During WWII, the U.S. government had companies cut back on raw materials in order to save them for the war effort. Levi's removed the watch pocket and crotch rivets, and the back cinch to save fabric and metal. However, when they were ordered to remove the signature arcuate stitching on the back because it was considered "decorative" and non-functional, Levi's opted to paint them on instead, ensuring the brand's number one signifier remained intact. Although the paint eventually washed off, having on there in the first place was deemed important. That detail is reflected today in the Levi's Vintage Clothing 1944 501XX jean.