Levi’s Denim Guide: All Your Sizing Questions Answered + Which Styles are Worth It

levi denim guide, levi review

Okay you guys! I’ve got another denim guide for you guys today, and it’s a Levi’s denim guide!

I’ve always appreciated the look of Levi’s (they’re so classic!), but I’ve always found the sizing to be weird/not easy to figure out so I had never really lucked out in finding a good pair that fit. But recently I decided to order a few pairs so I could figure out the sizing once and for all, and… it worked! I figured out sizing AND I found some great pairs to add to my closet. So because I went to all the work of figuring out the fit I thought I’d share that with you in this handy little Levi’s denim guide.

Okay! To keep things moving let’s keep going, but here are my measurements to reference when I mention sizes:

waist: 26″
hips: 32″
Inseam: 27″
Height: 5’5″

Let’s get to the Levi’s denim guide:

Shop the Look


Wearing: 501 Original Cropped
Wash: Ra
Size: 27 waist – 26 length

Website Specs:

How it Fits

  • Straight through the hip and thigh
  • High rise: 11.125″
  • Straight leg opening: 14.25″
  • Inseam: 26″ across sizes

Composition & Care

  • 100% cotton
  • Non-stretch denim
  • Button fly
  • 5-pocket styling

My thoughts:

These jeans are a classic! When I think of Levi’s these are the style that I think of, and vintage 501’s are highly sought after. I’ve tried vintage versions before, but this was my first time trying a new pair, and I do have some thoughts! They’re made of 100% cotton and they are a thick, non stretchy pair of jeans so don’t get these thinking that they’ll feel like leggings – they won’t. HOWEVER. One of the reasons that vintage 501’s are so sought after is that 100% cotton breaks in SO wonderfully. So while yes, these are a bit stiff at first, I’m willing to put in the work to get them to THAT point. Now, with that said they are actually pretty comfy… when you get the sizing down! I sized up from my normal 26 to a 27 because I do find these to be a bit tight in the hips (like I mentioned above), and the size up gives them a bit more wiggle room. And because they are 100% denim, even though the waist is a tiny bit loose, they aren’t going to go anywhere. And because these are a forever pair of jeans my suggestion would be to go with the size that’s comfy to your hips, and if they do end up being too loose in the waist you can get them tailored. I definitely recommend these because, well, I think every denim collection should have a pair of 501’s, but they aren’t my favorite pair of Levi’s so keep reading to discover which pair is…


Shop the Look

This wash is mostly sold out on the Levi’s website so I linked to this pair at Nordstrom where they are fully stocked


Wearing: Wedgie Fit Ankle
Wash: Tango Light
Size: 27

Website Specs:

How it Fits

  • Snug through your hip and thigh
  • High rise: 10.85″
  • Tapered leg opening: 12″
  • Inseam: 28″

Composition & Care

  • 99% cotton, 1% elastane
  • Low stretch Denim
  • Button fly
  • 5-pocket styling

My thoughts:

THESE are my favorite Levi’s and here’s why: they look very similar to the 501’s, but they have stretch to them so they are a super comfortable pair of jeans… but the stretch is LOW so they still look like a 100% cotton pair of jeans. So in other words, you get the look of the a classic pair of Levi’s, but in a more comfy version. There are some key differences though. The leg is more tapered and the inseam is a bit longer so you get a skinnier, slimmer fit throughout the leg. The rise is also more of a mid rise so on ME with my super short torso they still look high rise, but on someone with a long torso they will definitely look and feel more mid rise. The wash on this particular pair is just SO nice too. It’s the perfect “vintage” wash in a more modern feeling jean. And the butt on these is GOOD. 😉 I size up in these as well, which makes me think that my size in Levi’s across the board is 27, and I normally wear a 26 in almost every other brand. I do think if you were more straight that you might be able to stay true to size, but my hip/butt to waist ratio needs a size bigger. But yes. I honestly can’t recommend these enough! If you were going to get one pair this is the one I’d recommend.


Shop the Look


Wearing: Ribcage Straight Ankle
Wash: Noe Dark Mineral
Size: 28

Website Specs:

How it Fits

  • Slim through your hip
  • Super high rise: 12″ (front)
  • Straight leg opening: 17″
  • Inseam: 27″

Composition & Care

  • 79% cotton, 21% TENCELâ„¢ lyocell
  • Non-stretch Denim
  • Button fly
  • 5-pocket styling

My thoughts:

Okay so I know I said the wedgie were my favorite jeans, but these are a VERY close second. I adore these jeans, and I now have them in multiple washes because they are just so dang flattering and go with everything! Plus, they look great with sandals, sneakers, and booties so you really can’t go wrong. These are a VERY high rise pair of jeans at 12″ so they really do suck you in and give you that iconic retro look. And the rise paired with the straight, but generous length through the leg give a really chic look that will never go out of style. Plus, these jeans are super comfy! They are easy to move in, and the waist doesn’t cut in making these jeans one of the few pairs of jeans I can wear all day without feeling a need to change into loungewear. I love this dark wash because I think its so classic and it goes great in warm and cold weather, but they come in loads of other great washes. One important note on these jeans: they run VERY small. Like I said above, I typically wear a 26 in most other denim brands, and a 27 in the other Levi’s styles I own but I wear a 28 in these. So I would suggest going up two sizes… which seems crazy, but trust me on this one! So yes, I would definitely suggest the wedgie as your number one recommendation, but these would a second and if you can get both I definitely would.

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Shop the Look


Wearing: 501 Stretch Skinny
Wash: Jive Ship
Size: 27

Website Specs:

How it Fits

  • Fitted through the hip and thigh
  • High rise: 11.125″
  • Skinny leg opening: 12.25″
  • Inseam: 30″

Composition & Care

  • 99% cotton, 1% elastane
  • Low stretch denim
  • Button fly
  • 5-pocket styling

My thoughts:

These are a great pair of skinny jeans. They’re definitely my least favorite of the bunch, but that’s more so that my preference for skinny jeans has kind of waned in recent years. However, if you like skinny jeans these are a great pair to try! They have a great high rise, and the leg is very skinny, but not in a jegging kind of way which makes them a super versatile pair of jeans. They are a stretch denim, but they have low stretch so you get the benefit of comfy stretch without any issues of slipping down or bagging around the knees that you can get with high stretch skinny jeans. They have a slightly longer inseam which makes them a great pair of jeans to wear with boots. Overall, these are a really comfortable, solid pair of skinny jeans. They also run a bit small so I’d go up a size in these as well!


Well that’s all I’ve got for you guys today! These were my first steps into Levi’s denim and I hope you found my thoughts helpful – like I said above, their sizing is a bit weird so I hope you found this Levi’s denim guide helpful! If you have any other styles you’d like me to pick up and try, just let me know in the comments!

Until next time,

Karin

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