Which Levi’s jeans are best?
A tried-and-true classic denim brand since the mid-1800s, Levi Strauss & Co. is widely known for producing top-quality, stylish jeans that are made to last. Whether you need jeans for a hard day’s work or a fun night out on the town, their wide range of denim designs is perfect for anyone. From high-waisted and flared to faded and cropped, Levi’s offers plenty of different styles and washes for both men and women, so you’re sure to find a pair that’s right for you.
While they’ve kept up with the fashion trends over time, their most famous style has barely changed. The Levi’s 501 Original Fit Jeans is one of the best pairs of Levi’s jeans out there.
What to know before you buy Levi’s jeans
Color and wear
Levi’s jeans used to only come in dark blue shades, but now you can find them in a wide range of colors. Some Levi’s have a bleached or stonewashed effect to discolor the denim and give it a textured or faded look. Some have different fasteners, too. For example, the Levi’s 501 jeans often have a button fly while the Levi’s 505 jeans always have a zipper. If you prefer one fly closure over another, make sure to check the product description, so you don’t end up with a fly you don’t want.
Measurements and fit
Levi’s jeans have four different measurements: the waist, the cut of the leg, the seat and the hips and thighs. Levi’s typically states measurements in inches, with waistbands ranging from 26-60 inches and inseams from 30-38 inches. There are several factors that determine whether a pair of Levi’s jeans are a good fit, but personal preference and comfort are paramount.
You can find the waist and leg measurements on the leather label at the back of the waistband. The break, where the leg of the jeans ends, should be level with the top of the foot and almost touch the floor at the heel. This will give you the most flattering fit and help your outfit look proportional.
Although people of any gender should wear whichever jeans they feel comfortable in, most clothing manufacturers still separate options into “men’s” and “women’s.” This includes Levi’s, although the company does offer some genderless options. It’s worth noting that the fit of men’s Levi’s jeans is slightly different from that of women’s Levi’s jeans, so check the sizing chart before buying.
Curvy, plus-size and big-and-tall fits
Another important evolution in Levi’s jeans is their adjustment to body types. While they are well known for their straight, boot-cut style, Levi’s has also expanded its designs to include options for curvy, plus-size and big-and-tall wearers. These styles offer the right fit for people of a wider range of shapes and sizes.
Curvy fits for women’s Levi’s jeans go up to around a size 28 and big-and-tall sizes for men’s Levi’s jeans go up to around a 60-inch waist in some colors and styles.
What to look for in a quality pair of Levi’s jeans
As with any highly regarded brand, competitors may try to copy Levi’s jeans by making a similar pair that mimics its features and quality. While this practice may give you more affordable options that look like the real thing, they rarely match in quality. You may also find counterfeit ones, which you should be wary of. Counterfeit jeans may be more affordable, but they usually have subpar material, cut and build.
Stitching is incredibly important not only for the life of your jeans but also for the fit. A pair of poorly stitched jeans can look off or won’t fit right in various places. Check your jeans’ stitching as soon as you get them. Be sure to check both sides of the seam, from inside and out, to ensure it has secure stitching. Watch for puckered or pulled apart seams, which can break over time. Also, stitches should be uniform in both size and tension.
Choice of style
Levi’s jeans have come a long way since their inception. Whether you’re looking for a standard, straight-cut look or something with a high waist with a flare, Levi’s has grown their catalog to keep up with the times.
Levi’s 501 jeans are enduringly popular, with a classic original fit, although you can also find some alternative 501s, such as 501 skinny jeans. Levi’s 505 jeans are another common choice. This style has a straight cut that’s remained popular throughout the years.
Levi’s makes clothing to suit all shapes and sizes. Some of their most popular cuts, such as their 501 and 514 styles, are available with plus-sized waistbands and inseams.
How much you can expect to spend on a pair of Levi’s jeans
The price varies according to size and style. You can find small sizes in a popular cut for as little as $30. Midrange sizes and styles cost around $50. At the expensive end of the scale are some custom fits, which cost $100 or more.
Levi’s jeans FAQ
How can I tell if my Levi’s jeans are genuine?
A. There are a couple of tell-tales that will help you make sure you have true Levi’s jeans. First, check the red or orange tab on the right-hand back pocket to ensure that the “e” in Levi’s is lowercase. Fakes are often produced with a capital “E.” Next, check the copper buttons for the initials LS&CO-SF. These letters, which mean “Levi Strauss and Co., San Francisco,” should be clearly engraved on each button.
Why are Levi’s so popular?
A. Levi’s are some of the most iconic and best-known jeans around. They’ve been sold since the 1800s and show no sign of letting up. Part of their appeal is likely down to name recognition, but they wouldn’t have remained so popular over the years if they weren’t well-made and durable. They also have a wide range of styles available, so there’s an option to suit most buyers.
Are Levi’s jeans better than Wrangler jeans?
A. While both brands offer several options, Wrangler jeans focus more on durability than style. If you want a solid pair of worker jeans, Wrangler may be a good choice. If you want a pair of comfortable jeans for casual, everyday wear, you may benefit from Levi’s jeans. Consider where you plan on wearing your jeans consistently before you make a purchase.
What are the best Levi’s jeans to buy?
Top Levi’s jeans
What you need to know: Arguably the world’s most famous style of jeans, Levi’s patented the straight-legged, Original Fit 501s in 1873. This style of jeans is great for any wardrobe and gives you an elevated yet casual look.
What you’ll love: The straight cut looks good with boots, shoes and sneakers, and they come in a range of sizes to suit most physiques. They come in both men’s and women’s sizes and have a retro, classic design to them.
What you should consider: Some people find a button fly a little cumbersome compared to a zipper. A few people noticed inconsistencies in the seam of the leg pants.
Where to buy: Sold by Amazon
Top Levi’s jeans for the money
What you need to know: These casual classics are always in style, with a straight leg that offers more room than the 501. They’re perfect with a boot, sneakers or sandals.
What you’ll love: The “relaxed” styling means that these sit a bit lower on the hip and are roomier around the thigh and the seat. This makes them less restrictive and ideal for workwear and casualwear alike. They fit well over thermal leggings, so if you work in a colder climate or outdoors, this is an ideal option.
What you should consider: While they are undoubtedly comfortable, this cut is not well-suited for upscale occasions.
Where to buy: Sold by Amazon
Worth checking out
What you need to know: This fashionable style is popular for classy, casual wear and makes a versatile alternative to skinny jeans. The slim fit is flattering and is perfect for any occasion.
What you’ll love: The slim-fitting 511 jeans have a 2% elastane construction that gives you plenty of room to move and makes them comfortable, despite their tighter cut. They are well-suited to those who lead active lifestyles or are frequently mobile at work.
What you should consider: They will shrink slightly after their first wash, so make sure to keep this in mind when you’re picking your size.
Where to buy: Sold by Amazon
What you need to know: A modern classic, skinny jeans will always have their place in most wardrobes.
What you’ll love: These women’s Levi’s jeans have a high-rise waist and a tight but not overly tight fit. You can choose from a range of colors, including indigo and black, plus there are some distressed options.
What you should consider: They run slightly small, so it’s a good idea to size up if you’re between sizes.
Where to buy: Sold by Amazon
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Luke Mitchell writes for BestReviews. BestReviews has helped millions of consumers simplify their purchasing decisions, saving them time and money.
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