Today I want to highlight one of my original vintage Levi’s Jeans 507XX (also known as Type 2) jackets from my private denim collection. The jacket is from the ’50′s. The 507XX jacket was introduced in 1953 as the follow up on the 506XX (Type 1) jacket and was produced until 1962. The 507XX jacket has a selvage line inside which disappeared at the follow-up jacket, the 557XX (Type 3) Trucker model. The back of the buttons are stamped with #17. I own more original 507XX jackets and they all have this number, but I saw them also without this # stamped. Normally the number refers to a production period and/or the production factory.
The sleeveless biker jackets are also known as the ‘denim cut’ because bikers cutted off the sleeves and the collar so they could wear them over their clothes. When bikers were making long distance trips during cold weather riding (as in winter, below freezing temps), you know that wearing layers is necessary for keeping warm. When you wear very many layers that have sleeves, it’s very difficult to bend your elbows, so that’s why they cutted off the sleeves. That’s how the cut-offs were born.
One of the rumors is that before bikers were wearing leather club vests they wore only denim vests, but they made the change because when the cops busted the bikers they would often wash the bikers cut-offs to wind them up, which eventually led to the move towards leather cut-offs. Original bikers who rode in the ’60’s still wear denim cuts, as once you earn your cut, it’s for life. My cut-off denim vest has a ‘Harley Davidson’ patch on the front and a ‘Nomads’ patch on the back. A Nomad is an individual who may or may not be a member of a particular motorcycle club, and not bound by geographic territory. They will attend club meetings and pay required dues to different chapters, depending on his travels. So this jacket belonged to a real Nomad biker from the California area.
Denim cut-offs have always a story to tell. Besides that they always look very cool I really like hand made and customized denim jackets, it gives the jacket more character. Check below my Levi’s 507XX Big E ‘Nomads’ jacket from the ’50’s.