Levi’s 511 vs 512: Everything You Need To Know

Levi’s is an iconic brand known for its high-quality denim, and if you are in the market for a new pair of slim-fit jeans, two of the most popular jeans options you might have heard of are Levi’s 511 and Levi 512.

At first glance two of these jeans might look similar; however, with a deep look into them, they aren’t identical. Even though they have the same slim-fit design, they vary in a couple of ways, and in this post, we will explore the difference between Levi’s 511 vs 512 to help you make an informed purchasing decision.

Featured Snippet: Levi’s 512 and 511 are two slim-fit jeans; however, the main difference is that Levi’s 512 features a more tapered end than Levi’s 511. There are also a couple of differences we will like to explore further in this post.

What Are Levi’s 511 Jeans?

Levi’s 511 jeans is a standard men’s slim-fit jeans, which were released to introduce modernized jeans into Levi’s jeans line. And ever since its release, the Levi 511 jeans have become a popular style among mostly young men, and teenagers.

These jeans provide wearers more room to move, but still, give you that snug feeling of skinny jeans– the feeling is somewhere between straight-fit jeans and slim-fit jeans. This is because the 511 only has a slim fit from the hip to the knee, and from the knee to the ankle, it features a straight fit design or a less tapered end-about 14 to 14.5″ in diameter, giving your legs more room.

This gives it a kind of “stacky” jeans look in the transition from the hip-to-knee area to the knee-to-ankle area.

The jeans sit below the waist, and it goes well with sneakers and boots. However, it might be as aesthetic as bulkier sneakers or chunky sneakers. That being said, they look great when worn with boots especially, and they evenly match regular and fashionable sneakers.

Male model wearing Levi’s 511 jeans.

If you do not like the fact that skinny jeans sit on top of your sneakers or boots, then we recommend that you get the Levi’s 511 jeans since it covers the tongue of your shoe, giving you that aesthetic look.

That being said, if you do not want your jeans to be fully on your skin, and you want that freedom of movement and legroom, then the 511 will give you just that.

The jeans are available in a wide variety of colors, making it appealing to let you choose based on your style; you can get the jeans in either white, gray, faded gray, or various washes spectrum(light, medium, and dark washes). It comes in stretchy and non-stretchy options sufficing the needs of every gentleman who loves a pair of jeans.

What Are Levi’s 512 Jeans?

The Levi’s 512 matches up to the 511 and it takes features from the 510 and the 511 giving you the tapered end of the 510 and the slim fit of the 511. Since we will be comparing the 511 and 512 in the subsequent subsection, we will just focus this section on the 512.

The Levi’s 512 is designed for those who want to have that streamlined ending but with a straight-fit touch; such that it is designed to have a slim-fit appearance from the seated region to the knee and the appearance of skinny jeans(a tapered end) from the knee to the ankle.

This gives it a bit more snug feeling on the hip and calves. So, essentially, it gives you the feeling of skinny jeans and the appearance of a skinny fit, thanks to its leg opening of 12 1/4″.

A man wearing Levi’s 512 jeans.

Just like the 511, it sits below the waist, and there’s limited legroom; however, it has more legroom than the 510s, but less than the 511s. That being said, it also has the “stacky” appearance around the knee area like the 511s. The tapered end makes these jeans ideal to wear with low to mid-top sneakers, and some low-top shoes. That being said, it looks good on boots, but not as much as 511s.

These jeans come in a wide variety of color options, ranging from dark wash, medium wash, light wash, black, and gray giving you the same variety of color options as the 511. The Levi’s 511 is a pair of stretch jeans, but not fully stretched, giving you the maximum comfort you need.

Levi’s 511 vs Levi’s 512: What’s The Difference?

The difference between these two are quite slim, but we will try and highlight that in this section:

1.     Dimensions

In terms of dimensions, the difference might not be visible; however, generally, you should expect the following difference between both:

Waist Size: For the waist, the 511 starts at 29.5″ up to 43.5″, while the 512 starts at 29.5″ to 45.5″

Seat Size: In terms of seat size, the 511 starts at 36.5″ to 49.38″, whiles the 512’s seat size starts at 37″ and ends at 51.5″

Thighs: For thighs, there isn’t much difference, with the thigh of 511 starting at 20.75″ and ending at 27″ and that of the 512 starting at 20.5″ and ending at 27.5″.

Leg Opening: This is where the most difference lies, with the 511 starting at 13.5″ and ending at 17″, and the leg opening of the Levi’s 512, starting at 11.75″ and ending at 15.75”.

2.     Feel

From the dimensions and what we have been discussing earlier, you can already see where the difference lies. However, if you weren’t able to read through those sections, we will highlight them here.

The main difference between these two is the feel and appearance of the knee to the ankle region. For the waist or seated region up to the knee, both jeans have a straight-fit appearance. However, from the knee to the ankle of the Levi’s 512 is tapered (skinny-fit) while that of the 511 is more open (more of a straight jeans feel).

Teenager boy wearing a checkered shirt and jeans on skateboard.

So, if you have slim-fit jeans, both are a great choice; however, if want that snug feel on your calves, then you might want to go in for the 512s and if you want a straight-fit feel with more legroom, then you might want to go for the 511s. Also, the 512s tend to feel tighter than the 511s.

3.     Shoes It Goes With

They both go great with all types of sneakers and boots except for bulky sneakers; however, to our personal opinion, the 512 is ideal for low-stop shoes and sneakers while the 511 goes great with all sneaker top styles.

