I may have started from packaging because just seeing how a product is packed we could question its authenticity but unfortunately, lee packaging is inconsistent globally, in America, they may be using branded paper bags but in many countries like India, even after purchasing from Lee.com you would get standard poly-bags which is of no help. That’s why it is unfair to say that lee jeans received in Lee branded paper bags are genuine because I received a real one in a poly bag.
So here I have prepared basic things to check on your jean for maximum authenticity. I insist you use this post for all Lee jeans only and not for their other products as it is exclusively focused on jeans only.
Check Jean Labels
Just after opening your packaging, you will see a couple of labels. But the most important one contains data like packaging date, waist & inseam size, style name, style code, lee website address, and manufacturing and marketing details.
You can see these image for reference and look at how it is formatted and match with what was received. However, details may alter because the lee jeans that I am using here are ordered from an Indian and an E.U store so it has that country’s details.
Now, open lee.com (for your country), and on the search bar, type the style code and see what entries pop up, if the style name and design is matching with your jean then rest assured it is a genuine one but if not then you should contact with the support team and give them your style code and ask if they have ever produced this jean and if you get to respond in your favor then you’re in good hands.
My lee jean style code as mentioned in the label is L32131248147, let’s see whether I got the fake or real one.
You noticed that price is not showing in dollars because I ordered it from Lee’s Indian store. This is very important if you’re purchasing it from third-party sellers like Walmart, Amazon, etc., or used sellers like eBay, Etsy, or any other seller. Ask the seller the country where it originally sold in and then before even buying that jean (if going offline route or eBay) ask the seller for a style code and check it on the regional website.
Check Back Patch, Embodiments, and Stitchings
There are so many details in all 3 areas that I need to cover them separately so please read the entire section and follow along to check if your Lee jean has all these traits.
When you pay enough attention to your rear pockets you must see three different characteristics. If one is missing then it falls under the suspicion of false jeans unless it checks all other things mentioned in this post.
Lee® & Multi Stitched “X”
Just on top of the right back pocket, every Lee jean has a ‘Lee®’ stitched over secondary thin denim (in my case it is black) which is then stitched on the pocket. I emphasize word stitching because after a very close examination, as you could see in the image, the Lee® is ‘thread printed or woven’ with no loss in details.
Most probably you won’t even notice these details before reading this paper and the second easily skipped detail is on both top corners of the right and left back pocket. It is a multi-stitched ‘X’ tack. Don’t ask what it means but they are a replacement for the copper logo rivet which Lee was using before 1938 but since then it is the signature ‘X’ present in all Lee jeans. I am giving you a macro shot of this to see how it is woven and whether it matches your jeans.
The only jean that misses both is the Men’s 100% Cotton Carpenter jean but it has a Lee patch on the top-middle of the right back pocket which accounts for its originality as shown in image 1. Apart from this and maybe a couple of others, Lee® and X tack is present in all lee jeans.
Since 1946, all Lee jeans are coming with an S-curve embroidery on both back pockets. They call it the shape of the back of an occupied saddle. However, just a few don’t come with an S-curve like the Men’s Carpenter jean that has a slight curve on the middle of dual line embroidery but not the complete curve, or some vintage styles like Union Alls, that don’t come with an s-curve at all though they have Union-Alls™ woven labels.
Also for such jeans, many scammers exist so you must match it with other details mentioned for total genuineness.
Lee stitchings are classic
Now first see this picture of my lee jean and ask if you’re seeing one similar trend.
Have you noticed the stitchings and the thread used in weaving the s-curve? The color is consistent across the dimensions. For example, if you received a jean like mine that has dual color stitchings like on s-curve; the above one is gold-ish and the other is black.
Now check out the stitchings on the boundaries of the pocket itself, and look at the seams just above the pocket. Here comes the most crucial observation: no matter which lee jeans it is (I’ve checked many), the brand is attentive in how they use threads to stitch in patterns of the same color across the jean.
So be it in my case, across this jean only two thread colors are used: gold-ish & black. Moreover, embodiments, back & front pocket boundaries, and hem between the waistband and pockets use the exact top-bottom color pattern. Though, not the leather patch as it is a different case.
Many lee jeans only use a single color for threads yet the case of consistency remains the same in every original lee jeans.
Leather Patch On Waistband
Don’t worry, if you have purchased a lee jean but not seeing the leather patch on the waistband then you may have it on the right rear pocket like Men’s Lee Carpenter Jean, and even if it is not there then check if you have vintage lee jeans because some vintages do not have any patch, though in that case, it becomes an absolute necessity to read this post top to bottom and check as many points to obliterate the chances of scam.
