Stretch vs. non-stretch jeans: a comparison as old as, well, 1976 when stretch jeans first came on the scene.
With the introduction of spandex in the last 50s, clothing companies began incorporating this new fabric into their items. Spandex is best known for exercise clothing, but since its mid-century debut it has made its way into many articles of clothing outside of the fitness industry, including denim!
Stretch jeans are typically made from a combination of cotton, polyester, and spandex. They’re known for being very comfortable, while their non-stretch counterparts are known for their rigid feel and restriction when it comes to movement.
Let’s dive deeper into the difference between stretch and non-stretch jeans:
Stretch vs. Non-Stretch Jeans
Stretch Jean PROS:
Feeling comfortable can impact mood, productivity, and motivation. So, wearing clothes that offer comfort can have a positive impact on a busy day.
Stretch jeans also allow for more movement, making them an easy pant to wear for those living a busy or adventurous lifestyle.
Stretch denim can go from the morning commute, through a long workday, into evening get-togethers, dinners, and wind-downs. Morning to night, stretch denim creates a seamless experience throughout the day (pun intended). With that in mind, there really isn’t a need to change out of stretch jeans until bedtime, and even that’s debatable…
One of the best things about stretch denim is how they form to their owner’s body right away. No need to “break them in”. They fit like a glove from the first wear.
Stretch jeans can be worn on many occasions: Biking, hiking, boating, etc. They fit beautifully with an active lifestyle.
Stretch jeans are also a great fit while travelling for work or pleasure — avid travellers can appreciate the saved luggage space!
Non-Stretch Jean PROS:
The great thing about non-stretch jeans is that they won’t wear out quickly. Non-stretch jeans pretty much guarantee the shape will hold. (Good thing DUER offers a similar benefit thanks to the integration of performance fibres like COOLMAX).
Non-stretch jeans provide a highly customized fit in the long run. Moulding overtime to the shape of their owner’s body, they look even better with every wear.
Stretch Jean CONS:
Some stretch jeans have a reputation of becoming loose after multiple wears and washes. This is not uncommon for low-quality fabrics, which is why it’s so important to buy high-quality stretch jeans! DUER solves this retention issue of lower quality brands with the integration of performance fibres.
Some quality women’s stretch jeans and men’s stretch jeans (like DUER) have started including bacterial inhibition treatment for the fabric, which means more wears and fewer washes!
Some people may not be seeking the snug fit you expect from a stretch jean. But this is a common misconception. Stretch jeans are available in as many styles as non-stretch jeans, including looser cuts (DUER’s Relaxed Taper is a favourite for those looking for more room in hip or thigh.)
Non-Stretch Jean CONS:
Non-stretch jeans are known for being very rigid. They do not allow for much movement throughout the day. Non-stretch jeans are best for people who are less active and don’t “run around” much on a daily basis.
The shape of a non-stretch jean is classically very stiff. This type of denim is guaranteed to be very firm and keep their shape. Like a new foam mattress, non-stretch jeans take a long time to break-in. This break-in period can be rather challenging and cause a lot of discomfort, but those who love non-stretch jeans swear it‘s worth it in the end!
Non-stretch jeans are literally and figuratively less flexible than stretch jeans. Without that handy give in the fabric, you’ll likely need to swap your pants when you switch activities (i.e. don’t count on riding your bike in an all-cotton jean). This often means having more clothes on hand during the day-to-day or on vacation and — gasp — more laundry.
What about the LOOK?
When it comes to the actual look of the jean, quality is what makes the biggest difference. Low-quality denim vs. high-quality denim is the number one factor in measuring appearance. It is not often that a poorly manufactured pair of jeans can appear to be at the same calibre as a well-made pair.
Good-quality denim will contain a high cotton percentage to create the look and feel that is related to heritage denim. Be sure to check the tag and confirm the materials within the fabric when shopping around.
Are stretch jeans better?
At the end of the day, the winner of the stretch vs. non-stretch jeans showdown is really up to a person’s individual style and preference. Some would say it’s best to have a mix of both in your closet so you never really have to choose… or go for a brand that combines the best of both.
Is it possible to have the best of both worlds?
Luckily, DUER designs and manufacturers high-quality, stylish denim that possesses the pros of both stretch and non-stretch jeans, without any of the cons. DUER jeans provide maximum comfort without compromising shape, fit, versatility, and durability.
Our jeans have 30% more stretch than traditional denim with temperature regulating technology to keep the body cool in warmer temperatures and warm in cooler temperatures.
Don’t just take our word for it, shop our full jean collection and see for yourself.