You know your dream pair of vintage jeans is out there—the kind that would make you do a double take at your own rear, that have a perfect washed-out fade, and give off a ridiculously cool-girl vibe. But alas, sourcing them is frustratingly elusive. Since some of the best vintage pairs are made by Levi’s, we figured we’d go straight to the source to help make your quest just a bit easier.
We talked to Levi’s Global Vice President of Women’s Design Jill Guenza to find out which cut is the most flattering for different body types. This way, when searching for your own pair of the best Levi's jeans—you can come armed with your preferred cut in mind, say 505—which will hopefully make it simpler to weed through all the options. Since there are so many cuts out there, we kept it straightforward and limited it to two easily findable Levi’s styles.
Whether you have a curvier or more straight-lined shape, scroll down to see which pairs make the cut.
“The 501 is the best vintage jean for a pear-shaped or hourglass-shaped body. The waist is smaller and pitched lower in the front and higher in the back, giving extra coverage in the seat. Plus, the anti-fit properties [meaning that it’s not a fitted style, and a fuller figure fills out the jeans] of the 501 make a full seat look super hot. Originally intended as the working man’s jean, the 501 is also cut with a little more room in the thigh, making this a great choice for women with fuller thighs.” — Jill Guenza, Levi’s Global Vice President of Women’s Design
“The 505 is great for women with fewer curves through the seat and hips and slender legs. It has a lower rise than the 501, is a bit more square on the top, and has a slim, straight fit from the thigh to the ankle. It also has a zip fly, as opposed to the button fly on the 501, which keeps everything smooth and held in. It has just the right amount of anti-fit to give flatter seats a little boost.” — Jill Guenza, Levi’s Global Vice President of Women’s Design