Guide to Levi’s Jeans Styles & Numbers

guide to Levi's jeans styles

Here you will find the ultimate buying guide to Levi’s jeans styles and numbers.

Levi’s is one of my favorite brands. An original from the United States of America. Since 1853, they’ve been creating jeans. Every man should own a pair of black, well-fitting jeans, in my opinion.

That said, Levi jeans do have a problem, and any guy who has gone shopping for a pair knows exactly what I’m talking about. There are far too many alternatives.

511s, 513s, 514s, 527s, 541s, 559s, and 569s are all 501s, 502s, and 505s.

And they are only a few of the styles that have evolved over the years.

The goal of this post is to provide you with the necessary information so that you may find the best fit for your body type.

The method I’m going to organize this post is based on how well it fits together. I’m going to start with the skinny fit.

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I’ll start with slim fit and then progress to tapered. Then there’s the straight fit. I’m going to a bootcut and then relaxed.

The numbers are organized in this way at Levi’s:

Levi jeans numbers explained

You’d think it’d be arranged in a logical order. However, because this company has been operating for so long and has so many various types that were released at different times, you’ll find that they try to match numbers, but they don’t.

What the hell is going on with those 603s over there? What was the source of those? Why aren’t the 501s at the top of the list?

It’ll all make sense in the end.

I’m going to do this in the order of best fit. This first section of the article is for you if you’re a skinny guy. The second part is for you if you’re a bigger guy.

But, as far as I’m concerned, any man can wear any type or fit of jeans. However, in general, you should choose something that complements your body type.

Skinny Levi’s Jeans

The skinny jean category is the first one we’ll look at.

In this category, we’ll examine three different types of jeans:

  • 501s
  • 510s
  • 519s

The 519s are extremely skinny. They’re quite difficult to come by. You’ll also see 501 skinnies, but the 510 is the most popular jean and the one we’ll be discussing in this category.

The important feature of a pair of 510s is that they sit just below the waist and fit the body snugly all the way down.

Skinny jeans, according to some, should be banned. That isn’t entirely correct. If you’re a skinny, skinny guy, skinny jeans may be a good match for you.

When you go to the Levi’s website and look at the different sizes, you’ll find 27-inch waist, 28-inch waist, and 29-inch waist. That’s where I believe it makes the most sense.

For skinny jeans, they feature a 38-inch waist. I’d be cautious in that area.

In general, if you’re a bigger guy, you’ll want to tread carefully when wearing skinny jeans.

Let’s talk about fabric for a moment. Most Levi’s are going to be made of cotton, but they’re going to add 1%, occasionally more, of a stretch substance. You’ll notice elastane.

This is a fantastic feature, especially for jeans that fit close to the body. You want a little bit of wiggle room. If you notice 25% polyester in a pair of Levi’s, don’t be alarmed.

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That’s sometimes a positive thing because it means they’re bringing it into the areas and weaving it in with the cotton in a way that improves performance.

In general, there are five main color schemes for 510s. Blacks, grays, dark washes (typically indigo), a medium wash, and a light wash will all be present.

If you want something interchangeable, my advice is to go with a dark wash, black, or gray.

Slim Fit Levi’s Jeans

We’ve got it.

  • 511s
  • 513s
  • 522s
  • 603s

The 511 slims are one of the greatest styles for young men.

Because he has a fit body, my brother enjoys this style. He looks after himself, but he is still quite thin. He doesn’t want to go all-in on the skin. He wants more freedom of movement, which the 511s provide him with.

The 511s aren’t going to be as loose and baggy as a pair of straight Levi’s, but they’re exactly right for his physique. 511s are often close-fitting but not constrictive.

Let’s pretend you’re a tiny husky. If you’re still in good condition but have thicker thighs and buttocks, you should check out 513s.

This is going to be a pair of slim straights. These are cut similarly to the 511s, but with a little extra leeway in the waist and thigh area. They’ll taper less at the bottom, but they’ll still have a nice taper. It’s not going to be a boot cut.

What about the 522s, for example? So, how about those 603s? Unfortunately, I believe these are no longer available. Maybe I’m mistaken.

I see 527s and 531s on their website every time I visit. These are brand-new designs. This is something Levi’s does all the time. They’re putting trends to the test.

What about 522s, for example? Levi’s threw us a curveball. 522s are now referred to as 512s. They are, in any event, a slim taper.

What is the definition of a slim taper? What is the distinction between 512s and 511s? There isn’t much to begin with. The top fit will be similar in general. However, as we progress down the leg, we’ll notice that the taper on the 512 is getting closer.

In reality, the overall diameter of the leg opening is reduced by nearly an inch and a half.

Expect the taper on the 512s to be a little tighter.

Tapered Fit Levi’s jeans

This category can be a little perplexing because some of the jeans fall into other categories.

The 512s, for example, are going to be over in slim, but because they are tapered cut, they also fit perfectly in with the tapered.

