Levi’s 505, 501, 514, 550, 559 – (Comparison & Review)

Last Updated on December 10, 2023

I recently went on a denim expedition in search of the perfect pair of Levi’s jeans, which will cost you nearly $500 on 10 different pairs.

Today, I’ll be looking into the traditional straight fits, providing an in-depth comparison and review on Levi’s 505, 501, 514, 550, 559.

Levi's 505, 501, 514, 550, 559

Highlights:

  • The Levi’s 514 Straight is the top choice, perfectly balancing slim and straight styles.
  • If you prioritize comfort and roominess, the 550 Relaxed and 559 Relaxed Straight are excellent options, catering to different hip sizes.
  • While the 501 Original is a classic, be prepared for a tighter fit, especially around the thighs, which might feel more like a slim fit.
  • The 505 Regular Fit falls in the middle, presenting a classic straight fit but with a somewhat tight feel, particularly from the knee up.

By the end of this article, you’ll have a clearer understanding of each fit’s nuances, helping you decide which Levi’s jeans are best suited for you.

Levi’s 505, 501, 514, 550, 559 – Comparison & Review

Levi's 505, 501, 514, 550, 559

In the comparison, the 514 emerges as the top pick, offering a balanced fit between slim and straight. Meanwhile, the 501 and 505 disappoint due to unexpected tightness, while the 550 and 559 share a comfortable, relaxed spot for those seeking roomier options

1. 501 Original

501 Original
501 Original

The Levi’s 501 Original is a classic in the denim world with over 150 years of history. Featuring a 20-inch hip measurement, 11-inch thighs, and a 10.5-inch rise, it epitomizes the classic straight fit. This iconic jean includes a button fly and straight leg, with a leg opening of 7.75 inches.

  • Hip: 20 inches
  • Thighs: 11 inches
  • Rise: 10.5 inches
  • Leg Opening: 7.75 inches
  • Classic straight fit
  • Button fly
  • Sturdy, thick denim with unique fading

Despite its sturdy and thick denim, the surprising tightness in the thighs, almost resembling a slim fit from the knee up, can be a drawback.

The denim, however, develops a unique fading over time, and the overall build suggests longevity.

2. 514 Straight

514 Straight
514 Straight

In the Levi’s lineup, the 514 Straight offers a harmonious balance between slim and straight fits. Boasting a 20.25-inch hip, 11-inch thighs, and a 10-inch rise, these jeans provide a comfortable alternative for those who find slim fits too restrictive.

  • Hip: 20.25 inches
  • Thighs: 11 inches
  • Rise: 10 inches
  • Leg Opening: 7.75 inches
  • Balance between slim and straight fit
  • Zip fly
  • Comfortable for all-day wear

The leg opening measures 7.75 inches, and the jeans sit below the waist with a convenient zip fly. The 514’s clean, straight fit is complemented by a comfortable feel, making it an excellent choice for extended wear.

3. 505 Regular

505 Regular
505 Regular

The Levi’s 505 Regular Fit epitomizes the classic straight fit, with a 20-inch hip measurement, 10.5-inch thighs, and a 10.5-inch rise.

Sporting a straight fit below the knees and a leg opening of 7.5 inches, these jeans are designed to sit right at the waist with a zip fly.

  • Hip: 20 inches
  • Thighs: 10.5 inches
  • Rise: 10.5 inches
  • Leg Opening: 7.5 inches
  • Classic straight fit
  • Zip fly
  • May feel similar to slim fit from knee up

However, the unexpected tightness in the thighs, similar to the 501, maybe less appealing to those seeking a truly classic straight fit. The discomfort and rigidity of the material could deter wear for prolonged periods.

4. 550 Relaxed

550 Relaxed
550 Relaxed

The Levi’s 550 Relaxed Fit offers a comfortable solution for those desiring roominess without compromising style.

Featuring a 20.5-inch hip, 11.75-inch thighs, and an 8-inch leg opening, these jeans provide a relaxed silhouette with a slight taper for added shape.

  • Hip: 20.5 inches
  • Thighs: 11.75 inches
  • Rise: 10 inches
  • Leg Opening: 8 inches
  • Roomy and relaxed fit
  • Slight taper for shape
  • Comfortable for those with above-average thighs and hips

Sitting at the waist with a zip fly, the 550s are particularly comfortable against the thighs and hips, making them suitable for individuals with above-average thigh and hip measurements. They are also a great choice for a laid-back, comfortable weekend look.

5. 559 Relaxed Straight

559 Relaxed Straight
559 Relaxed Straight

The Levi’s 559 Relaxed Straight jeans offer extra room in the hips, measuring 21 inches, with 11.5-inch thighs and a 10-inch rise.

  • Hip: 21 inches
  • Thighs: 11.5 inches
  • Rise: 10 inches
  • Leg Opening: 8 inches
  • Relaxed straight fit
  • Extra room in thighs and hips
  • Clean and not baggy appearance

The leg opening is 8 inches, providing a straight look below the knee. Designed to sit below the waist, these relaxed straight-fit jeans balance comfort and a professional appearance.

