In this article we compare Levi’s 511 vs 512 jeans. These are both slim cut jeans, but expect the 512 jeans to be skinnier below the knee than the 511 jeans.
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Levi’s slim and skinny jeans ranked by fit starting with the skinniest:
- Levi’s 519 Jeans – Extreme Skinny Fit – (click here to view)
- Levi’s 510 Jeans – Skinny Fit – (click here to view)
- Levi’s 512 Jeans – Slim Taper Fit – (click here to view)
- Levi’s 511 Jeans – Slim Fit – (click here to view)
- Levi’s 513 Jeans – Slim Straight Fit – (click here to view)
In this article we are going to focus specifically on comparing the 511 vs 512 Levi jeans, using photos of the jeans that I own (I own both the 511 and 512). I actually wear the 511 style quite regularly, but there are times where the 512 makes more sense.
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What is the difference between the Levi’s 511 and 512?
As I said, the 512 jeans will be skinnier below the knee than the 511 jeans. Above the knee, these jeans fit very much the same, but below the knee, the 511 jeans stay with a slim cut, but the 512 jeans taper to a skinny ankle.
Here’s my 512 jeans (dark blue) sitting on top of my 511 jeans (white). As you can see, below the knee the 512 jeans are much skinnier:
- 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. A lot of colors, styles, and washes available. Click here to view the colors and washes offered for the 511 jeans (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. We review these jeans in this article. A lot of colors, styles, and washes available. Click here to view the colors and washes offered for the 512 jeans (affiliate link takes you to Amazon.com).
The difference between the Levi’s 511 and 512 jeans is the 511 jeans have a true slim fit with a 14.5″ leg opening, but the 512 jeans have a slim-taper cut, which means the jeans taper below the knee to a narrower leg opening. The leg opening for the 512 jeans is 12.75″. These two jeans have the same slim cut in the hips and thighs, but the 512 jeans have a tighter, shaped fit below the knee.
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Levi’s 511 vs 512 Fit
Both of these styles of jeans are slim fit jeans that will be best for guys looking for a tighter, more tailored fit. But although both of these jeans have a slim fit, there is actually a major difference in fit. The 511 jeans have a true slim cut, while the 512 jeans have a slim taper cut (which is an even slimmer cut).
In these pictures, I have a pair of my 512 jeans (dark blue) sitting on top of a pair of my 511 jeans (light blue):
A tapered cut means the pant leg slowly gets narrower as it reaches the ankle. So while the Levi’s 511 Slim cut is slim from the hip to the ankle, the Levi’s 512 Slim Taper cut is slim in the hips and thighs, but tapers to a skinny fit near the ankles.
You can expect the fit to be basically the same in the hips and thighs. Notice that the 512 really starts to get slimmer past the knee towards the ankle:
So between the two, the 512 jeans are actually the skinnier fit. They both have the same slim cut at the hips and thighs, but the 512 jeans have a skinnier bottom.
What size to Order?
In my experience, both the 511 and 512 jeans have run true-to-size, meaning the waist and the length was what I expected. As I said earlier in the article, I personally wear the 511’s quite often, and I think over all the years I have worn them, I have only had one pair that I felt was too snug in the waist. My recommendation is to order your normal sizing for both the 511 and the 512.
The Levi’s 511 vs 512 leg opening is not the same. With the 512 Slim Taper cut, not only does the pant leg itself get skinnier, but that also means you will have a skinnier leg opening, which can affect what kind of shoes you pair with these jeans. These are the leg opening sizes:
- Levi’s 511 – 14.5″ leg opening
- Levi’s 512 – 12.75″ leg opening
That is actually a pretty significant difference in leg opening size. There is a 1.75 inch difference between the leg opening of the 511 vs the 512. Here is the 512 sitting on top of the 511:
Which one works better for you will come down to personal preference. Obviously, the 511 jeans (which have the larger leg opening) will be easier to fit over certain types of boots, if you are wanting a business casual look.
Now, it is important to note that neither of these jeans (511 or 512) have a boot cut opening. If you want a slim fit and a boot cut, it would be best to check out the Levi’s 527 Slim Bootcut Jeans.
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Levi’s 512 vs 511 Style Options
Both the 511 and the 512 are available in premium denim cuts. In general, the premium denim will cost you a bit more, but it does give you more colors to choose from if you are wanting to browse through all the color options.
One thing that is cool about the popular 511 style is Levi offers the 511 in other types of pants. Levi offers:
- 511 Chino Pants
- 511 Hybrid Trouser Pants
- 511 Corduroy Pants
For the most part, I have had a difficult time finding the 512 style offered in anything but jeans. The 512 jeans do have a lot of colors to choose from (including a khaki color), but the overall options with the 512 are limited in comparison to the ultra-popular 511 style.
Levi’s 511 vs 512 Photos
Here are photos of the 511 and the 512 jeans for you to compare. We will start with the 511 jeans.
Other Options Besides 511 and 512
- If you prefer a tight fit, as we have discussed, the 512 jeans will be the better option for you (in comparison to the 511’s). If you want to consider something even tighter, you will want to check out Levi’s 510 jeans. The 510’s have a very slim, sleek fit – they are Levi’s skinniest jeans style for men. Click here to view the 510 jeans and to check out their fit (affiliate link takes you to Amazon.com).
- If you want a slim fit, but not skinny fit, then between the 511 and 512 jeans you will probably lean towards the 511. If you are concerned that even the 511’s might be a bit too tight for you, then i would recommend trying Levi’s 513 jeans. The 513’s have a slim fit through the hips, but a straight fit down through the leg opening, so it takes away any notion of “skinny” jeans. Click here to view the 513 jeans and to check out their fit (affiliate link takes you to Amazon.com).
- As I mentioned earlier in the article, if you are wanting to pair slim jeans with boots, then the Levi’s 527 Slim Bootcut jeans will be your best bet. Yes, the 511 jeans can fit with some types of boots, but many types of boots will not fit with the 511 jeans, especially work boots. Click here to view the 527 Slim Bootcut Jeans (affiliate link takes you to Amazon.com).
If you are interested in the Levi 511 jeans, and want to explore some alternatives, visit our article Levi 511 alternatives. Do you need summer work pants? Visit our article about the best work pants for hot weather.
Where to Buy 511 and 512 Jeans?
Click here to buy the Levi 511 jeans at Amazon (affiliate link takes you to Amazon.com). Remember these jeans are a true slim fit from hip to ankle.
Click here to buy the Levi 512 jeans at Amazon (affiliate link takes you to Amazon.com). These jeans are slim above the knee, and taper to skinny at the ankle.