How to distinguish an original Levi's from a fake?

How to distinguish a fake Levays from the original Cloth

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The quality of the Levi`s brand is beyond doubt, so you need to know how to distinguish a fake from the original? First of all, we note that T-shirts, shoes, shirts and other things are also produced under this brand.

Representing in general terms the history of the company, the intended purpose of the clothes it produces, it is quite difficult to purchase a “singed thing”. Many questions will disappear by themselves. For example, a person who understands exactly what jeans and T-shirts are, as well as other clothes manufactured by Levi`s, will no longer be sold thin satin trousers imitating denim or a “translucent” T-shirt, on the shoulder seams of which even a hanger leaves traces.

What does Levi's produce?

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The full name of the company is Levi Strauss & Co. This is exactly how it should be written on the tag of the T-shirt, on the patch of jeans and on the labels of other things. Levi`s is an abbreviation that is mentioned on tabs sewn into the seams, on bolts, rivets and other similar elements.

The Levi Strauss & Co brand appeared in the century before last, and their legendary jeans, known throughout the world as the Levis 501, appeared at the beginning of the last century, in 1920. What does it say? The fact that authentic trousers simply cannot have any cutting-edge additions. For example, water-repellent impregnations, fragmentary abrasions, decorative flaws, plastic elements, and so on are evidence of a fake.

Company logo

Levi Strauss & Co make simple, affordable clothing for everyday wear and physical work. The history of the company began together with the beginning of the gold rush in California. Gold miners needed durable, comfortable and cheap clothing, and Levi`s provided it.

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The company was founded in 1853 by Lew Strauss, a merchant and haberdasher. In 1872 he was joined by Jacob Davies, a tailor who had worked with Strauss for several years as an indentured laborer. This man's real name is Jacob Yofis. He left for the USA from the Russian Empire, traveled around the country for a long time and settled in Nevada, in the town of Reno.

Jacob not only collaborated with Strauss, he also bought haberdashery from him for his own needs. The tailor sewed trousers for cowboys and handymen. Strauss provided clothing for gold miners. Having united, they began to sew truly universal clothes, which at that time had no alternative.

The first Levi Strauss & Co items were made from canvas.

But Levi Strauss was constantly looking for an alternative to her. The canvas was strong, but stiff and heavy enough that it was uncomfortable for those who wore clothes. Of course, the founder of the brand was not particularly interested in the comfort of customers, he was just a good businessman and understood that as soon as more comfortable, but no less durable clothes appeared, people would stop buying his products.

Clothing store Levays

The canvas was replaced with "Serge de Nime" fabric. Strauss's cousin and co-founder of the company “took a sample” of her roll on one of the Canadian merchant ships that called at the port of San Francisco. The name is translated into Russian as "twill from Nimes". In everyday speech, this name was reduced, changed in pronunciation and began to sound like "denim". All denim clothing produced under the label of the company, which is colloquially often called "Levis", is made from this particular fabric.

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Levays Logo

Levi Strauss & Co is a conservative company. This company has never produced "fashionable" things. For example, in the days when there was a hippie subculture and all young people wore wide, flared pants, Levi`s continued to sew classic simple straight jeans.

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What to look out for

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Of course, ideas about the origin of the brand and what kind of clothes this company sews are not enough to distinguish the original from a good quality fake. This knowledge will only be enough to distinguish between the original and low-grade "singed" clothes.

Comparison of the original and fake Levays

You can understand what kind of thing is offered in the store by carefully studying the following nuances:

  1. Material.
  2. Seams.
  3. Patch.
  4. Tab.
  5. Clasp.
  6. Pockets.
  7. Rivets.
  8. Labels.

At the same time, you need to know exactly what is being bought. Levi Strauss & Co produces several clothing lines.

Signs of a fake

For example, the Levis Authentics Signature label indicates that the customer is lucky enough to be holding a US domestic-only item designed for physical work such as home repair, car repair, gardening, handcrafted furniture, construction, or other , a similar pastime.

