It’s easy to understand why Mods have adopted the Levi’s Sta-Prest as one of their must-haves in their wardrobes since the 60s. They were introduced in 1964 as a revolutionary trouser that never needs ironing and always “stay pressed”.
They fit the Mod’s lifestyle perfectly. One, they are American made. Two, they never wrinkle, have a permanent centre crease and are perfect for the busy Mod that has allnighters to attend, records to buy and his tailor to visit instead of spending precious time fighting with an ironing board. Finally, they offer clean, smart everyday wear.
I’ve never owned a vintage pair of the original Levi’s from that era but wear its modern successor on a regular basis. I have a black pair and a dark brown one that are ideal for work and casual outings. They still look great after a few years.
I’ve always regarded Levi’s as the company that has set the standards for quality and look but many other brands have followed suit in the “Sta-Prest” world. You can see some of these brands in vintage ads I’ve scanned from a 1967 mail-order catalog in a previous post.
Lee was probably the closest competitor to Levi’s supremacy of the wrinkle free slacks market and was an acceptable second choice. I recently came upon a secret stash of brand-new, deadstock pairs of some of the nicest examples of the genuine article from the sixties. I almost had a heart attack! The best part was that they had my size and the price was too good to be true. Wait… Maybe they kept the 1966 price tag? I might be exaggerating a bit but they are certainly less then what you would pay for a brand new pair. Just a second… They ARE new!
I managed to put my hands on an immaculate pair of Lee beige trousers. The original tags were still attached! These are pants that were made to wear with classic Clark’s dessert boots or some burgundy Bass Weejuns. Add a colorful checked button-down shirt with a Marino v-neck or a time-honored Fred Perry polo plus a cardigan and you’ve achieved the definitive Mod casual look.
I also bought this pair of golden/brown colored trousers that are a tad more daring but look great on a night out or on a ride around the neighborhood on the Vespa. I like them because you can dress them up or dress them down depending on the type of shoes you opt for.
Now feast your eyes on some fascinating tags from various brands that have tried to carve themselves a place in the popular “permanently pressed” sixties pants market. Too bad they weren’t my size!
|Card found in one of the Tee Kay pant's pocket|
On the same shopping trip, I also found a brand new 50s/60s slim tie that has my initial on it. Can you believe that it has waited all this time to finally find its proper owner?
This is what I call a successful shopping spree.