Now, if you do have the patch, get seated as there are so many details that even if one is missed out; most probably it is fake jeans. Here we go:
- All lee jeans come with branded leather patches. If the patch on a waistband or if have on a pocket is not made of leather then you’ve been fooled.
- See the 1st image from above you see how the Lee logo is crafted methodically such that the end line of ‘L’ is connected to ‘e’ and further connected to the last ‘e’. Moreover, the spine of ‘L’ is slightly bent. See the 1st image carefully and you’ll understand what I’m saying. However, if you look at the image 3rd then you’ll see that the characters are not connected like 1st, nonetheless, very few are like this, for example, Lee European Collection – 101Z. I’d say 97% of Lee jeans have the same logo as seen in image one.
- The same color thread as the leather patch is being used across all jeans to stitch it.
- The leather patch is made robust with a 2mm thickness that won’t come off easily. Though 2mm is true for my Lee jeans, it gives you an idea that any paper-thin patch is not the sign of real Lee jeans.
Zips & Buttons Can Alone Justify Original Lee Jeans
Trust me those who sell fake jeans make the copy in such haste that they can not copy all the details because if they do then it would cost them resources that will not yield any good returns. One such overlooked detail is the lee closure button and the zip.
Please look at these photos with great attention and tell me what is common between the zip and a button.
Both are robust! Yes, they are of good quality but that’s not it, look carefully. Can’t figure it out? Let me tell you. The lee logo on both the closure button and zip uses the same font and style without even a slight mismatch. See the ‘L’ of Lee; the last point of “L” connects to the “e” which further connects to the curve of “e”. The same style is true for zippers. It looks like every character in “Lee” is interconnected. And right on top have the ‘®‘ trademark which means that the Lee logo and the name are officially registered and protected by the US Patent and Trademark Office.
Now if your jean has the perfect crafted “Lee” logo, still you are missing one thing in the logo itself. Observe the word “L” on “Lee”, on both zip and button the ‘L’ is slightly bent from the spine. It is not just true for these items but you’ll find that every lee logo on your jean has an L of the bent spine.
Hidden Tags To Check Authenticity (Don’t Take For Granted!)
When I flipped my jean inside-out I saw 5 slips. one is visible on the backside waistband while the other 4 are on the front side of the waistband as you can see in the images. Now here are 5 important points to grasp and look for in your jean. Maybe you won’t have the exact label or numbers as mine but they should all convey the same thing.
1. The first label or slip that is attached to the backside of the waistband is made of a quality cloth (not denim in my case), and the “Lee” with the tagline is woven, not printed. The look you’ll get depends on the jean type like the first one is Bruce so it has a small black slip while the second is large as it is an Extreme MVP jean.
2. Now all four are attached on the front side of flipped jeans. The 2nd tells us about Lee’s date and place of foundation along with the material used to make it (cotton, polyester, elastane, etc.). On another side of the same slip, a detailed list of wash and care instructions is printed with utmost clarity. Again you may get different colors and styles in these slips like in Lee 101z jeans they have big print on the pocket cover as shown in the image so kindly keep that in mind that you won’t be overly obsessed with finding all 5 slips mentioned here; it is great if you just find all the details.
3. The third slip tells us about the nature of the dye used in the jean and what will be the possible outcome after wearing and washing them multiple times. Turn the slip, and on the same slip, there I saw a removable shiny sticker glued strongly which has the manufactured name printed in clear and bold letters. As in my case, though it is the Lee brand jeans, it is manufactured by VD Fashions, and the same is printed on that sticker. Now, here I think that Lee may not have given this leverage to all their manufacturing partners so this sticker & slip could be missing from your jean. Please comment whether you got it in your pair!
4. As you can see in the image this small slip is hidden underneath all big player has the most crucial style code that always starts from “L”. Don’t worry if you don’t have it because then the style code must be printed on the very first slip as shown in 2nd step/slip.
5. The 5th slip that is attached aside shows the waist size and inseam length denoted with ‘W’ & ‘L’ res[actively. Followed by the style name on the other side.
There’s a 6th slip located right under the zip location but as I don’t have any rigid information so can’t say whether it tells about the authenticity if you have any slips that I don’t have please comment and I’ll help you to know its authenticity.
Thanks for reading this article and I hope the information has given you the necessary depth to acknowledge the genuineness of any claimed Lee jeans. We’ve also created an in-depth article to help you check the authenticity of wrangler jeans which you could read here. and click here to know where wrangler jeans are made.
Michael is heavily inclined towards traveling to natural places and documenting cultures/people from different parts of the world. He also loves hiking and camping and is spirited toward all outdoor activities. He will share his passion for outdoor life and brands or products we use outside our homes. He has good research skills, and that’s why you can see why his articles are packed with info that is factual and not readily available. He also has the vision to travel the whole world and share it with all readers of Outdoor Favor.