Deep in the Levi's archive in a fire-proof box that only two people can access are the oldest jeans in the country. Produced in 1879, the "waist overalls" also known as XX are an ancestor to the classic 501 that the brand sells today, but there are obviously some differences. For one, there are no belt loops in jeans, only buttons used to attach suspenders.
According to Mashable, there was one pocket in the back, and three in the front because the fifth pocket wasn't a thing until 1901. Judging by the wear patterns, archivists believe that the pair of jeans were worn by at least three people. "I like to think of them as the very first early sustainable garment," said Levi Strauss & Co. historian Tracy Panek, one of the two people in the world who can handle the very old jeans. "You could wear them out, you could pass them on, you could patch them up...they were built to last."
Other pairs in the archive include jeans from 1890 and 1938, each with its own unique look due to age and the way they were worn. "This is the kind of pant that people are trying to recreate today, but it's all just original wear," said Panek.
The idea that jeans we are wearing today could be sitting in an archive somewhere a century from now is a little scary, that's why we choose to burn everything we own after the first wear. Click through to Mashable to learn more about the Levi's archives and the oldest jeans in the country.