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The patch on such clothes looks completely different from traditional models, and the tab is completely absent. But in Russia, such jeans and other things are very rare, however, in Europe too.

Check Levi's jeans by barcode:

Enter 13 digits of the barcode:

Original Levi's jeans don't have any eye-catching packaging. Therefore, it is important to inspect its appearance as a whole. The transparent bag should have an optimally selected size. It necessarily contains minimal information about jeans.

Packaging of original Levi's and fakes

There is a tag on the packaging of real Levis. From it you can determine the size of the jeans. There are no printing defects on the original label.

Tag on the packaging of original Levi's

Inspection of the tags is another way to distinguish a fake Lewis. There are several labels on the original pants. There are also fakes, but of much worse quality.

Tag on original Levi's

First of all, you need to inspect the insert-tag on the pocket. The arrows on it should point exactly to the places of additional firmware.

Tag on original Levi's

Levi Strauss & Co is passionate about dimensional accuracy. Therefore, if a thing came up once, then the next one can be bought without trying it on. This rule is true both for jeans and other products of the company.

It is important to carefully read the information on the label. If the pants have not been processed, then after the first wash they will sit down by 1 size.

Information about the size of jeans is duplicated several times. Fraudsters rarely repeat all the tags. This is especially true of the label, which is attached to the outer part of the jeans. If it is not there, then before the buyer Levis is a fake, not branded pants.

ESize label on original Levi's

Another way to distinguish the original Lewis from a fake is to inspect the tag on the belt. Pay attention to the code. It consists of two parts. At the beginning, the model of the pants is indicated. So, for example, Levi's 501 code should start with 00501.

Code on original Levi's

The second part of the code indicates the color of the denim. The fake on the tag is just a set of numbers and letters. They cannot be deciphered. Therefore, reading the code is a great way to distinguish the original Lewis.

Code on original Levi's and fake


To check Levays, it is recommended to read the barcode. Real pants will go to the official website. For a copy, the smartphone will hopelessly try to read the code.

Barcode on original Levi's

Inability to read the barcode of a copy

Barcode on fake Levi's


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Checking the composition is a good way to tell a Levis from a copy.

Most branded jeans are made from pure cotton. The exception is stretch pants.

In addition to cotton, fakes have other components in the composition.

The composition of the fabric on the original Levi's and on the fake

The fabric from which the clothes of this brand are sewn is the original French denim. As this material looked in the nineteenth century, so it looks now. There were no changes in the quality and appearance of the fabric.


The main characteristics of the fabric:

  • softness;
  • strength;
  • high density with a relatively small thickness;
  • structure.

Virtually every denim aficionado can tell the difference between the original denim used in Levi's clothing by simply looking at the fabric and feeling it.

Original and fake material

The structure of the fabric is pronounced embossed diagonals, the same on the front and back sides. If the threads of the material are not diagonally located, there are not original jeans on the counter, but their imitation.

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Clothing of this brand is intended for everyday wear and physical labor. Accordingly, the seams must be super high quality. There can be no talk of "protruding threads", poorly finished edges, or overlocking of the main seams. Overlock processed only minor seams that do not carry loads when wearing the product.


Threads deserve special attention. The real things of the Californian clothing manufacturer are sewn only with dense and “thick” cotton threads. In modern conditions, such threads are an expensive pleasure, therefore, for falsification, threads that are half synthetic are usually used. It is easy to distinguish them, you need to rub the thread with a fingernail or a nail file, a hairpin. Cotton dense threads are twisted from thinner ones, and synthetic ones are monolithic.

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Natural threads

Of course, this should be done in the fitting room, and not before the eyes of the seller. The best option for distinguishing is to singe the thread with a lighter. But, of course, it is impossible to resort to it in the store.

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A patch is a patch on a belt, on which a marking, a label is applied. When it comes to Levi Strauss & Co products, it's hard to navigate by patch. For example, the widespread belief since perestroika that the belt patch on these American jeans is leather is a delusion.


