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Like low rise 501's....
on October 9, 2009
...without the buttons. If you're looking to bolster your jean wardrobe with some slimmer fit low rise styles but afraid you're gonna come off looking like some Goth-punk rock-star wannabe who's so skinny they disappear when turning sideways ...relax ...those would be the "Skinny Fit" 517's not these. **Since this review was written the 517 is defunct, replaced by the Levis 511 Skinny and 510 super skinny fit jeans.** And if you're looking for some jeans that *don't* have "Relaxed", "Loose" or "Baggy" as part of their style moniker then these are the ones to get.
I would call these "sensibly-stylish-low-rise-jeans-for-the-more-mature-taste-crowd" ..."mature" in this case definitely *not* referring to beer belly and severe love handle embellished body types; consider these a goal for that weight loss or exercise program. They are also not the strict domain of the anorexic male model body type either; regular, non-gut bearing guys in halfway decent condition can wear these no problemo ...and look good. The waist sits lower than regular fit jeans but not radically so, they're sort of a mid rise ...no one's gonna be graced with viewing your choice of undergear or given a rendition of SNL's "Norge Man" routine when you bend over.
No matter your views regarding the modern day Levi Strauss Company, they *do* know how to make blue jeans that fit, are stylish and reasonably priced; the quality is still there. The 514's are called "Slim Straight fit" ...forget the "slim" part of it; they fit like Levi's 501's in the seat, thigh and legs with the leg openings the same size as 501's."Straight" refers to the fact the legs are not tapered. I purchased a pair of 501's at the same time I bought the two pair of 514's so I had real time comparisons. The crotch on the 514 feels slightly higher than the 501's, but nothing radical or uncomfortable, and the cut of the jeans does help flatter the male anatomy ...your results may vary. If ya look good in 501's you'll probably look just as good, maybe better, in 514's.
Sizing of the jeans is a bit different; my usual 33x32 501 size translated into a 33x30 for the 514's because they sit lower ...more on the hips than waist. Shrinkage was not a problem in the waist (these were pre-washed) and the legs shrunk just a bit making them perfect in length for my taste. The only thing making these jeans better would be knowing they were proudly made here in the US of A ...like they used to be. My 514's were made in Egypt and Bangladesh ...hooray for the global economy. Okay, so much for the soapbox.
Do not fear the 514. In short, they fit great, feel comfortable and look good. Just like 501's without buttons.