size up and then soak it and it shrinks as it dries.  I’m going on the recommendation of a dude named Trent who works at the Levi’s Store in The Meat Packing, who said just get it and rock it as is.  He said he got an XL and it didn’t shrink as much as he expected.  So, we’ll see how it turns out.  If I get caught in a rainstorm and come out lookin like a fat guy in a little coat we’ll know it wasn’t the right move.  But life’s about risk, so F it.  My friend Alessandra broke down all the various aspects of this jacket the other night at the bar, so I’m gonna have a little piece on the various stitching elements that give this jacket it’s functionality as true workwear.  Anyway, I’m looking forward to slowly destroying it…

If you like this piece, read a similar feature here

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