Customer Reviews: Levi's Men's 513 Slim-Straight Jean
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on November 25, 2014
Okay, I know these are "Slim" jeans and I know everyone says one must be, well, slim in order to wear them. Right? And to some degree this makes sense: Slim guy, slim cut jeans. Larger guy, larger cut jeans. Well my husband is in his late 60s and things have sort of "shifted" around over the years. Specifically, everything from his butt and thighs has been redistributed to his abdomen. He is usually very, very hard to fit because most pants that fit around the waist are huge, baggy and sloppy looking everywhere else. Enter the 513; absolutely the best fitting pants I've ever seen him wear. They fit perfectly. Everywhere.

So what's the deal? Why do these jeans fit so well and look so good? I really had to think about it and it took me many tries before I caught on. Since my husband refused to go to the store to buy some jeans, I was left to my own devices and I learned a lot about men's jeans (and Levi's in particular) in the process.

I'm oversimplifying a bit (I'm not including rise) but there are generally two things that describe the way a pair of jeans will fit a man, aside from the waist size and the inseam. First, there's the "cut." This is how the pants fit in the rear and thighs. Levi's has eight general cuts, going from "tightest" in the rear and thigh to "loosest" in the rear and thigh: Skinny, Slim, Athletic, Original, Regular, Relaxed, Comfort, and Loose. Second, there's the look and style of the leg. Levi's has four leg cuts: Skinny, Taper, Straight and Boot.

So, add this all up and there are four variables:

1. Waist size;
2. Inseam (or length);
3. Cut; and
4. Leg style.

For the most part Levi's simply mixes and matches the cut and leg style. So there is the 504 "Regular Straight" and the 508 "Regular Taper." Or there is the 559 "Relaxed Straight" and the 513 "Slim Straight," etc. Generally the "cut" is listed first followed by the "leg." ALL of the Levi's styles come in virtually any waist size and in virtually any length so as long as you get the right waist size, it will fit around the middle regardless of the cut (or the leg).

So for an "average" proportioned guy, the 513 "Slim Straight" will run slim or close fitting in the thigh and seat. For my husband however, they fit like a "normal" pant would since he's so much smaller than average in the seat and thighs. Make sense? All of this assumes you get your correct, actual waist size so guys, don't skimp there even though it's tempting.

Example: If I were trying to fit a short guy (say 30"L) with a small waist (say a 32"W), but with large thighs and a big rear end, I would probably start with something like the 550 "Relaxed Taper" or the 559 "Relaxed Straight" because the "Relaxed" cut will look "normal" on him (because he is larger than average in the seat and thighs). If the 550 and 559 are too tight in the seat and thighs, I'd move onto the next largest cut.

I hope this helps those of you who are not of "average" proportion and are struggling to find a pair of normal fitting jeans. My husband never looked better and for the first time in FOREVER he actually likes his jeans.


Once we discovered how well the 513s fit my husband, I was left with the task of finding the right wash. I was very surprised to discover that there are differences both in the materials that make up the denim and the weight of the denim itself. Some of the 513s are 100% cotton while others are cotton and 1% to 2% elastane (Spandex). Still others are a blend of polyester and cotton. Finally, the weight of the denim varies. Some 513s are "midweight" and others are "heavyweight."

Based on my research here on Amazon and other websites (including Levi Strauss), I've compiled the following list of colors/washes, their materials, and the weight of the denim where possible.

1. Quincy: 100% cotton.
2. Lexicon: 78% Cotton, 16% Polyester, 6% Elastane. Stretch heavyweight denim (12 oz.) treated with a garment rinse.
3. Bastion: 98.6% Cotton, 1.4% Elastane.
4. Cash: 98% Cotton, 2% Elastane. Stretch heavyweight denim (12 oz.) treated with a garment rinse.
5. Bellingham: 99% cotton, 1% elastane.
6. Levine: 100% cotton.
7. The remaining washes/colors are all 98% cotton, 2% elastane according to another well known online retailer of Levi's (starts with a Z).

I can personally tell you that the weights of the denim vary from medium (10 oz. to 11 oz.) to heavy (12 oz) but it appears as though Levi Strauss is no longer manufacturing many of the washes available here on Amazon and the information is no longer available on Levi's website.

