Style

An Ode to Non-Stretchy Jeans

An Ode to Non-Stretchy Jeans

Lately, I’ve been noticing women wearing jeans that look old-school and noticeably flattering. (Specifically? Their butts look amazing.) Did they know some secret I was missing out on?

Then, I figured it out. They were all wearing Levi’s 501s.

Curious, I spoke to L.A. stylist Jessica de Ruiter about the jeans she swears by. “When you’re wearing 501s,” Jessica says, “you never look like you’re trying too hard. You don’t have to wear skintight jeans to be really sexy.”

According to Jessica, the trick is to pick a pair (of whichever brand) that’s 100% cotton, so they’re not stretchy. “Blue jeans are inherently work pants; there’s a history there, so I don’t want stretch,” she says. Also, with a classic fit, that magical butt is attainable. “The low-waist stretchy jeans we’re all used to cut your butt in half and flatten it,” she explains. “You don’t get that full, complete shape and curve that’s naturally sexy.”

The best fit for non-stretchy jeans is high-waisted and tight at the top. “Often, that means you buy a pair that’s a little too small at the waist and then you break them in,” says Jessica. “I also like when they’re a bit cropped. It’s flattering to show a little ankle bone.”

For new jeans, Levi’s just came out with a pair called the Wedgie, which are getting rave reviews, and the butt on these also looks great. If you want to go vintage, Jessica recommends Re/Done.

Levis 501s

Thoughts? Which jeans are you wearing these days?

P.S. Creating a uniform, and 9 spring trends.

(Top photo from Kendall Sargeant on Instagram; bottom photo of Jessica de Ruiter in vintage Levi’s by Katrina Dickson via Jean Stories.)

  1. Why does it have to be one or the other????? I love, love love vintage 501’s. I don’t wear the modern ones, because I like a higher rise. Basically I like a ten inch rise or even eleven. The Levi Wedgie is a lot like the 501’s from the 70’s and 80’s, and they have no stretch. It is even better when you find them at a thrift store all worn in. But in the winter I love the hi rise skinny( also Levi’s) because you can tuck them in to jeans and stay warm. I also love the Levi high rise flare. They are great with a nice high heel for when you want to be sexy. Its good to have a choice.

  2. Kim Conover says...

    I am totally frustrated with buying jeans- or I should say, with searching for affordable, cotton jeans. I don’t mind the 2% spandex- but 30% polyester????!!! In my jeans? They are no longer jeans- they’re basically leggings with a zipper.
    Some women actually still “work” in jeans, though the jean industry has forgotten that.The fabric doesn’t breathe and to make matters worse,the harder you work, the hotter they get the more they cling to your body.
    A man can walk into any store- discount dept store, your basic shopping mall dept store- and purchase cotton regular fit, solid indigo, iconic denim jeans- and can find them starting at under $20 and up-with very little difference in quality, store to store. And have been able to buy the exact same fit and style for decades! Women work in the building trades and don’t buy jeans for a fashion statement. Wearing skin tight jeans that raises your body temperature before you even start working, with a waist so high, you can’t bend over to pick up a tool makes for a very long day at work. Sure, you might be able to find a pair of jeans that has the classic features men never have to ask for, but I haven’t found a pair matching my criteria for under $150+. I could settle for most of what I want but some of us women(all of us who HAS to work) aren’t going to, can’t afford to, pay $70 for basically a pair of work pants that aren’t exactly what we want. It shouldn’t be this difficult to find an affordable, iconic wardrobe staple.

    • LindyO says...

      Kim, I absolutely agree with what your wrote.
      I ordered my 501s from Levis, on-line and paid $24,99 for the vintage indigo. I noticed the other day they were on special for $29,99. If you sign up for the e-mail, they will send you a coupon for money off, if you wait 24 hours.
      LOVE, LOVE these jeans. They were just what I was looking for.

    • Martine says...

