Rare Vintage Levi’s 501 Jeans Double Red Tab 1960’s

This vintage Levi’s jeans from my private denim archive is a very rare pair. The fit is the legendary 501 and it’s produced in the late 1960’s. It has a number #6 stamped on the back of the buttons which refers to the 1960’s. This 501 jeans is very special because it has not one, but two Red Tabs on both backpockets. The Red Tab was introduced in 1936 on the right backpocket of their jeans. The Red Tab was created to differentiate Levi’s jeans from their competitors. This was because a lot of their competitors were also using dark denim and also arcuates on the back pockets. Levi’s registered their arcuate stitching later in 1943.

A Production Error Pair

On this 501 jeans pair they added two Red Tabs. This is a production fault as their is normally only one tab on the right pocket. What makes it extra extra special is that the Red Tabs are the blank ones with only the registered R on it. One out of 10 Red Tabs on the backpockets of a pair of Levi’s jeans is a blank Red Tab and does not include the full name of Levi’s. This to protect the Red Tab itself.

The Features Of The Levi’s Jeans

The jeans also feature the classic twisted legs, something you see a lot on vintage pairs of Levi’s. The fabric is right hand redline selvage from the American Cone Denim mill. The redline is completely washed out over the years. The coin pocket is stitched with yellow thread, the rest of the jeans with tobacco colour thread. This Levi”s jeans is produced in the so called ‘Big E’ period, (Levi’s Jeans which are produced before 1971), which you can see because after 1971 they added the carelabels on the inside of jeans. Before they added the carelabels they printed all the info on the innerpocket. The backpockets are single stitched, also common on true vintage Levi’s jeans.

Natural Fadings On The Jeans

The previous owner(s) used to carry round shaped tins or something in his backpockets. Both backpockets shows the same ageing silhouettes. The jeans has a beautiful worn-in indigo coloured look with different shades of blue. Both legs shows the iconic train tracks which you get when you wash your jeans a lot. All in all a perfect vintage pair of Levi’s jeans. 501 is the magic number!


Read also the previous article about a original vintage pair of Levi’s 501XX Jeans from the late 1930’s 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.