Five Plus One is our weekly series of buyer’s guides. We pick a specific category and dig up five great options along with one that’s a little outside the norm.
Denimheads all have their own opinions on what makes for a comfortable pair of jeans. Some like the warmth and wind resistance of heavyweight denim. Others, the breathability of lightweight jeans. And still, others prefer stretchy denims for comfort and ease of movement. Today we’re exploring the latter.
Keep in mind, while stretchy denim is perfectly capable of fading, generally speaking, stretchy denims tend to fade a bit less than their all-cotton counterparts. But if your inclinations stretch toward mobility more than the most contrasty of honeycombs, continue with ous on this exploration.
1) Tanuki: NSXT “SEN” Natural Indigo Stretch Extreme Taper
For Tanuki’s latest pair of stretch denim, the NSXT “SEN”, they’ve chosen to combine an ultra skinny, highly tapered fit with a stretchy denim made from a 98%/2% cotton/polyurethane blend fabric. The fabric itself is unsanforized, although it is once washed to eliminate the majority of shrinkage, and is dyed to a beautiful, deep shade of indigo using natural indigo. These jeans are finished with a vegetable tanned leather patch, custom metal hardware, and Tanuki’s signature double-line logo on both the patch and as decorative back-pocket embroidery.
Available for $315 from Blue Owl Workshop.
2) Unbranded: UB#22 Stretch Indigo
Unbranded is many people’s go-to brand suggestion for those entering the denim hobby, and for good reason. They have a ton of different cuts, a wide range of fabrics, and low price points, which means they have something for just about everyone, from indigo novice to seasoned denimhead. For those who want a stretchy pair of jeans it’s hard to go wrong with their #22 denim: a 99%/1% cotton/spandex blend fabric that is available in all five of their cuts. They’re pretty barebones, as is the goal of Unbranded, but they have everything needed to make a great pair of jeans.
Available for $110 from Unbranded in Skinny Fit, Tapered Fit, Straight Fit, Tight Fit, and Relaxed Tapered Fit.
3) Oni: 176S Stretch Tight Tapered
When people start talking about interesting fabrics many of our minds, mine included, instantly jump to Oni due in part to their iconic “secret denim.” So when I heard their 176S jeans featured a stretchy and highly irregular fabric, I was excited, to say the least. The fabric is made in a 98%/2% cotton/polyurethane blend where the warp is 100% cotton and the weft features all of the stretch, which is an interesting decision that should result in an interesting break-in and fades. Like many other stretch-fabric jeans out there these feature a pretty tight fit, so keep that in mind when sizing and ordering.
Available for $305CAD (~$235USD) from Miloh Shop.
4) Full Count: 1952 Indigo Stretch Skinny Fit
The skinny jean train continues, although Full Count’s 1952 Indigo Stretch Skinny Fit jeans are considerably less tight than many of the last couple pairs on this list. They also nearly top the list as far as stretch and use a 95%/5% cotton/polyester blend. As you’d expect from a top-tier denim brand like FC, this pair features a bunch of great details such as a goatskin patch, roped belt loops, and silver coated copper buttons.
Available for $330AUD (~$235USD) from Corlection.
5) A.P.C.: Indigo Stretch
A.P.C. is famous for their mainline of selvedge denim, which features quality cuts, sky-blue fading, and an amazingly comfortable denim. So, their Indigo Stretch denim should only serve to make their jeans even more comfortable. Made from the 98%/2% cotton/polyurethane fabric blend that is so common these days, A.P.C. offers this denim in a variety of cuts; generally speaking their denim is pretty tight compared to most denim brands, so keep in mind that what they consider “slim” would be considered “skinny” by many. But if you’re all about the redlines, these jeans aren’t selvedge, so you’re going to want to go with their 100% cotton selvedge line if that’s a deal-breaker for you.
Available for $210 from End Clothing in Petit Standard, Petit New Standard, and New Standard.
Plus One – Naked & Famous: Active Motion Denim in Black
Naked & Famous is known for using some of the most interesting denims in the industry, and they’re still innovating with their Active Motion Denim. The fabric is a 43%/40%/15%/2% cotton/rayon/polyester/polyurethane, which should be considerably stretchier than most of the other denim blends on this list. This style features a black/black denim colorway with matching patch, rivets, and top button, and is available in three of their skinniest cuts. Sadly these jeans are not selvedge, but due to their small leg opening, many of us would choose to stack rather than cuff regardless. You can also pick these up in an indigo color and in N&F’s Skinny and High Skinny women’s cuts.
Available for $150 from Tate + Yoko in Super Guy, Weird Guy, and Easy Guy.