Genuine leather is currently only found on the original Levis 501 and the vintage line. But the Levis 501 that says "traditional" is stitched using a leatherette patch. Leather substitutes have been used since the middle of the last century. Other iconic designs, such as the Levis 511 and Levis 514, are only sewn with a compressed paper patch.

The patch can be aged if the model has been subjected to additional processing, for example, it has been worn out by stones or passed through the primary wash, has been aged in acid. As a rule, this is characteristic of clothes, the color of which differs from the original "blue" denim.

Aged Patch

Accordingly, when considering a patch, you need to pay attention not to the material, but to its quality. The patch pressing of authentic American clothing is so good that it is often mistaken for leather. It does not tear or wear out, does not deteriorate when washed or rubbed. It is impossible to break it, which means that you need to try to tear the tip of the patch while in the fitting room. If this succeeds, an imitation is presented in the store.

The branded patch has a special perforation. Copies do not have it, so it is difficult to tear off part of the label.

Perforation on original Levi's and fakes

Perforation is not only a tribute to the old fashion, but also a great way to distinguish fake Levis jeans.

Tear-off coupon with perforation

As for the drawing, the text and the method of its application, it is so primitive that it is easy to imitate it on a simple "home" press. Therefore, special work is not required in order to fake the appearance of the patch.

There may be other differences on the patch. Many copies do not have the letters XX. You can identify all the inaccuracies if you have obviously original jeans on hand. Therefore, this is not the easiest way to distinguish Levis from a fake.

Patch code on original Levi's

Early models had a patch on the inside of the waistband. Modern branded pants do not have it. Fakes still continue to have internal patches.

Internal patch on genuine Levi's and fakes


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A tab is a flag sewn into a seam. The typical color is red, but on black jeans the tab is white and the lettering is green. Orange and green tabs are also used. If there is no inscription, but there is a specific icon, then this is evidence that the thing is the hundredth in the lot.


When considering a tab, you need to “see at the root”, and not evaluate the font and color. Differences of the original flag:

  1. Reinforced cotton material.
  2. The inscription looks the same both inside and outside.

A flag made of synthetics, a sloppy wrong side are signs of imitation.


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The iconic 501 jeans are bolt-on. There can be no talk of any lightning. It is not found in original or traditional models. But this does not mean that zippers are not used on other models.


Number of buttons by size

Buttons on fake



As soon as the company began producing things with zippers, Talon became their supplier. But, this company could not stand the competition and ceased to exist. For this reason, "conservatives from California" were forced to change the supplier. Modern jeans have a YKK zipper. The Levi`s branding is engraved on the Talon zippers, not on the YKK haberdashery. The zipper on the original clothes is metal. There is no plastic in Levi`s things.

The note about plastic doesn't just apply to zippers, it also applies to bolts and rivets. The original bolts are completely made of metal, every part of them is iron. It is the bolts that cannot be faked even by those who are engaged in the manufacture of imitations of the highest quality.

On the reverse side of the bolt, on its mount, the inscription Levi`s is engraved. The metal from which the bolts are made is an alloy that is resistant to corrosion. If suddenly a white coating, rust or a green tint appears on the fastening elements, the thing is an imitation.

Serial number match

The bolts are also stamped with a number. It coincides with the numbers printed on the patch and indicated in the item's serial passport and on its labels. In addition, the details of the bolts are dense, resistant to impact. It is impossible to pierce them or make a dent, as on tin or aluminum.


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Speaking about the fact that the offered trousers are an original thing, sellers constantly draw the attention of buyers to the decorative figured seam on the back pockets. Is it worth giving importance to it? After all, any housewife who has a sewing machine can make a seam that is more reminiscent of the McDonald's logo than the "beak of an eagle", as it is usually called.


Accordingly, you should not listen to sellers and enthusiastically consider the “original unique and unique” curly line of machine stitching. In addition, its depth and shape are not exactly the same on different models, and it is not at all on the clothes of the Levis Authentics Signature line. Attention should be paid to completely different nuances.

