It took me awhile, but I think I’ve finally been bitten by the vintage denim bug. I’m hugely loyal to the super stretchy skinny jean—or skinny jeans in general—as I feel I work too freaking hard at the gym to cover it all up with baggy styles, darn it. Even when the boyfriend jean became popular way back in 2007 or 2008, I wasn’t partial to it at all, until I tried a pair from Rich & Skinny and fell in love. After reviewing several amazing skinny styles with Denimology years later, I put them aside once again in favor of form-fitting jeans. I didn’t only get the chance to review slim fits though, as there were several boyfriend fits mixed in here and there, and my tastes started to move in that direction once again soon enough. Later, when I was introduced to the love that is quality selvedge denim, I finally began appreciating 100% cotton, vintage jeans and the “they don’t make them like they used to” idea (although I don’t agree with that completely nowadays). I realized though, that they are super hard to shop for! Most denim fans prefer to visit antique and second hand shops to see in person and try on these jeans that really did come from denim’s early days, because the fits can be difficult for different shapes. This is because these pieces came out way before stretchy denim did and thus have barely any give (and usually have already been formed to their past wearer’s bodies). I don’t even have many great thrift shops around me, so I was stuck browsing them online.
Destructed, torn, and broken in jeans are nothing new in the modern sense, but truly vintage-inspired, 100% cotton or nearly 100% cotton jeans seem to have exploded in the industry lately (which is great because not every body likes or meshes well with the stretchy types). I’m glad that premium brands everywhere have been manufacturing and adding these to their product lines! Levi’s is the ultimate brand in vintage jeans, now seen on the butts of celebrities and bloggers everywhere. As seen above, they make plenty nowadays that look like they came out of denim’s past, but the older pieces are coming right back, thanks in part to RE/DONE, a brand who excels in refurbished and reconstructed Levi’s jeans. Because they are taken care of by hand, a lot of these are way past the reachable price point for many, so I went on the hunt elsewhere (still hoping to get my hands on one of these eventually).
Styling wise, it’s easy to throw in a pair of leggings or skinny jeans and a long tunic or hoodie. When it comes to a torn up pair of baggy jeans though, how do you do it? I always go along the rule of having something tight on top if the bottoms are relaxed, and vice versa. For a more chic and “dressy” look, I like the idea of juxtaposing a super torn up pair of jeans with some killer heels and a nice blouse. Why not? The sky’s the limit when it comes to fashion, right? Vintage denim offers a whole new realm to play around with style-wise. Jeans don’t have to be your lazy weekend staple anymore (unless you have a strict dress code at work of course). Have fun with it!
It’s still tough for me to really find vintage-inspired jeans that are flattering on my athletic shape, since I’m not really model-tall, but I kind of fell for the high-waisted, slimmer fits with a decent amount of destruction. I began eyeing the two seen above, the rock n’ roll or punk-inspired Levi’s 505®C Jeans in Joey (now unfortunately out of stock, but if you follow the link, there are plenty other washes) and the brand new and super hot 501® Skinny Jeans, which I have my eyes on right now. I still love the thrill of the hunt though, as usual…so see below for some others I found fairly visually appealing!
What do you think? Is vintage denim a style you would try, or do you already have a favorite pair or two?