Even true Levi’s fans can get confused by the long list of fit numbers assigned to each style of jeans. You may know you want a pair of high-waisted jeans with a relaxed seat and bootcut legs, but how do you find the right fit number? What exactly do the numbers on Levi’s jeans mean?
The three-digit fit numbers assigned to every style of Levis jeans describe a particular shape or cut of jeans. The original Levi’s fit number, 501, was assigned in the 1800s and remains in use today. Levi’s fit numbers beginning with a five usually describe men’s jeans, while numbers beginning with a three or seven always refer to women’s jeans.
In this article, you will learn how to read the numbers on Levi’s jeans. You will find an overview of what the most popular fit numbers mean. Finally, you will find tips on how to pick the best Levi’s fit for you!
How Do You Read Levi’s Style Numbers?
Levi’s style numbers each describe a specific shape and cut of jeans with variations in the waist, seat, thighs, and leg opening. In a sense, the numbers serve as a name to describe that individual style of jeans. You can “read” the numbers by learning to associate each three-digit code with a particular kind of pants.
Why does Levis use numbers instead of names? Other brands call jean styles things like “90s baggy” or “Western Flare.” These catchy names sound fun but often don’t actually tell you a lot about the jeans. The cool thing about the style numbers on Levi’s jeans is that you can easily see a progression of shape and style from the early years with the original 501 jeans to more modern styles like the 510 skinny fit.
Levi’s jeans for women also use a three-digit number system, but it works slightly differently. In this case, Levi’s uses fewer numbers and then adds variations to each style. For example, you could find a classic 725 women’s bootcut style or variations on that style like 725 Baggy, 725 cropped bootcut, or even a 725 style made out of corduroy!
Of course, you can read about each style number on Levi’s official website or scrolling through the handy guide in the next section. But you should also know where to find the fit number on the actual jeans.
Start by finding the leather label on the back waistband of the jeans. Experts call this leather rectangle a jacron label or jacron patch. The bottom left corner of the leather label will have the fit number stamped onto it, though you can also locate the manufacturer’s care tag inside the waistband of the jeans to find this info.
Levi’s Style Number Chart
|Fit Number||Fit Description||Leg Opening|
|501||Original style, straight classic fit||16”|
|502||Straight slim fit||14.5”|
|504||Straight slim fit, low waist||16.25|
|505||Regular style, straight leg loose fit||16.5”|
|510||Skinny leg slim fit||13”|
|511||Tapered slim fit||14.5”|
|512||Tapered slim fit||12”|
|513||Straight leg slim fit||15.75”|
|514||Straight leg regular fit||16.5”|
|527||Bootcut slim fit||18.25”|
|550||Tapered leg relaxed Fit||16.5”|
|710||Women’s super skinny||9.25”|
|711||Women’s classic skinny||10.25”|
|720||Women’s high-rise super skinny||9.25”|
|725||Women’s high-rise bootcut||17.25”|
|311||Women’s shaping skinny||11”|
|312||Women’s shaping slim fit||13”|
What Do the Numbers on Levi Jeans Mean?
Now that you know that the three-digit number on Levi’s jeans describes the style of the denim check out this guide to the most popular Levi’s styles to see what each number means.
This is not a comprehensive list of every fit number assigned to a style of Levi’s jeans. Like all companies, Levi’s regularly introduces new styles and sometimes stops selling styles that have gone out of fashion. But the fit numbers listed here will give you the most popular styles Levi’s continues to sell consistently–some of them for over 100 years!
Levi’s first-ever jeans, created in the late 1800s for miners and cowboys, had a classic straight leg and a button fly. Technically, Levi’s describes this iconic cut as a “straight-leg classic fit.” It has a loose look and a comfortable feel with plenty of ease of movement due to the untapered leg with a leg opening of about 16 inches.
The 501 has a mid-rise and a waistband that falls right around your natural waist. The back rise provides a comfortably loose fit without looking baggy.
