Levi’s 502 Vs. 505 Jeans: Which Style Is Best For You?

For over 150 years, Levi’s has been one of the most recognizable names in denim. With so many fits and washes to choose from, it can be tricky to select the perfect pair of Levi’s jeans for your body type and style.

Two of the brand’s most popular men’s fits are the 502 and 505 – but what exactly sets these classic styles apart?

In this comprehensive guide, we’ll break down the key differences between Levi’s 502 and 505 jeans to help you determine which cut will suit you best. We’ll compare everything from fit and rise to fabric and finishing, along with an overview of the pros and cons of each style.

There’s also a handy comparison chart so you can see how the 502 and 505 stacks up against one another at a glance.

Whether you’re looking for a comfortable loose straight leg jean or a vintage inspired straight leg with more room in the thigh, this guide has got you covered. Let’s get started!

Key Differences At A Glance

Before we dive into the nitty gritty details, here’s a high-level overview of how these two popular Levi’s men’s jeans compare:

Levi’s 502Levi’s 505
Straight legStraight leg
Sits below waistSits below waist
Roomier seat and thighSlimmer seat and thigh
Tapered legFull leg
99% Cotton, 1% Elastane100% Cotton

Now let’s explore the fit, rise, fabric, and finishes of each style more in-depth.

Fit Comparison of Levi’s 502 And 505 Jeans

One of the biggest differences between the 502 and 505 is the fit through the seat and thigh. The 502 has more room in these areas for a relaxed straight leg look, while the 505 is cut closer to the body for a vintage inspired straight fitting jean.

  • Levi’s 502
Levi's 502 Jeans
Levi’s 502 Jeans

The 502 is considered Levi’s roomiest fit in the seat and thigh.

It has a straight leg that tapers slightly from the knee down to a narrower leg opening.

This gives the jean a bit of definition while still maintaining that classic straight leg silhouette.

The inclusive sizing and generous cuts through the thigh and seat make the 502 a comfortable option for athletic body types or anyone looking for a relaxed everyday jean.

The 502 is also a good choice if you have bigger thighs and prefer more space rather than a slim skinny look.

  • Levi’s 505
Levi’s 505 Jeans
Levi’s 505 Jeans

The 505 has a vintage straight leg fit that is cut closer to the body without being too tight or restrictive.

It has a straight leg opening that is approximately 1.5 inches smaller than the 502 for a leaner look.

The 505 is designed to sit lower on the waist and fitted through the seat and thigh.

This style provides a streamlined, figure-flattering silhouette with just enough room to move comfortably.

If you have an athletic body type, the 505 may feel too slim in the hips and thighs.

Rise Comparison

Both the 502 and 505 have a mid-rise falling around your natural waist area. However, there are some subtle differences:

  • Levi’s 502

Sits below the waist at around 10.5 inches for the mid-rise 502. This provides enough coverage and is a medium rise between low and high. Most customers feel the 502 has a comfortable, flattering mid-rise fit.

  • Levi’s 505

The 505 mid-rise falls slightly lower, sitting below the waist at around 9.5 inches. So the 505 sits a touch lower on the hips compared to the 502. Keep this in mind if you prefer a higher rise fit.

Fabric and Finishes Comparison

Levi’s 502 and 505 jeans are both made from rugged denim with finishes that maximize durability. However, the materials and stitching details vary:

  • Levi’s 502

Constructed from 99% cotton with 1% elastane for stretch and shape retention. The fabric feels substantial and structured. The 502 is finished with contrast orange stitching on the back pockets and interior waistband providing a signature Levi’s touch.

  • Levi’s 505

Crafted from 100% rigid cotton denim without stretch for that authentic vintage feel. The all-cotton 505 is ruggedly constructed with reinforced stitching to emulate the quality and craftsmanship of vintage Levi’s.

The contrast stitching on the rear pockets is tonal rather than orange.

