Collectors go crazy for vintage Levi’s denim jackets. And while I’m no collector, I do go a little crazy for the jackets. I’ve got a long way to go, though, before I can identify the year a jacket was made by the size of the “E” on the Levi’s tag.
So, baby steps! Look at Jennifer Jones above in the 1952 film Ruby Gentry. She’s wearing Levi’s Type 1 506XX. And this week, the Levi’s blog published a short and simple checklist of characteristics of the post-World War II Type 1 denim jacket, written by Tracey Panek, the brand’s in-house historian (yes, they have one of those!). She writes that the Type 1 model followed the first riveted denim jacket, LS&Co.’s first rioted triple pleat blouse, which was sold during the late 1800s.
Here’s her quick guide to spotting post-World War II Levi’s “Type 1” denim jackets:
- Produced between 1947 and 1953
- One front pocket with flap
- Double pleats on right and left front sides
- Riveted back cinch with brass buckle
- Riveted sleeve wrist openings
- Red Tab on pocket with a large “E” on one side only
Of course this is just one type of vintage Levi’s jacket—there were many versions over the years with subtle differences in design and construction. For an exhaustive guide on how to identify the provenance of various vintage Levi’s denim jackets, check out this Denim Hunters guide.
And until you’re lucky enough to spot a one of these specimens, Levi’s Vintage Clothing has plenty of great options!