The best denim (vintage) is soft and warn. I am a big fan of distressing. If the jeans are really old they have naturally distressed patches, such as knees, hips and elbows. It took me a while to appreciate them, but I am now a fan of holes, and aged stains that just can't be bleached out. A t-shirt worn by a mechanic or painter with the oil stains and paint still apparent is just fun. Add a name tag, an old tag in the collar, especially if it's hand made by Peggy or sold be Sears or Penney's, and I am sold.
David and I have been working on techniques for distressing shorts that look like the jeans have been worn and washed for years. David tried a drill with sandpaper, and a drummel, but these are my favorite tools:
This is a piece of pvc pipe, some sandpaper wrapped around a paint stick, and a bottle of wine. That's all you need.
So, you stick the pvc pipe in the leg of the jeans, and start sanding. The most important thing to remember is DON'T BREAK THE WHITE THREADS. You want to sand across the leg of the jeans to break the blue threads, and keep the white threads intact. I use my fingers to pull the threads apart to further break the blue threads. After a bit of sanding I throw the jeans in the washer for 2-4 hours. This washes out the broken blue threads, and softens the jeans up even more.
Here are some of the jeans we sell. First, the cutoff shorts. These are hugely popular, and we carry tons of them. It's hard to keep them in stock because certain sizes are really popular and they're hard to find.
We also sell vintage Levi jeans, jackets, and denim shirts.
We also sell redline Levis, which are somewhat rare. They are from the 70's and are called redline because the inside seam is cut on the selvedge (the edge of the fabric) and they have a distinctive inner seam that has a red stitch in the white border.
Redline jeans are costlier than other jeans that have an overlock seam, because they use more fabric, and are no longer made in large production. New selvedge jeans are really pricey, but look great.
Here are some of the shorts I distressed recently, but I need to do a ton more for summer.
The top pair are really soft and nice. They also have a button fly (501s) versus a zipper fly (505s). Some people like one better than the other, depending on their preference for buttoning versus zipping. Buttons seem more old school.
Here is a lovely model wearing a pair of Twig's jeans, as well as some examples of people on the street, including Kanye West, wearing vintage Levis.
I have some very cool old holey sweatshirts that I will post about next time.