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Spiff Magazine Logo
May 22th 2020
Author: Spiff
LEVI'S TYPE I

No, neither the trucker, nor the 2; that yours is a Type I. Congratulations kid! You own the Holy Grail of the denim jackets. But before you sell it, frame it or dress it up and show it off, read; do not be confused. This jacket that his satanic majesty, Mick Jagger, in 1973 wore in a concert in LA, it's a Type I like the one you are now observing carefully. It's not bad at all; first Elvis, then Jagger; in the end we are going to make you a really interesting guy. Levi's introduced the Type 1, originally called 506XX Blouse, in 1905. It would be his first jacket in the XX range.

Before movies were billed as X or a south west London indie pop band The XX started making us dance (softly), Levi's introduced the term XX to denote extra toughness in their jeans. That is what officially appears in their archives, unfortunately little is preserved of them as a result of the earthquake and subsequent fire in SF in 1906, although there are as many theories. The name of 506XX Blouse, had little commercial pull and our colleagues from SF decided to change the name to Type 1 in 1917. Also, in 1938, some person modified the term “blouse” for jacket, so in the western catalog Dude Runch Duds of that same year, it already appeared as Type 1 jacket.

gary cooper levi's type I levi's vintage

Gary Cooper with Levi's Type I

Levi's made 6 versions of this jacket:

  1. 1905 - Original edition.
  2. 1928 - Introduction of pocket flap.
  3. 1936 - Introduction of the red tab, but without "R" and "LEVI'S" only on one side.
  4. 1941 - The pocket cap was removed during WWII, donut buttons were introduced, etc.
  5. 1944 - Introduction of the Cinch-back slider. A loop in the lumbar area that acted as a girdle, like the side adjusters of dress pants.
  6. 1947 - The pocket flap is reintroduced.

In addition, the placement of the clips and the shape of the flap evolved over the years. But as a general rule, if what you have in front of you is a Type 1 it should have the following characteristics:

  • One pocket on the left chest.
  • Riveted pockets and openings at the cuffs.
  • Tweezers.
  • Selvedge inside the front placket.
  • The Cinch-back mentioned. In type II and III instead of this buckle, loop, girdle, adjuster, we have a kind of girdle that consists of a waist tab and two buttons. Depending on how you fasten the tab, whether it is on one button or another, the jacket is more or less tight.

Yes? It meets all these characteristics. We start to envy you, but it's healthy envy. You should ask yourself what the hell are you going to do with it.

That your jacket is worth more or less is not going to be conditioned so much by age. I mean, it does matter, but it matters more that he was born in the middle of the War. If it is the Great War, I won't even tell you.

But of course, you will be there saying, but dear editor of Spiff, I do not have a barcode to see from what date it dates, and whoever bought it is either very old or no longer. What should I do? Trust. Right now we are your best friend, your girlfriend, your father and your mother. Relax.

1st. What does the lower back buckle look like?

If it is bronze it is after 1944, if it is silver from before. This is due to a question of reasoning about metal by the american army in the face of WWII

levis vintage type I selvedge

Lumbar buckle detail on Levi's Type I

Image via Ebay

2nd. Flap pocket?

If your jacket has a flap pocket and the back girdle is made of bronze, bingo, we know the year from which it dates, 1947, the year in which The War had already ended and the year of the last Levi's production of its Type 1.

levi's type I selvedge vintage

Levi's Type I flap pocket detail

Image via Ebay

3rd. Iron donut buttons?

A collation of the rationale discussed, these donut-shaped buttons were introduced on the market during World War II. Obviously in this way less metal was used.

Some of these buttons were adorned with a laurel leaf design, a symbol of peace and human triumph; others came with the Levi's logo and others were simply naked.

levi's vintage type I

Donut Levi's Type I button detail

Image via Ebay

4th. Is your buckle silver and does it have teeth?

Bingo, it's a shark. Na, I'm kidding, if your rear buckle is silver and the system it has is that of teeth that make it more or less tight; and comply with points 1, 2 and 3, your jacket is from 1941.

If it is silver but does not meet any of the previous points, your jacket is from 1936 or earlier.

5th. Does it have a red label?  

If the answer is yes and you comply with all of the above, your jacket is from 1936; year in which it was first introduced The Red Tab. About the fight against imitators and others that we discussed in the Type II and III post. If you have not read it, go back, and start reading things from top to bottom. If it doesn't have the red label, it is older than Methuselah. Either it's from 1928 or it's the original, 1905. Sailor fabric!  

levi's vintage red tab big E

The Red Tab

Image via Ebay

6th. Is the pocket on the left side, no red tag, and almost at the level of the navel and not on the chest?

If so, you are the owner of something very old, from before 1928, you own a first Type I. It has to be worn out, of course. Don't tell us it's intact, it would be very weird.

According to the Levi's Guide, the buttons on those produced between 1902 and 1928 were also donut-like. This time, yes, they came in black, and stamped with "Levi Strauss & Co."

Hopefully yes, that everything described matches your jacket. You don't have to thank us

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