How to Wear Tapered Jeans

November 2017

Two men standing on a balconyTwo men standing on a balcony

To showcase our tapered jeans for men, we teamed up with streetwear blog High Snobiety and menswear stylist Lawrence Schlossman for a lifestyle shoot in NYC. Our newly expanded range of tapered jeans incorporates fits for different body types and aesthetics. Here, Schlossman exhibits different styling options for our top tapers, while exploring the possibilities of the tapered fit—a modern chapter in the ever-evolving story of denim


A tapered jean gradually narrows toward the ankle. To taper a jean means to “bring in” the leg for an inverted shape that feels loose and comfy on top, but still looks clean and sharp thanks to the subtle alteration of the leg opening. With the right tapered jean, a guy can easily elevate his look.

541™ ATHLETIC: For guys with athletic and huskier builds, looking for a roomy fit they can wear every day.

Our 541™ story began with another San Francisco icon: the 49ers. While we developed Levi’s® Stadium as the team’s official home turf, we also got to work on a jean that would comfortably fit the players’ muscular builds. Ideally, we’d have a jean that was comfortable and no-fuss, but still worked as a styling base for different outfits. Enter the 541™ Athletic Fit. Intended for guys who want a little extra room on top, and designed with a subtle taper at the leg, it’s now one of our most in-demand offerings, and has attained MVP status in closets everywhere.

a man walking

502™ REGULAR TAPER: Wear if you’re new to tapered jeans and willing to give it a shot. Can’t go wrong with this one.

The most democratic and versatile of our tapered jeans, the 502™ Regular Taper works for all body types. Not too loose, not too tight, it has a regular straight fit and subtle taper at the ankle.

A man standing on the street

512™ SLIM TAPER: Ideal for slimmer builds and style-forward guys.

Slim—not skinny. The 512™ Slim Taper offers just enough room to move and a tapered leg—think the 511™, but with a sharper profile as it narrows to the ankle for a lean and clean finish.

A man standing outside a building

501® TAPER: Wear if you’re into the 501® aesthetic and story, and want to incorporate it into your wardrobe—in a way that’s modern and easy.

The 501® isn’t just the first straight-fit jean; it’s the first JEAN. With a loose “anti-fit” in the seat and easy feel through the leg, it’s the picture of laid-back American cool, and undoubtedly the most famous jean in the world. For decades, wearers were customizing the fit in different ways, one of which was tapering the leg. Now, the work is done for you with the new 501® Taper, featuring a tapered leg for a subtle but sharp look that will always be a cornerstone of your closet.

A man standing in the middle of a city

I think Levi’s® adoption of tapered fits really shows they’re not afraid to innovate or push the envelope while still staying true to their roots. Levi’s® will always be the first brand people think about when it comes to heritage Americana, but that doesn’t mean they’re going to rest on their laurels.