As a fun fact, Levi’s 501 remains the single most popular style of jeans in the world. They have a strong following all around the globe, not just in the States!
The 502 style looks similar to the 501 in the waist, seat, and upper leg but tapers below the knee to a more modern and narrow leg opening. Levi’s did not invent the 501 right after the 501–the style numbers did not follow a consecutive order. Instead, the 502 is a variation of the 501, giving it a more trendy update for the modern man.
This style has a leg opening of 14.5 inches in contrast to the much wider 16 inches of the original 501. But keep in mind that it does still have a classic mid-rise waist and roomy seat and thighs, so it does not look as narrow all over as a pair of fitted or skinny jeans.
Levi’s introduced the more modern looking 504 style much later than the 505, despite the apparent number sequence of the fit numbers! Like the 502, the 504 cut is a straight-leg slim fit, though it has a generous leg opening of 16.25” and a low-rise waist.
The 504 looks quite like the 501 and 505, except that it has slimmer legs in the thighs and a low-riding waist. These two significant differences give it a trendier appearance, though it maintains the general classic vibe of the 505.
After the 501, Levi’s 505 remains one of its oldest and most popular styles. The company released this looser style in the 1960s, adding to the trend for jeans to serve as a symbol of freedom and rebellion. With a leg opening of 16.5”, this style provides even more comfort and ease of movement than the traditional 501.
What makes the 505 fit so distinct? This cut has a straight fit, meaning that the legs have the same width from the thigh to the leg opening. It has a mid-rise and a roomy seat because of a generous back rise.
Levi’s 510 fit number describes one of the skinniest, narrowest style currently sold by the brand. Commonly referred to as Levi’s skinny jeans, the brand technically refers to this cut as “skinny leg slim fit.” The narrow leg opening in this style measures just 13 inches.
You can also expect this model to fit more tightly through the waist, seat, and thighs. The 510 still has a mid-rise waist that rests at your natural waistline.
Unlike many other cuts of Levi’s jeans for men, the 510 often incorporates a tiny percentage of elastic with the cotton fibers in the denim to provide a little ease of movement within the tightly fitted legs.
The 511 has what Levi’s terms slim-ft with tapered legs. This modern style has a lower waistband that rests below the navel. Most noticeably, it has slender legs that taper a bit from the knee to the ankle and has a leg opening of 14.5 inches.
You can think of slim-fit jeans as between “regular” jeans and skinny jeans–they will give you a narrow silhouette without the elastic cling of true skinny jeans.
Levi’s 512 has a more narrow and close-fitting style than any other pair of men’s jeans sold by the brand, but the stretchy denim still offers comfort even in this tight cut. The 512 has a slim-fit skinny cut with tapered legs and a narrow seat and thigh area. These jeans also have a small leg opening of just twelve inches!
The 513 has a lot in common with the popular 511 style, but the key difference between these two styles is that the 513 has a slim, straight-leg cut. This means the legs do not taper and have a wider leg opening of 15.75 inches. The 513 also has a low rise and a narrow but not tight seat and thighs.
Because fashion trends in the past decades have tended towards more narrow pants, on the whole, Levi’s has a variety of skinny or slim styles in its arsenal. The 513 remains a best seller because it looks slender but feels comfortable.
If you like a modern but not fitted look, you may want to try the 514’s straight regular fit. This much looser model has a low rise, a relaxed seat and thighs, and straight, wide legs with an opening of 16.5 inches.
While not quite as baggy as the trendy boyfriend-style jeans, this cut will give you a comfy, hanging-out appearance. You will feel comfortable working hard or moving around a lot in this loser fit, too!
Levi’s has a lot of history behind the brand name, including the fact that the company designed bootcut jeans for real cowboys, way before the flared-pants trend of the 1970s made this style trendy for everyone!
