We cannot get enough of jeans! So we talk again about our absolute fave wardrobe item because no other fashion piece is so comfortable, casual, and stylish as a pair of blue jeans.
To help you with the choice, we have a new brand comparison. It is the time for two American giants: Levi’s and Wrangler.
Today we are going to have a look at their past, what makes them unique, and put under the spotlights two popular jeans for each brand. Which one is best for you? This is what we try to answer later on.
We decided to compare Levi’s and Wrangler because they embody the true U.S. spirit.
A country of hopes and a brighter future made by hard-working people, many travelers, adventurers, and cowboys… wearing jeans!
Table of Contents:
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1.1 The Brand
It is known worldwide simply as Levi’s; Levi’s Strauss & Co. is an American brand founded in 1853 by Levi Strauss, a Bavarian immigrant with a great eye for business.
Levi followed his brothers to New York, where they had a dry good export company. Levi saw that the market was growing on the West Coast and opened a family branch in San Francisco.
Levi also dealt with resistant denim fabric, but big times arrived when a client, Jacob Davis, asked him to join forces to finance his innovative fashion product: jeans reinforced with metal rivets, never seen before!
Levi and Davis got a patent on 20 May 1873, so the blue jeans were born.
The brand Levi’s surrounded itself with a popular myth bonding its venture to the California Gold Rush.
These rumors gave Levi’s an aura of adventure and audacity. However, the gold rush peaked in 1849, way before the registration of the patent and the launch of Levi’s most famous jeans, the 501, in the 1890s.
Read also: Levi’s 501 vs 514 Jeans: What’s the Difference?
At the very start, Levi’s denim overalls were made for the working class, cowboys, and lumberjacks.
The big success arrived in the 1930s when jeans spread on the East coast with people coming back home from their Western holidays (“dude ranch”) with many memories and their jeans.
From the ’60s throughout the ’80s, Levi’s was booming as youngsters’ cultural symbol.
In 1986, to fight competitors, Levi’s replied with ‘Dockers’, a range designed for a new type of customers: the trendy office workers.
Today, Levi’s is making greener products and also made a smart jacket that connects with your mobile! It is Jacquard by “Levi’s feat Google”.
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1.2 Levi’s and Jeans For Women
For a long time, Levi’s jeans were made just for men, but things changed with WWI (World War I). Women were called to work and borrowed men’s jeans.
Trousers were not an acceptable garment, so Levi’s decided to dress women with something appropriate but also comfy and practical: the Freedom-Alls (1918), one-piece cotton dresses with balloon trousers!
Following the success of the “dude ranch” holidays, Levi’s finally launched “Lady Levi’s” in 1934.
These were the first-ever jeans made for women silhouettes, even if button flys and zippers were unconventional at that time.
From the ’60s onward, jeans mean freedom and re-appropriation of the body, and many women embraced this trend.
Fun fact: do you know that the oldest denim women’s pants have a name? They are called “Viola”, named after their owner.
Their uniqueness? At a closer look, these jeans came from a small batch, a couple of years older than the original 1934’s Lady Levi’s!
Read also: 9 American Jeans Brands You Should Know (Our Favorites)
1.3 Popular Levi’s Jeans
Levi’s 501 Original Cropped Jeans
Girls love boyfriend’s jeans, so it is hard not to love Levi’s 501. This model has more than 150 years, but it is still fresh!
501 Original Cropped has its signature straight fit which feels loose at the ankle.
It has a button fly, 5 pockets, and no-stretch, mid-weight jeans cloth. It is made with 100% Italian cotton and is declined in different shades and styles.
Levi’s 721 High Rise Skinny Jeans
721 High Rise are jeans for real shapes. It fits like a glove thanks to its mid-stretch cotton fabric with viscose and elastane.
It is a slim fit with a high rise and skinny legs, styled with a zipper fly and 5 pockets. This fit and Levi’s Sculpt with Hypersoft flatten and define the waist while emphasising the curves.
It is available in different shades with and without casual tears.
