Lee vs Levi’s Jeans: Which Is Better?

One of the major differences between Lee and Levi’s is the design of the back pocket.

Levi’s jeans have an arcuate (pattern of stitching on the back pocket), which is basically two rows of stitches that are shaped somewhat like the wings of a bat. On the other hand, Lee is known for its lazy “S” stitching.

Levi’s were actually the first to make use of arcuate.

Let’s talk about Lee’s History

Lee vs Levi's Jeans

Lee is an American brand that is known for its denim jeans. It was first produced in Salina, Kansas in the year 1889 by Henry David Lee.

The Lee company originally made jackets and dungarees, until later when the Union All jumpsuit for workers was introduced, and as early as the 1920s, Lee had already begun to design and sell overalls for children.

Soon after, in the 1970s, Lee became fashion wear and a household name, after it was acquired by VF Corporation, which is one of the largest apparel companies in the world.

The brand expanded further and created collections for women, one of which is popularly known as the Ms. Lee Label, and then later, the youth wear was produced.

In a bid to give back to the community and society, Lee started the Lee National Denim day, which was supposed to raise funds and create awareness for breast cancer research.

Ever since then, Lee has flourished.

Pros of wearing Lee Jeans

  • Jeans by Lee are known to be authentic
  • They are comfortable with a flexible waistband that stretches out well
  • Lee uses recycled fabrics for some of its jeans, which adds to the jeans’ overall stretch
  • They offer a wide range of products
  • They also produce denim cotton, which is comfortable.
  • They are affordable
  • Lee produced the world’s first zipper fly jeans.
  • It is made of high stretch denim fiber
  • It is machine washable, but it is recommended you minimize washes. Try spot cleaning instead, and make sure to dab and not rub.

Cons of wearing Lee Jeans

  • There has been decreasing denim quality in jeans produced by Lee
  • Poor customer service
  • They offer no refunds, even when the purchase goes wrong on their end
  • People have reported having gotten damaged products, and even stained jeans in their packages
  • Long delivery time.
  • Lee’s blue jeans look less natural compared to the richer blue that most Levi’s jeans come in.

Let’s talk Levi’s History

Lee vs Levi's Jeans

Levi’s, mostly known for their jeans is part of the Levi Strauss & co company, which was founded in San Francisco, California by Levi Strauss who was a German immigrant and had come to join his brothers in business.

The brand grew in popularity after a collaboration with Jacob Davis, who suggested rivets for pants reinforcement.

This was to prevent them from tearing easily. This is why Levi’s has a reputation or is known for quality pants.

The Levi’s 501 jeans are the most popular and renowned of this brand, and one cannot talk about Levi’s without looking into it.

Levi’s 501 was produced in 1873 when workers were in need of quality, yet comfortable work pants.  These were the original riveted pants.

Levi’s denim overalls were initially designed for cowboys and working-class men, but however, it still has that casual vintage appeal to date.

Some products under these brands include:

  • Levi’s 501
  • Levi’s 502
  • Levi’s 505
  • Levi’s 510
  • Levi’s 511
  • Levi’s 551 etc.

Pros of wearing Levi’s jeans

  • Levi’s typically set the trend for jeans worldwide
  • It is rooted in authenticity and known for its originality
  • They are very versatile. You can use a pair of jeans by Levi’s for typically any outing
  • The jeans are very stylish and suit literally anyone
  • The worn-out look is actually really nice. It has this real, faded in look over time.
  • It is machine washable, but Levi’s doesn’t recommend frequent washes. They say, at most once every ten years
  • Great customer service. They always do a good job of helping you pick your perfect fit, and are ready to answer most of your questions.
  • Levi’s offers better designs for plus-size men and women, and these designs come in a wide variety of colors.
  • Levi’s fit better and look more stylish overall
  • The stitching is durable and impeccable.
  • Levi’s places great importance on the sustenance of the environment
  • The brand pays very good attention to detail
  • Levi’s manages diversity very well, which makes it very inclusive. This attribute is obvious in their designs

Cons of wearing Levi’s jeans

  • In some places, Levi’s can be quite pricy. This depends on the location
  • As expected, great brands are always easy targets for imitation. There has been an increase in counterfeit products being sold to unsuspecting customers. It’s always best to check stitches, stamps, and buttons, as well as purchase them at reliable places.

Lee vs Levi’s: Similarities

  • Both Lee and Levi’s originated from the same country, that is the United States of America
  • They are popularly known for the production of the same product, which is denim
  • They are very popular brands that are known worldwide

Lee vs Levi’s: Comparison

First glance (looks)


Lee vs Levi's Jeans

  • Lazy “S” stitching on the back pocket


Lee vs Levi's Jeans

  • Arcuate design on the back pocket
  • Leather patch with a stamp of the brand’s name



Lee jeans have their characteristic lazy “S” stitching on the back pocket of their jeans. A label with the brand’s name.