The 517 has bootcut legs and a slim fit in the upper leg, meaning that the upper leg narrows in a V shape from the hip to the knee. Then, the legs flare out in a reverse taper from the knee to the ankle. The bootcut leg opening measures 18.25 inches, meaning it does not have a huge flare but enough to fit nicely over a pair of cowboy or construction boots.
Like the 517, Levi’s 527 style has a bootcut leg opening, but it also has a more slim fit in the upper leg and seat. This gives you a “modern cowboy” vibe that makes this cut one of the most popular that Levi’s sells. It does have the same 18.25” leg opening as the 517, but overall you will find the 527 more closer-fitting.
The mid-rise waist will rest comfortably at your natural waistline, and the lower leg will flare out from your ankle.
The 550 is what you might think of as the “dad jeans” in Levi’s line-up of denim styles. This relaxed fit cut includes tons of extra denim for a loose, even baggy, fit all over.
It offers a mid-rise waist for lots of security and then has a roomy seat, straight thighs, and a wide enough leg that you can lounge or work outside in comfort. Finally, it has slightly tapered legs from the knee to the ankle, ending at a leg opening of 16.5” that will look fine with sneakers or work boots, just like the 501 or 505.
Levi’s Fit Number for Women
Levi’s has a whole range of fit numbers associated with its jeans for women, many of them beginning with a three or a seven. That said, the brand also sells a handful of its most popular original styles, like the 501, in a cut redesigned to fit women. So you can find women-only Levi’s style numbers that begin with a 7 or a 3, but you can also find women’s versions of some of the fit numbers beginning with 5.
The 710 has Levi’s skinniest leg in women’s jeans with an opening of just 9.25 inches. This “super skinny” cut even uses one of Levi’s specialty types of denim, a type of fabric called Sculpt Hyperstretch, meant to cling to your body and never grow saggy and baggy with wear. Though these tight, trendy jeans do have a modern vibe for sure, they also have a comfortable mid-rise waistband and plenty of stretch in the fabric to let you move and breathe.
The 711 is Levi’s classic skinny jeans for women, with a leg opening of 10.5 inches. Like the 710, these skinny jeans use the special Sculpt Hyperstretch fabric that contains soft cotton in a traditional weave mixed with 2% elastane and 5% polyester. The 711 also has a traditional mid-rise though these jeans will fit you pretty closely through the seat and thighs.
Levi’s 720 jeans for women take a page out of the 710 super skinny style book, but they have one key variation: a high-rise waist. The skinny/high-rise combination makes this a great look for anyone who wants a little smoothing out or slimming in a while, also creating a trendy narrow shape.
These jeans have a super skinny leg opening of 9.25 inches and a generous front rise of 10.25 inches.
Kind of like the 517 for men, Levi’s 725 offers a bootcut style for women. These jeans have a flared bootcut leg opening, a fitted upper leg, and a high-rise waist with a front rise of 10.25 inches.
Even though these pants do not cling to you in the same way, a pair of skinny jeans would, they use a special fabric composition that forms a flexible and soft mix out of 71% cotton, 21% viscose, 6% polyester, and 2% elastane.
Levi’s 311 “shaping skinny” jean style offers much more than the average pair of skinny jeans. Made out of 4-way stretch denim, these jeans include a tummy-slimming panel and a skinny leg opening of just 11 inches. The jeans have a mid-rise waist and fitted hips and thighs.
Like many of Levi’s women’s jeans styles, this model uses a special blend of materials in its stretchy denim. The fabric contains 60% cotton, 24% polyester, 12% viscose, and 2% elastane.
Levi’s 312 jeans for women have a shaping slim fit. This means they have less narrow legs than actual skinny jeans but still present a slender silhouette and tapered legs. The leg opening in the 312 measures 13 inches, and the mid-rise waist has a front rise of 9.25 inches.
This style looks less constraining than skinny jeans but is still nicely contouring and sleek. Just like the 311, these jeans use specially designed tummy tuck panels and flexible, soft denim blended with several other types of fibers to create denim that can mold to the shape of your body.
