If you live in the United States, chances are you have purchased or know someone who have purchased Levi’s jeans. As one of the staple jean brands in the US, Levi’s seems like a relatively boring choice to be pro-fashion — but on the contrary, they are some of the best purchases you can make. Though they may not be as expensively branded as other jean brands, Levi’s are an absolutely wonderful start to any wardrobe — they are cheap, are available in a wide variety of fits, and best of all, are available in virtually any city and all over the place online.
With that being said, here is a quick and dirty Levi’s sizing guide, so you know what to look for if you ever feel like purchasing a pair.
Levi’s 501 (Original Jean)
Sometimes jokingly called the “Obama Jean” nowadays, 501s are the very classic Levi’s jean offering that has been around for virtually forever. 501s are as baggy as a fashionable person would ever want to go — they are relatively loose and relaxed and perfect for a look trying to exploit that, but really often too loose for most guys otherwise. Unless you have huge legs or are trying to pull off something retro (or just have no other choice), 501s are probably not an ideal choice.
Levi’s 514 (Slim Straight Jean)
These are pretty much the perfect balance between straight and skinny — 514s are neither skinny nor baggy straight, making them a “slim straight” that works fairly well for most people, particularly those with bigger thighs (i.e. weightlifters). 514s don’t work very well for those with super thin legs (they just manage to look baggy), but for those with muscle tone, 514s are a godsend.
Levi’s 511 (Skinny Jean)
The canonical “skinny jean”, though admittedly they are really only skinny in name. 511s differ from 514s in that they have a more drastic taper and try to achieve a more skin-tight look without trying to be too skin tight, making them a good choice for most guys with relatively thin legs. You can find a ton of variations on 511s, from ones with wild colors (like hot purple) to material additions (like spandex to make the jean material less constricting). These allegedly have a wider seat than the 514s (which is really not something I’ve personally seen), so be wary.
Levi’s 510 (Super Skinny Jean)
510s are the honest-to-god Levi’s skinny jean. These can look amazing on guys with very thin legs, or very horrible on guys with anything but slim legs — if you don’t know if you could wear these, chances are you shouldn’t wear them. 510s are skinny to the point where they look ridiculous unless you are skinny all throughout to the point of looking emaciated, so be careful — these are wonderful jeans only in the right hands.
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Why are you always insulting “relaxed fit” and similar jeans? Sometimes that’s all that fits.