Saturday, September 3, 2011
While Mr. Modtomic Is By No Means A Fashionista, I Do Have My Moments. REAL Vintage LEVI'S Type II Jacket Anyone? Status: Thrift Mega Score.
This is quite likely the best thrift score I've ever made. It's also the ONLY real vintage Levi's score I've ever made, and buddy...I've spent some serious time scrounging through the denim. Never found a single pair of "big E" 501s. Not even a pair of selveged 501s. But this jacket made up for all that wasted time.
Yeah, that "big E" in the LEVI'S tag is what it's all about! I learned about big E Levi's many years
ago and started scouring the thrift stores for them to no avail. Oh, I've found a pair or two of some
'70s pieces here and there and I have a number of "cowboy" shirts that have the big E on the tag
but I've always wanted a pair of 501s with a big E tag. That's been the score that has eluded me so.
You see, Levi's stopped making regular production items with a capitol letter "E" on the Levi's tag
back in the '70s, at least on the denim products. I think the shirts may have gone later though I'm
not certain. So if you find a pair of jeans or a jacket with a red tab that has a "big E" you can be
pretty certain it's at least 30 years old. I say "pretty certain" because Levi's regularly manufactures
reissues of some of it's vintage lines and are designated LVC. These pieces are very limited runs
and cost a fortune. People buy them new just to re-sell on eBay. They're not something you'll find
down at Dillard's or Macy's.
So back when I found this jacket I dug deep into the research to figure out what I had. I tried to find
some of that info today and came up empty handed but I know this to be a 1950's LEVI'S Type II (or
2nd edition) Denim Jacket. The Type I is the holy grail of jackets as it is ridiculously hard to find and
worth a small fortune. Even in the "Types" there are variations that make some worth more than
others. I think mine is a late type II in that it has a different stitch along the inside of the waist. I had
all this variation info saved on another PC that went kaput years ago. Even the number stamped on
the back of the buttons means something to collectors. I think it tells in which plant the piece was
Mine is so unworn that I was a little afraid that it was an LVC reproduction. I took a bunch of pictures
of it when I got it and e-mailed them to the historian at Levi's for some measure of verification. She
said that I am indeed the proud owner of a true vintage Levi's type II denim jacket. One of these
just sold on eBay for $400 with no size tag and a couple of holes in the body. Mine looks like it's
never been worn! Oh, btw...I paid less than $8 for it. Score.