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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 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 17, 2017
I knew I wanted Levi 501's; I like the way they fit on me. I also knew I wanted dark-colored jeans. Everywhere I looked (Macy's, JCP, Levi Store, etc.) they were on sale for $39.99 or $49.99. Here on Amazon, I bought them for $9.63. After reading reviews to make sure they were not counterfeit, I took a chance and bought a pair -- and I am glad I did! They were made in Indochina but the stitching, the look and the feel are all perfect and what I would expect from the $50 pairs. They fit and I like the color, despite the name (Note to Levi's: NO ONE wants something that is "Plankton" colored. It sounds disgusting). Maybe that's why they cost $10.

The only negative is the "box" label with the size on the back (see picture). On the left side there is an "extra" half inch or so. No big deal -- I took out a pair of scissors and now it looks perfect. I was so pleased by the jeans that I bought a second pair.
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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 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 July 31, 2017
I have recently rediscovered Shrink to fit. Amazing. Perfect fit, durable, great looking jeans. I was tired of paying 100-200 for jeans that while nice, were not worth the money and fell apart far too quickly. My only advice, buy your waist size, and 1-2 inches too long, soak them in hot water, hang them up to drip for a bit, then pat dry with a dark towel ( so it does not stain). Then wear until dry. I tried a pair one size up in the waist and they ended up too big and baggy, even using the washing and drying method. You can't go wrong if they fit before getting wet and you wear them to dry, otherwise it seems difficult to get the shrinkage just right. Good luck. It is well worth it. Best jeans I have owned in years.
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on November 28, 2017
I've been wearing 501's for more than 30 years. Yes, the quality has gone down but they are still good jeans. I always buy the shrink to fit ones because I know how to shrink them and know how they shrink to my size. I never have much luck buying the pre shrunk ones because the tags are confusing. I can't count on if they are tagged before or after shrinking because the tagging is always inconsistent. I just buy the shrink to fit and buy them 1 inch bigger in the waist and 2 inches longer in the length. My actual size is 33-30 so I buy 34-32. I then wash them in hot water and dry them in a hot dryer and they shrink perfectly to my size. Be careful washing them though because the first 2-3 times washing them the dye bleeds and will stain other clothes. Just wash them alone or with other jeans the first few times. Actually if you put faded jeans with them it will add a little color to the faded ones.4 stars instead of 5 because of the quality getting worse over the years.
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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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on August 12, 2017
I have a 36" waist, and I bought a 38" STF. It's tight. The fabric is thin, and I was worried they were counterfeit Levi's, so I scanned the barcode.

They legit; however, they are made in Haiti, and the quality coming out of Haitian factories is poor. Too many cuts are made in quality. The fabric is too thin and lightweight to be a quality raw denim, and I'm worried about the fit after first washing.

I wear NOTHING but Levi 501 shrink to fit jeans. I've been wearing them since I was 16, and I'm 52 now. I bought a pair from Zappos four weeks ago and they were the quality I expect. This . . . is crap.

I'm very disappointed in both Levi's and this vender for selling them.
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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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