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on January 29, 2016
Others have covered these jeans in detail and advised us to order the 501 shrink to fit Rigid Indigo, amazon labels it "Rigid STF".... I am here to tell you these are now down to 9oz denim and are in no resemblance to quality 501 STF from yesteryear.

I once was in a Levi's store and asked them why they still mark the red tags with "XX" on shrink to fit when this was historically the mark of the weight of the denim, so 20oz denim when you convert the Roman Numerals to denim weight. They looked confused and had never heard of that before. I was confused they were confused, I wasn't the one working at the Levi's store. The inside pocket now states to look for the "XX" to ensure you are getting authentic Levi's top quality denim.... but it is only 9oz. They are also running TERRIBLY smaller and I wish I ordered a longer inseam, but again as others have noted the sizing depends on where they are made, mine were made in Mexico.

Quality issues:

The red label was not stitched on correctly, or the tag is so cheaply made (feels like paper) that it tore out of the stitching within 3 days with a belt on. See picture.

I ordered size 32 x 34. I measured the new NEVER shrunk inseam because it seemed way to short, it was only 32", maybe 32.5" if I was being generous with the tape measure... it should be at least 34" minimum! I posted a picture next to my old STF 32x34s (they are black and behind the new jeans and have been shrunk) you can clearly see if I shrink the new ones I will lose about 2+ inches and have high water pants as they are only about .5 inches longer than the shrunk jeans.See second Picture.

Terrible quality control

Here is what I am frustrated about. Levi's knows how to make fantastic denim, they just aren't anymore. Levi's knows how to make consistent, uniform sized, reliable jeans with far and above the best materials, they just aren't anymore.... why? The pricing hasn't changed, so why has everything else.

In my search for quality denim at lower cost (it is not hard to spend $100+ on raw denim jeans) I found something in my local Kmart that may help some of you out. They are NOT shrink to fit but are likely the most inexpensive unwashed denim you can find. They are Rustler Indigo jeans (only the Indigo appear to be raw unwashed, I have only found them at Kmart). They are at least 13-14oz denim. There is only one cut (boot cut).

Their cut is actually fairly similar to the 501 if it had a zipper, a little too wide at the bottom though, buy the size you actually need, maybe even a little smaller, not like the Shrink To Fit sizing. They stretch out over time a little bit assuming you aren't washing them. For the price if the fit isn't right have someone tailor it, still cheaper than Levi's and you can feel the difference in the quality of denim Rustler is using.

Now for the best part.....they are only $12 and go on sale for $10!!! Also they have a 1 year warranty where they will send you a new pair if it fails. They age VERY well and show nice wear marks (again assuming you are buying what they label as "Indigo" which are unwashed and stiff raw denim). Don't wash them, treat them like shrink to fit or raw denim. Once they are nice and worn in you can do a soak, freeze them, etc... lookup how to take care of raw denim. Not nearly as cool as Levi's, I know, but Levi's is forgetting their entire history as an American icon and really loosing reputation. No I do not work for kmart or rustler, just a guy who likes jeans that don't fall apart in a month.
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on August 11, 2017
I love these jeans. They are nice thick heavy duty good looking jeans that have always lasted me a really long time. That being said, I handle them differently than other jeans.

When I first get them, I take a HOT bath with them, and then wear them as they dry. I had always read that this guaranteed the best fit as they shrink to fit you as you wear them, and this method has worked for me. I also don't really wash them. Like ever. I make sure I'm not wearing them as like work jeans though and getting them real dirty so there is never really a need. If they start to get a little funky, then I throw them in the freezer for a day and they come out smelling just fine. Better than the freezer is just hang them outside on a cold winter day too.

I always had problems with knees blowing out in any other jeans I had. I have never had a knee blowout on these. On my very first pair (which I bought 3 years ago and still have) the seam on the inside of the crotch eventually did wear through and I started treating these as my go to crappy jeans. I wash them regularly, don't care about stains or tears, and they STILL have held up surprisingly well. The regular washing though has severely faded them and caused them to shrink even more. Not small enough to where I can't wear them, but smaller than I expected.

All that said, I will never buy any other kind of jeans again. I love these jeans.
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on May 7, 2016
The photos shows 2 pair of shrink-to-fit 501's that are 38x34 (I normally wear 36x30 or 36x32). In both photos the bottom pair haven't been treated yet.

For the top pair, I wore them in a tub of hot water for 30 minutes, let them line dry until damp, and then wore them until they were dry (did some housework and walked 2 miles). The length shrank ~3".

The second photo shows the waist shrinkage, ~1" so far (both top buttons are aligned-notice the difference between the labels) and from past experience the waist will probably shrink another .5-1" over time.

