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Levi's vs Agolde Denim

Levi's vs Agolde Denim

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I love Agolde Denim. It is perfectly worn in and laid-back, but also chic! Agolde Denim has one flaw though and that is its price. While I do think it is worth the price (talked about that here), I also know that its price-tag of $124+ for a pair of denim is not as approachable for everyone. More on the pricing later, but the point for saying all of that is I get requests for a cheaper option a lot. People want to know if there is a budget friendly alternative to Agolde and I totally understand why. While I think they are doing the most because they offer a great product at the lower end of the designer jean spectrum, I also get that $188 for a pair of jeans is in fact expensive. While it’s not an exact match, nor is it super budget friendly, a cheaper option is in fact Levi’s. Today I’m going to compare the two and let you know how they stack up!

Keep reading for thoughts on both and which I like best!

 

I’ve mentioned it several times (here for one), but I’ve been wearing the wrong size jeans for awhile. I’ve slowly been transitioning my wardrobe to clothes that actually fit me. Most recently I needed to replace my Agolde jeans and shorts. I ordered TONS of sizes and styles to figure out not only which one I liked bet, but which size was best too. I reviewed all of that information here, but one thing I did when I ordered the plethora of Agoldes, I also ordered several Levi’s styles to try. Whereas there isn’t an exact match for Agoldes at a lower pricepoint, Levi’s is the closest match in my opinion and it will be a little more friendly to your wallet.

There are several reasons why I wanted to compare the two and price difference is only a small part. You see, Levi’s is the creator of denim. TRUE denim is made of 100% cotton and have a button fly instead of a zipper. In fact, any jean that isn’t 100% cotton cannot actually be called denim. It’s kind of like Champagne is only from France and Napa’s “champagne style” is legally just sparkling wine. Denim is the “Champange” in this situation. It is always considered jeans, but not every pair of jeans is considered denim. Capeesh? All that to say Agolde’s are quite literally made after the Levi’s true denim style. Levi’s invented denim in the late 1800’s and every piece of denim is modeled after them. Sure both brands have a couple options that have “stretch” and are jeans / not denim, but that is not what they are known for, nor is it their bread and butter. If I’m going to compare them to a brand, might as well compare it to the company they are inspired by!

 

Before we get into the details, here’s how Levi’s and Agolde Denim are similar:

Levi’s and Agolde are both based in California. Levi’s is in SF and Agolde is in LA. While the bulk of the product is made elsewhere, both brand have small portions that are made here in the U.S.A. Both have more eco-friendly and recycling programs, though from what I have read, Agolde does a little more in the sustainability sector.

The other similarity is that they are sized similarly. I do think the skinny jeans I tried in Levi’s were a little smaller in the leg, but I sized the same in both! I wear a 26 in the shorts and a 27 in the jeans. I suggest buying your normal “stretchy” jeans size in the shorts and sizing up one size for the denim.

Let’s get into the comparison!

LEVI’S

Based in San Francisco, CA

Prices range from $49.50 (shorts) to $98 (jeans)

Jeans I’m comparing: Levi’s 501 Skinny Jeans in Can’t Touch this Wash

Shorts I’m comparing: Levi’s 501 Original Shorts in Luxor Heat Wash

OVERALL THOUGHTS:

Levi’s makes great products! My only beef with them is that often times their products are hard to navigate. They all have similar style names, but might be under a completely different link with no obvious reason for keeping them separate. Maybe I notice this because I have an apparel / wholesale background, but I think it would make it harder on the customer regardless. the other issue I have is that because of their naming system or lack there of, it’s even hard to find things on their own website. In fact, I can’t even find my favorite jeans on their website. You would think their own e-commerce site would carry them / have a vast collection. Your best bet is to take note of the wash your pair is in and search that specific name, as the silhouette name won’t really help you find them.

RE these jeans: I love these and they make a fantastic swap for the Agolde’s, especially since they are alost $100 less. I will say that the crotch doesn’t fit as good as the Agolde’s, and the fabric is more stiff, but that should wear over time. If you have larger calf muscles and usually have to take those into consideration with non-stretch jeans, these may not be for you, as the legs area is pretty skinny, especially in comparison to the Agolde Jamie jeans. Also a quick tip with these… once you put them on, but before you button them up, tuck in the pockets. This will be so much easier than doing it once your pants are buttoned! I have gotten so many compliments on these, in fact, people have mistaken them for Agolde and even GRLFRND denim!

RE these shorts: The short story is I did not like these even though they are a cheaper price. They were shorter than I wanted them to be. Also they were cut kind of weird, so the front was actually cut shorter than the back. I appreciate the though of making the back longer, but I really didn’t like the look or feel of the shorter side in the front. I really wish I could have tried on the Levi’s 501 Original Shorts in Luxor Baked Light Wash as I would have liked them better andddd they are $20 cheaper. I’m not sure why, except the ones I tried were labeled as “premium” but didn’t have any details as to what that entailed and why it cost extra. A prime example as to the confusion I discussed, as they have the same name, but are somehow different / not labeled well!

You can see how they are shorter / come up in the front in the below images!

AGOLDE

Based in Los Angeles, CA

Prices range from $124 (shorts) to $178 (jeans)

Jeans I’m comparing: Agolde Jamie Classic High Rise Jeans in Arrival wash

Shorts I’m comparing: Agolde Parker Vintage Cutoff Shorts in Swapmeet wash

OVERALL THOUGHTS:

I love Agolde jeans and 100% think they are worth the money. Read more of my thoughts here. The headline is that yes they are more expensive than Levi’s, but the product is of a higher quality. Their denim is a lot softer and are therefore more comfortable to wear. I also thought the silhouettes were better / the crotch fit better. Higher prices don’t always mean these things, but in this case they definitely do! Additionally, Agolde’s are not designer jeans, but are really similar to GRLFRND and MOTHER to name a few. Bonus? They are a lot cheaper than those two!!

RE these jeans: SO GOOD. They are so soft, comfy, and cute. See them styled here. The biggest differences for me between these and the levi’s are 1) they are way softer 2) they fit slightly better, specifically in the crotch area. I still think the Levi’s are a good “save” option, but these are worth the splurge if you can swing it.

RE these shorts: I’ve been wearing these for several years, so I already knew I liked them. I first wrote about them here. Their length is longer than One Teaspoon and softer at that! The Levi’s do not compare to these at all in my opinion. Pricey for a pair of shorts, but I wear them at least once a week and they hold up so well! The fabric is softer than the Levi’s, though I don’t necessarily think they are more comfortable than the Levi’s… The thing I didn’t like about the Levi’s was that the front part of the shorts seemed to be cut awkwardly shorter than the back.

LEFT: Agolde Jamie Classic High Rise Jeans

RIGHT: Levi’s 501 Skinny Jeans

I hope this comparison is helpful!! Overall remember that cotton is expensive in general. It is also a lot more expensive than synthetic fibers like spandex, tencel, etc so comparing them to stretchy jeans is hard price wise as these are all 100% cotton. ALSO keep in mind that 100% cotton jeans are not as comfortable as stretchy jeans. That’s just the way it is! Levi’s are the closest jeans I have found to be remotely close to Agolde’s, so let me know if you find another brand that compares. Be sure to look at the fiber content though! A lot appear to be similar, but are not 100% cotton, which is what contributes to its drape and fit. If you don’t care about the fiber content / fit, I found these at American Eagle which makes them a steal!

Want to hear me talk about all this? Enjoy my latest YouTube video about Levi’s vs Agolde Denim!

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