Levi’s 505 Vs. 513: How Do These Iconic Jeans Compare?

Levi’s 505 and 513 jeans are two of the brand’s most popular menswear styles. As classic straight leg and slim straight fits, both have their pros and cons depending on your body type and personal style.

Here we break down the key differences between Levi’s 505 vs 513 jeans to help you decide which pair is best for you.

A Brief Comparison Table

FeatureLevi’s 505Levi’s 513
FitClassic straight legModern slim straight
Seat and ThighsRoomy through hips and thighsSlim and tailored profile
Leg OpeningWider, straight cutTapered and narrower
RiseSits at natural waistLow rise, sits below waist
UsageCasual wear, outdoor workGoing out, smart casual occasions
StylingTimeless and vintageModern and refined
Best ForAthletic builds, bulky framesSlim athletic builds

Levi’s 505 Jeans Overview

Levi's 505 Jeans

First released in 1967, the 505 is Levi’s original straight leg jean.

It has a universal straight fit through the hip and thigh which then breaks cleanly over standard work boots or shoes.

The 505 sits right at the waist without being too tight or too loose. It avoids any extreme tapered or wide leg silhouettes.

This versatile straight cut provides a balance between comfort and style.

Through the seat and thigh the 505 has a roomy fit. But it’s not overly baggy or billowy.

The leg opening falls straight from the knee to the hem. This creates a classic denim look that pairs well with almost any casual top.

If you want an easy wearing jean that looks sharp without hugging the body, the 505 is a solid choice. It’s a go-to pair for guys that prefer a more relaxed fit overall.

Key Features of Levi’s 505 Jeans:

  • Sits at waist without sagging
  • Roomier fit through seat and thigh
  • Straight leg opening from knee to hem
  • Classic denim styling
  • Available in multiple washes and colors

Levi’s 513 Jeans Overview

As a modern slim straight fit, the 513 slimmed down the 505 while keeping its signature straight silhouette. Levi’s introduced this popular cut in 1969.

With its tailored look, the 513 flatters athletic builds best. The slim profile adds structure and shape to the leg without constricting.

Through the hip and thigh the 513 has a leaner fit than the 505, but not a skinny jean by any means. It avoids a baggy appearance but still allows freedom of movement.

From the knee down it maintains that familiar straight leg shape. But the leg opening is slightly more narrow and tapered. This keeps the jeans neat and polished when worn with low profile footwear.

The 513 sits below the natural waist, in line with modern low rise styling. So sizing down is often recommended for the best slim straight look.

Key Features of Levi’s 513 Jeans:

  • Sits below waist in low rise fit
  • Slim through hip and thigh
  • Straight leg opening from knee to hem
  • Tailored profile with structure
  • Versatile modern straight cut

Comparing the Fits of 505 And 513 Jeans

Now that we’ve covered the general profiles, let’s compare the 505 vs 513 fits in more detail:

  • Seat and Thighs

In the seat and thighs you really notice the roomier fit of the 505. It sits more relaxed through the hips and rear without hugging or squeezing.

The 513 fits snugger and closer to the body in this area. Not skin tight, but trim enough to add shape to the upper legs.

Both allow easy mobility with enough stretch for active days. But the 505 allows for more air flow and a looser feel.

  • Leg Opening

Moving down the legs, the 505 is again more generous through the leg opening. It’s cut wide enough to fit over workman’s boots. The hems falls clean and straight over footwear without bunching.

In contrast the 513 leg opening gently tapers in from the knee. This creates a trouser-like drape that lays smoothly over low profile shoes. The narrower hem gives the 513 jeans a more refined, tailored look overall.

  • Rise

One subtle but important difference is the rise. On the 505 the waistband sits at the natural waist – right at your belly button level. The 513 has a lower rise, with the waistband hitting several inches below the waist.

This reflects the more modern styling of the 513. Its low rise fit pairs better with today’s cropped tops and fitted shirts. The 505 has that old school, high waist appearance synonymous with classic Levis.

Which Levi’s Straight Cut is Best For Your Body Type?

Now for the big question – which style should you choose based on your build? Here are some general tips:

  • For Athletic Body Types

If you have muscular thighs or a slim athletic shape, the 513 is likely the better choice. Its close yet comfortable fit flatters and enhances an athletic physique. The narrow leg opening also balances out more muscular legs.

  • For Bulkier Frames

Broader guys that carry more weight in their hips and thighs tend to prefer the roomier 505 cut. Its looser seat and thighs help minimize excess bulk. The wider leg opening is also more proportional on larger frames.

  • For Tall or Short Men

The 505’s classic styling suits taller builds best. Shorter men may prefer the modern low rise fit of the 513. But either straight cut can work for average and shorter frames when the right inseam length is chosen.

  • Personal Preference

Your personal style matters too. If you like the look of slimmer fitted jeans, the 513 is the way to go. For a relaxed casual appearance, the 505 is an easy wearing option. Think about which fit best reflects your own tastes.

