For a very long time, I thought I wasn’t one to wear jeans. Crazy, I know. But for most of my life, the only jeans I encountered were ones that stretched much like leggings do or worse, were so thin they revealed everything underneath. While some of these styles are comfortable as hell, they just didn’t do it for me. So I kind of lost faith in denim for a while, opting for pants and skirts instead. One day, however, I bought a pair of vintage jeans and quickly became obsessed with their stiffness and shape. These were jeans that held everything in place and kept their shape all day long. Oh, and they’re doing so well.
I thought it was impossible to find the same vintage-inspired gear when shopping for new, but I was wrong. It took a lot of searching, but I finally found six of the only denim brands I’ll trust for rigid jeans. Thanks to my thoroughness when shopping for denim, I have learned to distinguish the good from the bad and the stiff from the stretchy.
It all depends on the degradation of the fabric, so check those labels. 100% cotton (aka zero stretch) is like denim gold in my book, but I’ve also found that anything 95% cotton does the cut. I always buy in the right size because jeans with a high cotton content are almost guaranteed to stretch a bit and mold to your body after a few wears.
Ahead, I’ll break down the brands I can rely on and exactly what makes their jeans so stiff.
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