Levi's Strauss is known for making jeans. So it should come as a no brainer that I should try them on my journey to find the best fitting jeans. In this second installment of this series I find out if these are the best fitting jeans for fit men. If you know anything about Levi's, their jeans are easily identified by numbers depending on the type of cut and rise you want, with the 501s being the original. I purchased the 541, their athletic fit, which would make sense for me. Now this is all personal preference, I prefer a little room around my quads but tapered leg, however if you are an athletic guy that like a boot cut , probably best to try the 517. The first one I did on The Gap kinda raised the bar so I wonder if Levi's can keep up or surpass it. I mean, they do make jeans so they should get it right, right? I had my eye on these jeans since that first video (you can see I even tried them on then) and I've had them for about a two weeks now so I got a good feel of them. There are three areas I look for when finding the best fitting jeans.
The 541 Straight Leg Athletic Fit
Rise - The rise on a pair of pants is where it sits at your waist or rather on your body that gives the viewer a perceived waistline. Dress pants, suit pants, classically have a high rise even though modern tailoring has adapted the low rise on those pants. More casual pants like chinos and jeans traditionally have a mid to low rise. According to the Levi's website, it says the 541s sit below the waist but after wearing it, for me at least, it sits on my natural waistline. That makes it a midrise which is just like my GAP jeans. I'm 5'9 and my legs are longer than my torso with a 34 waist. That may be my advantage that's why I've never had a pair that had a low rise and sit on my hips.
Seat and Hips - Well the tag says there's extra room in the seat and thigh..............well, there is but not like The Gap jeans. What gives both jeans the perceived room is that fact that a small percentage of it was made with elastine so it gives it a bit of a stretch. By far better than the other jeans, they definitely had athletic guys with sizable quads in mind. When I was at JCPenney, I tried the 514s (straight) and the 502s (regular taper), They had their version of slim fits but I dared not try those. The 514s had room in the thigh and seat and I would have gone for them if it wasn't for the straight leg. The 502 was unusually tight, couldn't even pull the zipper up so that was a no go.
Leg - A little loose and a little tight aren't my thing. I like the happy tapered medium. The 514s legs were a little too loose for my liking and the 502s was just too tight. SO you can imagine what the slim fit jeans would have looked like, that's why I didn't even bother. This area is strictly personal preference. If you prefer a boot cut then go for that, is skinny jeans are your thing then there's that option as well. Brands vary in their cuts so it is advised to go to the store and try them on and see which one you feel comfortable in.
All in all, Levi's makes quality, time tested jean and these 541s are a great pair. If it wasn't for the elastine I probably would not have considered it. Fairly decent price at $69.95, I was a bit disappointed that JCP didn't have more colors that the usual dark wash, light wash and black. Now, compared to my Gap jeans, which one is more comfortable? I'll have to give The Gap a slight edge because of the roomier seat and thigh, everything else was a perfect match. No complaints though, if I can find other colors is 541, I'll buy them.