Vintage jeans—unquestionably the jeans of the moment—require some extra effort to pull off. Not because they’re any less comfortable and all-American than newer models, or because they won’t match nearly everything in your closet. Age doesn’t diminish denim’s versatility.
The problem isn’t about that shrunken fit, either. While the Levi’s and Lees and Wranglers of yore ran teeny-tiny, it’s not hard to learn the vintage-to-present-day conversion formula (basically, you’ll need to go at least three sizes up—more on that here!). No, I’m simply talking about the tremendous amount of work that goes into sifting through one-offs at thrift shops and auction sites for a pair that’s just right. Who really has that kind of time?
If you don’t, the 17 retro styles in the slideshow above will make the process much easier. My selection includes not only options from a wide span of decades (the ’60s, ’70s, ’80 and ’90s) but also from a variety of brands (the classic Levi’s, of course, but also a few wildcards like disco-era label Big Yank), washes (from faded and ripped to solid ocean blue), silhouettes (501s, 505s, bell bottoms and beyond) and sizes (ranging from 24 to 32). Click through to find your perfect vintage jeans without the hours (and hours and hours and hours!) of digging.