Sand Storm: In Praise of Tan Levi’s

If white denim is too extreme for you, consider a pair of tan jeans — Levi’s calls the color “sand.”

I picked up a pair of 501s a few weeks ago and they instantly became my favorite springtime pant. The jeans’ slimmer fit through the hips and thighs brings a vaguely “Take Ivy” vibe without having to actually wear tight chinos as if it were 1965.

I’ve been wearing mine all sorts of ways: with a white oxford shirt, navy v-neck and penny loafers (plus socks), with the great madras shirt from Brooks pictured above and the loafers again (no socks), and even with a sportcoat, necktie and monkstraps (single, and with socks).

Tan Levi’s can be had online for about $40; the ones I found were the shrink-to-fit variety, which made me apprehensive. But I followed Levi’s recommendation of +1 inch in the waist and +3 in the length, and they came out of the wash just perfect. — CC

23 Comments on "Sand Storm: In Praise of Tan Levi’s"

  1. Anonymous | May 19, 2011 at 3:50 pm |

    A nice way to dress a casual weekend! But personally, I’d rather pick chinos or white jeans – when it comes to casual springtime outfits. Of course with socks, too.

    The brown loafers go lovely with the clubmaster sunglasses! Is the belt made of the same leather as your shoes?


  2. Christian | May 19, 2011 at 3:53 pm |

    Belt is dark brown, shoes burgundy.

  3. Tan jeans with a jacket and tie. Hmm. That sounds better than indigo jeans the same way.

    Not being a jeans-wearing kind of guy, I go for “stone”-colored chinos. Like white, they show every little smudge, but are nowhere near as, uh, exuberant as white. I find that an overnight soak in Oxiclean spiffs them right up.

    And thank you for wearing socks–most of the time, anyway. It seems you’ve nailed the accesorization of these pants (ick! the word “trews” popped into my head. I’ve got to stop reading so many men’s style blogs…).

  4. Christian | May 19, 2011 at 4:19 pm |

    The tan jeans with this jacket, those shoes and a tie:

  5. Sebastian | May 19, 2011 at 4:46 pm |

    Those loafers are great! where are they from?

  6. Which model number did you get?

  7. Jeans and Ivy?

    On the one hand, we try to distinguish ourselves from the backward baseball cap and dungaree-wearing crowd via our preference for chinos (or khakis, as we purists prefer to call them) and on the other hand we try to find excuses for wearing dungarees.

    Forgive me if I seem confused.

  8. Were cargo pants common in Ivy Days – 1950s and early 60s as casual wear. I can’t wear chinos you can see prominently which side I dress.

  9. Tan Levi’s? Very Interesting, tasteful. What kind of watch is that? It looks like a modern watch to me, being a bit oversized. I like vintage rectangular watches. When I was in high school, my Dad gave me his 1947 rectangular gold Wittnauer, and I’ve been wearing it ever since. I’ve had it repaired 3 times in the 45 years I’ve had it, including a total overhaul with dial refinish and a lizard strap. The watch still looks and runs like new. Although I have a handful of watches, I wear his most of all.

    A couple of years ago, I bought an oversized rectangular watch. Looks great in the box, but I think too big for my wrist, and I’m 6′ 3″. I’ve only wore it a couple of times. Cheers!

  10. @Martin

    To eliminate a prominent demonstration of which side you dress, might I suggest Lands’ End Traditional cut (“classic and roomy”).
    I myself prefer them pleated as well since pleated trousers are cut for conservative gentlemen, rather than prepschool youngsters.

  11. Christian | May 20, 2011 at 9:10 am |

    @RKW: 501s. Added to the story. Thanks for spotting omission.

    @Corona: I’ve never been against jeans for ideological reasons. Also, I hardly think wearing chinos is some heroic act of defiance against mass slovenliness.

    @Wriggles: Watch is kind of a secret as I may write about it at some point.

  12. FYI: You can remove the “Ray-Ban” logo (which was added sometime in the 1980’s) from the lens of your Clubmasters with fine steel wool. I did it myself to my own pair several years ago. Just first make sure that they haven’t switched to plastic lenses!

  13. Louise Church | May 21, 2011 at 5:45 am |

    Totally love the look Mr C. I shall go get for my beau tout-de-suite. Many thanks for the tip. Louise. XXX

  14. Woofboxer | May 23, 2011 at 1:55 am |

    A great style for the season Christian. You continue to demonstrate on here that an Ivy look is accessible to all, not just the hunters of rare and exclusive vintage items.

    @Corona – the ‘Take Ivy’ book contains plenty of photos of guys sporting light colour 5 pocket jeans. Wear them with pride!

  15. I like the trousers. In late ’70s Ivy, lots of people wore Levi’s corduroy jeans, most frequently in tan. They were extremely popular. For some reason this is not often mentioned.

  16. Christian | May 23, 2011 at 7:04 am |

    @Woofie — Thanks, mate.

  17. Is the watch a Reverso? Cartier Tank?

  18. Christian | May 23, 2011 at 7:26 am |

    The watch is inexpensive, though as mentioned above, I think I’ll keep it a secret for now as I don’t think many have heard of it. But I’m also thinking of writing about it at some point.

    I stumbled across it by accident after seeing Alan Flusser’s Seiko (of which he said he bought three x $120), which I too thought was a Cartier.

  19. Keeping us in suspense?! I hope you’ll tell us. It looks nice and I am a watch junky.

  20. Christian | May 23, 2011 at 8:39 am |

    It’s a tough call between wanting to be the only kid on the block and curiosity as to whether I could start a trend.

  21. Thought I was unique! Found a thrift pair and had em shortened- right outta take ivy and damn confy.

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