Finding the perfect pair of denim is a top priority for most women I know! But one thing I’ve learned throughout the years styling is that tailoring can make all the difference! 

There is nothing more iconic and timeless than a pair of vintage Levi’s! I have a couple pairs from my dads closet that I will never throw out! 

The vintage wash and worn in quality cannot be beat or replaced for that matter, but the FIT can! 

So hear you go ladies, what style vintage Levis are the best to buy and how to achieved the fit you want with your local tailor!

First of all of course there are a ton of places already selling re-worked vintage Levis but I haven’t been very impressed with the fit and they can run up to $400!

But YOU can get these vintage Levis from a ton of places cheap, everywhere from the goodwill to eBay for $15 bucks! 


Sizing: You definitely need to size up for vintage 501. They fit higher on the waist and the denim is stiffer so the “waist” size isn’t the number your used to. In general you want to go three sizes up!

Here’s a little guide:

Size 26 in your usual pair go for a sz 29 or 30

Size 27 in your usual pair go for a sz 30 or 31

Size 28 in your usual pair go for a sz 31 or 32

Size 29 in your usual pair go for a sz 32 or 33

Size 30 in your usual pair go for a sz 33 or 34

And so on…

This guide isn’t perfect, vintage is really trial and error, just for reference I’m usually a size 32 in modern jeans and my favorite Levi’s are a size 36! 


The 501 or 505 are perfect Iconic starting shape, you can easily turn them into a modern Mom Jean, boyfriend Jean or slim straight

The 512 or 517 are perfect for converting into a flare or crop bell bottom style!

Here is what to look for in fit! 

you want the waist to fit you pretty well, 1 to 1.5 inches can be taken in but any more than that and you’ll lose a good shape in the pockets

If a pair fits you pretty close to perfect in the waist but is baggy through the hip and thighs this is a perfect candidate! 

Also any length issues are easily fixed

What to tell your tailor:

make sure to tell them to keep the original hem, this is important

Mainly you’ll probably want to slim the leg and hip area and take the crotch inseam up an inch or so. Make sure you tell them to take some of the extra fabric from both the outer seam and the inner seam, this will keep the butt pockets symmetrical!

Most important areas to slim for a modern fit: thigh, behind the knee and taper down. 

Or if you want a crop or ankle length flare just slim from thigh down to the knee and tell the tailor to blend it out past the knee and keep some flare


You can easily find a cute pair wether your after a light wash or a traditional indigo wash on eBay or Etsy for $10-40

Your tailoring needs can vary but typically changes in the leg and inseam will run you around $40 per area.

So overall you could be spending $100 bucks on a pair of Levi’s that is totally custom to your body and the great part is I promise you they will NEVER go out of style. You may feel like following the trend with vintage skinnies or ripped jeans to mix it up but you’ll always go back to your Levi’s and love them!! Think 90’s super models! 

Some vintage Levis facts:

Selvedge with a single red stitch can signify a pair that was born somewhere between the early 1900s to the mid ’70s; double red line selvedge can be dated from the ’70s to the ’80s.

Big ‘E‘: Levi’s that sport the original logo on the tab. (LEvis spelled with a capital E) are a pair that that were created well before the 70’s

Comment with questions below!!

I can’t wait to see you all in your iconic Levi’s look!

Ready to get yourself a pair! Here is where to buy them!

If your up for the hunt try eBay or Etsy and put in the search “vintage Levis 501” you should get a lot of good results!

If your not feeling that adventurous try looking at urban outfitters online or even Levi’s direct site for a more modern redone pair.

use these links to shop or get inspiration:×31-/253405859329