Saturday, November 11, 2006

Freak Levi's?

I found these on the Bay a while ago and they really had me wondering after I'd taken a closer look at the pictures.
They were sold as a 1966 505 from Levi's Vintage Collection, season unknown but it's definitely from one of the earlier seasons, considering the off(?) details.

So why do I mean by "off details"? Well, for starters, the backpockets. They have the same shape and proportions as the 1944 and 1955 501s(well, the '55s a little different) and the seam curves in at the top. The 1966 501s on the other hand have almost rectangular backpockets.

The arcuate is also too deep on these compared to the 501s of the same year. Changing the look of the backpockets has to have been a conscious design decisions, so I don't think it makes sense that they would do it to only one of their models and not the other. If they, for whatever reason, though the new look was better, then they should have changed the design in the same way on all their models. Or maybe I just lack the information required to understand this?

1944 backpocket

1966 backpocket

The pocket flasher says that they are made from 14 ounce denim, which I think Levi's jeans made in 1966 weren't. The '66 501 and the '67 505 are significantly lighter weight than 14 ounce.
It also talks about the jeans being riveted, but it doesn't say anything about bartacking - the backpockets are bartacked instead of riveted.

These are either one of Levi's early mistakes in their VC line, or they're the missing link I've been looking for, because I have been quite thoughtful about which jeans the Samurai S0505XX are made after.
The Samurai 505 actually looks very similar to these, the backpockets especially. At first I thought they were made after the Levi's '67 505, but the two aren't very similar - my Samurai's are a slightly looser cut than the '67s and the backpockets don't look the same.
So, maybe the answer is that my Samurais are made after the 1966 505, but are they made after an authentic pair of 1966 505s, or after Levi's 1966 505 reproductions, that may or may not look like the original?

Did these exist, and look like this, or did Levi's make them up?
Feel free to share your thoughts!


levifan said...

I have never seen a 1966 505 repro before, I didn't know that levi's ever made them. What is interesting is that the arcuate found on the '67 505 repro is deeper and asymmetrical, closer to the one found on your ebay jean. It seems weird that Levi's would change the arcuate so much between 1966-67, going from a flatter, symmetrical one to a deeper, asymmetrical one. Perhaps what you have is a '50's 551zxx repro that has been rebranded as a '66 505?

spacelounge said...

Hi, thanks for your reply! Yes, I also don't understand the drastic change in design.
Your 551 theory is a pretty good one, look at these:
The pocket flasher looks the same, but the pockets are not quite the same shape.
If you look at these original 551ZXX you can see that they resemble the 66 501 more than these.

levisfan said...

Hey, your links are cut off for some reason, so I can't see what jeans you are talking about. However, I am curious, when were '66 505's offered? Is it possible that the seller listed these wrong and they are actually '67 repros? The back pockets do look slightly different from '67 repros that I own, but that may just be due to difference in season/sizing(your pair is about 10 sizes bigger than mine). Also, mine have a talon zip; I'm not sure if the scovill zippers were used before or after, or possibly it depends where (which factory) the jeans were maufactured at. Anyway, to be clearer, do you think that it is possible that these are '67 repros? I have seen other '67 repros that look very similar (same tags/scovill zip), although you have a particularily huge size, so it is hard to accurately judge their similarity based on your photos.

Andrew said...

I buy a lot of vintage 505 jeans, and found your site by chance.

I don't really buy the repro products, but these look like a real vintage pair to me.
I have a deadstock pair stamped 5, with pre-shrunk yellow card tab too. I'd be surprised if they made the repro with the yellow 'pre-shrunk' card tab.

There are a number of different 505s to be found.
The jean evolved from the 551zxx which is quite baggy.
You can find 505-0217xx with 551zxx stamped above it - these are less baggy, but bigger than a 505-0217xx. But then, you can also find baggier pairs of 505-0217xx than others, still Big E, it seems depending on which factory they were made (button stamp 5 or 8 for example). Selvedge big e pairs are usually a little baggier than non-selvedge big e.

Sometimes there are mistakes, stitching differences, different zippers, sometimes there are carry-overs - I've found many variations. They were just made as workwear.

I like 505 as they have big back pockets - it seems with the grading that some sizes have bigger than others. As the pair here is a waist 42 that they wouldn't make enormous back pockets... W34 has bigger proportion pockets than W35 for example.

I know that Levi's JP reproduced the 551zxx/505-0217xx 10 years ago or so.

An easier way to tell US repro from US vintage is on the red tab - the ' mark is less detailed on the repro. JP however get it right.

bartacks said...

Looks like you scored Levifan. These are absolutely NOT from the LVC collection but actual late 60's 505's. How do I know? I just do. LVC was never able to even come close to the original, never did, never will. Hang on to these.

bartacks said...

Sorry Levifan, the posting was meant to be addressed to Spacelounge. Good score Spacelounge!

bartacks said...

Upon further research, these were made in either 1966 or 1967. For further info (if you read Japanese), I recommend reading Boon magazine Boon Extra vol. 4 (from 1996) page 55.

Viagra Online said...

Interesting post, I've been wondering the same but I think you're very suspicious and all is about observation and details, anyway, what can I do if the rectangular backpockets pants are my favorites? 23jj

Will said...

I'd bet the proper value of them jeans that they're original 60s 505-0127.
Very nice.
The suede-paper patch never looks like that on the LVCs. Slightly different finish and the font's not the same.
And (from what I've seen) that little white card tag that says -pre-shrunk - LVC have never used that.
As mentioned above, I don't think they did a 505-0127 LVC until the recent ones. I bought some and thought they were so bad I got rid straight after - cheap rubbish and not the correct shape in the leg.
Probably doesn't hep much but just thought I'd comment.

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