My husband ended up with three pairs of jeans: "Bastion" (a relatively dark rinse), "Sequoia" (a dark rinse with some minor distressing/lightening in areas), and "Quincy" (what I would call a medium blue shade). He originally balked at the idea of elastane/Spandex in his jeans and I assumed he would prefer the Quincy (the only one of the three that is 100% cotton). As it turns out, he doesn't wear the Quincy at all and prefers the Bastion and Sequoia. The addition of the bit of Spandex does a number of things: the jeans are much more comfortable because the Spandex helps them to move with you; the overall fit is better because the Spandex helps customize the size; and the jeans do not stretch out as much as 100% cotton, therefore retaining their shape and looking "fresh" for a longer period of time. You cannot tell by looking at the jeans that they contain Spandex.

Again, I hope the information I've provided helps all of you, especially those with less than ideal proportions.
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on October 9, 2013
I decided to try these 513s after having owned a pair of 511s a few years ago. I'm a thin guy at 6'0 150lb, and the 511s felt far too much like skinny jeans even though they're labeled as slim. They hugged every part of my leg and the rise was far too short for men's "parts" to have breathing room.

I had a hard time finding anything comparing the differences between the 513 and 511 - The 513s are just a more breathable 511 in my opinion. They are the perfect alternative for someone looking for slim, but avoiding the skin tight feel.

These were better fit and quality than many jeans I had paid triple the price for. Definitely recommended.

**Update** After a little over a year these jeans have just started to show enough thinning/fraying around the knees and back pockets for me to warrant buying a replacement pair before holes start to appear. For the price and considering heavy usage, that's a pretty great lifespan.
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on September 10, 2013
Previously had regular fit and relaxed fit jeans with and without bootcut. But styles change and I needed a new fresh look so my friend recommended Levi 513's. Bought 2 pairs, a dark and a lighter wash. Excellent shipping speed, Amazon always seems to deliver anything I order within a week even if I choose the cheapest slowest shipping option.

Never having owned a pair of Levi's, I feel I have been missing out. These are probably the best fitting, most comfortable jeans I have ever worn, and for the price it totally beats out high end designer brands I have been wasting my money on for years. I usually wear these on the weekend to casual outings, bar, movies, going out on the town what have you. What surprised me the most is how elastic the denim is. Every pair of jeans I ever bought was fairly rough and stiff and there is a break in period but these felt broken in as soon as I wore them, not baggy or ridged... Extremely comfortable.

People should know before buying the 513's is they are SLIM FIT. The leg opening is small so it gives you that "skinny" look but still the fabric does not hug your skin, the waist fits comfortable and is not tight. If you have really skinny legs and want something that hugs your legs then you want the 512's which is SKINNY.

Curious thing about the jeans is I bought a similar pair from Nordstrom, a dark blue with black threading (although 35$ more) but the material was denim but very stiff and hard, so I decided to return them.

All in all, great jeans, great price, great fit.
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on November 24, 2013
I'm used to the 511s but wanted to switch it up a bit, so I got these. They aren't much different then the 511s, except the offer a little more leg room which is what I was looking for. So when wearing the 513s I can move around much more freely without the restriction the 511s can have sometimes. They still look lean and close fitting maybe just a little more room around the ankle which fits a little better over a shoe. (I wear vans) and they aren't dragging on the floor or anything.

I highly recommend them. A little more grown up look then the 511s, while keeping the style of skinny jeans.

And I got the bastion color which is just dark blue, I was skeptical about buying online because levis have all these weird colors and is hard to tell what they look like online. But I just wanted dark blue, and that's what they are.

