The Levi's Jeans Guide

Here at Brag Vintage we have one of the largest collections of used and vintage Levi's jeans, denim jackets and denim shorts available online in a multitude of styles and colours. Having found out ourselves the difficulties in identifying and defining the various Levi's jeans styles and not being able to find any decent guides online we decided to write this guide to help you select the best pair for you...or maybe you're wanting to sell one of your old pairs online and need a little bit more info.

The Guide

Due to the the sheer size and range of the different model numbers, we have separated the guide out into each series. Click on the series number below to see the detailed table guide for all the individual models within that series. Included on this page is a brief history of Levi's jeans and explanations of some of the less obvious headings on the table guide.


100 Series 400 Series 700 Series
200 Series 500 Series 800 Series
300 Series 600 Series 900 Series

Understanding the Guide

This guide is by no means exhaustive but it is a work in progress and we will update it as and when we come across something new. It contains details of all the jeans we have come across while working in the vintage/second hand jeans business. If you have any information you think we may have forgotten or find something that is incorrect feel free to comment.

Please note this guide is based on our opinions and experience having dealt with thousands of pairs of second hand Levi's jeans through our vintage clothing business. We are in no way associated with Levi Strauss the brand or any other sub-brands associated with the company.

Model Number

This is the model or lot number of the pair of jeans which is used to identify them. On many Levi's jeans the model number is printed on the back badge or tag situated above the back right pocket on the waistband. Many also have the model number printed on labels on the inside of the garment. Some examples are shown below.

Brag Vintage Levi's Jeans Guide: - Different labels


This is the style of the jeans ie. Straight leg, bootcut, tapered, loose, etc. Below are brief explanations of the main cut styles.

Straight Leg Jeans are straight fitting meaning they have a consistent width running down the hem.
Bootcut Cut to flare out slightly towards the lower leg to fit a boot as the name suggests.
Tapered The cut tapers in towards the lower leg and the jeans seem to narrow the closer towards the hem you get.
Loose These are most often also straight leg but the width of the leg is larger so they are obviously baggier than a normal straight leg.
Skinny/Slim This cut is much more modern and is a lot tighter fitting as the name suggests.
Comfort A looser fit not as baggy as a loose fit but giving more room than a normal straight leg jean.


The rise refers to the distance from the top of the waistband at the front of a pair of jeans to the crotch seam at the top of the inside leg.

High Rise These are worn high up on the waist, this is the largest proportional measurement from the waistband to the crotch seam.
Mid Rise These fit lower down the waist and there is a smaller proportional measurement from the waistband to the crotch seam.
Low Rise These fit low down on the hips and have a small proportional distance from the waistband to crotch seam.

Availability Score

We have given each series number an availability score from 1 to 5. This gives an indication of how easy the jeans are to get hold of at present.

5 Still in mass production
4 Still available new, not mass produced
3 Production ceased but easily available second hand
2 Production ceased, hard to find
1 Rare

A Brief History of Levis

As you probably already know Levis is a privately owned company which was started by a German born man by the name of Levi Strauss. He moved to America as an 18 year old boy in 1847 to join the family's dry goods wholesale firm. In 1853 he became an American citizen and the same year Levis Strauss & Co was founded. Levi moved from New York to San Francisco to expand his dry goods business and upon arrival he noticed there was a large demand for rugged work pants from the local workers and miners and went about making his now famous jeans. He initially used brown canvas and after exhausting the local canvas supply he sourced a material from France called Serge de Nimes. This was shortened to “de Nimes” and denim was born. Indigo dye was later used to make the jeans blue.

In 1873, he patented the riveting process, along with a tailor called Jacob Davis who came up with the idea, which was used to strengthen the corners of the pockets and stressed areas of the jeans.

In 1890 the patent expired and Levis began using the iconic 501 trademark. In 1902 Levi Strauss died at the age of 73. The famous red tab to the back right pocket was introduced later on in 1936. Levi Strauss experienced massive growth from the early 1960's to the mid 1970's during the so called “blue jeans craze” when jeans flooded into Europe and Asia.

Brag Vintage Levi's Jeans Guide: - Portrait of Levi Strauss

The firm expanded it's product line adding new models and styles including stone washed jeans which it was now able to produce after acquiring Great Western Garment Co, the innovator of the modern “stone washing” technique. As of 2010 the company headquartered in San Francisco, California now has 16,500 employees, 470 company operated stores, and over $4 billion revenue. Levi's today continues to be an innovative leader and trendsetter of American fashion, style and culture.

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