Levis 511 Slim Fit Jeans Review (and do they shrink?)

This is a Levi’s 511 Men’s Slim Fit Jeans review (w/ photos of my 511 jeans). Because Levi offers several different types of slim fit jeans, understanding the differences can be a bit confusing.

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These are how Levi’s slim and skinny jeans rank by fit starting with the skinniest and working back from there:

  1. Levi’s 519 Jeans – Extreme Skinny Fit – (click here to view)
  2. Levi’s 510 Jeans – Skinny Fit – (click here to view)
  3. Levi’s 512 Jeans – Slim Taper Fit – (click here to view)
  4. Levi’s 511 Jeans – Slim Fit – (click here to view)
  5. Levi’s 513 Jeans – Slim Straight Fit – (click here to view)

When comparing the 512 vs 513 jeans, above the knee they are practically the same (both have a slim cut). Here is a look at my 512 jeans sitting on top of my 513 jeans:

  • Levi’s 510 Men’s Jeans – Made to look slim and sleek. If you want a fitted cut, start your search here. No baggy, loose material. Slim through the hips and skinny at the ankle. This is the slimmest fit out of all of the jeans in this list. Flex fabric available for comfort. Click here to view these jeans at Amazon (paid affiliate link takes you to Amazon.com).
  • Levi’s 511 Men’s Jeans – True slim fit jeans. Slim through the hips, thighs, and leg opening. Perfect fit if you want a fitted look that isn’t too skinny. Flex fabric available. This is the style of jeans we review in this article. Click here to view these jeans at Amazon (paid affiliate link takes you to Amazon.com).
  • Levi’s 512 Men’s Jeans – The 512’s have the same waist and upper-leg cut as the 511’s, but taper to a slimmer leg opening than the 511’s have. This cut works as a nice in-between of a slim fit and a skinny fit. Click here to view these jeans at Amazon (paid affiliate link takes you to Amazon.com).
  • Levi’s 513 Men’s Jeans – If you want a slim cut that shows some figure, but are worried about it being too skinny, these 513’s may be the right cut for you. Slim cut waist and thighs with a straight leg opening, which gives you a tailored look without it hugging your legs like spandex. Click here to view these jeans at Amazon (paid affiliate link takes you to Amazon.com).

In this article we will review the Levi’s Men’s 511 Slim Fit Jeans. These jeans are very popular due to the modern, slim cut and because they can be paired with sneakers, oxfords, and even some types of boots. They are versatile jeans that can fit in both professionally at the office or casually out with friends.

In this Levis 511 review we are going to focus on these main topics:

  • How do Levi’s 511 jeans fit? Do Levi’s 511 jeans run big or small?
  • Do Levi’s 511 jeans shrink?
  • What other Levi’s styles are similar to the 511’s?

How Do Levi’s 511 Jeans Fit?

Obviously the Levi’s 511 Slim Fit jeans have a tighter fit than standard jeans, but just how tight do they fit? In my experience, the Levi’s 511 jeans are exactly what you would expect out of a slim fit jean.

If you are looking for a pair of jeans to help show some figure, but don’t want a skinny fit that hugs your body like spandex, then these 511 jeans will work well for you. These jeans have a slim, tailored fit through the thighs, and a slim leg opening at the bottom (slim from hip to ankle).


I am able to get the leg opening over the top of certain styles of boots, but large boots (like work boots) will not fit with this leg opening. The leg opening pairs perfectly with sneakers.


One thing that should be noted about the 511 jeans is the material itself varies depending on what color you choose. This means the actual fit of the jean can differ slightly from color to color (I have noticed this with the multiple colors I have owned).

Overall, the fit difference is minimal, but it does exist. I would say the consistent theme is just expect a slim, tailored fit from hip to ankle. This isn’t one of those slim fit jeans that is slim in the thighs and then regular fit down near the ankles. This style is slim from hip to ankle.

This is the current price of the 511 jeans at Amazon (paid affiliate link takes you to Amazon.com).