How Do You Read Levi’s Date Codes?
To explore the world of vintage Levi’s jeans, you will need to learn how to read the date code on the care label inside these older types of denim.
Levi’s jeans include a date code stamped onto the manufacturer’s care tag inside the jeans. This number typically lists the month and then a one-digit code indicating the year, such as 7 for 1997 or 2007.
But that can get a bit confusing, as the full year is not listed, leaving you wondering if a pair of vintage jeans were made in 1977 or 1997! If you want to explore the world of vintage Levi’s, you have to learn to read a variety of other clues on the jeans to help you pinpoint a manufacturing date.
This can include things like checking the jacron, or leather label, on the jeans. Over time Levi’s added various unique details to this label, so you can check what decade the leather matches up with.
Levi’s PC9/Product Codes
The PC9 or product code on Levi’s jeans repeats the style code of the jeans and also includes a second code describing the wash or finish used on the jeans. This is a super useful number to know about, but you have to get out your detective magnifying glass and do a tiny bit of digging to understand this set of codes!
First, you can find this code on the care tag in all Levi’s jeans. (Though, seriously, you may need a magnifying glass!). You can also find it listed in the product details if you read the online description of the jeans.
Second, you will find two sets of numbers in this code. The first part contains five numbers. This five-digit code is simple: it has two zeros followed by the fit number of the jeans, such as 00505 or 00311.
The second part of the code contains four numbers, and this four-digit code serves as a unique identifier to label the kind of wash or finishes used to make the jeans.
This could prove super useful to you if you bought the jeans in a store and do not know if they used Levi’s special waterless process for dyeing, for example. Or you might want to know if they use d a special stonewash or acid finishing technique.
Are Levi’s 501 and 505 the Same?
Levi’s 501 and 505 jeans styles are not the same, though they share some similarities in the cut. Levi’s describes the 501 as original straight and the 505 as regular straight. The key difference between the two styles is that the 505 has more room in the thigh, though both styles have a straight leg below the knee that does not taper down to the ankle.
The more modern 505 also has a zipper closure instead of the traditional button fly that the 501 features. The 501 also has a slightly higher waist and a slightly wider leg opening, measuring 17 inches instead of the 16 inches of the 505.
What Levi’s Fit Number Should You Choose?
Levi’s three-digit fit numbers act like the name to describe a particular style of jeans, such as super skinny or high-waist bootcut. Finding the right fit for you means knowing what you want from a pair of jeans. The good news is that Levi’s offers every style or denim feature you could want for both men and women!
If you want a traditional look for men’s or women’s jeans, you might want to start by looking at Levi’s oldest styles, the 501 and 505. You could also expand this to include older cuts like 527 bootcut jeans.
If you want a more modern silhouette, you will want to turn your attention to the wide variety of slim-fit and skinny jeans that Levi’s offers. For men, this includes fit numbers like 512 and 510.
For women, this gets a little more complicated, as you can choose not just between styles but also between different types of fabric technology. For example, you could go with the 711 super skinny jeans for women with its sculpting fabric, or you could select the 311 shaping skinny jeans for women with pretty much the same cut but use 4-way stretch denim and a tummy tuck panel.
But no matter what style you like best, all you have to do is master the three-digit fit code and you will always know what pair of Levi’s fits you the best! You can easily remember that code and use it to reorder your favorite jeans in the future.
The numbers on Levi’s jeans provide a three-digit fit code that tells you what cut or shape the jeans have. In some cases, the fit code also describes a special fabric technology used in the jeans. You can find this style code stamped onto the leather label on the back waistband of the jeans, the care tag inside the jeans, and the product description in the online description of the jeans.
Levi’s jeans also include a second less obvious number, known as the PC9 code, that you can find stamped onto the care label inside the jeans. This code has two parts, starting with a five-digit code listing two zeros and then the fit number. The second part of the code contains four digits, and this number describes the wash or finish used on the jeans.