Pros and Cons of Levi’s 502 And 505 Jeans

To make it easier to decide between the 502 vs 505, here’s a quick rundown of the pros and cons of each style:

Levi’s 502 Pros:

Levi's 502 Jeans
Levi’s 502 Jeans
  • Roomy fit through seat and thigh
  • Tapered leg adds shape
  • 1% elastane for stretch and comfort
  • Mid-rise is comfortable on most body types
  • Contrast orange stitching provides visual interest

Levi’s 502 Cons:

  • Looser fit may not be flattering on all body types
  • Tapered leg less suited for very straight body shapes

Levi’s 505 Pros:

  • Closer vintage straight leg fit
  • 100% cotton for authentic denim feel
  • Sits slightly lower on hips
  • Reinforced stitching for durability
  • Tonal contrast stitching gives a classic look

Levi’s 505 Cons:

  • Slimmer fit not suited for athletic builds
  • Less stretch without elastane
  • Lower rise not ideal for taller frames
  • Looser leg opening than 502

Finding The Right Fit

At the end of the day, choosing between these two popular styles comes down to personal taste and body type. Here are a few key considerations when deciding between Levi’s 502 and 505 jeans:

Levi's 505 Jeans
Levi’s 505 Jeans
  • The 502 has more room for muscular thighs or curvier hips. The tapered leg also adds shape on straight body types.
  • The 505 is best for slim to average proportions. Size up if you have bigger thighs or prefer a relaxed fit.
  • If you’re taller or long-waisted, opt for the 502 with its higher rise.
  • The 505 is a smart option if you like a vintage look with no stretch.
  • Prefer a lived-in, loose straight leg jean? Go for the 502.
  • Want a lean, figure-hugging straight fit? Choose the 505.

Hopefully this detailed comparison has helped you determine whether the Levi’s 502 or 505 is the right straight fit jean for your body and style needs.

Whichever you choose, you’ll be getting a quality pair of jeans from the original denim purveyors.

Levi’s has stood the test of time thanks to impeccable construction, premium materials and craftsmanship that lend their jeans that iconic durability and appeal.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

What is the difference between Levi 505 and 502?

The main differences are the fit, rise and fabric content. The 502 has a relaxed straight fit with more room in the seat and thigh and a tapered leg. It has a mid-rise and contains 1% elastane. The 505 is a vintage straight fit that sits lower on the hips and is cut closer to the body through the thigh with no stretch.

Where do Levi’s 502 sit?

The 502 jeans have a mid-rise that sits below the natural waist, around 10.5 inches. The medium rise hits at most men’s waist area for a comfortable, flattering fit.

Does Levi 502 shrink?

Yes, the 502 will shrink slightly like most 100% cotton denims. To maintain the original relaxed fit, purchase your regular waist size but size up in length by 1-2 inches to allow for shrinkage after washing.

What is the difference between 501 and 505 Levi jeans?

The 501 is Levi’s original straight leg jean with a high-rise and straight leg from thigh to hem. The 505 is a mid-rise, straight fit with slimmer thighs. The 505 provides a more tailored, modern straight look compared to the classic 501.

Wrapping UP

With over a century of denim expertise behind them, Levi’s knows how to create jeans that flatter, fit well and stand the test of time. Both the 502 and 505 builds on the brand’s heritage offering that classic Levi’s look in two versatile straight fits.

The 502 is designed as a looser, roomier straight jean with its relaxed seat and thigh along with a hint of taper through the leg. Meanwhile, the 505 channels a vintage vibe with its leaner, retro straight leg silhouette that sits low on the hips.

Ultimately, choosing between these two comes down to the fit you prefer and your individual shape and style. But whether you opt for the laidback 502 or the throwback 505, you really can’t go wrong with a quality pair of Levi’s.

Their superior construction and finishing will ensure you get years of wear out of your new jeans.

So next time you shop for Levi’s, use this guide to hone in on the 502 vs 505 and select your perfect pair. Because with denim this good, soon you’ll be looking for reasons to wear them every day.

Clayton S. Johnson

Well, I am Clayton who writes, manages, and does overall stuff for this website. I live somewhere in Stone Mountain, Georgia, and used to have a full-time job. But the pandemic taught me to do more do with my life. So, I quit my job and travel a lot! Since I have tons of time now, I write about all the stuff I have done, used, and have first-hand experiences.

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