The top corners of the pockets are reinforced with Bartack Stitch. It is a roller of tightly fitting threads, of course - the same width and density as in the seams. On the vintage clothing line, the corners are secured with hidden rivets. Through rivets are placed on exclusive items of the vintage line. Vintage clothing is Levi's Vintage Clothing line. It is this name that appears on the patch and labels.

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Roll of thread

hidden rivet

On the lining of the front pockets there is a print with detailed information about the manufacturer, line and model type. The print does not fade or wear out even after several years of intensive wear and frequent washing. Visually, it is perceived not as applied to the fabric, but as imprinted inside the material.

The print should have clear contours and be free of errors. The abundance of Chinese characters is unacceptable.



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The difference between branded and cheap rivets used in the manufacture of imitations is obvious even to a non-specialist. Levi`s rivets are different in appearance, they are different on each clothing line. But they all have a common distinguishing characteristic - strength or rigidity.

Copper rivets with Levays inscription

six rivets

It is impossible to bend the original rivet. There is a legend told by tour guides at the Levi Strauss & Co museums in San Francisco and Amsterdam. It tells how cowboys and gold miners used these rivets. They rubbed serial numbers on Colts, scraped ore, cleaned dirt from under fingernails, lifted the edge of a cork on a bottle, and did other things.

While in the fitting room, it is worth trying to bend the rivet, for example, using nail scissors or a metal nail file. If it works out, the thing is an imitation.


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Tags sewn on the inside of the belt were originally needed in order to hang trousers on a hook. Therefore, they are secured with only two side seams. The label material is thickened cotton, there are no satin ribbons or synthetics on the original items.

Embroidered labels on jeans


Fake with elastane

The tag has the model name and serial number, same as:

  • on labels;
  • on a patch;
  • on the paper passport of the product;
  • on the inside of the front pocket.

Under the belt, another label is sewn into the seam - it indicates the country of manufacture, the composition of the material and the serial number of the model.

Serial number

Logo label

Labels-labels are sewn on the side inside, on which standard information about the product is presented.


Levi's - budget clothing. Therefore, protruding threads in the original are the norm. Cutting them does not lead to the formation of holes or other unpleasant consequences. The seam of branded jeans should be even and with uniform stitches. Any distortion is a sign of pali.

It is important to inspect the inside of the seam. There should not be any significant errors. Copies have sewn-in shreds of fabric or paper.

Stitches on fake Levi's

The pants need to inspect the seam under the fly. In the original, it has a special shape similar to a triangle. Replicas cannot boast of such a seam.

The seams on the shirinken of the original Levi's and on the fake

On the belt from the button, branded Lewis has a diagonal stitching. Fakes don't have it. Therefore, such a check is the right way to distinguish Levays from a replica.

Seams on original Levi's and fakes

How to choose the size of original Levi's

Levi's jeans are sized in inches, denoted by the letters W and L.

When choosing the size of Levis jeans, the following parameters are taken into account:

  • W - waist circumference. Measure around the narrowest part of your waist;
  • L - inner seam. Place a tape measure on the inside of your leg and measure from crotch to ankle;
  • H - landing. Measure around the widest part of the thigh and buttocks;
  • B - thigh. Measure the circumference of the thigh 5 cm below the crotch.

Taking measurements

Size W

Waist cm Landing cm

Hip, cm


67-68 81-82 51-52
27 69-71 83-85



72-73 86-87 52-53
29 74-76 88-90



77-78 91-92 55-56
31 80-81 93-95



82-83 96-97 57-58
33 85-86 98-100



87-88 101-102 57-61
35 90-91 103-105



92-95 106-108 62-65
38 97-100 111-113



102-105 116-118


Leg length in the table below:

Size L

Inseam, cm

Height, cm


72-77 167-172
32 77-82



82-87 182-183
36 87-92





A few tips for sizing genuine Levi's:

  • buy Levis jeans, you need those that sit very tightly on the body;
  • when choosing a size, consider the features of your figure;
  • Jeans made in Mexico are more likely to run larger than those made in other countries.
  • in most cases, they use denim treated with special methods for shrinkage; such jeans do not change their shape after washing.