With ample leg room and a comfortable fit, the 559s are ideal for those who prioritize both style and comfort.

Comparisons – Levi’s 505 vs. 501 vs. 514 vs. 550 vs. 559

When comparing the Levi’s jeans models, distinct differences and similarities emerge, providing a comprehensive understanding of each fit’s unique characteristics.

501 vs. 505:

501 vs. 505
501 vs. 505
  • Similar fit, with 501 having a button fly and 505 having a zip fly
  • Both may feel tight and restrictive from the knee up

The 501 Original and 505 Regular Fit share commonalities, including a 20-inch hip, 10.5-inch thighs, and a 10.5-inch rise.

Despite these similarities, both models exhibit unexpected tightness and restriction from the knee up. The key difference lies in the closure – the 501 features a button fly, while the 505 opts for a zip fly.

Despite their status as classic straight fits, the 501 and 505 may not be the most comfortable choices, especially for those seeking a looser fit.

550 vs. 559:

550 vs. 559
550 vs. 559
  • Very roomy and relaxed, with 559 having a slightly larger hip measurement
  • Both offer comfort without looking baggy

The 550 Relaxed and 559 Relaxed Straight in relaxed fits share a spacious and comfortable design. The 559 boasts a slightly larger hip measurement at 21 inches, while the 550 measures at 20.5 inches.

However, both models present almost identical thigh and leg opening measurements. Upon trying them on, discerning a notable difference in comfort is challenging.

For individuals seeking ample room without a baggy appearance, both the 550 and 559 present viable options.

514:

  • Middle ground between roomy and restrictive
  • Clean, professional look without being too tight

The 514 Straight, positioned as a balance between slim and straight fits, offers a unique proposition. With a 20.25-inch hip, 11-inch thighs, and a 10-inch rise, the 514 sits in the middle ground.

It avoids the tightness observed in the 501 and 505 while not being as roomy as the 550 and 559. The 514 strikes a harmonious balance, providing a clean, professional appearance without the tightness associated with slim fits.

Best and Worst

  • Best: 514 Straight – A perfect balance between slim and straight, providing comfort and style.
  • Second: A tie between 550 Relaxed and 559 Relaxed Straight – Both offer roominess and comfort.
  • Least Preferred: 501 Original and 505 Regular – Uncomfortable tightness, especially in the thighs.
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Best: 514 Straight

  • Perfect balance between slim and straight
  • Comfortable fit with a 10-inch rise

The Levi’s 514 Straight takes the top spot as the best choice among the models. With its unique ability to strike a perfect balance between slim and straight fits, it offers a comfortable and versatile option.

The 514 provides a clean, professional appearance without the tightness associated with slimmer fits, making it a practical and well-rounded choice.

Second Favorites (Tie): 550 Relaxed and 559 Relaxed Straight

  • Roomy and comfortable, ideal for those with thicker thighs and hips

Sharing the second-place spot, the Levi’s 550 Relaxed and 559 Relaxed Straight both provide roominess and comfort.

While the distinction between the two is nuanced, with the 559 boasting a slightly larger hip measurement, both options cater to those seeking a relaxed fit with ample leg room.

The tie emphasizes the versatility and appeal of either choice for a comfortable and laid-back look.

Worst: 501 Original

  • Unexpected tightness, especially from the knee up
  • Sturdy but may take time to break in

Falling into the less favorable category, the Levi’s 501 Original disappoints due to unexpected tightness and discomfort, particularly from the knee up.

Despite its historical significance as a classic straight fit, the 501 may not align with modern comfort preferences.

Its sturdy build and unique fading may appeal to some, but the tight fit may deter prolonged wear.

Least Favorite: 505 Regular

  • Similar issues to 501 with added discomfort in the rise
  • Not recommended for prolonged wear

The Levi’s 505 Regular Fit claims the least favorite position, sharing the tightness issues of the 501 while introducing discomfort on the rise.

Not recommended for extended wear, the 505 falls short of providing the comfort and flexibility expected from a classic straight fit. For those seeking a more comfortable and modern option, other models are more suitable choices.

Conclusion

In this Levi’s jeans comparison and review, we’ve explored the nuances of the 501, 505, 514, 550, and 559.

Each fit caters to different preferences, from the classic heritage of the 501 to the relaxed comfort of the 550 and 559.

FitKey FeaturesComfort Rating
501 OriginalClassic, button fly, tight thighs, sturdy denim2/5
514 StraightBalanced slim-straight, zip fly, comfortable4/5
505 RegularClassic straight, zip fly, tight thighs2.5/5
550 RelaxedRoomy, tapered leg, comfortable4/5
559 Relaxed StraightExtra room, straight cut, comfortable4/5

So, hope with this knowledge, you can confidently choose the Levi’s jeans that align with your style and comfort preferences.

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