Raise your hand if you love the way rigid, vintage-feeling denim looks? Now keep your hand raised if you also like how it feels upon first wear? Didn’t think so. It’s not always the most comfortable of things to slip into given there’s zero stretch, so I hear you on that one. I love essentially everything about authentic, heavy denim—aside from the feeling upon the initial wear. Of course, they loosen up and start to give in all the right places as you break them in, making them ultra-flattering and the main reason they’ve been my go-to for years. But let’s just call a spade a spade: At first, they’re quite tight.
Even though I practically live in jeans, I will confess that getting into my favorite pairs of rigid denim can often result in jumping, pulling, wriggling, light sweating, and a general feeling of frustration. Now, I’ve always been a huge proponent of the fashion squat (if you’re not familiar, yes I do mean a literal squat—I drop it low a few times to stretch my jeans out in all the necessary places), but I’m always open to new tips to make my favorite denim more comfortable. So when my co-worker was talking about the weird trick she uses for a flawless fit, I was all ears.
She proceeded to tell me that upon purchasing and before her first IRL wear, she sleeps in her rigid denim. Yes, sleeps. As crazy as that sounded to me, I simply had to test this theory for myself. Anything in the name of journalism, right? For this experiment, I turned to my two favorite brands for perfect, 100% cotton denim: Re/Done and Grlfrnd. Here’s what went down.
Trial #1: For my first time around, I chose this cool Grlfrnd pair that, as you can see from the photo above, were tight like a tiger. I slipped them on, snapped some photographic proof, and hit the hay.
Fast-forward to the morning, and they’re perfectly worn-in. They still fit like a glove, but I’m able to do things like sit down comfortably and, you know, breathe. I would call this a success.
Trial #2: For my second night sleeping in jeans, I chose this classic pair from Re/Done. As you can see, they also started out quite form-fitting. I repeated the same process from the previous night—snapped some photos and crawled into bed.
Once again I woke up in the morning, and violà! Perfectly relaxed. They still retain their flattering, authentic shape, but I am able to move around comfortably—no fashion squats required.
While I can attest that, yes, sleeping in your brand-new non-stretch denim does, in fact, loosen them up to the perfect degree, I can’t say that this will be something I’m doing on the regular. I much prefer dozing off in my pajamas, but I’m happy to have this trick in my back pocket for when the situation may call for it.
So my conclusion is that if you’re really committed to the cause, knock yourself out and sleep in your rigid jeans. You’ll wake up with a flawless fit—and maybe a few friends who think you’ve lost your mind. Hey, fashion knows not of comfort, right?
This is the exact pair from trial #1, and let me tell you I’ve never gotten so many compliments on a pair of jeans.
And this is the pair from trial #2. I would wear these literally every single day if nobody would notice (and honestly, it might still be worth it even if they did).
Hello, legs for days!
This ’90s-inspired pair just shot to the top of my wish list.
You really can’t beat Ref’s denim price point.
This shape is so flattering.
It’s hard to go wrong with a classic pair of skinnies.
This raw hem feels so rock ‘n’ roll.
Re/Done just gets it.
These pair perfectly with a bodysuit and mules.
Everyone will think you scored these in a vintage shop.
Just add a band tee, and your outfit is set.
Now that you know how to perfectly stretch your jeans, check out the denim styles NYC girls are loving right now.