Fashion / Fashion Feature

A true classic: The enduring appeal of Levi’s 501 jeans

In partnership with Levi's.


Few items in my wardrobe have enjoyed the same longevity as my Levi's 501 jeans. The pragmatist in me has ensured that I've accumulated one white, one black and one blue pair, all three a constant in my restless rotation of clothing. But coming up on its 149th anniversary, I can't help but wonder what is it about these denim pants that has the world so enamoured?

It's difficult not to fall into clichés when speaking of a wardrobe staple so universally cherished, but they all ring true. Unlike the barrage of fast fashion waiting to fall apart at the whisper of a night out, Levi's are built to last; a fact that goes hand-in-hand with its workwear roots. The other thing is while each pair of Levi's 501 jeans are like fingerprints in that no two are the same, they're united in their durability. Not only this, and I don't say this lightly, but everyone across all intersections of life looks great in a pair of Levi's 501s.

Ever since the 1950s Levi's 501 jeans have held the attention of the youth of each decade, firmly embedding itself into the cultural zeitgeist. There was Marlon Brando's deep indigo pair in the 1953 cult classic The Wild One, the faded blue hue beloved by hippies in the 1960s, Punk's roughed up and worn in take on Levi's 501s in the 70s and the slouchy dark styles worn by NWA in the 80s.

Of course, little has changed in 2022. In fact, our love for Levi's has only intensified. In an era where the environment is a constant source of worry, it will soothe your climate anxiety to hear of Levi’s dedication to sustainability. Its Water<Less technique is something the designer developed back in 2011 to reduce the eye-watering amount of water typical denim-finishing processes use, doing so by 96 per cent. On top of this, they've introduced a line of jeans made from cottonised hemp and have listed a handful of green goals for the future which you can find on Levi's website.

Here's to 149 more years of Levi's 501s.

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