However, we’ll see some tapered 501s in this category as well, but it’s the fresh emergence of the 502s that we see dominating this area.

Because this is a new modern jean, I’d like to take a moment to spotlight the 502s.

They snatched the 501. They also upgraded the 502 route. On that straight cut, they gave you a little more room because you didn’t have enough room in your thighs. It wasn’t the kind of thing you’d want to dress up for. When it came to materials, you didn’t have a lot of options.

With the 502, they were able to resolve all of this. Thankfully, they left the 501s alone. That’s the standard.

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However, in the 502s, we have something that if you wished to go with a khaki style, if you wanted to go with a different material than denim, and you wanted to be able to dress these up or down, have something that’s versatile, but you wanted a more modern fit with a bit of taper at the bottom, those 502s will have that tapered look that you can even wear dress shoes with.

It looks really good. Check out the 502s if you haven’t already.

If you’ve tried the 502s and they’re too tight, you should try the 541s. These are going to be even more baggy. They might actually be a little looser, but I’m placing them in tapered because they do have that tapered cut.

If you’ve spent some time in the gym, a lot of time squatting, and your hips have just gotten a little wider, the 541s are certainly a solid option for you.

Check out the 550s if you’re a huge boy or a heavyset gentleman. These are going to be the relaxed cut that comes with the tapered shape, so you can dress them up or down.

Levi's Jeans Types Guide

Straight Fit Levi’s Jeans

We’ll go on to the straight cut next. And it was here that Levi’s began over 150 years ago with their first 501s.

However, certain things have changed. The material used, the rivets, the sewing, the positioning, and the fit have all been tweaked.

But, in general, this is a descendant of Levi’s original 501s, which he sold in San Francisco.

Our classic 501s will have a straight fit at the waist and all the way down to the leg opening from the thigh. They may appear a little sloppy to the modern eye.

A touch of stretch material can be found in current 501s. Why? Because we’ve made a significant shift toward performance fabrics.

When you’re going for something, you might want to go down a size. If it fits you well and can still fit you in the waist, you might find that you wear one size for one style and another for another.

The original shrink to fit 501 is one of the several variants you’ll encounter out there. They’ll also be available in large and tall sizes. So, if you’re just a fit outside of the regular parameters, that’s pretty good.

Another unique feature of the 501s is their button fly. This is a traditional Levi’s front opening.

The fact that the 501 has a larger waist range appeals to me. 501s also come with the most diverse color palette. If you’re seeking for green, or various forms of medium to light washes, the 501 is where you’ll find them.

Following that are the extremely popular 505s.

If you want a more relaxed fit around the thighs, these are the ones for you. Aside than that, it’s a fairly comparable fit. However, if you have slightly larger, thicker thighs or simply want extra room in that area, the 505 is the model to consider.

What if you enjoy the 501s but think they’re a little too retro, that they’re a little too high on the waist, that you want something lower and ditch the button fly in favor of a zipper? Check out the 514s if that’s the case.

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You adore the 501s, but they’re a little too big on you. You’ll want something that’s a little closer, especially as you travel down the leg. Take a look at the 513s.

What if you want a more relaxed straight cut than the original 501s, something that will allow you a little more room? Take a look at the 551s and 559s.

Bootcut Levi’s Jeans

The 517s are in our possession. The 527s are in our possession. What’s the difference between the two?

The original cowboy jeans are the 517s. It’s made entirely of cotton. Overall, these will fit at the waist. With the exception of the leg, keep the cut straight. We’re going to have a little more of a start. Why? The bootcut was named for the fact that it was designed for guys who wear boots.

What exactly are the 527s? What can they do to improve this? They needed something with a little more stretch to it.

They’re not going to be as high up on the waist as they are in this current rendition. So, if you’ve tried a pair of 517s and want something a little more comfortable, something with a little more stretch, and something that fits a little lower on the waist, the 527 is the one to look at.

Relaxed & Loose Fit Levi’s Jeans

The 541s, 550s, and 559s will be the dominant players in this game.

There will also be 560s, 569s, and 570s, as well as a loose fit, according to Levi’s.

There’s a distinction to be made between relaxed and loose. Relaxed jeans, according to Levi’s definition, will be looser in and around the hips, waist, and upper leg area. Loose jeans will have a lot more leeway down the legs and will fit a little tighter up the top.

The 541 is referred to as an athletic fit. The 541s are a good option for the guy who has a larger seat and thicker thighs. These are going to make way for him. They’ll still be comfortable around the waist.

However, with an athletic heavyset frame, the drape and stuff will work.

The 550s, often known as the dad jeans, have been around since 1985. These are going to be a traditional loose fit.

This could be a good alternative for you if you’re looking for something casual to wear on the weekend.

If the 550s aren’t your style and you’re looking for something a little more modern, with a relaxed fit but a lower waist and a larger leg opening, the 559s are a good option.

So now you have a solid idea of the different Levi’s jeans styles and numbers.

guide to Levi's jeans numbers

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