      I love high rise jeans. The waist being high enough to be at the smallest part of the body is perfect for maximum comfort and for flattering the body. That is why I like vintage Levi 501’s, the ones made in the USA, and made before the stupid low rise thing happened.

  3. LindyO says...

    I read this article and immediately ordered two paris of 501’s on-line.
    They fit like a glove, great weight, color, and style. I don’t know why I wasted my time with other brands. These are classic for every body type.
    Thank you, Lexi, for bringing me back home.

  4. Luna GC says...

    For me it’s about the fit & colour and as CAZ mentioned, pockets. After a recent weight loss I tried on 2 styles that never looked right on me.
    .. Straight & Skinny Jeans. I did me a happy dance in the fitting room because finally I’m not stuck with Bootcut, year in & out. My best colours are deep Indigo, mid-wash blue & semi-faded.

  5. Michele says...

    Sometime in the last year, I bought a pair of Levi’s with a lot of stretch at Kohl’s. Prior to that, I’ve never paid more than $50 for a pair of jeans. The Levi’s were a little over $50. It took forever to find the right size in dark wash. I didn’t notice in the store, but when I got them home, I noticed they had this weird puckering around the hips. I wore them for awhile but that puckering bugged me. So I donated them. They turned me off of jeans with stretch, possibly forever.
    I ordered a pair of 100% cotton dark wash jeans from LL Bean (Original All-Cotton Double L Jeans). They are the loosest fit without the elastic at the waist (Relaxed). They are a little loose around the butt and upper thighs – decidedly not sexy. The next time I am going to order the straight leg, which is slightly fitted through the hip and thigh with a straight leg. It is hard to find 100% cotton jeans under $50 any more.

  6. Mina says...

    But the best part of Levi’s IMHO is they are supposed to be cheap! I have 3 or 4 pair and I’ve never spent more than $50, but your links are all to pairs $148+! I recommend the cheaper versions you find at the Rack or Macy’s.

    • Martine says...

      Nothing is cheap anymore. Blame Obama, the minimum wage raise, or whatever you like, but today 50 dollars for a quality piece of clothing is cheap. Levi’s were never all that cheap to begin with. They are mid priced, not bargain basement nameless jeans. The ones you find at Macy’s are cheaper, but they never have the styles I want. It is sad, but I paid 78 dollars for a pair of Levi’s high rise skinnys, and 98 dollars for a pair of their wedgie jeans, which are cut exactly like the 501’s from the 60’s and 70’s. Its sad to think of the wonderful Levi’s they had in every thrift store back in the 90’s for a few dollars. If only I kn ew then what I know now….

  7. Tricia S says...

    Just bought my first pair of Levis 501 and I am so in love! I may never wear another brand of jeans again!

  8. Sam says...

    Sorry, no. I’m sick of thinking to myself, “I can’t wait to get really skinny so I can wear this new trend.” I just want to ignore trends and find what looks and feels good on ME.

    • Luna GC says...

      Beautifully said :)

  9. jasmine says...

    I have found these to look pretty horrendous on the average woman over 30 who has birthed a few kiddos. Great for skinny, tall, small waisted women…….so maybe models??

    • Traci Barr Segal says...

      I’m 52 and love my men’s 501’s. I tried some on in Kohl’s and then purchased a worn pair on eBay for
      $25.00.

    • Martine says...

      No. Just regular in shape women of every age. If you are out of shape, not much is going to look perfect, is it?

  10. Haven’t bought a pair of 501’s in FOREVER! Next stop, Levi’s store. :)

  11. Lenna says...

    I have been on the hunt for a high-rise, cropped, mom jean, slim boyfriend magic hybrid for some time. As much as I wanted to love the 501s (that light 90s wash! those iconic pockets!), the pocket placement resulted in some unfortunate-looking ass flatness that I would otherwise like to avoid. This was a surprising accomplishment given the large size of my butt. The Madewell summer jeans are a nice alternative, as they are also 100% cotton and have a similar rise and fit. I would say only rear-enhancing effects resulted with this jean. I had to size down one. Damn it, Madewell; you never disappoint.

