14
Apr
14

Levi’s Jeans – Still Made in USA?

Levi’s Jeans has been a long standing institution in American clothing. Making jeans since 1874, named after its originator, Levi Strauss. Since then Levi’s has been the number one name associated with denim and jeans. Although Levi’s is still headquartered in San Francisco, California, like most jeans manufacturers, greater than 99% of their jeans are imported. If you want to read more about the history of jeans, see my blog entry: Jeans – American born, but American made? Part I.

Does Levis make Jeans made in the USA?

That is the question – does Levi’s make jeans in the USA? And if so, where can you find them? The problem with finding ‘Made in USA’ Levi’s jeans is that the amount they are producing is a moving target. For several years, all Levi’s were made outside of the country, then Levi’s brought back a limited amount of manufacturing to the United States in 2011 and 2012 with some 505’s, 511’s and, even, some 501’s. I actually purchased a pair of Made in USA 505’s jeans (for $180) at their flagship store in San Francisco in 2012. However, in 2013, there were no longer any “Made in USA” Levi’s jeans being made. That is because they were “re-branding”. The re-branding means that Levi’s can charge a premium (higher) price, even if they are not made in the USA.

Made and Crafted

The new Made and Crafted Line is Levi’s new premium line. The fabrics are woven either in the United States, Japan or Italy. The hand waxed leathers come from Italy. The construction is supposedly better even when it is imported. And the details, like buttons, are made of compressed cotton, bone or wood. And, of course, each pocket has the arcuate stitching that gives it that Levi’s trademark.

But, very few of the new Made and Crafted Levis jeans are made in the USA. But, it doesn’t mean they do not make any. They presently have three models of jeans made in the USA: Tack Slim Jeans (less), Ruler Straight Jeans (sweet blue) and Cutter Relaxed (added up).

Levi's Tack Slim (less) $235

Levi’s Tack Slim
(less) $235

Levi's Ruler Straight  (sweet blue) $235

Levi’s Ruler Straight
(sweet blue) $235

Levi's Cutter Relaxed (added up) $189

Levi’s Cutter Relaxed
(added up) $189

Of the other clothing, like the shirts and accessories – none appeared to be made in the USA, however, there was one varsity jacket made in Italy that I thought was quite nice. The other Made and Crafted line can be made in Portugal, Turkey, but also in China. There was an imported plain white T-shirt, selling for $69. So, it is not just “made in USA” that is expensive.

Levi's Varsity Jacket (Navy and Green) $950 Made in Italy

Levi’s Varsity Jacket
(Navy and Green) $950
Made in Italy

Where to Buy

The above jeans pictured can be purchased on the Levi’s website (listed above). Some of these “Made in USA” Levi’s jeans may be found at some of the larger flagship stores. Do not expect to find them at the smaller chain stores or especially at the Levi’s outlets. Actually, I did find one pair of Made in USA Levi’s jeans at a Nieman Marcus Last Call – I am sure that was just plain luck.

There is also a special editions of Levi’s found at Nordstroms (see the website link). The special edition is called Levi’s Vintage Clothing Line. These are reproductions of previous Levi products like the ones pictured below. The Indigo colored Denim jeans and jackets are usually made in the USA. The shorts, shirts, colored jeans are usually imported. Since the website of Levi’s Vintage Clothing Line is not very good at telling consumers where their garments are manufactured, I am listing the website of one of my favorite Independent clothing stores, Union Goods in San Francisco, that happens to carry the Levi’s Vintage Clothing Line and does give information as to whether they are “Made in the USA”. If they are made in the USA, it will say so, if it isn’t, it is not listed. Thank to Chris for pointing out the Vintage Line.

Levi's 1947 501 Vintage jeans ($240)

Levi’s 1947 501 Vintage jeans ($240)

Levis 1954 501 Vintage jeans ($240)

Levis 1954 501 Vintage
jeans ($240)

So, as of April 14, 2014, Levi’s does make some “Made in USA” jeans. But, they are a very limited amount made and they may be hard to come by. Happy Hunting. Remember that Levi’s is not the only maker of “Made in USA”, there are over 80 brands of jeans made in the USA that are found in brick and mortar stores, see “Listing of American Clothing Brands – Retail” and “Listing of Brands of Clothing Made in the USA via Internet” which lists another 41 brands.

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10 Responses to “Levi’s Jeans – Still Made in USA?”


  1. April 14, 2014 at 5:03 pm

    Thanks for the info Jack ! I just got my new pair of Roundhouse jeans; only $32.

    All the best,

    John

  2. April 14, 2014 at 7:46 pm

    I believe that the Levi’s Vintage Clothing (LVC) line is also made in the USA. All from Cone Mills (made in NC) and cut and sewn in US (not at Levi’s, but at smaller, independent locations).

    • April 15, 2014 at 2:55 am

      Thanks Chris,
      I had seen the Levi’s Vintage Clothing line in 2012 at Union Goods in San Francisco. The pictures from Nordstroms as you know are from the Vintage Line. I have amended the article to include the Vintage Line. The Vintage line does make their indigo colored jeans in the United States, but their shirts and shorts are not made in the USA, there are a couple of exceptions – a denim chambray shirt and a denim jacket.Thanks for the heads up. -Jack A.

  3. April 22, 2014 at 11:55 pm

    Another great source for Levi’s jeans that are Made in the USA is Brooks Brothers. To find Levi’s jeans on the Brooks Brothers web site you have to choose casual pants. You could scroll through all of them to find the Levi’s jeans or click “Levi’s” under the “Collection” header on the left side. For Spring 2014, Brooks Brothers has Levi’s 514 Slim Fit jeans in Dark Blue or White and Levi’s 501 jeans in a basic dark indigo which they call Navy. The best thing is that they are only $148 which is a lot less than the Levi’s Vintage Collection or the Levi’s Made and Crafted Collection.

    Larry

    • April 23, 2014 at 2:08 am

      Dear Larry,
      Great find!. The Brooks Brothers website does say that they carry the 514 and 501 Levis’ Made in the USA, specially made for Brooks Brothers. And it cost less than other Levi’s Made in the USA. Thanks so much. -Jack A

  4. 7 Susan Puckett
    March 22, 2016 at 8:51 pm

    I do not buy Levi brand jeans for a long time now. They paid low wages when they were here and now less when they moved across seas. CEO’s take your money and shove it. I don’t consider you to be Americans just greedy. Destroying America and that goes for all CEO’s that moved because of greed.

  5. 8 Mudzaffar
    March 12, 2017 at 2:54 pm

    Luckily I bought a few pairs of levis 501 for my personal use & collection. They are all Made in USA. Most of them are produced in 1980’s & 1990’s.

    • 9 Colin Howard
      April 30, 2017 at 12:41 pm

      I’m wearing a pair of 501’s that were made in Pakistan. It’s the 2nd pair I’ve had from that source. I’ve had 3-4 pairs before that which were all made in the USA. The latest pair cost £70.00 ($90.00) in the UK about a year ago. The American-made jeans when thrown away because of general wear&tear still had intact pockets whereas the foreign-made pair I’ve just thrown away still had some life but the pockets were holed! I don’t expect to have to repair Levi pockets!

      • 10 Mudzaffar
        May 2, 2017 at 2:54 am

        Levis that are made in Mexico are the best option now. Still having the quality expected.


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