Looking for a new pair of jeans?
Levi’s has you covered. You can’t go wrong with the classic 501 or 505’s.
you might be asking, “Which model do I pick? What’s the real difference between them?”. On first blush, they both look almost identical.
But there are subtle differences that you should be aware of.
|Levi's 501||Levi's 505|
The Levi’s 501 jeans have a button fly while the Levi’s 505 jeans have a zipper fly. This is the most obvious difference between the two jeans.
The only obvious benefit to having buttons is that you’ll never get caught with your fly down.
Now let’s talk about the fit of these two models.
The Levi’s 501 jeans taper down a bit to meet your legs, while the Levi’s 505 jeans are straight cut jeans with no tapering.
There is some dispute about whether the 501’s actually do taper. All official descriptions describe both jeans as straight legged. But some people online do claim that it does. If it does exist, it’s subtle, and shouldn’t make a big difference.
|The Levi's 501 (left) vs. the Levi's 505 (right)|
From 1873 when Levi Strauss and Jacob Davis first patented their “waist overalls”, the 501’s remain Levi’s number one selling product. The Levi’s 501 jeans come in both Original Fit and Shrink-To-Fit varieties. The Levi’s Red Tab 501 jeans sits at your waist and has a classic seat and thighs. It’s a straight leg jean with a 16 inch opening.
The original fit is made from cotton and is pre-shrunk so it will keep its shape after washing. The Shrink-To-Fit version will also sit at your waist. This one has a straight leg but with a 17 inch opening. There is also more room in the seat. The Shrink-To-Fit name comes from the fact that this denim will shrink around 10% after washing.
The Levi’s 505 comes only in Regular fit. It sits at the waist with a regular, comfortable fit through the seat and thighs.
The 505’s have a straight leg with a 16.5 inch opening.
The 505’s are made from cotton and elastane (spandex), whereas the 501’s are made entirely of cotton.
The 505’s come in regular, extra tall and big sizes.
Your decision to buy the Levi’s 501 or the 505 comes down to your preference of zipper vs. button fly and whether you like the fit. If you can, try on both models at a physical store.
At the end of the day, either choice will be fine for most people since they are near identical.