Levi’s 511 Vs. 514 Jeans: An In-Depth Comparison Guide

From high-waisted 501s to relaxed 550s, Levi’s offers an extensive range of denim fits catering to diverse styles and body types. With so many fits to choose from, it can be tricky finding your perfect pair.

Two of Levi’s most popular men’s jeans are the 511 and 514—but what sets them apart?

In this comprehensive guide, we’ll cover all the key differences between Levi’s 511 and 514 jeans. We’ll compare everything from fit and style to unique features and sizing so you can determine which model is right for you.

Whether you’re a denimhead looking to expand your collection, or you’re seeking that elusive fit that checks all your boxes, read on for the definitive 511 and 514 overview.

A Brief Comparison Table

To recap the differences so far, here is an at-a-glance overview comparing the 511 and 514’s key features:

511 Slim Fit514 Straight Fit
Sits below waistSits at/below waist
Snug through hip & thighRoomier through hip & thigh
Tapered legStraight leg
Low 7.5”-9.5” riseMid to high 10”-12” rise
8”-15” leg opening15”-17” leg opening
Sleek, modern stylingHeritage, classic styling
Trendy washesVintage washes
Great for casual wearRugged, masculine workwear vibe

As shown above, everything from the rise to the leg opening to the overall styling sets the 511 and 514 jeans apart. Now let’s explore other differences.

Levi’s 511 And 514 Fit Comparison

Fit and silhouette are where the 511 and 514 differ most noticeably.

511 Slim Fit Jeans:

Levi's 511 Men's Denim Dark Wash Jeans
Levi’s 511 Men’s Denim Dark Wash Jeans
  • Sits below waist
  • Snug through hips and thighs
  • Tapered leg slims from knee to hem
  • Front rise 10”-11”, back rise 14”-15”
  • Seat tailored for slimmer builds
  • 8”-15” leg openings to fit over boots

With a hip-hugging rise and slim top block, the 511 hugs the body for a tight fitted look.

The tapered leg narrows as it approaches the ankle, creating a stacked appearance.

The snug (but not squeezed) fit through the hip and thigh makes the 511 a flattering choice for men with slim to athletic builds.

Stretch denim fibers woven into the fabric allow for flexible movement.

514 Straight Fit Jeans:

  • Sits below waist
  • Roomier through seat and thigh
  • Straight leg cut from knee to hem
  • Front rise 10.5”-11.5”, back rise 15”-16”
  • Relaxed top block and leg opening
  • 15”-17” leg openings designed to fit over boots

While still tailored, the 514 has more ease through the hip and thigh with no taper. This creates a classic straight silhouette from thigh to ankle. The medium leg opening provides comfort while maintaining a streamlined look.

With its laidback straight fit, the 514 flatters most body types. The roomier cut offers great flexibility making it a good choice for muscular builds or guys looking for extra breathing room.

Comparing the Style of 511 And 514 Jeans

Aside from variations in fit and silhouette, the 511 and 514 also differ slightly in terms of style details.

511 Styling:

  • Low 7.5”-9.5” rise sits below hip bone
  • Variety of modern, trendy washes
  • Distressed details and abrasions
  • Contemporary fabric tech like stretch and denim blends
  • Short, medium and long inseam lengths
  • Designed for casual wear and versatile looks

With its hip-hugging rise and skinny tapered leg, the 511 has an urban streetstyle vibe. The range of on-trend washes and edgy distressed details enhance its fashion-forward appeal.

The 511 works well dressed up or down. Pair it with sneakers and tees for casual daytime wear or Chelsea boots and button-downs for nights out. Their flexibility makes 511s a staple jean for the modern man’s wardrobe.

514 Styling:

Levi’s 514 Jeans
Levi’s 514 Jeans
  • Mid to high 10”-12” rise sits near hip bone
  • Focus on classic and vintage washes
  • Minimal fading or whiskering
  • Traditional denim fabric and hardware
  • Longer inseams around 32”+
  • Rugged heritage styling

The 514’s throwback high rise waistband and roomy straight leg embody Levi’s roots in vintage American workwear.

Clean washes inspired by original Levi’s jeans give the 514 an old-school look.

With its classic styling, the 514 pairs perfectly with boots, plaids and trucker jackets. It retains a rugged, masculine feel rooted in denim tradition. The 514 slots seamlessly into both casual and smart-casual outfits.

Comparing Sizing, Fabrics and Hardware

Understanding the differences in sizing, materials and hardware can further help determine which jean works best for you.


Both the 511 and 514 come in standard men’s jean sizing ranging from 28-42 waist and 30-36 length. The 514 runs slightly large in some sizes, so sizing down is recommended for a perfect fit. The 511 runs true to size.

For maximum comfort, flexibility and performance:

  • Size down on 514s for a tailored but relaxed straight fit
  • Stick to your normal size for 511s snug skinny fit

Inseams on the 511 run short, medium and long (30”-34”) while 514 inseams skew longer at 32”-36”. Keep this in mind if you need a specific length.