I don't plan on washing them again for about 6 months, probably longer.
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on January 28, 2018
I don’t wash my jeans (ever) so I’ve been trying to find a fit I like in the rigid denim so they wouldn’t stretch out with wear. I followed the sizing guidance based on the idea that I would soak them in hot water for two hours, towel dry, and then wear until completely dry. I also used a hairdryer when they were 75% dry just help speed up the process so I could sit down without dying my sofa.

I am 5 ft11”, 180 lbs. I wear a 33x32 in the 511 jeans (with stretch). I ordered a 34x34 realizing there would be no stretch in the waist, and they’re a mid rise, not low like the 511. The waist is perfect, and the fit is what I wanted. Relaxed, but not comical boot cut looking jeans. The length is where I want it after drying, I double cuff my jeans with 1.5” cuff. Hopefully this helps anyone trying to figure out how to order the rigid denim. Now I’ll see how well they hold up to daily wear.
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on January 7, 2017
For 30 years (about every 4 years) I buy 4 new 501 shrink-to-fit jeans. I will buy no other jeans... until now. I bought 2 new pair, washed them as I always have, and the button holes are shredding and catching the buttons and fraying and are already not closing. My 4 year old jeans seams are in better condition than the brand new pairs. OBVIOUSLY Levis has lowered themselves to the modern world of crappy construction. It's a sad day for me. I never thought they'd change--I thought Levis would be the one constant in an ever-changing world of companies lowering their standards and changing for the worse. But nothing is sacred. I will never buy Levis again.
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on November 16, 2017
This is the purest old school pair of jeans you can get. The rigid denim hasn’t been pre washed, pre shrunk or pre anything. They are oversized to allow for the fabric to shrink, especially in length. When you first get rigid denim, it is stiff and uncomfortable. It takes a couple washings and wearing to soften them up. I don’t put shrink to fit jeans in the dryer. The first time or two I wash them, I wear them wet and let them shrink to fit my body. I turn them inside out, cold water wash, hang dry after that. If this seems like too much work, get the rinse denim, which have been softened, but not pre shrunk.
Personally, I like the process of breaking in jeans, instead of getting jeans that are pre shrunk, pre washed with fake wear lines and fades.
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on February 18, 2018
I started buying 501 STF jeans a few years ago as an introduction to raw denim. I wanted to see what the raw denim craze was all about, and at typically $40, the 501 STF is about the cheapest pair of raw denim jeans you can find. Once you get the sizing and shrinking process down, you'll love them! Here is what I do:
1.) I size up 2 inches in the length and size down one in the waist. I wear a 36x30 in Levi's 541 (also a great pair of jeans if you want a slimmer look), and so in 501 STF I order a 35x32. The extra 2" in the length allows me to do a very small double cuff, which i prefer.
2.) I then soak them by themselves (inside out with no agitation to retain color) in a tub of HOT water for 30-45 minutes. I make sure to weigh them down and submerge them.
3.) I then let them hang dry, and they are usually dry within 24 hr. You'll see a lot of people recommend wearing them while wet, but I've seen this lead to baggy knees and diaper butts in the jeans.
4) Then I simply wear the crap out of them. They are VERY tight in the waste at first, but after about 2-3 days of continuous wear, they stretch and become extremely comfortable in the seat/thigh area.

One caveat about these jeans is that since they are raw denim, they are fairly stiff and not soft. They will soften up over time with wear and washes.
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on February 10, 2017
I where 35 W 36 length. Very hard to find 35 waist jeans. 36 to baggy, 34 too tight. So I decided to test my luck with these shrink to fit.

I ordered 36 W / 38 L washed them in hot water and put in the dryer and they fit perfectly. Moving forward I'll only wash and air dry but needed to put them in the dryer to shrink them down to my size.

I look forward to years of use out of these jeans (as long as my waste doesn't get too big!).
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on May 8, 2016
Very disappointed with quality of the sewing of these. The top button hole was nothing but a small slit about half the size of ithe button with no stitches , I had to cut the slit longer to accommodate the button. For the price the quality should higher. The fit was great.
After a few washing and being more and more upset by horrible quality of the stitching and the denim being low quality I took them to a large retailer who confirmed what I suspected, THEY ARE COUNTERFEIT. NO RED TAG, ALONG WITH OVERALL QUALITY. Very dissapointed that Amazon does not do a better job of looking into this . I am not the first to complain. I'be been wearing Levi's 501 shrink to fit for over 55 yrs. Know the real item. DON'T BUY THIS JUNK AT ANY PRICE.
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on August 31, 2016
I've been wearing these for over 50 years. The most significant change is where they are made. The most recent pair is from Haiti, the previous ones were from Egypt and before that from Mexico. Because they shrink so much, they're a bit tricky to buy because the off-the-shelf fit does not correspond to their fit after about four wash and (hot) dry cycles. They shrink 10%. That's most noticeable in the length. Waist shrinkage can be offset somewhat by stretching during wear. After they're washed the first few times, it's a struggle to close the waist but the jeans eventually relax through the waist. The shrinkage in the length is forever.
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