Comparing Levi’s 505 And 513 Based On Usage

Beyond just fit, the 505 and 513 also differ based on usage and wear. Keep these factors in mind when deciding:

  • Casual Wear

For relaxed weekends and casual wear, the 505 is the more natural choice. Its roomy fit paired with classic styling creates an effortless denim look. The 505 can be dressed up or down seamlessly.

The 513 slims the body more, giving off a slightly dressier vibe. Great for going out or smart casual occasions, but less laid-back than the 505 for pure weekend wear.

  • Work or Outdoor Use

Guys with active jobs or who need ruggedness often gravitate to the 505. Its looser cut allows bending and crouching, while wider legs fit over work boots better. The 505 just feels less restricting for labor or outdoor activities.

While durable too, the 513’s slimmer silhouette has more of an urban, office appeal. Not ideal for rough work sites due to its trimmer leg opening. But for casual Fridays or metro professionals, the 513 can still be a versatile choice.

  • Going Out Wear

For dates, clubs or bars, the 513 really shines. Its modern slim straight styling looks sharp and put together when going out. The 505 appears more casual and relaxed in contrast, which could suit daytime activities better.

It comes down to your personal style, but the 513 has an edge for evenings out thanks to its lean yet comfortable profile. Worn with the right shirt and shoes it projects an effortless cool vibe.

Also Read: Differences Between Levi’s 502 And 513 Jeans.

  • Choosing the Right Wash
Levi's 513 Jeans
Levi’s 513 Jeans

Beyond just the cut, consider the wash (or color) as well when deciding between 505 vs 513 jeans.

Dark indigo shades are the most versatile and can be dressed up or down seamlessly.

But black, gray or even light washes all have unique styling potential.

For the 505, traditional raw denim or dark rinses emphasize that classic appeal.

But also consider vintage washes in lighter tones to highlight the relaxed cut.

The 513 flatters the body most in rich indigo shades without fading or distressing. But experiment with black or modern grey hues to complement its slim silhouette.

  • Getting the Right Fit

Fit is essential to looking sharp in either the 505 or 513 straight leg jeans. Follow these tips for success:

Size Appropriately

Don’t rely on your usual waist size alone. Try both cuts on in person first. Size down if between sizes for the 513 to get that slim straight appearance. The 505 fits truer to size but still assess the fit through the legs.

Optimize Length

Avoid bunching at the ankles or excess fabric pooling on the ground. Get the right inseam length for your height. The 505 can be cuffed for versatile styling.

Sit and Move Naturally

Sit, crouch and move around in the dressing room. Make sure there’s no pulling at the waist or restriction through the thighs. The jeans shouldn’t feel too tight or too loose when moving naturally.

Wear With Proper Footwear

Choose shoes that balance out the leg opening width. Bulkier boots pair well with the 505; lean low profile kicks complement the 513 cut. This helps optimize the straight leg silhouette.

  • Caring for Your 505 or 513 Jeans

Both the 505 and 513 jeans are built of durable denim to handle wear and tear. Follow these care tips to keep them looking sharp:

  • Machine wash cool with similar colors; tumble dry low
  • Avoid over drying or high heat to prevent shrinkage
  • For stubborn stains, spot clean by hand only
  • When needed, consider professional hemming for length
  • For distressing character wear, embrace it! Resist over-washing rigid denim

With the right care, your Levi’s can last for many seasons of comfortable wear.

Also Read: John Varvatos Alternatives.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

Still deciding between Levi’s classic straight and modern straight fits? Here are answers to some frequently asked questions:

What is the difference between Levi’s 501 and 513?

The 501 is Levi’s original straight jean with a very roomy fit. The 513 slimmed down the straight leg look for a more tailored appearance. The 501 is looser overall while the 513 hugs the body more but is still comfortable.

What is the difference between 505 and 511 Levi jeans?

The 505 is a classic straight leg jean. The 511 is Levi’s slimmest fit with a skinny leg. The 505 is cut wider through the hips and thighs with a relaxed straight leg, while the 511 fits tight from hip to ankle.

Does Levi 505 sit at waist?

Yes, the 505 sits right at your natural waist level – around the belly button. This is a higher rise than modern cuts like the 513. The 505’s high waist contributes to its vintage classic styling.

What’s the difference between Levi’s 505 and 501?

While both are straight leg fits, the 505 provides a trimmer, leaner cut overall than the original 501. The 505 is roomy but not overly loose like the 501, giving it a more polished appearance. The 505 is an updated take on Levi’s classic straight leg jean.

Finding Your Perfect Pair

Levi’s 505 and 513 jeans are two of the brand’s standout straight fits. The 505 offers a universal relaxed cut with vintage appeal. The 513 slims and tailors that look for a modern take on a classic.

Consider your body type, style, typical activities and intended usage when choosing 505 and 513. But most importantly, pick the pair that feels most natural and comfortable when you try them on.

That way you can’t go wrong with either of Levi’s legendary straight leg jeans.

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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