Levi’s 511 vs. Levi’s 513: Everything You Need To Know
Name a garment more iconic than a pair of Levi’s jeans. Go on, I’ll wait… No? You can’t think of anything? Shocking. It’s hard to believe there was a time when jeans didn’t exist, but luckily we don’t have to.
Levi’s has an array of options and styles that have made some of our favorite trends possible. From skinny jeans to flared jeans to denim jackets to chambray button-up shirts, Levi Strauss and Co. has stood the test of time and will continue to do so. We will discuss Levi’s 511 and 513 jeans here in a moment but first, how did this great American company get its start? I’m glad you asked.
Born in Bavaria, Levi Strauss was a dry goods merchant. In 1853 at the ripe old age of 24, Levi came to San Francisco to open up a West Coast branch of his brother’s New York wholesale dry goods business. Jacob Davis was a local tailor and one of Strauss’ customers. One day, the wife of a local laborer asked Jacob to make a pair of pants for her husband that would stay up and not fall off while he was working.
Jacob wondered about the best way to accomplish this task and how to add strength to his trousers. He had a lightbulb moment. He thought if he could put metal rivets at the points of strain, like pocket corners and the base of the button fly, that might do the trick. He was right.
The riveted pants were an instant hit. Jacob decided to get a patent on the process but knew he needed a business partner. He thought of Levi, the man from whom he had purchased the cloth used to make the pants.
On May 20, 1873, the two men received patent #139,121 from the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office for “Improvement in Fastening Pocket-Openings.” This date is considered the birthdate of blue jeans.
Levi brought Jacob to San Francisco to oversee the first manufacturing facility for “waist overalls,” as the original jeans were known until the 1970s. They began by employing seamstresses working out of their homes (maybe some of the original “work from home” employees) but by the 1880s, Levi had opened his own factory.
The famous 501 brand jeans, known until 1890 as “XX,” was soon a bestseller, and the company grew quickly. By the 1920s, Levi’s denim waist overalls were the top-selling men’s work pants in the United States. As decades passed their popularity continued to grow and now blue jeans are worn and beloved by men and women, young and old, all over the world.
The 501s are still considered the brand’s most popular pair and by far their bestselling pair. They’ve also continued with their numbering system as new pairs have been introduced to the line. Some pairs become classics and some come and go with the trends. So far, it seems as if the 511s and 513s are here to stay.
Do your part to keep them in the rotation by purchasing a pair. Or several pairs. Finding the perfect jeans can be a daunting task so once you find a great pair, I recommend buying at least two pairs, maybe three. It’s always my luck that by the time I go to buy another pair of my new favorite jeans, they’re either sold out or discontinued.
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511 Slim Fit
The 510s are one of the most sold in the lineup in recent years, but for those that think the 510s are a little too skinny (gasp!) the Levi’s 511 is an offshoot that you might deem a little more up your alley.
The 511s are for men who follow fashion trends but aren’t necessarily trying to squeeze into anything. They’re slim and narrow, but not uncomfortable. They have a tapered leg slim fit cut with a leg opening of 14.5”. And as with all Levi jeans, they go well with literally everything from t-shirts and hoodies to loafers and blazers.
Levis 511 Slim Fit Jeanss
If you want the style of a skinny but not the restrictive feeling of a skinny, look no further. With a streamlined fit that’s narrow through the thigh, the 511 Slim Jean is perfectly calibrated to look good with everything – without looking like you’re trying too hard. Plus, a slim leg makes it the pair to wear when showing off those new hi-top sneakers, combat boots, or even Oxfords.
513 Slim Straight Fit
A newer style from Levi’s, the 513 Slim Straight Fit is exactly what it promises to be – a mid-rise design that sits just below the waist and features a slim seat and thigh. They feature a leg opening of 15.75”. This pair of jeans still promises comfort and an on-trend modern style. You can pair ‘em with Chucks and a t-shirt or dress them up with a blazer and hoodie combo or keep it classic with your favorite button up shirt.
Levi’s 513 Slim Straight Jeans
A versatile pair of jeans that are both slim and straight and best for slim, athletic builds. They go great with a button up and classy shoes or dressed down with white sneakers and a hoodie.
The Main Difference
There’s not much of a difference between these two styles but you’ll still prefer one fit over the other once you have tried them on. Both the 511s and the 513s have the same slim cut in the hips and thighs but the 513s have a slightly looser cut just below the knee.
Pick Your Favorite
So there you have it. A history lesson and a fashion lesson all in one. The best part? If you don’t vibe with either style, Levi’s has a bevy option designed for anybody and everybody.
Did you know that Levi’s also has a custom tailor shop? Of course, this means you can have a pair of jeans or a jacket made just for you, tailored to your exact specifications, but it also means so much more. You can embellish your favorite piece with studs, patches, or pins.
They offer laser technology to add patterns, colors, fades, and rips to your jeans or shorts. They refer to it as Future Finish and it’s not just fun to play around with, but using lasers is eco-friendly and uses less water and fewer chemicals in the finishing process.
Choose your favorite 511s or 513s and make them your own. You can even customize the famous backpatch. So, as their slogan says, when you want to epitomize American style and look effortlessly cool, the Levi’s brand has got you covered. Literally.
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