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Thread: Goodbye 514s. Hello 501s. Levis of course.

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    Goodbye 514s. Hello 501s. Levis of course.

    514s have served me well since about 2005. But lately something has just looked off. Casually with t shirts is fine with 514s but I realized a not so tiny detail about most of Levis denim. Low Rise. And theres the problem. Im dressing up denim more and more recently especially with the colder temps. And 514s are just looking a bit sloppy with tucked in OCBDs and such. I was shocked when trying the 501s. Perfect fit for the look I want. Ive sized down to 31 from 32 but Im still deciding on the length. Usually Ill wear 34 but I tried 32 and it looks great for now but it could shrink just a bit and would look a little high. Also the at the waist look of a 501 just gives it a crisper look.

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    I've got 514 since the longest time as well. Which 501 exactly did you buy? Levi's website lists hundreds of variant.
    Is it the same exact fit (straight fit) and everything except the higher rise?
    How about the fabric? Does it feel and look the same?

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    Quote Originally Posted by RDT View Post
    514s have served me well since about 2005. But lately something has just looked off. Casually with t shirts is fine with 514s but I realized a not so tiny detail about most of Levis denim. Low Rise. And theres the problem. Im dressing up denim more and more recently especially with the colder temps. And 514s are just looking a bit sloppy with tucked in OCBDs and such. I was shocked when trying the 501s. Perfect fit for the look I want. Ive sized down to 31 from 32 but Im still deciding on the length. Usually Ill wear 34 but I tried 32 and it looks great for now but it could shrink just a bit and would look a little high. Also the at the waist look of a 501 just gives it a crisper look.
    Funny. I've recently switched from 501s to 514s. Even exchanged a pair of 501s over the weekend for 514s. My experience is pretty much in line with yours, but I actually prefer the low rise. I have long legs and a short(er) torso. I think low rise pants make me look less like Gumby.

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    Quote Originally Posted by 3piece View Post
    I've got 514 since the longest time as well. Which 501 exactly did you buy? Levi's website lists hundreds of variant.
    Is it the same exact fit (straight fit) and everything except the higher rise?
    How about the fabric? Does it feel and look the same?
    I have been a 501 wearer for a while now. All straight fit with little to no taper. Rise is really person dependent but sometimes I feel the 501 rise could be half an inch too low. As for the fabric, I have tried the 100% cotton ones in both standard and Shrink-to-fit. STF are stiffer and take some time to break in...I'd say 10 wears to the office. The standard 501s are ready to wear and not stiff at all. Also noting the STF, you can wear right when you buy or do the STF where you soak them first. If you go this route, make sure you buy depending on method of wear in terms of sizing.

    The knees on these tend to stretch since they are 100% cotton but not bad.

    Lastly, most 501s are Made in China so sizing can vary. I tend to buy these in person so I can try on say 2-3 pairs and pick the best.

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    Quote Originally Posted by 3piece View Post
    I've got 514 since the longest time as well. Which 501 exactly did you buy? Levi's website lists hundreds of variant.
    Is it the same exact fit (straight fit) and everything except the higher rise?
    How about the fabric? Does it feel and look the same?
    Just the regular non shrink to fit is what I tried on. Havent pulled the trigger yet. Still deciding on length. They are also non indigo rigid. They are just traditional dark stone wash. I love dark indigo but I have a feeling a more traditional wash is the future of denim as well as sitting on the waist instead of low rise.

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    I definitely understand. Im 6-1 and lanky with very long legs. But Im also thin and lack the nice round rear. Im always pulling up my jeans. Hopefully switching to 31 as well as having them slightly higher up with solve this.

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    501s do a lot of things right and are super versatile. I've bought three pairs recently -- one STF and two regular. The STF and one of the regulars are dark navy with no distressing or processed washes. The other regular pair has light distressing and fading.

    What's interesting is there seem to be two distinct fits going on. The STF and the dark navy regular pair are a full inch wider at the knee and the ankle opening compared to the distressed regular pair, which is distinctly more tapered and modern looking, although nowhere even close to skinny or whatever. Also interesting is that all three pairs have the same rise -- 11" (all are 32 waist).

    So it seems like 501 can be considered a family of jeans which has a fixed (as in defined) rise but which may have some variability in the other measurements. And that variability seems to track with the wash -- i.e. more aggressive/distressed washes will get a more modern fit (but keeping the same rise).

    Of course this is based on just three data points so could certainly be misreading things here, but that's what it looks like to me.

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    Excellent. Im more than happy to moving on to 501s. It screams American Classic. It also seems the 501 has fallen through the cracks in recent years as all the new modern fits have become heavily worn and promoted.

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