If you know anything about the fashion industry you probably know that fit has changed a lot in the last few decades. With the demand for vintage clothing (especially jeans) increasing over the last few years, people have become VERY confused what size they wear. And trust us, we get it. It becomes very difficult when you wear a 26 in modern day fits but a labeled size 7 in vintage Levis or maybe a 29x30?? Either way it’s hard and we don’t want people to have to remember the array of sizes they might be based on vintage fits, so we’re giving some tips on how you can figure out how to resize vintage jeans so they are perfect all the time.
Figure out what size you wear in modern day fits. If you average between two different sizes, we would recommend using the larger of those 2 size because unlike jeans that are made today, vintage denim often has no stretch.
*Bring a tape measure with you*
When you’re looking at vintage jeans, it almost is not worth it to look at the sizes on the tags. Many times this tag is deceiving (and though you will get better over time) it is better to learn measuring methods for a sure fit.
First things first:
Lay the jeans out flat on the table or on the ground. Do not make the front waistband even with the back waistband; keep them laying the way they would naturally fit, about 1.5”-2” higher in the back than in the front.
Take the tape measure and measure the back waistband of the jeans (should be just a straight line across the back) Finally, take that number and double it…. this will be the modern day size of the jeans!
Congrats! You did it.
But… vintage jeans can be tricker then just figuring out the sizes of the waistband. It is important to take into consideration your body shape and how that impacts the jeans you ultimately decide to buy.
...it is important to look for WOMEN’S vintage jeans. These really do create the perfect fit. For this body shape, we especially love a 550 shape, which really accentuates a small waist line. (and remember vintage fits are typically VERY high waisted). On the rack you can tell if the jeans are a women’s fit by seeing the waist line is proportionally smaller than the hips.
…you will have better luck wearing men’s vintage jeans. Most of the time men’s jeans are very straight from the waist to the hips and are perfect for this type of figure. You can tell mens jeans from women’s on the track too, just look for an upside-down U shape that the legs make when they hang. Or you can notice that the back pockets on the jeans sit a little lower on men’s jeans vs women’s.