2.1 The Brand
With Wrangler we are still in the US but in the South. This American brand is part of Kontoor Brand Inc., owner of Lee, and was founded by a young guy named C.C. Hudson.
He moved from Tennesse to North Carolina to work in a textile factory in Greensboro. When the plant shut down, he bought some of the sewing machines and started his own business.
Hudson and his brother Homer founded their label “Hudson Overall Company” in the loft of a grocery store. As the business started to run well for the Hudson brothers, they moved to a bigger headquarter and changed the name to Blue Bell Overall Company in 1919.
In 1943, the brand met success with the durable Big Ben Overall and grew bigger by englobing other companies. It is at this time that it changed its name to Wrangler.
The real turning point for Wrangler was in the ’40s when the company hired “Rodeo Ben”, a Polish tailor who was working with cowboys and rodeo stars.
1947 signed Wrangler’s love story with the world of rodeos: it is the year of 13WMZ, jeans designed with zippers and made to be comfortable and durable while riding.
It was tested and endorsed by famous rodeo stars like the world champion Jim Shoulders. Still today, Wrangler goes hand in hand with this lifestyle.
Wrangler dressed and sponsored professional drivers like Dale Earnhardt, the Pro Rodeo Cowboy Association, and the country star Jason Aldean, spokesperson for the Wrangler Retro© collection.
Wrangler thinks also about female riders as the launch of the Ultimate Riding Jean for women in 2005 shows.
2.2 Wrangler and Sustainability
If Wrangler works closely with cowboys, then it feels a close connection with wild Nature. So it is!
In fact, Wrangler joined the Better Cotton Initiative in a partnership to make its production more sustainable because cotton, the main material, stresses the soils and involves loads of water.
Wrangler’s plan for the future sees several steps: reducing water by 50% by 2030; using 100% green energy and 100% sustainable cotton by 2025.
Wrangler is already some steps ahead. The signature of any blue jeans is that intense blue!
The pigment originally comes from a plant, but industry supplied the huge request with chemical dyes made from petroleum.
Wrangler cooperated with a Tennessee female project, Stony Creek Colours, to go back to the origins.
This American brand is very committed to producing green products, so it offers jeans and T-shirts made with sustainable and recycled cotton, and it repurposes fabric scraps for new accessories.
After this important matter, let’s have a look at two of the most popular jeans designed by Wrangler.
2.3 Popular Wrangler’s Jeans
Wrangler Westward 626 High Rise Bootcut Jean
Westward 626 is daily jeans made of cotton with a pinch of spandex to provide a stretchable comfort.
This model has a high rise, 5 pockets, button fly, and zipper as a closure. It wears fit from the waist to the knees but goes down with a delicate bootcut.
This makes it easy to style, perfect with sneakers and boots too!
Wrangler Bootcut Jeans (Plus)
Bootcut jean comes from Wrangler’s plus size range and meets style and comfort for all shapes.
This model is made of a very stretch denim fabric with cotton, spandex, polyester, and rayon with a washed fade.
These jeans have a classic feel with 5 pockets with embroideries and a comfy bootcut.
3. Which Brand is Better?
We cannot dictate your next purchase, but we can see which brand, between Levi’s and Wrangler, fits better for you, money, and style-wise.
We saw how Levi’s and Wrangler embody the true American style, that of the wild West and the country South.
When you browse their catalogs, you can appreciate their sustainability, durability, comfort, and wearability.
Strength and longevity are two pivot points of these brands, but they are somehow different.
Levi’s jeans still have that ’60s casual and free appeal, but these evergreens can be worn in many different contexts and never look out of place.
On the other hand, Wrangler speaks country out loud with its flared lines and signature indigo tint. Even if a pair of low Converse matches Wrangler jeans, boots are its natural companion.
Of the two, in general, Wrangler is the more convenient with everyday models way below $40.
So, we would recommend Wranglers for the price and if you like the lines and types of jeans made by the brand, for example, we particularly love their bootcut jeans.
Alternatively, Levi’s is for you if you want a wider choice and do not mind paying more.
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