“Athletic build? This is made for you” said the GAP promo email. And with all the talk lately about what an Athletic body type is, or isn’t, and the recent Kickstarter success of a brand promising to make jeans for the squats & deadlifts crowd… it seemed like these were worth taking for a spin.
Now, this friendly neighborhood affordable-men’s-style website editor isn’t exactly The Mountain, but about a year ago, a change in routine & effort has left me out in the cold from the old personal standard, which were the slimmer leaning Levi’s 514s. (+1.25″ in thigh circumference, +1.75″ on the calf, +10lbs overall. BRAH. HULK SMASH BRAH. Yes, I know. This is getting lame quick.)
For the record, the roomier, straight fit 505s work just fine now. So I wanted to see if the GAP 1969 Standard Taper was an improvement. Here’s how the GAP and Levis’ 505s stack up side by side:
Just One Difference: From knee to ankle, the GAP pair slim down noticeably. Which, makes sense due to the fact that the Levi’s are a straight fit, and the GAP pair uses that word, “tapered” (well, yeah) in the title of the product.
But how much? Leg opening, measured seam to seam when laying flat is 7″ on the Levi’s. The GAP pair measure 6.5″. Thighs on both fit the same. But it’s a noticeable, closer to the calf when you’ve got em’ on:
Noticeable taper from knee to ankle blends in nicely with the silhouette of trimmer dress shoes. Shoes by DSW.
There’s some room in the rear and thighs, but they’re getting awfully close to sock-like territory on the calves. Not terrible by any stretch, and certainly a good look for dressing it up a notch with a casual blazer & nicer shoes (y’know, when you don’t want the cloth at your ankles from your jeans flapping about like a loose spinnaker.)
The denim itself is nice. Substantial without being thick or too rigid. No brand stitching on the back pockets is welcome. But there’s some whiskering going on with this “dark resin” color. For most, probably a touch too much.
Are they an option for the super-strong in the legs, deadlifts/squats/monster lower body crowd? Honestly, probably not. They’re pretty much 505s with a more sculpted lower leg. Plus, that taper might cause problems for those with enormous calves. But for those of us that don’t necessarily wake up with a poop-eating grin on legs day, it’s another option.
But then again… the “regular taper” Levi’s 508 probably falls into that category as well.
Your turn big-legged fellas. What’s your go to brand and fit? Have you tried the Levi’s 508? And keep it affordable if you could. Say, around $60 or under w/ sales.