Levi’s 511 Vs. 513 Jeans: Which Slim Style Is Best For You?

When it comes to finding the perfect pair of jeans, two of Levi’s most popular slim fits are the 511 and 513 models. But with similar slim and tapered legs, it can be tricky to tell these jeans apart.

So what exactly is the difference between Levi’s 511 and 513 jeans? Should you go for the extra slim 511 or slim straight 513? To help you decide, here is a detailed comparison of the fit, style, and sizing of these classic Levi’s cuts.

Key Differences At A Glance

Before diving into the specifics, here is a quick overview of how Levi’s 511 and 513 jeans compare:

Levi’s 511Levi’s 513
Extra slim fitSlim straight fit
Sits below waistSits below waist
Slim through hip & thighSlim through hip & thigh
Tapered legStraight leg
Slightly shorter riseLow-medium rise
Cropped leg openingSlim leg opening

Now let’s break things down in more detail…

The Levi’s 511 Fit

Levi’s 511 jeans have an extra slim fit through the hip and thigh, with a strong taper below the knee for a narrow leg opening.

Here are the key features of the 511 fit:

Levi's 511 Denim Dark Wash Jeans
  • Extra slim – Designed to be form-fitting without being too tight. Hugs the body for a sharp, sleek silhouette.
  • Tapered leg – Gets narrower from the thigh to the ankle. This tapered profile creates a leg-lengthening effect.
  • Sits below waist – The mid to low rise hits comfortably under your natural waistline. Allows room to move while retaining the slim shape.
  • Slightly cropped – The inseam is a bit shorter, hitting at the ankle or higher depending on your height. Showcases more of the leg and shoe.
  • Snug at hip and thigh – Slim through the seat and thighs without being restrictive. Achieves the popular skinny jean aesthetic.

The 511 is a go-to Levi’s cut for a body-skimming slim look from top to bottom. While tight at first, the stretch denim breaks in over time for the ideal custom mold to your shape. This versatile style works well for casual and dressy occasions.

The Levi’s 513 Fit

Meanwhile, the Levi’s 513 has a slim straight fit through the thigh with a straight leg that does not taper.

Here is an overview of the 513 fit:

  • Slim straight – Slim through the thigh and hip with a straight leg for a tailored yet relaxed look.
  • Sits below waist – Low-medium rise that sits below your natural waistline. Provides enough coverage in the rear while allowing mobility.
  • Straight leg – Maintains consistent width from thigh to ankle. Features a slim leg opening without tightness.
  • Medium rise – Hits right under your natural waist. Not too high or too low.
  • Roomier in thigh – Less restrictive around the thighs compared to the skinny 511. Allows comfortable movement.

The Levi’s 513 creates a lean silhouette from top to mid-thigh before breaking into a straight leg. This streamlined but not clingy fit flatters most body types. The versatility of the 513 cut suits both casual everyday wear and slightly dressier styles.

Now that you know the main differences in fit, let’s compare the styling and sizing.

Style and Details Comparison of Levi’s 511 And 513 Jeans

Both the 511 and 513 share some similarities when it comes to style:

  • Variety of finishes – Available in rinses, colors, and distressed styles. Ranging from smart dark indigos to worn-in vintage looks.
  • 5 pocket styling – Traditional Levi’s design with signature arcuate stitching on the back pockets.
  • Bar tack reinforcements – Bar tack stitching provides strength and durability at stress points.
  • Leather patch – Features the iconic Levi’s leather patch on the back waistband.

However, there are some subtle styling differences:

511 Styling

  • Exposed buttons and zipper – The 511 often has signature red tab and exposed buttons/zipper for a sleeker look.
  • Contrast stitching – Frequently features contrast-colored stitching for an eye-catching detail.
  • Skinny leg – Sometimes includes side leg ribbing for an accentuated skinny shape.

513 Styling

  • Concealed zipper – The 513 tends to have a covered zipper and buttons for a clean, streamlined aesthetic.
  • Tonal stitching – Often opts for tonal stitching to blend in with the denim and avoid contrast at the seams.
  • Straight leg – Visual details down the leg are minimal to maintain the straight silhouette.

While both models come in a variety of denim finishes, the 511 offers more colors and distressing options for bold fashion looks. The 513 favors versatile dark rinsed or raw indigo styles suitable for work or weekend.

