Denim And Its Stretch Factor


We all have the problem with buying jeans and finding out after a few wears they have stretched out to be saggy in the butt. Sometimes you have to buy them super tight and wear them around the house for a while to stretch them out to the perfect fit… All of this can be super frustrating and a problem we have to go through with denim. If you are obsessed with having the perfect fit and conscious of how your jeans look just like I am then I hope this can help you in some way. I’ve put together some information on how I have found different fabric blends fit over the years.

Unfortunately with denim it’s a fabric that will ALWAYS stretch out no matter what you do, it’s that material that is just notorious for stretching because of how it’s made. 100% cotton jeans are the worst for stretching out and losing their shape because once they stretch they don’t go back in shape, they remain stretched out due to the lack of elasticity. Jeans with elastane/lycra do stretch out a bit but not as bad as rigid denim. They tend to shrink a little bit when you don’t wear them and go back into shape. When you wash or dry your jeans on a high heat to shrink them back to their original size you can actually damage the elasticity of the jean, so when it stretches it will not go back properly into shape as the elasticity is not as good as it was before, that’s why they recommend putting them on cooler washes and tumble drying on low to keep them in best condition. So the more you attempt to shrink your jeans the worse they will become over time. Sometimes there is nothing you can do but to wash and dry them on high, I am guilty of doing this to my stretch jeans and after a while they don’t fit or feel as good. Jeans I find that don’t stretch out much, if any at all, are cotton/poly blends, the poly in the blend makes them a little more stiff and non stretchy, these are not the most comfiest of jeans and they do tend to run small because of the non stretch factor but they don’t stretch out really badly, they hold their shape and size with a lot of wear. Rock & Republic do a lot of poly/cotton blend jeans, the only problem I find with this blend is they run quite big in the waist and you get a little gap.

DL1961 have released their jeans in a 4 way stretch material, meaning the jeans won’t sag or lose their shape. I own a few pairs of their jeans and they are wonderful, the denim is super soft and stretchy just like a legging but the material is thicker so they are flattering like jeans. Not only are they great material but the pocket placement is wonderful, perfectly placed for the pert bottom look. I love them! Again they are a poly/cotton blend so they are perfect if you are tired of baggy bottoms and want to keep your tush tight! But unlike other poly/cotton blends they are super comfortable! I definitely recommend them! Another specific jean I have found to be great and doesn’t stretch out is Diesel Matic, I own a lot of Matics and they seem to keep their shape really well, I think it’s because of the thickness and strength of the denim, they do stretch out but they do not lose their shape. I find them to be great. Don’t buy the 100% cotton ones, buy the the poly/cotton blend or the cotton/elastane blend.

My best advice to you if you hate your jeans sagging in the butt is to buy them tight and stretch them out, you can wet stretch them by dampening the tight areas and wearing them until they fit perfectly or you can try the cotton/poly blend as it should fit right away and stay that way just like the DL1961 4 way stretch jeans. Sometimes there is nothing else you can do but stretch your jeans out if you have fallen in love with a specific pair you know will be loose after wear, just take a size down if you know it will stretch out and wet stretch them, I know it’s hassle but if you are a denim lover and you can’t resist the jeans it’s the only way!

This post was inspired by an email I received asking for advice on this issue.

Written by Lorna Burford