Livin’ in my Levi’s


Live in Levi’s is the slogan and I find myself doing just that these days, and not just on #ThrowbackThursdays. These retro jeans have been around for a very long time—like 1873 to be exact and maybe only rivalled by the Hunter Boot/North British Rubber Company in 1856 in business longevity. Geez Louise that’s a business model that works. And talk about throwing it back a sesquicentennial’s worth of Thursdays.

Once upon a time, in a land not so far away, everyone and their dog had a pair of the iconic jean. Then they all but vanished from the bums from infinity and beyond. We haven’t seen hide nor hair of Levi’s outside of the rodeo circuit. Marketers for Levi’s did a reboot a few years back with a version for every bootie, but pick-up remained slow. If you dug deep into the recesses of thrift shops everywhere you’d easily find racks and racks of pre-loved jeans relegated to the back of the store waiting to be loved once again. Then the reclassification as vintage hit, and bingo, Levi’s became the “IT” jean once again. Today, you will find yourself challenged to find a pair in vintage stores because they’ve all long been scooped up by the fashionistas in the know. If you do find a vintage pair that fits, well I say to grab them otherwise someone else will.

I’ll always remember my first pair of Levi’s must-haves. I was so excited to go to the Levi’s store and came home singing loud and proud. I wore them to school that very next Monday and immediately realized my faux-pas. I ended up with the dreaded orange tabs. Red was the tab colour you wanted, not orange, never orange. Schnoots! Why did they even make them in orange if they are the bad tab to have? The tab was key to its charm. This was a mistake I would never make again. My bad, but solutions be had. I resigned myself to wearing them on the weekends where my 12 year old self spent her time clear across the city with the other side of the family and knew very few. Problem partially solved.

What to Wear with your Levi’s

Retro and some of the more current Levi’s are a bit of a mom jean style so not as easy to wear as the skinny jeans that we’ve been sporting for the past several years and look good with a lot. My takeaway is that minimalism is the way to wear them. They look best with a simple t-shirt, or double down with a Levi’s slogan t-shirt and Levi’s jeans. A hoodie works great too. They also look fab with a more body-con or fitted top in a fine gauge knit—scoop, turtleneck, boat, just keep it close to the body. But to the contrary, they look nice with a loose, linen button down, Oxford shirt, tie front shirt or waist length blazer. And if you are under 25, maybe one of those bathing suit style bodysuits that are all the rage or a crop top. How about a coloured denim or moto jacket for spring, whenever that hits us. Essentially, I’d say that taking the view of the simple life really is how I prefer to see them styled.



Shoes on the other hand can go a little more all out. Mules, stilettos, flat slides, retro runners (like Adidas Stan Smiths, Gazelle’s or Nike Cortez), white booties, black booties, brown booties, cowboy inspired booties, sparkle flats, wedges, and more. There are lots of fun shoes work with your Levi’s.

Scarves and bandannas are all the rage right now. Roll and tie a short scarf or bandanna loosely around your neck and let the knot hit at the front around your collarbone level.

Jewellery to me should be slightly subtler pieces like a multi-chain necklace in a variety of lengths, pendant necklace, choker or some stacked bracelets with a statement watch.


My current favourite is the Wedgie fit, which makes my inner 12 year old girl snicker. Why the name? Who knows, but I love it. These are an unhemmed, ankle length pant, high waisted, button fly that fits close to the hip. There is the Wedgie Straight and the Wedgie Icon—both are awesome, but I’m favouring the Straight these days. They come in all colours, with great hue names like Rough Tide (medium blue), Lasting Impressions (inkier blue), That Girl (black) and Mass Destruction (very distressed denim style). I can’t decide which shade is my favourite. Maybe all? But for those who can’t walk away from your skinnies, don’t despair because you can still get a pair of 501 Skinny jeans and Mile High Skinny Levi’s.


Don’t forget that there are some great Levi jean jackets, skirts and shorts right now. When it comes to a jean jacket, oversized is the on-trend way to hit the mark.

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Where to buy?

So we’ve established that the vintage shops are pretty much out, so where to buy, where to buy.? Artizia is one place, so is Anthropologie, Free People, Revolve, Nordsies, and more.

So let’s love Levi’s again. This is the jean to see and be seen in and it’s time to do just that.

Carolyn Bissett