Home Men's Fashion Levi’s 505 vs 501 Jeans – Discover The Core Differences In 2024!

Levi’s 505 vs 501 Jeans – Discover The Core Differences In 2024!

by Cressida meale
Comparing Levi's 501 and 505 Jeans

You’re here because you want the lowdown on Levi’s 501 and 505 jeans, right? Look no further. We’re diving deep into the iconic world of Levi’s to settle the score between these two legendary jean fits. In the next few minutes, you’ll get the full briefing on what sets them apart, focusing on that all-important thigh area. Spoiler: If you’re looking for extra legroom, the 505’s got your back—or, should I say, your thighs. Stick around to get all the insights you need to make the right call for your denim game.

Quick Rundown: Levi’s 501 vs. 505 Jeans

Skim through the words or hit play on that 2-minute video below for a quick guide on Levi’s 501 and 505 jeans. If it helps, give that subscribe button a click.

Comparing Levi's 501 and 505 Jeans
@levis Via Instagram

Thigh Space: Where 505 Takes the Lead

The central point of divergence between the 501 and 505? The thigh fit. The 505 gives you more room to move. But don’t stress, from afar, nobody’s gonna notice.

Core Similarities

Comparing Levi's 501 and 505 Jeans
@levis Via Instagram

Let’s get it straight: these jeans are almost identical twins. They both boast a regular fit—neither a skinny jean nightmare nor a baggy disaster. The 505s are just a touch more relaxed in the thigh area. For a visual, picture my 501s stacked on my 505s.

Button or Zip? Take Your Pick

A minor but crucial detail: the 501s feature a classic button fly, while the 505s opt for a zip fly.

What’s the Deal with Levi’s 501?

The 501s are Levi’s “OG fit jeans”—regular fit around the seat and thigh, straight cut from knee to ankle, and a button fly to boot. They’re what you’d call your classic, 5-pocket, straight-leg jeans.

Comparing Levi's 501 and 505 Jeans
@levis Via Instagram

Unpacking the Levi’s 505

Levi’s 505s offer a more generous fit in the seat and thigh but keep the straight leg, giving you more freedom. If the 501s are a stiff drink, the 505s are the same but with a splash of soda.

Side-by-Side Comparison

The difference in fit is subtle, best seen when my 501s are layered over my 505s. The 505s give you more leeway in the thigh and seat. So, if you’re into more breathing room without going full-on baggy, 505s might be your go-to.

Jeans Sizes

Waist Size

Levi's size
Via Levi.com

Length Size

Levi's size
Via Levi.com

International Conversions

Levi's size
Via Levi.com

Leg Opening: The Subtle Shift

Once upon a time, both jeans had a 16-inch leg opening. Not anymore. Now, the 501s sport a 17-inch leg opening. The difference is minimal, but it’s there, especially near the ankle.

To Zip or Not To Zip

Comparing Levi's 501 and 505 Jeans
@levis Via Instagram

Quick recap: 501s have the age-old button fly, and 505s go for the zip and a button closure. No biggie, but now you know.

Material Matters

Comparing Levi's 501 and 505 Jeans
@levis Via Instagram

Whether you’re a 100% cotton purist or enjoy a bit of stretch, both the 501 and 505 styles have you covered. A heads-up, though: pure cotton will shrink a smidgen more.

That’s the drill, folks. Whether you’re a 501 traditionalist or a 505 adventurer, this guide covers you. Now go ahead, make your pick.

What Are The Specific Measurements Of The Thigh Area For The 501 And 505 Jeans? 

I don’t have the exact measurements for the thigh area of the 501 and 505 jeans, as Levi’s doesn’t typically release those specifics publicly. Thigh measurements can also vary depending on the size and even the specific batch of jeans. However, it’s generally accepted that the 505 jeans offer a more relaxed fit in the thigh area than the 501s. If you’re particularly concerned about the thigh measurements, I’d recommend heading to a store to try them on or checking the product details if you’re shopping online. Many websites will provide sizing guides that sometimes include thigh measurements.

How Do The 501 And 505 Jeans Differ In Terms Of Overall Fit? 

The Levi’s 501 and 505 jeans are similar in many ways, but they do have fundamental differences in terms of fit:

Thigh Area

The most noticeable difference is in the thigh area. The 505 jeans offer a slightly more relaxed fit, giving you more breathing room. If jeans often feel too tight around your thighs, the 505 is better for you.

Fly Design

Another significant difference is the fly. The 501s feature a classic button fly, while the 505s have a zip fly. This is more about personal preference, but some guys swear by one over the other for ease of use or comfort.

Leg Opening

Both styles have a straight cut from the knee down, but the 501 jeans generally have a 17-inch leg opening compared to the 505’s 16-inch. It’s not a huge difference, but it does affect how the jeans lay over your shoes.

Fit Description

Levi’s describes the 501s as an “original fit” with a “regular fit through the seat and thigh,” ending in a straight leg. The 505s, the other hand, are also categorized as regular fit but are described as having “extra room through the seat and thigh.” While both are regular fit, the 505s are just a tad roomier.

Material Options

Both styles come in various materials, including 100% cotton and stretch blends. Your choice here will affect comfort and longevity, so consider what you’re looking for in terms of feel and durability.

In summary, both jeans are top-notch choices with their own unique benefits. The 501s are your go-to for a more traditional, snug fit, while the 505s give you a little more space without veering into baggy territory. Take your pick based on your comfort and style needs.

Are There Other Differences Between The 501 And 505 Jeans Besides The Thigh Area And Fly Type?

Aside from the obvious distinctions in thigh room and fly type, there are a few other subtle differences you might want to consider when deciding between the 501 and 505 jeans:

Leg Opening

Though both styles are straight-leg jeans, they sometimes differ slightly in leg opening dimensions. The 501s often have a 17-inch leg opening, while the 505s typically sport a 16-inch space. This slight variance affects how the jeans drape over your shoes.

Waist Rise

The 501s generally offer a mid-rise, sitting at the waist, while the 505s may provide variations with a lower-rise option. This choice impacts both comfort and how your upper body appears in proportion to your legs.

Stretch Factor

While both styles are available in 100% cotton or a blend that includes some stretch, you may find that the 505s are more commonly found in stretchier fabrics. This gives you more comfort and freedom of movement.

Color and Wash Options

Both the 501 and 505 come in various colors and washes, but the specific options can differ. It’s not a difference in the design per se, but if you’re looking for a particular shade or wash, it might sway your choice.

Price Point

Generally speaking, these two styles’ price points are comparable, but you might find slight differences depending on the specific wash or any limited-edition styles.

Age & Heritage

The 501s have been around for a lot longer and carry a particular heritage and classic style. The 505s have been around for decades and are viewed as a slightly more modern iteration.

So, while the thigh area and fly type are the most talked-about differences, these additional factors can also influence which pair will be the right fit for you. Both are solid choices, but the best team for you will depend on your specific needs and preferences.


Alright, gents, there you have it—a comprehensive rundown of Levi’s 501 and 505 jeans. Both are stellar options with unique perks: the 501s for their classic button-fly and regular fit and the 505s for that little extra room where it counts. Remember, the material can make or break your denim experience. Cotton’s tremendous but will shrink a bit, so size wisely. At the end of the day, your jeans should be an extension of you—choose what feels right. Now that you’re armed with this intel go forth and upgrade that denim game. Cheers!

Feature Image from Unsplash

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