How to wear Levis 501?

I love Levis jeans, they are so iconic. I am jealous of you american readers because in France it is expensive to buy them!

They are pretty easy to style in the summer: tuck a light top in, add some heels and bam, killer outfit!

But in winter, here come troubles.

With their larger legs, they tend to shorten the silhouette.

I/ How to find your perfect “mom jean”

But before we start…

1/ Are “mom jeans” for me?

They look amazing on girls with a defined waist, no matter what size they are (scroll to see the cute outfits).

They make round butts look great as well as flat ones, big tights as well as thin ones.

If your waist is not defined, if you have a belly, and you wish to wear a mom jean,I recommend you to wear your top over your pants.

If you do not have a defined waist yet are very thin, the mom jean can create an interesting “gamine” volume effect.

2/ How to choose your “mom jeans”? 

My fav are the 501 and the 505, absolute icons.

Vintage stores are the best place to find them.

But a girl does not find her perfect butt match instantly.

First, you have to know that, like good wines, Levis evolve over time. You’ll have to dig the piles of clothes in order to find your own famous vintage.

One rule: try them all! You’ll recognize them when you’ll meet them.

I recommend you to go for to sizes bigger than you do. Sizes have expanded (in order to make us feel better probably?).

Your jeans shall

  • be tight around the waist and around the top of the butt
  • have straight legs (that do not look like jockey pants)

501 are not made for you? Try 505 or other brands.

You could also buy a brand new 501, they are adapted to what we are looking for.

Except they do not have the “je ne sais quoi” of the vintage.

Avoid anything that contains loads of elastane.

2/ Adapt your “mom jean”

Maybe your dream jean will be somehow too long, or have calves a bit to large…

Then go to your tailor and have it custom. It is definitely worth the cost.

If it is too long, you could also take scissor aaaand CUT!

7/8 length or bootcut are both good options.

II/ How to wear your “mom jean”

1/ How to wear the hem?

A. Folded

You still may have to shorten it. Not everyone has legs the length of Alexa.

Life of boheme

You could also go for the bigger version of the fold.

B. Rolled

The Brunette

Fold it in a narrow manner and roll no more than twice otherwise it’ll get bulky.

You may also need to cut before if they are really too long.

C. Raw cut

Collage Vintage

You need:

  • a pair of scissor
  • no skills

Level expert, play it like Vêtement and cut shorter in front than in the back (even if this microtrend is gone just as quickly as it appeared I find it pleasant).

D. Plain

Have them cut ankle length or 7/8 length and let them be.

Jeanne Damas

2/ How to style it?

A/ Tuck anything fine into them

A T-shirt, a blouse, a knit, a camisole, a jewel top… anything!

That THE way to make 501 and other mom jeans look their best because it emphasize the waistline.

Adenorah x 2

2/ Wear a short top over it

Bomber, reefing-jackets, sweaters, cinched jackets… the aim is to show the waist or at least the top of the leg, where the mom jeans are rather tight.

3/ An opened straight coat

I like to wear them opened to show the waistline which, according to me is the best part about mom jeans.

Refashion gallery took a picture of me in petit palais. You can also request us a photoshoot). 

Into your closet

4/ Add heels

As the 501 is quite large, it tends to broaden the silhouettes.

That is why prefer the allure of heels with them.

All of them work: ankle boots, low boots, pumps, sandals…

Style du monde

5/ Stay flat

Flats do works, especially when mixed with a 7/8 length.

Frenchi Malvi

6/ Belt them

On a waist defining jean, it is of course a match!


And you? Did you purchase mom jeans this year? Did you dig old ones from your closet? Or did you prefer to forget about this trend?

