Finding Your 501s

"The ones made by Levi Strauss are the best cut, best-looking pair of pants that have ever been designed by anybody. Nobody will ever top the original bluejeans," wrote Andy Warhol in his 1975 book The Philosophy of Andy Warhol: From A to B and Back Again. "I want to die with my bluejeans on." 

There is something to be said about Warhol's commitment to Levi's denim - the relationship between a person and his or her jeans is overtly complicated, after all. One's favorite pair awakens priceless memories with every wear, while another pair showcases one's weight gain with muffin tops and sausaged thighs. Regardless, I personally wouldn't mind kicking the can whilst wearing my favorite pair of jeans.

Venture into my closet to discover stacks upon stacks of denim. Light wash and indigo-dyed, distressed and frayed, my collection of jeans is seemingly endless and comprehensive. My staple skinny is the Hudson "Collin" and I recently purchased my first-ever pair of white jeans, the luxurious Frame "Le Garcon", but the vast majority of my jeans are sourced at Goodwill. Where else would I find unlimited access to an endless supply of perfect Levi's 501s? 

Denim in itself revolutionary, but 501s are to be idolized. Originally deemed "waist overalls", Levi's 501s are mocked and ridiculed as unflattering and grotesque, earning the laughable nickname of "mom-jeans". Nevertheless, my devotion is unwavering. The now-iconic design is favored by style mavens across the globe, and for good reason - the raw essence of the original workwear staple is sexy, confident, and free of inhibitions. 

I strongly believe that every woman should own a pair of Levi's 501s. Wear them pridefully. The high, cinched waist is not only slimming but also lengthening, and the mere invigorating these jeans instill into the wearer is life changing. (When I wear mine, I feel invincible). My method of sourcing the most authentic, fantastical 501s is by scouring the racks of Goodwill and other thrift and vintage stores; not only are the prices considerably cheaper than purchasing a brand-new pair, but the denim is already worn in by a mysterious stranger. The material so soft and flexible that the irrelevance of the begrudging process of breaking in a new pair of jeans in somewhat gleeful. 

However, online retailers and store brands have recognized the resurgence of Strauss' signature workwear and have adopted to the needs of its blossoming followers. Those fond of online shopping or wary of wading through the racks at a second-hand shop need not throw a tantrum - Levi's 501s are not hard to find.  Net-A-Porter features a capsule collection of "'customized and tapered' versions of the cult stye", eco-friendly retailer The Reformation offers refurbished pairs, and Re/Done specializes in only the best vintage Levi's. Etsy provides endless and often more-affordable options, as well. 

Whatever your budget, body type, or style, there is absolutely no reason to refuse the allure of Levi's most time-transcendent design. Buy yourself a pair of "waist overalls", of "mom-jeans", of 501s. Emulate Marlon Brando and Alexandra Spencer. Embrace the unconventional seduction of a good pair of blue jeans, of the best pair of blue jeans. Because if you were to die, you'd want to be wearing your Levi's 501s. 

Alexandra Spencer photographed by Alexandra Nataf for Unconditional Magazine.