How to Find The Perfect Pair of Vintage Levis and where.
I feel lucky to have as many vintage pairs of Levis as I do, each one feels like a gift straight from the jean Gods. The Levis I have are all from different places—some thrift stores, some department stores, curated vintage stores but never online and for the most part, never expected.
What you need to know
1. YOU HAVE TO TRY THEM ON. probably not in your size.
What they look like folded, unfolded and held up to you in front of a mirror is not at all what they will look like on. You HAVE to try them on, a few on actually in a few different sizes. Start with your true size, but bring the next three sizes up into the dressing room. Each cut and even color fits differently. Fun!
2. BUY THEM TIGHT
One pair I purchased was so tight I didn't wear them for a year, then I took the time to break them in and they are my favorite pair of jeans. If you can button them and kind of sit down, you're good. It took me about a month to break mine in—worth it.
I have also purchased a pair that I intentionally wanted baggy and I love them. So do what feels right.
I made this prayer for you. "Dear God, give me the strength to try on as many vintage Levis as it takes. May it be your will that I find the perfect pair. Amen." Lmk if it works.
Where to buy Vintage Levis
Where I've had luck:
The Vintage Twin, Soho NYC (They have a "Jean Bar" where someone can help fit you. Very helpful)
Fred Segal, West Hollywood
Mirth Vintage, Greenpoint Brooklyn
The General Store, Venice (This store is just amazing all-around, finding Levis was a bonus.)
Duo Vintage, East Village NYC
Where others have had luck:
eBay (I've been told to buy a way bigger size and get them taken in. You can find pairs for $30, but will pay more for the tailoring.)
Re-done (Expensive and mostly online, but I recommend finding them where you can to try them on. I've seen them in Barney's.)
May the Jean God's be with you.