Cover collage: Adenorah, Jane Birkin

14 Responses to “How to wear Levis 501?”
  1. Marion says:


    J’ai acheté deux 501 il y’a 6 mois taille 27
    Entre temps j’ai perdu une dizaine de kg (je fais mtn 52kg pour 1m64, séparation oblige)
    J’ai racheté un 501 en taille 25 qui moule les fesses et est ajusté à la taille
    Est-ce envisageable de porter les 27 en oversize ? Ils sont évidemment trop grand au niveau de la taille, de partout à vrai dire… mais j’hésite à les porter. Certains disent oui, d’autres non… je n’ose donc plus les mettre

    Merciiiii pour votre réponse

  2. Johanne Languille says:

    Bonjour Alois
    Merci pour le blog.
    Et sinon peut porter un Lewis 501 oversized taille basse? (Moi j ai une taille un peu de ventre et suis petite!)
    Bien à toi

    • Aloïs Guinut says:

      Le 501 est par essence taille haute 🙂
      On peut le porter taille basse en mode oversize. Mais mieux vaut un vrai boyfriend. Si vous avez un peu de ventre mais la taille fine, le 501 taille haute vous ira super bien. Si vous n’avez pas la taille fine, je vous conseille des modèle “mid rise” taille moyenne avec des tops portés au dessus et non au dedans.

  3. Maria says:

    Hello! Is it possible for big breasted women to wear the mom jeans? It is kinda hard to tuck a shirt in. I think it makes it look like I have no waist when I tuck a shirt in a ‘moms jeans’ and if I don’t and leave it untucked, then I look like a real mom! Lol

    • Aloïs Guinut says:

      Dear Maria,
      Yes it is, here the “problem” is not that you have big breasts but that you either have a small torso or/and an undefined waist. Bigger breasts just make it even harder to style.
      If you have a defined waist and a rather long torso and big breasts and want to wear mom’s jeans, you shall go for a fluid top and tuck it it. You can private message me if you want my skype advice at

  4. Pru says:

    Hi Aloïs,

    Love your website and everything on it! Found it today via The Guardian.

    re your review of Mom jeans: ‘As the 501 is quite large, it tends to broaden the silhouettes.’ –
    do you mean ‘large’ as en français, meaning ‘wide’ in English? or are they actually large (big)? I need to know as I want to get some.

    Bises du RU

  5. Claire says:

    Veuillez m’excuser pour mon commentaire avec la demande concernant les chaussures, il se peut qu’il soit déplacé ? Et je ne voulais pas vous mettre en difficulté.
    Supprimez-le si vous le souhaitez ? Bien cordialement

  6. Claire says:

    Bouh je fais partie des femmes en H donc pas du tout pour moi ! Hélas… je suis bien triste. Depuiq qq années je me suis tournée vers les demi-curve de levis, taille descendue et coupe étudiée pour faire des fesses (j’ai aussi les fesses plates, ma vie est difficile ;-)) mais rien à voir avec la qualité des jeans de mon adolescence on est bien d’accord. Votre post est très bien encore et toujours ! Merci à vous.
    Je voulais vous demander un conseil qui n’a rien à voir avec les 501 (quoique…) : que pensez-vous des timberland ?
    Je vis dans une région avec hivers rigoureux, en ce moment nous sommes sous la neige, verglas, moins dix…. les chaussures de rando pour aller bosser, c’est pas très flatteur malgré tous mes efforts… donc je me tate avec les soldes : une paire de timberland ou non ?

  7. vivien_noir says:

    I wouldn’t have thought one would Need a pair of Jeans explained! It’s still always a great pleasure to read your articles.
    Plus, I was very happy to finally see the face of the writer of this blog in the photoshoot you linked. You wear such a wonderful lace Shirt underneath the White one, this is the sort of lace I’m always searching for. Would you mind telling me how it’s called (the lace type) or where the garment is from? Merci!

  8. Debbie F says:

    I love all your posts, another option is reconstructed Levi’s, Vintage Levi’s remade in different styles if you don’t like rummaging around second hand stores, I’ve ordered a pair from Re/Done a Los Angeles based company, still waiting on my delivery so don’t know if they’ll be good on me.

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