Recently I’ve been concerned that my LVC 1955s are still massive despite being 34/34 and theoritically shrinking down to 33/31. They’ve shown no signs of shrinkage and consequently are a little bit Chaplinesque.
It seems to be a constant issue with LVC models of different years (not to mention the non-selvedge cheaper PWR models) that sizing is a minefield.
Rather than buy yet another pair in another size (there’s no 33 W these days anyway) and shell out a whopping £215 (not long ago they were £110 at Cinch) I thought I’d look around at alternatives.
Normally I have a big psychological problem with jeans that are not Levis. I can’t be doing with all these brands that have overkill stitching or paint on the back pockets. By the same token jeans with no stitching on the back pockets are IMHO naked and missing something.
The obvious place to look was Lee. Huge in Japan, from where I’ve bought Lee Japan replica chambrays before, for a long time the Lee back issues available in the UK were really naff also rans (check out the 101z on Oi Polloi currently with a black and silver patch!). I’d seen the Beatles replica 101z 1966 model online a lot over the last few years but when I decided to find some almost everywhere was sold out.
The Beatles connection was played down outside of Japan for obvious licensing reasons but anyone who’s seen Help! will know that it’s the closest the fab four got to wearing American ivy based clothes – button downs and jeans abound, especially in the sections shot in the Caribbean.
This post over at denim psychopath MHP’s Denim Projects convinced me that the shrinkage and fit should be somewhat slimmer than even the 1966 LVCs.
At £120 they were nearly half price of current LVC models and the attention to detail up there with the best. The jeans arrived in a presentation box with tissue wrapping showing the history of Lee Jeans and with even a price tag blank that looks liked a deadstock one. The fit is great, the colour too, and the Lee dry denim (13.5oz Left Hand Twill) is more iron-like than the fluffier Levis 1955s (more like the 1967 505).
Eagle-eyed observers may have noticed that these are not quite what they seemed (or indeed were described as on Aero Clothing’s website). I was just checking them out again and noticed on the inner tag it says Made In Poland. So, these are not Lee Japan after all. Very naughty Aero. I’ve sent them an email asking why they are selling them as
“Lee 101Z Jeans 1966 – Dry
Lee Riders 101z 1966 Model by Lee Japan.
13½ oz left hand twill selvedge denim.
Limited Edition of 1001.”
Interesting to see what their response will be. I’ll keep the jeans as they’re still very nice but can’t say I’m too happy about the mis-described sale. I have read only good things about Aero customer service, so let’s see.