Second Sunrise Archive: Lee Riders Giant Advertising Pants

Lee Riders Giant Advertising Pants

Maker - H.D Lee Company
Era - Late 70s
Acquired - by Douglas Luhanko in 2018

A few weeks ago we wrote a blog post about how rare it is for interesting denim garments to show up in Sweden. That post was about a child sized pair of Levi's jeans from the 50s (you can read more about them here) that we found on the auction site Tradera (Swedish Ebay). Believe it or not, it happened again! Our dear friend Niklas Jönsson once again had spotted an interesting garment on Tradera. Funny enough it was quite the opposite from those tiny Levi's jeans!

Lee giant advertising jeans

These jeans from Lee measures 66cm wide and 250cm long and as you have probably figured out, these were never made to be worn. These kinds of jeans were made by Lee and sent out to retailers carrying the brand to be used as an in-store advertising. In the history there has been quite a few over sized jeans, and one of the most famous were made by Lee in 1952 for the “Big Tex” statue, a 16 meter tall cowboy statue that became the icon of the annual State Fair of Texas held at Fair Park in Dallas, Texas. The cowboy was dressed in Lee jeans and a Lee shirt and it is said that the clothing was changed every three year because of wear and tear caused by the weather. 

In the early 20th century Lee also made over sized bib-overalls that could be hanged in street lights in front of a shop carrying the brand and the tradition carried on from decade to decade.

Giant Lee advertising jeans

This particular pair was made in the late 70s and has been hanging in front of a AOB Carlsson gentleman's shop located at Kyrkogatan in the Swedish  town Mora. The store is still around today but these advertising jeans were picked down and has been passed along to us. 

The pants are made of two large pieces of denim that has been printed with yellow paint to symbolize the characteristics of a pair of Lee Rider jeans. 

Giant Lee advertising jeans

As you can see the fabric has been bleached of years hanging outside. But you can still see the details printed in yellow.

Giant Lee advertising jens

The Lee coin pocket with painted rivets.

Giant Lee advertising jeans

Lee Rider logo printed on the front of the pants. The name was adopted by the brand to make the clothing synonymous with the cowboy and the dude ranch culture of the mid 20th century.

Giant Lee advertising jeans

The pants have been fastened using staples, and some of them were still attached to the jeans when we got them. We removed them to save the jeans from rust.

Giant Lee advertising jeans
The jeans have some repairs showing that someone has been taking good care of them through the years.

Lee riders giant advertising jeans

Some more repairs made on the lower part of the legs.

We keep these Lee advertising jeans as part of our archive in the shop and if you are interested to have a closer look we will most likely put them on the wall in our fitting room and we will be more than happy to show them to you over a cup of coffee! That goes for all the things we have in our archive and we hope that they can serve as inspiration.

If we missed anything about the story of the these jeans or if you like to add something we would be happy to hear your thoughts! In that case just give us a comment below.

Last week we talked about terms such as deadstock and New with tag in the form of a Levis Big E jacket we have in our archive and if you want to read more about it you will find that post here!


  • Hi Dan! Thanks for letting me know and for your kind offer. I hope the selling went well for you :)

    Best regards.


    Douglas Luhanko
  • Hi… have an 8ft pair of lee riders going to sell online. Found your info while searching them. Email if you would like photos and details before we list them. Dan. Seattle


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