Oh and also with people complaining about the stretchy fabric. Idk what they have to complain about the material is really comfortable and the stretch allows the pants to move with you instead of restricting you like straight up denim. Which is great because i ride bikes (bmx) and I've ripped many pairs of pants that didnt have the stretchy material built in. I've worn levis for years and both denim and the denim with the stretch have lasted for years even through the stretchy ones feel like a lighter fabric. I've got both styles pushing 4 years of everyday wear and tear to crashes at the skatepark. You should not be swayed because of the material they ar3 is what I guess I'm trying to say. Lol.
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on June 12, 2015
Love the gray color and fit! They are very comfortable. I think I am really going to enjoy wearing them.
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on February 2, 2015
The left knee always blows out in these jeans. I've had three pair and the left knee always tears. Contacted Levis, they said they warranty all their jeans and would replace if they found it was not my fault. Be warned, the denim is not the quality it once was. Do a google search, this is a very common problem with Levis.
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on May 21, 2014
This color runs the same in the waist as 559's. These are slightly stretchy even though they list more elastane than other 513's (2%) I was looking for something more modern fitting than the 559 that I still feel OK wearing to work. These fit the bill. I ordered these one size larger based on other 513's and 514's. I had to revert to my 559 sizing.

Recap in case these don't match up with Amazon's pages.
Levine - slightly stretchy, 2% elastane, run same size as 559's in the 36" waist.
Quincy - pure cotton stretch only, 100% cotton, run one size smaller than 559's in the 36" - 38" waist.
Ice Cap - pure cotton stretch only, 100% cotton, run one size smaller than 559's in the 36" - 38" waist.
Bastion - stretchy, 1% elastane but stretchier than Levine, I think these run same size as 559's in the 36" waist. I returned and did not reorder as I did not like the stretchiness.
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on November 11, 2014
I've been wearing Levi's 513 Jeans for a few years now. I really like them better than Gap jeans, but buying them is always a bit of a gamble. I buy the same size every time, but they are always slightly different. I have black ones that shrank to the point of being way too small for me. I bought another pair of black one size larger and they are HUGE.

I bought some khaki colored ones and they shrank to where they are very high water.

I bought a pair of Bastion that are perfect and feel like a second skin. So I bought another pair on Amazon (same size). They fit, but the leg opening is definitely different. My original pair has a small leg opening, and these are quite a bit wider. I still like them, and wonder if they will continue to shrink over time.

Whatever the case, they are very comfortable jeans. That little bit of spandex they put in the fabric is wonderful and makes for a very comfortable, non-binding fit! They loosen up a bit with wear, and after next washing, they snap right back to shape. They always feel a little tight coming out of the dryer, but the elasticity of the waist makes them feel great and not slouchy.

Update 11/7/15: The new ones did shrink a bit after all, but not in a bad way. They kept their form and look good. I like them enough to where I bought another pair today. Mind you, I'm not retiring the older pair...just want a newer looking pair after a year of wearing the first pair constantly.
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on October 17, 2015
This is a great option if you prefer an athletic, tapered cut rather than the more conventional 514, but are not lanky enough for the really slim 511s. The sizing is more regular Levi's sizing than the 'slim' sizing effective in 511s and previous narrow models.
I have switched from 31wx32l 514 to 31wx32l 513 and while it still fits easily, it looks better and more modern.
The color in the attached photos is "Jet" , the material is more suited for biking etc, but still looks and feels like a jean (i.e. not spandexy)
I'm 5'11'' , around 190 lbs, mostly athletic with really thick thighs and rump (for a non-overweight person) and a slight tummy.
I'm ordering another pair for good measure.
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I've bought the 514 and 511 over the past 2 years and have noticed a slight change in the overall material design. The biggest change is the material itself. They all used to be mainly 100% Cotton, but now are featuring more of the 99% Cotton / 1% Elastane materials. Also, my 514s seem to be extremely thin whereas the 511 and 513 almost feel like thicker canvas straight from the store.

I prefer a 34 waist in general. If I am actively working out (such as the spring/summer), I can fit into a 33 waist. My inseam is normally 34. The 511, 513, and 514s all fit fine with 34Wx34L. However, the 514s feel very loose around the hips and almost look like bootcut jeans (according to friends and co-workers). The 511s don't look like skinny jeans, but the fit at my hips, thighs, and legs are much tighter to the point it could be uncomfortable and inconvenient to reach for my keys, wallet, etc... The 513s are a happy medium. The 513s have more room at the hips and thighs, and aren't overly tight at the leg hems.

So if you want the tightest fit but not quite skinny jeans, go with 511s. If you want a looser fit that isn't relaxed but can be considered bootcut, go with the 514s. If you want a happy medium between these 2, go with the 513s.

Overall: 5/5 stars, good compromise between 511 and 514s.
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