The 511 and 514 are both made from quality non-stretch and stretch denim fabrics with:

  • 98% cotton / 2% elastane blends for comfort and movement
  • Durable 10oz – 15oz denims that break in and fade nicely
  • Water reducing technologies for minimal shrinkage

However, the 511 tends to incorporate more contemporary performance fabrics like hybrid tech-cotton blends. The 514 sticks to old-school rigid 100% cotton denims.


Both models feature the iconic Levi’s arcuate stitching on the back pockets along with:

  • Classic 5-pocket styling
  • Copper rivets for durability
  • Premium YKK zipper fly
  • Bar tack reinforcements at stress points

The 511 often has exposed zippers and modern metal shank buttons. The 514 uses traditional leather patches and brass shank buttons for that old-school vibe.

How The 511 And 514 Fit Compare By Body Type?

Now let’s explore how the 511 and 514 jeans complement different builds.

The 511 is ideal for:

  • Slim or skinny guys: the tapered leg and narrow leg opening enhance lean figures.
  • Athletic builds: the flexibility and stretch accommodate muscular thighs while the taper flatters the shape.
  • Shorter men: the low rise elongates the legs while the cropped leg opening shows off shoes.
  • Guys who like tight fits: the hip-hugging 511 hugs the body without restricting movement.

The 514 is ideal for:

  • Stocky/muscular builds: the roomy thigh and straight leg prevent a tight squeeze around the calves
  • Tall/long-legged guys: the 514’s longer inseams and wider leg opening accommodate taller builds.
  • Plus size men: the relaxed fit through the seat and thigh flatters bigger frames.
  • Those who dislike skinny fits: the classic straight cut provides comfort without looking baggy.
  • Big thigh/calf guys: the 514’s looser leg leaves room for athletic lower bodies.

So in summary:

  • The 511 flatters slim, skinny guys who want a modern tailored look.
  • The 514 complements bigger/taller builds who prefer a roomier, vintage straight fit.

How To Choose Between The Levi’s 511 And 514 Jeans?

When deciding between the 511 and 514, consider these key points:

Choose the Levi’s 511 if you:

Levi's 511 Denim Dark Wash Jeans
Levi’s 511 Denim Dark Wash Jeans
  • Like a snug, skinny jean fit
  • Prefer a lower rise and tapered leg
  • Have a slim to athletic build
  • Want a stacked, streamlined look
  • Seek a fashionable versatile jean

Choose the Levi’s 514 if you:

  • Prefer old-school straight leg jeans
  • Like a bit looser fit through the thigh
  • Have a husky/tall frame or big thighs
  • Want room to tuck in boots under the leg
  • Seek a vintage, rugged Americana vibe

Other considerations:

  • Preferred rise: Low rise vs. mid/high rise?
  • Ideal leg opening: Skinny vs. roomier/wider?
  • Regular vs. longer inseam needs
  • Style: Modern casual or heritage workwear?

Finding the Best Colors and Washes

Both the 511 and 514 come in a wide range of colors and finishes.

For the 511, look for:

  • Black, mid to light indigo washes
  • Cool modern shades like olive, burgundy, tan
  • Distressed details and abrasions
  • Fashionable patterns and textures

For the 514, go for:

  • Dark indigo to faded/vintage blue washes
  • Classic tan, brown, black and grey shades
  • Minimal embellishments and whiskering
  • Plain and raw denim colors

Consider your wardrobe color palette and personal style preferences when choosing shades.

Caring For Your 511 Or 514 Jeans

To keep both jean styles looking their best:

Levi’s 514 Jeans
Levi’s 514 Jeans
  • Wash infrequently, inside-out in cold water
  • Air dry only—no machine drying
  • Avoid over-drying and take care to preserve color
  • Use gentle cycle and wash separately from zippered items
  • Spot clean stains to minimize washing
  • For stubborn wrinkles, iron inside out on a low setting
  • Repair tears immediately to maintain structural integrity

With proper care, your 511 or 514 jeans will last for many seasons.

Wrapping Up

While both are high quality jeans by the iconic Levi’s brand, the 511 and 514 have distinct differences. The 511 is designed for guys who want a tailored skinny fit jean with a bit of stretch and modern styling.

The 514 offers a roomier straight leg cut inspired by classic workwear but sized to look sharp.

Consider your priorities–fit, style, rise, leg opening and fabric feel–and choose the pair that best suits your wardrobe needs. For slim builds wanting a contemporary look, the 511 is a perfect choice. Bigger guys who love that vintage Americana style will appreciate the 514.

Whichever you select, you’ll enjoy durable craftsmanship and Levi’s legendary attention to detail in a pair made to last. Trust this guide to help you decide whether the Levi’s 511 or 514 is the right fit for you.

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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