The Ultimate Guide to Vintage Levi’s: Styles and Where to Buy Them

vintage levi's 501

Vintage Levi’s are a timeless staple in any denim lover’s wardrobe. The unique feel and fit of 100% cotton make them a must-have for those who appreciate quality and style. The iconic 501s may be the most popular, but with so many styles to choose from, finding the right pair can be overwhelming. As a vintage Levi’s connoisseur, I’ve put together a list of my favorite styles to flatter any body type. But the search for the perfect vintage Levi’s doesn’t end there. In this guide, I’ll share with you the best places to buy them. Keep scrolling to discover the ultimate guide to vintage Levi’s: styles and where to buy your Levi’s

Levi’s 501

In my opinion, this is the quintessential perfect fit for every single body type. The Levi’s 501 jeans were first introduced in 1890 and have remained popular ever since.

The fit of the Levi’s 501 jeans is considered to be a regular fit with a straight leg. They have a mid-rise waistline that sits at or just above the hips, giving them a classic and timeless look. The leg opening is also straight, which makes them a versatile choice for wearing with different types of footwear.  One of the key features of vintage Levi’s 501 jeans is their button-fly closure, which sets them apart from many other styles of jeans that have a zipper closure. The button-fly gives them a classic and authentic look that is true to the vintage style.  The 501s have more coverage in the seat, they are smaller in the waist, and roomier in the thighs so they work great for pear shaped body types. This is how you get that perfect booty look. 

The 501 jeans are made with 100% cotton denim, which is known for its durability and ability to mold to the wearer’s body over time. This also means that the fit of the jeans will change slightly with wear and washing, giving them a unique and personalized look over time.

The Levi’s 501 jeans offer a classic and timeless style with a comfortable regular fit and straight leg. Their button-fly closure and high-quality denim fabric make them a true vintage classic that has stood the test of time.

vintage levi's 501

Levi’s 505

The 505 is perfect for women with fewer curves and more long/lean body types thanks to the narrower fit. They have a straight-leg cut that is roomier in the thigh area and slightly tapers towards the ankle, giving them a timeless and versatile look.

The fit of the Levi’s 505 jeans is considered to be a regular fit, which means they offer a comfortable yet flattering silhouette for a wide range of body types. The rise of the 505 jeans sits at the waist, which is a slightly higher rise than some other Levi’s styles. The waistband is not too tight, making them a comfortable option for all-day wear.  One of the key features of vintage Levi’s 505 jeans is the absence of stretch material. They are made with 100% cotton denim, which offers a structured and durable feel that molds to your body over time. This also means that the fit of the jeans will not change as much after washing compared to stretchy denim.

Levi’s 505 jeans are a classic vintage style that offers a comfortable fit and timeless look. They are a great option for those who prefer a straight-leg cut and a more classic, structured denim material.

vintage levi's 505

Levi’s 517

The Levi’s 517 jeans were first introduced in the 1960s as a bootcut style for men. Over the years, they have become a popular vintage style for both men and women and they’re a great option for styling with boots and heels. I think the 517s are great for petite gals who want to look taller – the subtle flare gives the illusion of longer legs!

The fit of the Levi’s 517 jeans is considered to be a slim fit with a straight leg that flares out slightly at the bottom. The rise of the jeans is also slightly lower than other vintage Levi’s styles, sitting at the hips rather than the waist. This lower rise gives them a more modern look and makes them a great choice for those who prefer a lower waistline.  The 517 jeans are also known for their signature stitching on the back pockets, which features a “V” shape and two diagonal lines. This distinctive detail adds to the overall vintage look of the jeans.

One of the key features of vintage Levi’s 517 jeans is their versatility. They can be dressed up or down depending on the occasion, and the bootcut style makes them a great option for wearing with boots or other footwear with a wider ankle opening.

The Levi’s 517 jeans offer a slim yet comfortable fit with a vintage look that has remained popular over the years. They are a great choice for those who prefer a lower rise and a bootcut style that can be dressed up or down.

Note: 517s from the 70s, which often have an orange tab on the back pocket, have more of a high waist look, while 90s 517s are more of a mid-rise. 

vintage levi's 517


  1. March 14, 2019 / 11:28 am

    Hello! Can you help me? I found a pair of mens 527 jeans that have a panel of different material that runs around the back between the belt loop area and the pockets and comes around into the front of the pant above the front pocket and ends in a point by the first belt loop on each side. It looks kind of like a maternity panel on the back of the pant and is made of a little darker denim with stitching that runs across the denim panel horizontally. I have looked all over the internet and can’t find any like this. Have you any idea what they are called? Other than just 527’s? I’m thinking they must be rare as they look like a 70’s style with the snap flapped back pockets as well. I appreciate any help you can give me. Thank you ma’am. 🙂 dana

    • March 11, 2021 / 9:00 pm

      thank you so much for letting me know! just sent that person a note. glad you found all of this information helpful! 🙂

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