I’ve been living with the wider 505 cut Levi’s commuters for a while. I like them enough that I bought a second pair. I took the opportunity to compare the new to the old pair, to check the shrinkage. I was surprised.
Both pairs are nominally 30-32. The older pair has been cold water washed and hung to dry five times over the past two months or so. The inseam, measured from crotch to the cuff, has shrunk from 31.75″ to about 30.25″. There is shrinkage in width as well. The leg opening hasn’t shrunk that much, perhaps because of the doubled material at this point. However the fit is tighter all over. It is still OK because of the stretch in the material. If the shrinkage tops out at 1.5″, then it is about 5% in length, which is still a little less than the original 501 shrink to fits which specify inseam shrinkage of about 3″ for an equivalent waist size. However, it is a bit more than what I have experienced with 501 prewashed.
Just as a quick update: I washed the new pair and hung to dry, and they have shrunk about half an inch. The colour faded a bit, but is still darker than the pair that has been washed five times. (newer pair to the left).
Water still beads up on either pair. They’ll keep you dry longer than regular jeans, but they will soak through in half an hour of light rain.