No announcement yet.

Who else makes jeans with a cut like a Levi 501?

  • Filter
  • Time
  • Show
Clear All
new posts

    Who else makes jeans with a cut like a Levi 501?

    I'm looking for my holy grail pair of jeans! Cut like a Levis 501, but with a zipper fly and maybe softer denim.

    For the record, I own Levis 514s and they aren't bad, but they're slimmer than I prefer. And Levis totally messed up the style of 505s this year, making the legs 1/4 inch slimmer than 514s with an even lower rise too.

    It's time for me to branch out. What other brands do I need to check out? Preferably under $100 a pair.


    Speaking to the notion that Levi's made all the various iterations of the 505 "1/4 inch slimmer than 514s with an even lower rise too," here's something I recently posted in another thread (copied and pasted below):


    Unfortunately, all standard Levi's styles can vary drastically from color to color, and sometimes even within the same color. The short version of the explanation for this is that Levi's uses dozens of factories all over the world, and quality control is somewhat lacking. If you check out the manufacturer's tags on three pairs of 501s in standard indigo in the same store, you're likely to see at least two different countries of origin, each with a somewhat different fit.

    You can get a somewhat more reliable fit out of Levi's Made in the U.S.A. line, Levi's Made and Crafted, Levi's Selvedge Goods, and a couple of other "sub-brands," but those labels' products generally run more expensive than most guys are likely to want to pay.


    I quoted all that by way of advising you not to give up on 505s based on your experience with one particular color in that style. There is (unfortunately) vast variability between different colors/substyles -- and sometimes even within exactly the same color and style -- mainly because standard Levi's quality control around the world is awful. Most current 505s will fit far more like 501s than 514s -- Levi's has not revised the long-bestselling 505 into something with a slimmer leg and lower rise than the 514.

    For evidence that most 505s are cut just the way they always have been -- with a slightly narrower leg than the 501 -- check out the photos of various 505s on the Levi's website: . Those photos also provide a good illustration of the different fits you might get with different colors of the same style.

    As for other jeans that are cut like an average pair of non-shrink-to-fit 501s (in their current iteration, which has changed repeatedly over the years), there are a ton of them -- in fact, there's a huge overseas market for high-end knockoffs of the 1947 501, which is generally considered to be the archetypal 501.

    If you're looking to go under $100, though, the options are essentially limited to Levi's and Lee, with some jeans from the Gap, Old Navy, Banana Republic, and J. Crew that they claim fit like 501s. The problem there is that no one is sure which "model year" of the 501 they're patterned after, which means trying on a bunch of different pairs until you find one that fits.

    Without researching too deeply, one possible option off the top of my head is the Gap 1969 Straight Fit ( ). Really, anybody's "classic straight fit" or "vintage straight fit" is likely patterned after one 501 or another, although some places are now using "vintage" to mean "slimmer than average."



      From my experience, the 505s have had the most consistent fit throughout the years. 501s change in fit very often.

      On my 32x30 frame, 514s suffer more from the usual vanity sizing than 505s, despite the advertisement of a "slim straight" fit. That could be why the 505s seem slimmer in the same size.

      Denim is such a personal thing. You really need to try on as many brands and fits as you can. It might seem frustrating, but just look at it as some sort of mystical quest and make it fun.

      I think Lands End Canvas sells a fit that's similar to the 501. Returns are easy through Sears.



        I fully concur with what Glen's saying I just did in another thread. This man knows his jeans.

        In reality, I'm a 32x30 in virtually all dress pants -- occasionally a 33x30. In nearly all Levi's 514s, I'm a 31x30. In some 511s, I'm a 31x30; in others, I'm a 32x30. I'm a 31x30 in the current iteration of non-shrink-to-fit 501s.

        In all the 505s I've ever tried, I'm a 32x30.

        But, again, what Glen says about denim being highly personal -- that's very much the case. And the only way to find true satisfaction in the way your jeans look and feel is going to be to try on as many different ones as you can until you find the right pair. Chances are, you'll return to that brand again over and over once you've found it.



          The measurements Levis posted on their own site show that the new 505 cut has changed. They've since removed the page that showed each cut's measurements including rise, but the page from 2 months ago showed the new 505 rise is 1/4 inch lower than the rise on a 514. I'm guessing that only 505 washes created after the change have the new lower rise.

          I realize Levi's retools the measurements of their styles to keep up with the times. My problem is that the current 501 rise (in the rear) is at the low end of what works for me.

          I also realize Levi's vary wildly even with the same wash based on which factory they were made in. But the numbers Levi's was posting on their own site in June showed that the new 505 is 1/4 inch lower rise than a 514.

          What I really want is a stylish jean not quite as slim as a 514 with a rise no lower than the current rise of a 501. Dressy and dark? Yes please! Faded? That'd be nice too! Soft? Yes please!



            Well, invariably these threads turn into a "this is what I swear by" soapbox, so I would reiterate what's already been said - try on a bunch and see what works for you!



              Factory produced jeans vary in size from pair to pair because they cut them in stacks, so trying on is a must before removing the tags.

              I agree that you've gotta just try them on. I've found my favorite fits to be the Barfly from Stitch's jeans and the Standard from 7 for all Mankind, but as for affordable options, I enjoy the 514s.

              Try on some and you'll learn what is good for you right now.