The first pair of jeans I ever bought for myself... actually, the very first piece of clothing I ever bought for myself with my own, hard-earned money was a pair of Levi's 501 shrink-to-fit jeans. They were the thing at the time and Levi's jeans have been my thing ever since.
Levi's jeans were originally created out of a need for gold miners to have durable, comfortable clothing. While I've never been a gold miner, I have always found the 501 jeans to be durable and comfortable. I was a loyal customer.
Then they lost their way.
In an effort to stay relevant to the younger crowd, Levi's introduced many different cuts and materials, over the last 15 years or so. I was still able to find my 501's but it became more and more difficult because the shelves were filled with styles that seemed to all have the elastic/stretchy crap blended in.
You can't wear stretchy jeans for several days before washing because they lose their shape and then don't fit right. They are not durable. They fall apart and rip way too easily. They are not the kind of jeans I want to have.
Then Sunday morning, I was wearing my very last pair of 501's. They are well worn and barely holding together. They fit like a glove and wearing these jeans is like being at home.
I was feeling down on Levi's. Here I was wearing my very last pair. A product I had been supporting for 30 years. A product that was very much a part of who I am and I was mad at them for turning their back on where they came from.
Then I was at a farm and ranch store nearby picking up supplies and decided to check out their clothing section. I was thinking I might try out a pair of Wranglers (blasphemy for a Levi's wearer) or Carharts when I noticed they had a small section of Levi's jeans... and wait... 501's and wait one more time... Women's cut 501's in my size! Cue the choir of angels, I was in Heaven.
I bought two pairs and told the clerk how excited I was to find them there.
I can't say I'm too optimistic that Levi's has suddenly re-discovered their self, but I am very happy to see they are still making the 501's.