4.     Style Options

The 511 comes in a wide variety of styles and stretch options. You can get the 511 in stretch and non-stretch, and in terms of style, they come in jeans and pants options with various jeans and pant variants. The 512 comes in only jean variants with no pant option; also, it is a stretched jeans.

That being said, Levi’s now allows you to get a slim-fit or a slim-tapered option for the 512s, while with the 511s, you can only get a slim-fit option.

5.     Color Options

The 511 comes in blue, black, gray, and brown, while the 512 comes in blue, black, and gray.

Other Levi’s Styles Worth Mentioning

Even though Levi’s 511s and 512s have become popular options among younger men and even some older people; there are other Levi’s styles we want to highlight.

1.     Levi’s 501

Created 146 years ago, the Levi’s 501s are the classic Levi’s jeans. These jeans are known for their affordable price point and their vintage overall look. These jeans feature a straight-fit appearance and sit just above the waist. Besides the difference in fit, the 501 differs from the 511 and 512 by having a buttoned fly, giving the jeans that retro look.

A man wearing an iconic Levi’s 501 jeans.

Being straight-fit jeans, this jean has a straight look throughout and provides more leg and thigh room than the 511 and 512, and it is just comfortable to wear. That being said, it isn’t too baggy either, and it is designed to fit all age groups and body types.

Finally, the 501s come in various models with over 40 different variants of these jeans.

2.     Levi’s 502

If you need something versatile and comfy, then you might want to check out Levi’s 502 jeans. The Levi’s 502 is regular fit taper jeans. This means it features a loose fit from the waist to the knee-it is looser than a straight fit– and tapers from the knee to the end. This means you get more room in the thigh, compared to tapered jeans like the 512.

This jean features a zip fly and a button closure, but one thing you will love about these jeans is their versatility; you can easily dress them up or dress them down, and it should work perfectly. However, unlike most Levi’s jeans on this list, the 502 sits below the waist.

3.     Levi’s 513

This is another slim-fit from Levi’s; and right off the bat, this jean has a similar appearance to the 511s; however, the difference is that the 511 are true slim-fit jeans.

What this means is that with the 511, you should have a slim fit throughout the jeans, and even though it is a bit straight-fit appearance from the knee to the ankle, it is still a bit slimmer than that of the 513s. In summary, the 513s knee to ankle is wider than that of the 511s.

4.     Levi’s 514

The Levi’s 514 jean is classic straight-fit jeans. This jean features a straight cut from the waist to the knee with some tapering from the knee to the end. Compared to the 511 and 512, the 514 doesn’t offer the modern and streamlined look the other two offer.

Men’s denim jeans with shoes and belt laid on a wooden floor.

However, besides that, the 514 offers more legroom and thigh room than the 511s and 512, and it is quite bigger than the 501s.

How To Select The Best Style For You

With so many jeans options when it comes to Levi’s, there is no denying that choosing the right jeans can be daunting. So, in this section, we will share some tips with you to help you choose the right jeans for you.

1.     Your Body Type

The first thing you might want to consider is your body type. The various Levi’s jeans fit are designed to look good based on the type of body you have. For example, if you have a slim to average body type, then you might want to go in for the Levi’s 511; alternatively, if you have an athletic build, then we will recommend the Levi’s 512.

This is because the 512 is quite streamlined and not too tight, therefore it will reveal your athletic body contours without giving off too much.

2.     Your Size

Besides your body type, you might want to look at your overall waist, thighs, and calves size. This is because most Levi’s jeans are limited within a certain body part size; therefore, if you are below or over that size you might not get the right jean fit for you.

So, we recommend you measure your waist, thighs, seat, and calves to give you a good idea of the type of Levi’s jeans to go in for.

3.     Color Preference

You should also consider your color preference or style options. With this, you want to determine the type of wash you like. Levi’s offers a wide variety of washes across its jeans. Some jeans are peculiar colors while others have generic colors; therefore, this might be something to look out for as well.

As we saw earlier too as well, the 511s are made in other styles such as Chino pants; therefore, if you want variety, then you might want to consider that as well.

4.     Occasion

Certain jeans might be more comfortable and appropriate for certain occasions than others. For example, if you are working in an environment that requires tons of movement, then you might want to get a straight or a regular fit since those provide more leg movement and the best comfort.

However, if you want to look fashionable and modern, then a slim fit might work for you; however, because they snug onto the skin, they might become uncomfortable for a while.

That being said, how fashionable an attire looks depends on you and how well you style it, and not just based on the jeans you choose. However, slim fits tend to have a more modern appeal, but they tend to be less comfy than straight and regular fits.

5.     Your Personal Preference

Finally, we recommend you try a couple on to see the one that best fits you and matches the occasion for which you are purchasing it. Walk in them, squat a bit, and look into a mirror to see how stylish they look before making a choice.

In Summary

The only vivid difference between the 511 and 512 lies in the style of the jeans from the knee to the ankle; the 511 offers a more straight-jean appearance while the 512 offers a more tapered appearance.

When choosing the right jeans, ensure to consider your body type, sizes available, color preferences, occasion, and your personal preference.

Levi’s 501s are your classic straight fit; the 502 is a versatile regular tapered fit; the 513s are slim-fit jeans but with straight-fit touch; and the 514 is another classic that is bigger than 501, 512, and 511.

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About Jerome Glover

Hi! My name is Jerome and I am a writer/editor for GentlemenCenter. I have a passion for helping men improve themselves, and I hope my writing will be able to help you in anything you may need!

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