Great 1950s Lee Riders. Half Selvedge denim construction with a Scovill Gripper Zipper zip. This particular pair of jeans measured about 28×28, but had been taken in at the waist and down the outer seams of both legs to construct a slimmer fit. The indigo was still dark, a desirable trait for jeans of this age. See my other Lee Riders post for an example of a slightly later pair.
Lee Riders, also known as the 101Z debuted in the 1950s and represent a transition from the company’s work wear history in to more casual, mass appeal wears.
On this particular pair the inside Tag is marked: Lee Riders Sanforized Waist 32 Union Made in the USA. The Button back is stamped: R. Zipper is made by Talon. Lee riveted front and coin pockets. “lazy S” stitched on rear pockets. The “branded” Lee patch is long gone. You’ll notice on Lees, unlike Levi’s the selvedge denim self edged appears on only one side of the outer seam.
As with most items from time and place predating the “throw-away age”, these jeans are well-worn and have been mended multiple times. There’s a bout a 4.5″ x 6″ patch on the right thigh. A 2″ x 3″ patch on the left side below the rear pocket. A hole and repair with red thread on the left knee, a small hole forming below the zipper on the right side front, and a 4″ hole in the left cheek with additional wear below. Some white paint and other darker stains. Round out the patina that only time can create.