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OT: Levi's in the 40s and 50s

Discussion in 'Uncategorized Threads' started by Michael Jobe, Mar 14, 2008.

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  1. Michael Jobe

    Michael Jobe TS Member

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    Levi's currently makes a vintage line of jeans. Raw (unwashed), shrink to fit, selvage denim in styles from the late 1800s through the 1960s. I'm looking at getting a pair, either the 1937 cinch back style, or a pair of 1955s. I've got some questions though, and figured there are guys here with experience dealing with type of jeans when they were new.

    First off, how many sizes did you go up to account for the "shrink to fit"? Or did you just buy your size and stretch the jeans back out when they shrank?

    Did you have problems with dye bleeding off the jeans? I've read this can be an issue until the pants have been washed several times.

    Did you do anything special to treat your jeans when they were new? I've read various things about soaking them in hot or cold water with some vinegar to lock in the in the color better before washing, and to get the intial shrinking out of the way.

    Thanks for any help you can give.

    ~Michael
     
  2. Dickgshot

    Dickgshot Well-Known Member

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    O.K. I'm talking about Levi's circa 1950. Most of the shrinkage was in the length, which was o.k. because my mother bought them to fit at the waist, and we were actually wearing them a couple inches below the navel, (but not as low as the rappers wear them now). Waist shrinkage was 2 inches. You washed them several time
    to shrink and fade them.
    They were worn with a black Garrison belt, with the buckle on the side; Boxcar shoes, long sleeve shirt with the collar turned up; ducktail haircut, ( I no longer have enough hair for a ducktail or any other kind of tail)
     
  3. mixer

    mixer Well-Known Member

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    I found the best way to get them to shrink to fit was to wear them to the beach in the summer, get in the ocean for a while and then let the salt water do the bleaching and the sun do the shrinking part. Of course that was over 50 years ago when they had button flys and Levi's cost $2.


    Eric
     
  4. grnberetcj

    grnberetcj Active Member

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    Geez...is this a shooting site or a chick's dressing room?

    Curt
     
  5. Model12Lady

    Model12Lady Member

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    Slick
    Don't know about the shrink but they will bleed. You can stop the bleeding in it's track by doing the following.

    Fill your EMPTY washing machine with HOT water to which has been added 1 cup of bleach and a small amount of your regular laundry detergent. Start the wash cycle. Add the new unwashed jeans. Run through wash and rinse cycle. This will take out the excess dye.

    DO NOT...I repeat...DO NOT put the jeans in the washer until the bleach and detergent is completely mixed into the water or you will have bleach splotches in your jeans.
     
  6. AveragEd

    AveragEd Well-Known Member

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    You guys ARE aware that Levi-Strauss is on the NRA's anti-gun corporation list, right?

    Ed
     
  7. BDodd

    BDodd TS Member

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    Ed beat me to that. The last time I looked, they're still on the anti-gun list. Try Wranglers, "Wrangler butts drive me {them} nuts!".....Bob Dodd
     
  8. shot410ga

    shot410ga Well-Known Member

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    1960: 3" longer, 2" more in waste. Put Levi's on, fill bath with hot water, get in tub with Levi's on, soak for a few min. get out and wear until dry. Never, never wash again. Take them to dry cleaners (no crease). Wear with Engineer boots, no belt, white tee shirt, and black or grey nylon or leather zip up jacket. Use Palmade in you hair, combed straight back, with a PallMall in your mouth. You were cool in 1960. Been there done that!
     
  9. Dickgshot

    Dickgshot Well-Known Member

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    Nope. By 1960 it was tweed sport jacket, boat-neck sweater, chinos and loafers, with a crew cut.
     
  10. shot410ga

    shot410ga Well-Known Member

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    dickgtax: Not in Central California.
     
  11. shot410ga

    shot410ga Well-Known Member

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    dickgtax: Only if you were a Kingston Trio fan. Perhaps, you are telling what I wore?
     
  12. BDodd

    BDodd TS Member

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    Spot on for CA anywhere north of Bakersfield for the mid to late 50s....Bob Dodd
     
  13. Michael Jobe

    Michael Jobe TS Member

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    Thanks for the replies guys.

    Shot410ga, I've got similiar advice from people currently into vintage styles jeans, except they say wear them for 6 to 12 months, then soak them. Wash as little as possible, and by hand. My jeans are dirty and stinky enough after a week I can't imagine not washing them for half a year!

    Curt, sorry if you think I'm turning TS.com into a dressing room. I think clothes from the 30s through the 50s had a helluva lot more class than anything being made today, and I appreciate older members here sharing advice and experience with their old blue jeans.

    ~Michael
     
  14. Hauxfan

    Hauxfan Well-Known Member

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    I think you are supposed to pee on them and wear them for a week or two...........Or is that those Hell's Angels that do that.

    Dang, I might have screwed up again.......I can never remember.......lol

    No wonder the chicks avoided me.........lol lol

    Hauxfan!
     
  15. Mike Michalski

    Mike Michalski Member

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    Mixer, So Cal late 1950's: 2 sizes big and too long. Wear to the beach and into the ocean, then lay in the sun until dry, over and over all day long. Bleached, softened, shrunk to fit. Now, where is the tanned long haired blond in the bikini?
     
  16. Dickgshot

    Dickgshot Well-Known Member

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    Her skin looks like an old catchers mitt, the blonde hair is gray, and she wouldn't dare wear a bikini in public, even if she could fit into one -which she can't.
    However, she does have grandchildren that fit your description.
     
  17. porky

    porky TS Member

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    Bob Dodd, I think that Wranglers are on that Anti-gun list too.
     
  18. foghorn220

    foghorn220 Active Member

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    Slick13


    Don't use the vinegar as you said in your first post because if you do then you might get called a Douche bag but im sure I had been called worse in the past.

    Foggy
     
  19. GunDr

    GunDr Well-Known Member

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    Levi-Strauss is also anti Boyscouts, because of the Boyscout's stance on fags.
     
  20. Dickgshot

    Dickgshot Well-Known Member

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    Hoosier Daddy: Where were the pants made that you're wearing right now?
     
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