About T-shirts

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The Levi Strauss & Co T-shirt matches the characteristics of jeans and other apparel in terms of labeling, seam treatment and tab look.

Women's T-shirt

The material of the T-shirt is a very dense cotton, which is not subject to any deformation at all. In the middle of the last century, the shoulder seams were additionally sealed with cotton tape, this processing option is still used on the lines of work and vintage clothing.

Man's T-shirt

The T-shirt does not shine through, even if you bring it close to the lamp. The collar does not stretch, no matter how they try to deform it. The width of the cotton jersey of modern T-shirts of this company is at least 3 mm.

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Other features: prices and sizes

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For some reason, the vast majority of Russians believe that Levi Strauss & Co clothes are expensive. And this shamelessly used by many clothing stores. Therefore, it is impossible to determine the authenticity of the product, focusing on its price tag. For example, a pair of jeans and a T-shirt at TSUM will cost more than a hundred dollars. And in Holland, the buyer will pay half as much for the same things.

Levi Strauss & Co clothing is budget. These are things for work and everyday wear. The cheapest products are sold only in the US domestic market. The most expensive are from the Levi's Vintage Clothing line. The cost of an exclusive, of course, is higher than serial items. The price of serial original cult jeans of the 501 model in European stores does not exceed $50, and the traditional 501 Levays will cost less.

Levi Strauss & Co is passionate about sizing. If a thing came up once, then the next one can be bought without trying on, it will fit in the same way. This rule applies to all products of the company. But you need to read the label carefully. If the item has not been processed, then after the first wash it will sit exactly one size.

jeans size

The company's production facilities are located in Asia, in the Dominican Republic, and in Holland, in Turkmenistan and other countries. Therefore, you do not need to look for the phrase "Made in the USA" on the labels.

To be sure of the origin of the product, it makes sense to buy it from the manufacturer. The address of the official website of Levi Strauss & Co is On it you can find a lot of interesting information about the clothes of this brand. Those who speak English will benefit from the official channel on YouTube video hosting -

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Andrey Kozhevnikov

Blog author. 7 years of experience as a Merchandiser. Specialist in the definition of quality products. Distinguished more than 5,000 fake goods. My motto: there is no limit to perfection!

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  1. Ilshat

    Great explanation. Levi's 501 original will be delivered to me the other day. I'll check the fit. Thanks for the detailed information.

    1. Andrey Kozhevnikov author

      Always happy to help 😉

  2. Harry

    I wonder why 501 model?

  3. Yuri

    Interesting review, but found nothing about vintage Levises. I came across an interesting pair of trousers model 502. It looks like the original, but the complete absence of any labels inside confuses. There is not even a trace of their presence ever. The only thing is that there is an inscription on the patch 502 0117 and numbers stamped on the pocket. There is a large E on the flag, Talon 42 usa lightning, a bolt with the number 8. Can you say something about this?

  4. Sasha

    now levis jeans are sewn from thin denim, you can say crap full like a rag like a summer version

  5. Sergei

    Now off. the Levis network in Moscow (for example, Europolis on Prospekt Mira) sells fakes and sells them at the price of the original! Be careful, order Levis in the USA and Europe and only in this way will you get the original, and even cheaper than our oligarchs who own all these stores.

  6. Juan

    Buscaba unos levis 501 pero una de las cosas que me sorprendía es que en los “ingredientes” tuviera elastano y poliéster además de algodón. En esta web lo especifica tal cual y además con fotos, los originales 100% algodón y falsificaciones suelen muchas venir de otros materiales que vienen presentes en la etiqueta. Muchas gracias por el trabajo que hiciste y por la utilidad.