    • grace says...

      ha! when i started reading your comment i thought – she needs to try Madewell!

    • AG is even better, but I like Levi’s better yet. Their hi rise skinny is the best there is. Their cross between a mom and a boyfrind is called their Wedgie jeans. You will love them.

  12. YES! Regular denim looks so much better than the stretchy fabric that make up most jeans these days. Since getting pregnant I have had the hardest time finding any maternity jeans that aren’t completely stretchy and that is so frustrating. I miss my regular old jeans! Ha ha! :)

  13. I just heard about Re/Done after asking a friend where her jeans were from! I’ll have to get a high-waisted, cropped pair for spring. Love them!

    Christina | http://www.cuddlepill.com

  14. melissa says...

    But there’s a reason 100% cotton jeans fell out of favor. The added stretch helps them keep their shape. Honestly, Levis 501s absolutely look awful on most body types! And sorry but that first photo is simply unflattering. I don’t want my butt to look like that weird teardrop shape.

  15. Cvjn says...

    YAY! Is the tyrannical rule of stretch jeans finally over??!! I have been looking for years to find 100% cotton jeans. They hold their shape so much better – no unsightly wiggles and yanks to pull them back up after they stretch out. Plus, I only wear them just above the ankle bone :)

  16. kirstin says...

    For those of us who have ridiculously short torsos, anything above a 7.5 rise looks mom-ish. I wish more designers would carry the ultra low rise in at least one style. I have purchased a ton of supposedly low rise jeans, only to send them back because the rise is already above my belly button. So, while I would love to wear some 501s…..I would look like a head on top of legs.

  17. Jeth Joplin says...

    So very correct. Those well defined butts add so much buzz to the attire and everything gets so sexy.
    Men go mad on correct size meaty butts.

  18. Liz says...

    Fairleigh jeans from asos are my new staple, they have a little bit of stretch but still have a similar vibe to these jeans. They come in lots of colours and sizes and are super cheap!

  19. Oh my word I love 501s and tight, non-stretchy jeans. I’m gonna start rolling mine up a little to show some ankle (!)

  20. These really don’t look great on most people. For me they fall into the category of ugly/concept/fashion. This type of fashion only works on models and fashion editors. I think high-waisted skinny jeans with stretch are a better denim trend:)

  21. Mo says...

    I’ve tried on a ton of these and have learned that you need some butt for them to look good. Flat butts are a no in these. And there is absolutely no forgiveness for any combo other than small waist/skinny thighs! But, I admit I love how they look, it’s a fresh throwback because I’m getting sick of the stretchy tight jeans that make most legs look like sausage casings D:

  22. Johanna says...

    Love the look of a non-stretchy jeans butt, but seriously: it lasts like 2 hours until the jeans start giving too much and look saggy-baggy. Not cute.

  23. Caz says...

    During my days at university, I worked in a clothing store that specialized in jeans. I like the idea of non-stretch jeans, but they are harder to get the right fit.

    The thing is, everyone has different proportions – for example my thighs are slim in proportion to my hips, but others may be the opposite. This means if I find jeans/pants that fit my legs, they are too tight on my hips, or if they fit in the hips, they gape around my legs. Stretch jeans eliminate that problem!

    The number one thing to make your butt look good in jeans? It’s the pockets. POCKETS! The size and placements of the pockets plays a big part in how your butt looks.

    And remember, all jeans stretch. Non-stretch denim will give half a size. Stretch denim up to a size. Don’t buy the jeans that feel perfect in the shop, buy the ones that feel slightly too firm (but not uncomfortable).

    • Yes, yes, yes! Pockets!

      Why do we always forget about their power?

      Charitie
      Vis à Vis

    • Kate says...