Sizing Comparison

Since the 511 and 513 have different fits, the sizing does not align exactly the same:

Levi's 511 Men's Denim Dark Wash Jeans
Levi’s 511 Men’s Denim Dark Wash Jeans
  • 511 sizing – Runs small due to the clingy skinny fit. Size up 1-2 inches from your regular waist size for a flattering slim fit with room to breathe.
  • 513 sizing – Follows typical jean sizing since it has roomier dimensions. Order your normal waist size for a tailored but not tight straight fit through the hip and thigh.
  • Inseam – Both models come in the same standard inseam lengths: 30”, 32”, 34”. Select your regular inseam measurement unless you prefer the cropped look of a shorter hem.
  • Tall/short sizes – The 511 offers tall and short inseam options for a custom length. The 513 has limited sizing outside the standard lengths.
  • Stretch denim – The elastane-infused stretch denim used in many modern 511 and 513 jeans offers flexibility through the hips and thighs for maximum comfort. Over time, the material molds to your form.

To summarize, size up when buying the ultra-slim 511 jeans and stick with your normal size for the 513 straight fit. Consider sizing up in the rear and thighs if you need more room.

Comparing the Pros and Cons of Levi’s 511 And 513 Jeans

To decide whether the Levi’s 511 or 513 is the best choice for you, it helps to compare the pros and cons of each fit:

Levi’s 511 Pros & Cons


  • Extra slim, body-hugging fit through hip and thigh
  • Flattering tapered leg lengthens the appearance of legs
  • Cropped leg shows off shoes
  • Sleek and stylish silhouette
  • Wide range of colors and finishes


  • Too skinny for some body types
  • Can feel restrictive in thigh and rear
  • Cropped leg not ideal for taller guys
  • Small pockets due to narrow leg

Levi’s 513 Pros & Cons


Levis 513 Jeans
Levis 513 Jeans
  • Slim but not overly tight through hip and thigh
  • Straight leg provides room to move
  • Clean streamlined look
  • Classic versatile style for both casual and dressy wear
  • Roomy pockets in straight leg


  • Less flashy than the extra slim 511
  • Limited special wash options compared to the 511
  • Straight leg less trendy than tapered styles
  • Can look boxy if sized up too much

Digging into the nitty gritty of each fit will make it easier to pick the pair that suits your needs and style preferences. The extra slim 511 flatters skinny body types, while the 513 accommodates more athletic builds.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

Still undecided between the 511 and 513? Here are answers to some commonly asked questions about these popular Levi’s fits:

What is the difference between Levi 511 and 513?

The main difference is the leg silhouette. The Levi’s 511 has an extra slim tapered leg that hugs the body from thigh to ankle. Meanwhile, the Levi’s 513 has a slim straight leg with the same streamlined fit through the thigh but no taper below the knee.

Are Levi’s 511 too skinny?

The 511 has an intentionally skinny fit designed to cling close to your form. However, if you size up, the stretch material will conform to your body’s contours without feeling restrictive. For looser thighs and a less skinny leg, the 513 provides more room through the hip and thigh.

Which is better Levi’s 511 or 512?

The Levi’s 512 is a slim tapered jean, similar to the 511 but with a little more room in the hip and thigh. The 511 is better if you want an extra slim silhouette. The 512 offers a middle ground between the skinny 511 and the straight 513. Choose the 512 if you like a slim tapered leg but need more space in the hips and thighs. The 512 is also more forgiving if you are between sizes.

What is the difference between Levi’s 513 and 514?

The Levi’s 514 is a straight fit jean, as opposed to the 513 slim straight. While both have straight legs, the 513 has a narrower fit through the hip and thigh. The 514 is designed as a classic loose straight leg jean. The roomier 514 accommodates larger seats and thighs, while the more tailored 513 flatters slim to athletic body types.


When it comes down to choosing between Levi’s most popular slim fits, consider your body type, sizing, and personal style preferences.

For an ultra skinny silhouette from hips to hems, go for the 511 slim tapered jeans. Size up for a curve-hugging (but not squeezing) fit in the hips and thighs.

The 513 slim straight offers a modern lean look with room to move. This versatile style flatters most body shapes with its streamlined yet comfortable straight leg design.

Trying on different sizes of both the 511 and 513 is the best way to find your perfect pair. Keep in mind that Levi’s denim often relaxes over time, so snugger at first is better if you want them to mold to your shape.

With so many colors and finishes to choose from, you can easily rock both the 511 and 513 depending on what styling you prefer that day. Skinny or straight, you really can’t go wrong with these classic Levi’s fits!

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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