DENIM: The Levi's® 505c
As those of you who know me are aware -- I have this thing with jeans.
It's a benign addiction to be sure. But that doesn’t mean it isn’t a sickness. However, if owning more jeans than I can comfortably wear in a year's time is an illness -- then I don’t want to be well.
There's a bizarre level of comfort and satisfaction I derive from accumulating and collecting denim blue jeans. They may look identical to others, but to me, each pair has a personality and a purpose that's absolutely unique. One can never own enough denim.
I think we can all agree that LS&Co's premium spin-offs -- Levi's® Vintage Clothing and Levi's® Made and Crafted - are the real freakin' deal when it comes to premium, authentic denim. However, with bottoms that range in price from $175 - $395 a pop the price point, although fair, sort of squashes my ability to collect and accumulate to the level I prefer.
I know that this is not the point of these brands and their products. With both LVC and Made & Crafted you're supposed to find one pair you love and wear them until they practically disintegrate off your body -- but that's not my modus operandi. I like to take in stray pairs and bargain-priced bottoms and flea-market finds and treat my jean collection like a garden of tomagachis. Pets that I care for and love on in equal measure.
And this here enters my love of Levi's® Mainline. Over the past two years their product development team has been killing it with the re-introduction of classic, heritage fits in a variety of fabrics, fits, and washes that speak to the original ethos of the brand's rich history while being a little nicer on my budget. The 501ct -- a tapered, low-slung version of the classic 501 which can be worn up-sized or down-sized depending on your mood and tastes -- is one of my absolute favorite fits. It came out two years ago and I love this year's collection of ripped, destroyed, and embroidered options.
As an answer to the recent trend in up-cycled and very sexy fits of brands like Redone, Nasty Gal, and Urban Renewal, Levi's launched a new fit -- the Wedgie -- this spring. (Of course I managed to pick up all three washes for a song due to my expert sale rack skills.) The look is totally on-point, offering a stove-pipe straight leg with a super high rise in rigid, 100% cotton denim, and I can totally vouch for the fact that it does make a booty look gooood.
Of course, these recent trends-- the anti-fit, the wedgie fit -- need a counterpart that's somewhere in the middle. A look that nods to the brands history as the outfitter of cultural rebels, thought-leaders , and fashion icons while taking directly from their archives of perfected fit blocks to produce a straight leg style that is neither bootylicious nor loose.
Enter the 505c -- set to debut for Fall 2016 that will bring back one of the brands most popular fits to a new generation of consumers who are looking for authentic and vintage-inspired denim at the $98 price point.
The original 505 was of course one of the brand's most popular cuts. It originally made it's debut in the late sixties, as a higher rise, zipper-fly answer to the button-front 501. It was favored by artists in Brooklyn and students in San Francisco during a time when wearing your Levi's symbolized a sort of rebellious tribe mentality of being cool and creative.
Over the years, the 505 fell in popularity. The fit block was redesigned for middle America to be boxier, looser, and less fitted than before. Soon the 505 became a fit that was offered only in Levi's outlets and in big-box retailers. The original cool factor was completely lost due to it being everywhere, and being way looser in style. So the cool kid tribe left the 505 behind in search of the next big thing in denim.
What they found were old-school styles of the same fit number in thrift stores and boutiques that they then tapered, cut, or altered to achieve a classic look with a modern fit. This obsession with altering vintage pairs of 501's and 505's is what prompted SVP's of product at Levi's to re-introduce their ready-made versions to today's consumer.
So this year's reinvention with the 505c should be interesting-- the Levi's® team has brought the fit block back to it's original fitted straight-leg glory, and an upcoming campaign hopes to remind consumers that yes -- this was the fit originally favored by Debbie Harry, the Ramones, and Patti Smith. We'll see if I like it. Either way lord knows I'll find a way to purchase it.