You will certainly not find a shortage of posts about jeans here on our site and that’s because there is so much to discuss and compare when it comes to these pants.
We have compared several styles of jeans and have previously looked at the history, origin and rise in popularity of some of the most beloved types of jeans.
With their daily use and never waning popularity among all ages and genders, there is no shortage of brands that design and manufacture jeans either.
Some more renowned than others, and some with higher prices than the rest, jeans brands are as varied as the product they specialize in.
One such brand is Lee, which is a top choice among men and women all over the world due to the high quality of the jeans they make.
Today, we will learn a bit more about the brand, while focusing on the authenticity of their products and how to tell whether the Lee jeans you have been looking to buy online (or even locally) are made by the brand itself or by some other “Lee”.
1. Lee Jeans – The Brand
A brand with more than a century’s worth of experience, Lee was founded by Henry David Lee in 1889 in Kansas.
Lee is a denim brand that designs not solely jeans but other types of pants, shorts, jackets, tops and different accessories such as patches, pins and belts.
This is a brand of many innovations when it comes to the denim industry, such as the stronger denim for those who needed workwear, as well as the zip-front design in overalls and the zipper fly in cowboy pants.
While jeans had been around for a long time until then, it was in the 1950s that Lee saw its major expansion and rise in popularity as jeans started to become popular as a casual wear rather than solely being work pants as they were previously.
Nowadays the brand provides numerous designs, styles, cuts and finishes, making it one of the top brands worldwide in the denim market.
2. Counterfeit Products – A Worldwide Problem
Being a major brand comes with certain benefits and advantages over other smaller and lesser-known brands. Higher earnings, better reputation and added workplaces for people all over the world, major brands contribute to society and economy as much as they profit from it.
As with everything, there are downsides, too. From legal issues, to unhappy customers there is a lot that can, and unfortunately often does, go wrong.
But, there is one major problem that all renowned brands are prone to face and that is the issue of counterfeit products.
Not Just an Ethical Issue
We get it, sometimes the prices from some popular brands are ridiculously high and you’d rather not spend that amount of money when you can get a brand-like product for much cheaper.
While to some it is unethical to purchase counterfeit products knowingly, those that do not have a problem with such practice should be aware that it is not solely a moral problem.
A counterfeit product will simply never measure up to the genuine one. We are not exaggerating at all. Apart from the overall look, a counterfeit product does not share many other similarities to the product it is replicating.
Its quality is lesser, both in design and material. It will not last for as long and there is bound to be something “off” when wearing it, such as wrong sizing, zippers that break easily or catch and poor stitching and finish.
Therefore, you might be spending less than you would if you were buying the genuine product, but considering the lesser quality, shorter durability and overall mishaps that might happen, you will have to buy the counterfeit product more often.
Other Problems With Counterfeit Products
While a counterfeit product will directly impact your wallet, as you will have to repurchase a product that does not last long, it also impacts other aspects of society.
Counterfeit products are not certified nor bear any guarantee on how and where they were made.
The Southeast part of Asia where many of the world’s counterfeit products are made is notorious for the use of unethical means of production.
Starting from the sourcing of the raw materials, fabrics and other necessary accessories that go into making a counterfeit products, there is no guarantee that any part of the sourcing process was done sustainably or ethically. There is no care for the environment when it comes to counterfeit products and that is something that we should be aware of.
Working environments are also known around the world for being unethically run, with cruel, grueling work hours for workers that are paid ridiculously low wages, the hiring of child laborers that is a whole different issue in itself, and facilities that meet no standards and badly affect the workers’ health and safety.
As uncomfortable as these things are, it’s best to be well-informed about what you are buying and what your money is contributing to.
3. Lee Jeans – How to Spot a Replica
Being a popular brand, Lee has also been affected by counterfeiting and its jeans are made by counterfeiters that label them as being genuine to scam those who look online.
This is not just an online issue only, as some local stores might also carry replicas instead of the genuine product.
For this reason, we will now go through some of the things you should keep in mind when purchasing Lee jeans, especially those looking to buy online, in order to make sure that you are not getting scammed by someone claiming to sell the genuine product.
Before we get to the actual product checking itself, the first, and sometimes most important step, is that of buying from a reliable seller or store.
Online, you will find Amazon.com sellers that carry genuine Lee jeans, but the most reliable of all is the brand’s website itself, which not only sells their products, but also help you locate a store near you that is guaranteed to have the original design.
If you come across Lee jeans online, make sure that the seller has numerous reviews that testify to it being genuine. Stay away from sellers and stores that cannot provide you with an actual product photo, have no reviews and that the seller is unresponsive.
If there is one thing Lee is well-known for, is the durability of its fabrics.
Their jeans are sturdy and thick, a sign that the denim is strong and durable and won’t tear after a month’s wear.
A counterfeit product will be made of lesser quality denim, which is thin and lighter. The fabric on the replica will also feel rougher, rather than soft and smooth like the genuine product.
Upon the first couple of washes, an original Lee product’s color will not bleed, while odds are that a counterfeit one will start to lose its color and fade out with every wash. This is due to cheaper dyes used and bad dying work.
Tags and Labels
Lee jeans usually come with several labels that show the size of the jeans, the material it is made out of, such as 100% Cotton, or other blends, and the country of manufacturing.
A fake product’s label may be made to copy the original’s, but there is a good chance there will be mistakes in both size and grammar used, mistakes that will not be found in the actual Lee product.
Buttons and Zipper
These may seem trivial, but original Lee jeans have rivets, buttons and zippers embossed with the brand’s name and are made of stainless steel, usually.
The embossing is difficult to be made by counterfeiting as it will not match the actual product’s embossing and online pictures can help you tell apart a fake embossing.
The quality of zippers is also a telltale sign as they usually catch or are of poor quality that can break with use.
Stitching and the Patch
A genuine pair of Lee jeans will have impeccable stitching, with no loose threads or poorly done stitching that can give in at any time.
The leather patch where the brand’s name is stamped on is another thing to look out for. While a really good counterfeit can use an actual leather patch, a much cheaper counterfeit will have a patch made of synthetic leather with poor stamping.
We hope you learned more about the effort that goes into making a high quality product and that now you will be more capable of telling apart genuine from replicas.
Smart shopping is the best shopping!