Maybe some of you will be surprised to learn that I'm actually a full on, hardcore, unapologetic jeans and t-shirt kinda gal. Sure, I like fashion and dressing up, but I feel my best and am at my most comfortable when wearing a t-shirt (preferably a bright white, crew neck one!) and a pair of my favorite blue jeans. During the colder months, I will of course add in a sweater to the mix, and during the warmer months, I basically live in cutoffs. In my lifetime I have owned and loved an embarrassing amount of cutoff denim darlings, but now the only ones left (after I KonMari'd my wardrobe and only kept the ones that truly spark joy in me) are my pairs LEVI'S 501 shorts.
Apparently, the 501s were the first denim shorts ever made and has been around for ages. I must say, I totally understand why this style has stood the test of time, because even as a 30-something I find it to be a staple in my summer wardrobe and plan on wearing them for years to come. I think nowadays more people are moving towards buying classic, timeless and high quality items that will stay in their closets for longer than a season, and that's why these shorts are so popular.
Okay, I know you're probably thinking, "Uh... why do you have so many pairs of the same shorts, woman!?" Believe it or not, but they are actually different from each other, I promise! Denim comes in hundreds of shades and it is my mission in life, as a cutoffs enthusiast, to own all of them. (Not really, but that would be awesome, am I right!?) Currently, there are 16 different colors available on LEVI.com, but they frequently add more and change up the shades. You can also find more options on NORDSTROM.com, ASOS.com and SHOPBOP.com. And don't forget about vintage 501 finds on ETSY.com and EBAY.com. Pictured above are the four pairs I currently own. From left to right, they are in the colors Sea Island, Sierra Oasis, Boomtown and Echo Park (which I'm wearing in the first image on this post.) Tieneke is a fellow LEVI'S 501 lover, and also have two pairs in her collection. Pictured below she is wearing the iconic light blue shade, Sierra Oasis.
Sizing & Fit
We find these shorts to be true to size... for the most part. Tieneke did buy a pair in her regular size on SHOPBOP.com a few months ago, and it turned out to be one size too small, even though she ordered it in the same size as her other two pairs. We are still perplexed as to why. Through my research on the sizing, I have come to the conclusion that it is really a hit or miss situation when you order online. Some reviewers swear they run large, and others are adamant that you have to size down. So, if there isn't a LEVI'S store near you and you don't have a way to make sure about your size, I would recommend sticking to your regular size in jeans when ordering a pair online. They have a mid-rise fit, sitting comfortably at your waist. Of course you can size up if you want a looser fit, but on the other hand, do remember that the denim is non-stretch and will not be forgiving if you order a size too small.
Details & Material
The LEVI'S 501 cutoffs have been around for generations (hence the many many vintage options available) and have really become the most iconic denim shorts ever made. These classic shorts are 100% cotton, heavyweight, non-stretch denim, which means they are durable and can be worn for many many years. I've already had some of my pairs for more than 3 years, and they are still in perfect condition. They fray naturally at the bottom over time after washing, but not too much that you will have to worry about showing too much skin. They also have the signature button-up fly (which is a pain, but true to the 501 series' style).
How to Wear
Another thing I love about this style is that you can basically wear any top with it; t-shirts, blouses, boho-style tops, light sweaters, bodysuits and button-ups. My personal favorite pieces to wear with these shorts are a casual t-shirt or a flowy blouse, and recently I've been loving the knot-tied button-up shirt look. I also wear it with my bikini top when we are at the beach or on vacation. They go with most of my shoes, too. My favorite ways to wear them are with flat sandals, ballet flats, espadrilles or white sneakers.
I highly recommend the LEVI'S 501 denim cutoffs as a timeless addition to your summer wardrobe. With so many ways to wear them, they will significantly decrease the amount of times you say "I don't have anything to wear!" when standing in front of your closet. Go try on a pair to find your size, and start building your collection immediately.
- Get a pair here (you get a 20% off discount code if you sign up for their email newsletter!)
- Also find more options here, here and here.
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