lee jeans longjohn

The Lee Jeans Details

Branding on a pair of Lee jeans was a key element since day one of the American denim brand. These elements are key so people notice immediately the brand name someone is wearing. Some of these jeans elements were developed as a practical element to make the worker pants more durable so it would last longer. And some of them were added just out of commercial aspect, better known as branding.

But, how can you recognize the authentic details from Lee jeans, the American denim brand? Which unique details still feature on their jeans and jackets? The most key details are highlighted here below so you can recognize a genuine pair of Lee jeans or jacket in a blink of an eye next time very easily.

The Buttons

The branded Buttons are made of heavy gauge metal. Rust-proof with two-prong tack fasteners securely fastened around the bar in the button so it can’t turn, they’re the strongest known button attachment.

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Bull’s Eye Rivets

The branded Bull’s Eye rivets reinforce the fabric and help to avoid tearing from day to day use.

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Hair On Hide Label

The iconic Hair on Hide label was created in 1936. Branded directly onto the cowhide, it practically screams cowboy.

Leather Patch

From 1946, the Lee leather patch on the waistband has the wavy brand brand logo. This custom font was created to symbolize a steer’s twitch when branded with a hot iron and represents another nod to the brand’s cowboy roots. Learn more about the original Lee Cowboy jeans here.

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Lazy S

In 1944, the introduction of the ‘Lazy S’ decorative stitching was made on the back pockets. Unique to Lee, it is also known as the ‘longhorn-stitch’ due to the shape created when a rider is sat on the back of his or her cattle. More historical facts on a genuine 1940s pair here.

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Cross Tacks

The ‘Cross Tacks’ on the back pockets are a clever replacement for traditional metal rivets, which can scratch or mar saddles, furniture or upholstery.

Zig Zag Stitching

The now iconic Zig Zag stitching on the classic Lee Rider Jacket is not just for decoration. It is precisely placed between the buttons for reinforcement and to avoid layers of denim shifting as you unbutton your jacket. Learn more the Rider jacket here and here.


Read also the previous Lee article: ‘7 Key Styles What Makes The Lee Brand Iconic’ here.

Written by Wouter Munnichs
I'm the founder of Long John. Next to running this daily magazine, I'm working as a freelance denim specialist for the industry. Titled as 'Denim Influencer 2020' by Rivet 50. Celebrated my 10th anniversary with Long John in 2021.