How Do You Wear Your 501s?

denim bar, vintage levis 501, what goes around comes around

We asked our What Goes Around Comes Around stylist across America to share how they wear their favorite 501 jeans.

Explain your favorite type or fit of Levi's 501 jean and why?

Jordan: I prefer a Big E or XX when it comes to 501s. I prefer the way they fit and the authentic wear on each pair. I love how old they are!

Annabelle: I love a boyfriend fit in my 501.

Joey: I am all about a higher-waisted, tight on the bum, straight leg, cropped 501. 

Elizabeth: I love the 501 XX. They are the most flattering jeans I’ve ever owned.


What's the benefit of choosing vintage 501s over contemporary denim?

Gracie: Vintage 501s are forever jeans. They look classic and chic on women of every age and every body type so you can truly wear them forever. 

Joey: It's all about the booty! Look at any iconic photo of a 501. It’s always shot from the back. The 501 emphasizes and flatters the backside. When you refer to vintage photos, it's the classic 501 style.

Elizabeth: Vintage 501 denim has more character then today’s contemporary denim. You can see the difference in plain sight. From the stitching to the solid buttons. Even the way the 501 buttons cinch your waist which make you look skinnier. Finding a pair of jeans that can make you look like you have a skinny waist and a nice behind is almost impossible to find! You must go vintage to get the best of both worlds.

Gina: The benefit of choosing a vintage 501 over contemporary denim is that you are getting a one of a kind denim that no one else will have. No two 501s have been worn and naturally distressed in the same way so you are getting a denim that is unique, collectible and individualistic.

Erin: The indigo dyed jeans have a better wash over time and they are very flattering on the seat. They form to your body and have a tendency to be extremely soft and buttery.

Annabelle: Contemporary denim feels fake. The rips and tears are too thought out. They look too trendy or they have too much elastic. They don't wear as well. 

Erick: The quality holds up far longer than most newer denim. The fit and washes are an inspiration that most designers nowadays are trying to recreate. 

Joey: It's alll about the booty! Look at any iconic photo of a 501. It’s always shot from the back. The 501 emphasizes and flatters the backside. When you refer to vintage photos, it's the classic 501 style.

How do you style your denim?

Gracie: I style my 501 with white Air Force Ones, a baby tee and a pair of Chanel statement earrings. 

Gina: I style my denim in a variety of ways: with a vintage band or Harley tee, with a silk blouse, with a bodysuit to have a slim look, with a hoodie or a motorcycle jacket, or an oversized black tee and always with a vintage belt! 

Erick: I'll crop some of my denim or cuff them to switch up the look. 

Joey: I love to pair a cropped 501 with a funky sock and a fun sneaker with a loud graphic tee.

Elizabeth: I just pair them with a crop top, but my favorite look is to mesh a very delicate blouse, tucked in, with a simple pair of high heels. It’s a sexy, cool, and effortless look.


How do you care for your denim?

Jordan: I do not wash my denim. I usually do not do anything except spot clean or dry clean if needed. 

Gina: I rarely wash my denim, especially if its selvedge. Living in New York I drop draws when stepping in the house and put them in the freezer to kill any bacteria or foreign things from riding the subway.

Elizabeth: I machine wash on cold and delicate and then hang them to dry by my dehumidifer.

How long have you had your pair of denim jeans and what do you love about them?

Gina: I've bought my first 501 when I was 22 years old. I've had them for 9 years! I loved and continue to love the button-fly detail and whiskering around the upper thigh area. All the naturally torn and shredded areas make them extra special.

Monica: I got my first pair over 5 years ago. I love the way they’ve molded overtime to fit my body. The denim has soften and gotten better over time. 

Erick: I have had my pair of vintage 501 jeans for over 2 years now and I love that they are just the easiest piece to style with anything no matter my mood or outing. Most of the washes look great dressing up or dressing down.

Suzi: I have a pair from over 20 years ago. The shape stays the same but age has improved the softness. Years ago I used to sit in the bath with my 501 on to shrink them to the body.