Are 511 Jeans Too Skinny?

If you are a guy looking for a pair of jeans that gives you a tailored look, but you don’t want the jeans to hug your legs like spandex, you might be wondering if the 511 jeans are too skinny. This, of course, is kind of difficult to answer because it depends mostly on your preferences. All I can do is give you my opinion.


I think the 511 jeans are the perfect slim cut. Don’t expect skin tight jeans and don’t expect loose, straight jeans. There will be a fitted feeling through the hips and thighs, but in my opinion, it doesn’t hug my legs to the point where it looks obnoxious.

If you absolutely detest jeans that fit tight, perhaps it would be best to consider the Levi’s 513 jeans. The 513 jeans have a tailored fit through the waist, but have a straight cut leg that looks a little more relaxed and takes away any notion of “skinny” jeans.

Do Levis 511 jeans run big or small?

In general, expect the Levi’s 511 jeans to run true-to-size. As I mentioned above, the material can vary depending on what type of color you choose. I have noticed that the fit and sizing can vary slightly as well, depending on color.

I have owned 6 different colors of 511 jeans over the years, and I have only had one color that I felt was too small in the waist and had to size up (color: Throttle). All the other colors I have ever had ran true to size, with a comfortable fit through the waist and true-to-size length.

My advice is to stick to your normal sizing. It is also important to remember that many of the Levi’s 511 styles are made with stretch material, so there may be a bit of give in the waist to help you fit.


Do Levi’s 511 jeans shrink?

Another important thing to consider when sizing jeans is potential shrinkage. Do Levi’s 511 jeans shrink?

Yes, you can expect most pairs of Levi’s 511 jeans to shrink, but overall, the total amount of shrinkage is quite minimal. If you care for them as instructed, the overall impact of the shrinkage should not have a serious effect on fit.

Of course, this can vary a bit depending on the color, because as I stated previously, the material varies depending on which color you choose. So it is impossible to predict how every style will shrink, but let me give you an example of a pair of 511 jeans I own.

Here is a brand new pair of Levi’s 511 jeans (color: No Place Like Home) compared to the same color of 511 jeans that have been washed and tumble dried (high heat) about 10 times. ***It is important to note that I use high heat to dry, but the care instructions suggest medium heat. Following those instructions will likely lead to less shrinkage.


As you can see, there is a bit of shrinkage. The length has lost about a half inch. The overall shrinkage in the thighs and waist is minimal. In fact, the waist in my opinion has not shrunk at all.

Again, my advice is to order your normal sizing. Stick to the care instructions on the garment and the shrinkage will be minimal.

Levi’s 511 Alternatives

Let’s briefly discuss what your other options are if you feel like the Levi’s 511 jeans won’t work for you.

Too Tight…

If you feel like the 511 jeans are too skinny, then consider Levi’s 513 Slim Straight jeans, which are fitted through the waist and thighs, but straight through the leg opening. The 513’s won’t look quite as tight. Click here to view the 513 jeans at Amazon (paid affiliate link takes you to Amazon.com).

If you want to find out more about how the 511 and 513 jeans compare, visit our article Levi’s 511 vs 513.

Too Loose…

If the Levi’s 511 jeans are too loose for your tastes, then you have two options to consider. First, try the Levi’s 512 Slim Taper Jeans. These jeans are slim through the waist, and taper to a smaller leg opening than the 511 jeans have. This means the bottom of the 512 jeans are a bit more fitted than the 511’s. Click here to view the 512 jeans at Amazon (paid affiliate link takes you to Amazon.com).

These two jeans do have a significant difference in fit. To read more about how the 511 and the 512 jeans compare, visit our article Levi’s 511 vs 512.

Where to Buy?

Click here to buy the 511 jeans at Amazon (paid affiliate link takes you to Amazon.com).

Paul Johnson

Paul is a lead content creator for Workwear Command. He has had several blue-collar jobs which have provided him a wide range of experience with tools and gear. He also has a business degree and has spent time in business casual office settings.

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