Levi’s have their arcuate design which is shaped like the wings of a bat. This is mainly for decorative purposes.

Lee vs Levi's Jeans

The buttons and zippers are embossed with the brand’s name and are made of stainless steel.

Lee vs Levi's Jeans

The most popular design feature of Levi’s jeans is the patch that has a picture of a horse trying to pull apart a pair of jeans, a picture that symbolizes quality and durability. This design is located above the back pocket.

Lee vs Levi's Jeans

  • Durable and quality stitching, with no loose threads.

Lee vs Levi's Jeans

  • There’s a leather patch with a stamp of the brand’s name
  • The Levi’s 501 has a button fly, straight leg, and a 16” opening

Lee vs Levi's Jeans

  • The Levi’s 502 has a zip fly and a tapered leg

Lee vs Levi's Jeans

  • The 510 is known as the skinny jeans

Lee vs Levi's Jeans

We are going to judge which brand is better than the other based on these criteria: overall quality, design, sizing, and price.

Overall Quality


Levi’s jeans are of really good quality, as well as a higher price, which is somewhat an indication of their quality.

Although, a higher price doesn’t always guarantee quality. However, in the case of Levi’s, it actually does.

Levi’s jeans are known for being long-lasting, not susceptible to tears or having the glaring faded, worn-out look as quickly as others do.

The stitching is durable, smooth, and made with comfortable fabric that is not itchy at all.

In Levi’s 501, the brand makes use of rivets for reinforcement, which prevents easy tearing of the material or fabric.


Lee offers a great range of products which most of us love. However, there has been a significant decrease in denim quality.

The quality of jeans produced by Lee is just there, but certainly not as good as Levi’s.



Lee offers a good number of designs as well. Most of them come in a wide range of beautiful colors and nice fits, as well as breathable fabric and material.

Some designs from Lee include:

  • The Z-roller: which is a skinny and rolled fit
  • Z-one: Skinny and tapered
  • L-two- Slim with a straight fit


Levi’s jeans come in different shades of blue. Black, and grey. However, the most common of the jeans styles are the mid-blue or indigo blue.

The back pockets are embroidered with an arcuate design, which is unique to their brand.

Levi offers great designs for plus-size men and women as well.

Levi’s has two premium collections: Levi’s vintage clothing and Levi’s made and crafted.

Levi’s vintage clothing typically remakes designs from older productions, while Levi’s made and crafted focuses on all new designs.



Lee jeans are true to size. However, the raw (unwashed) or rigid denim shrinks about 1- ½ size when washed, so it’s recommended when buying Lee denim jeans that you go half a size up or larger, so it isn’t uncomfortable.


Levi’s are true to size, they use waist and length measurements, and not generalized sizing. This makes it easier to find a perfect fit.

Levi’s don’t stretch as much because of the high quality. So it’s advisable that you find your perfect fit, by taking your measurements and making sure that the jeans are comfortable. Levi’s offers sizes for everyone



The prices of Levi’s actually vary depending on location. In some places, you can get them for prices as low as $30. In certain places or most places, you can get them for $100 and more.

You can get them for cheaper prices on Amazon. On Amazon, most of the prices for Levi’s jeans are in the middle, hovering around $48.

So, do good to check them out through the links provided here at the end of this article.


Lee jeans cost about half as much as Levi’s. This makes them more affordable than Levi’s. You can check them out on Amazon.

On Amazon, Lee jeans go for about $28 or thereabout. So do well to check them out through the links provided.

My Verdict: Which is better?

Oh wow! Is this really a tough one? I don’t think it is, at least not for me anyway. So we’ve taken a look at both brands carefully and closely.

We’ve looked into history, features, design, quality, and so on. Now each brand has its strengths as well as shortcomings. Although, some more than others.

I like jeans made by Levi’s more, mostly because I own a couple of pairs myself presently, and have owned some in the past.

So, I can tell you firsthand that Levi’s is the better choice, for me. I think Levi’s are more stylish, have greater designs and a wide range at that too.

I think they just fit better. It literally suits anyone and the quality is superb. I like the fact that I can rock a pair of Levi’s anywhere.

However, one might shy away from getting a pair because of the price, and I know this article says you can get a pair of Levi’s for as low as $30, but it also says, it depends on location.

So, in some countries that are not the US, Levi’s tend to be on the higher side, authentic Levi’s that is (I like to be wary of prices that are too good to be true).

Now jeans made by Lee aren’t bad. They are actually pretty good, have nice designs as well as offer a good range, especially for the weather, and they are more affordable.

So, if you have a budget that can’t meet up, I suggest a pair of Lee jeans. Though the quality isn’t as great as that of Levi’s, it’s still pretty good.

So what’s your take on all of this? Have you made a decision yet? Do you like Levi’s jeans more or Lee’s?

Kindly use these links to go get yourself either or both of the products from these brands:

Happy denim shopping!

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