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Thread: Buying jeans: First fit vs. routine fit

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    Buying jeans: First fit vs. routine fit

    How do you convince yourselves to pull the trigger on jeans that fit so tightly at first? I used to wear a 38 waist when I carried concealed a lot more often. Then I went to a 36, which fits my waist halfway decent at first. I can put both hands all the way in my wasitband when 36 stretches out after normal wear. The first pair of 34s i bought a while fit pretty well in the waist now, but fit tight there at first and fit SUPER tight through the entire leg before stretching out. I mean, I could barely get an Iphone in my pocket. I can barely convince myself to buy $40 jeans that way, how do you guys drop money on expensive jeans when you're just guessing how they will fit after 10 wears?

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    There are a lot of fans of stretch fit jeans on Dappered. Instead of just getting stretched out like you described, they spring back. I have worn Levi's 501s for the past 6 years and while I have a similar experience to your waist comment, the knee area also stretches out so they can look a little off.

    I have recently tried some stretch chinos and really like that they move with your body. I may try some stretch jeans in a couple of years after my current rotation wears out.

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    Simple: I don’t buy jeans that fit that way. I buy jeans that fit the way I want when they’re new. Maybe just a touch tight if they’re 100% cotton. I wash my jeans pretty regularly and they typically shrink back to original size after drying. My “tight” jeans stretch out to where I want them after an hour or two. Not 10 wears. The rest of my jeans are comfortable when I put them on after a wash. I can’t imagine buying down 2 inches in the waist and waiting for them to stretch out. That’s not worth the discomfort. I’ll just wear a belt.

    But then, I also don’t own any selvedge jeans any more. I sold my last pair. I don’t care to spend a bunch of extra money on a red stripe inside my pants seam. When I spend extra on pants, it’s for something like Bonobos linen blend jet setter pants, because they’re absurdly comfortable and still look nice.
    Last edited by dpark; October 10th, 2017 at 11:23 AM.

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    The jeans having a little stretch helps. I have a few pairs of Levis 541 (athletic fit, with some stretch). They fit a little tight initially, but with the stretch aren't uncomfortable. After a while though, they do stretch out generally, like all other denim and require a washing to shrink them up again.

    I also have a pair of Unbranded Brand jeans that have no stretch. They are a different animal... First fit is snug. After a wash, they are really rather uncomfortable and take a day or two to relax to a more comfortable fit. I've gotten into the habit of putting them on while damp to stretch them back out a little faster.

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    That's what I mean. All denim isn't the same so its not going to stretch the same, and you just kind of guess. I guess it just sucks that the waist and the legs won't sync up for me.

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    For non raw denim, there is somewhat of a predictable stretch that will return to near baseline post wash. I try to get something slightly uncomfortable in the waist and not skin tight in the thighs.

    Most times I wear my jeans they are not just washed, so I don’t go by the fit off the shelf.

    For raw denim, it is a whole different story. Requires a fair amount of research to figure out shrinkage during wash. I typically get these comfortable/loose everywhere pre wash.

    All the above assumes no stretch denim.

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    Quote Originally Posted by doomx View Post
    For raw denim, it is a whole different story. Requires a fair amount of research to figure out shrinkage during wash. I typically get these comfortable/loose everywhere pre wash.
    Be careful not to assume that everything labeled "raw" will drastically shrink in the wash. Most denim labeled "raw" is Sanforized, and won't shrink more than a typical pair of Levis. Look for denim labeled "loom state" or "shrink to fit" if that's what you want.

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    The shrink in the wash business is super tricky and I avoid it. I have one pair of made in the USA shrink to fit 501s which did shrink insanely but they also lost their best feature: the mid/high rise. I much prefer washed denim. I love my LVC1954 one wash. The reason for all this hasn’t been the fabric or construction quality but really the fit. I wanted higher rise denim and that is difficult to find for a 36 waist.

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    I buy mine to fit snug around the waist. I don't like them overly tight in the thighs and calves. They do stretch around the waist, but that's what belts are for. The only time I ever wear them with a shirt tucked is if I am also wearing a jacket, so any bunching around the waist doesn't show. Since I don't like them tight through the leg, they don't noticeably stretch in those areas.

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