      This advice is SO helpful. I’m at a total loss for how to find jeans lately, and just realized my mistake, that I’m buying the “perfect” one at the store, too afraid to buy the tighter version! I may try the 100% cotton versions though if they only stretch to 1/2 a size bigger – so tired of the saggy-baggy-never-to-be-reclaimed jeans I keep ending up with.

    • Luna GC says...

      I cannot buy any pants,, especially Jeans without thinking of the pockets! firstly because of exactly your point & secondly I don’t carry handbags.

  24. Sarah says...

    Yeah, not a fan. Especially if you have actual hips, I think stretchy jeans are the only real way to go to get the right fit–plus they’re just soooo much for comfortable overall.

  25. Sonya says...

    Nope. Hate them. It looks like the dreaded mom butt or as an ex of mine called it “80’s mom butt”. I like a mid-rise or higher rise waist now but not skin tight with no stretch. Not to mention, that sounds incredibly uncomfortable.

  26. I was curious about how the redone jeans would fit petite- I’m 5 ft 2 and I hate the idea of having to tailor jeans that are over $200. They only had photos of the jeans on their website- the don’t show anyone wearing them?

    Any petite ideas?
    I like the high waisted look, especially being petite with shorter legs so I’m a fan :)

  27. Emily says...

    I dunno, man. For me, life’s too short for non-stretchy pants. I only wear leggings now :)

    • natacha says...

      Word!

  28. When I discovered high waisted jeans my life changed completely. I have a reasonably small waist and huge hips so low waist jeans were a nightmare. High waisted jeans are super comfortable and warm (low waist meand cold back for me) and I was surprised how flattering they were!
    xx,
    E.
    http://www.theslowpace.com

    • Katie says...

      What brands do you favor? I have the same problem, a small waist and big hips. Everything is so low rise and it makes me look like I have a muffin top 24/7!

  29. Molly says...

    If you’re curvy – don’t do it. I bought the 501s a few weeks ago and hoped that I could make them work, but I just looked dowdy and chunky and they did nothing for me. Not to say that won’t be flattering on other body types – just not this 5’2″ lady with hips and a smaller waist. DID NOT WORK.

  30. Sarah says...

    I’m newly obsessed with Baldwin denim. I was searching for raw selvage denim, stumbled across the brand, and just ordered my second pair in a month. They are studier than my super-stretchy Banana Republic jeans but also so soft. They’re 98% cotton/2% lycra, so they have a little give while still being unmistakably jeans (not leggings).

    They’re a bit spendy at $220 a pair, but you can find them on Gilt for half off.

  31. truth says...

    Everyone knows that NON-stretchy jeans FLATTEN your backside and constrict any flattering curve. I mean really–Who wants a flat ass?

  32. I feel so lost because I think the wedgie jeans are completely unflattering! They look like mom jeans in an unironic way. And I’m all about a good butt! These look like they make your butt look baggy.

  33. Katie says...

    ah yes that’s I want in life right now. I just picked up a pair of Jordache mom(/dad?) jeans…They’re super high-waisted and look good from behind, but are also a little lumpy in the front and at my thighs? I’m not 100% sold on them, but they’re 100% cotton and I’m gonna keep wearing them til I love them or a boy tells me I’m ugly!!

  34. Lynn says...

    Between this high waisted thing and all the cropped shirts, square boxy fits and other bad 80s trends, I am waiting and waiting for the styles to change. I’m 5’10 and do not need to wear a crop top and baggy-yet cropped-yet high-waisted jeans to the office. Or have I just become my mother? Sigh.

    • Cait says...

      I’m 6’0 and hate the cropped shirts too! I already have a hard time finding shirts long enough and I look short waisted enough without the high waist pant/crop top effect!

    • Trish O says...

      5’10” too. Not my best look…and I am a middle age mom so,I really should not be doing it.

    • Sam says...

      UGH, yes. I have big boobs, a not-bad waistline and big hips and thighs. Boxy cropped tees make me look like a linebacker.

  35. Lauren says...

    Yes, yes! I hate spandex in jeans and it’s nearly impossible to find ones without it.

  36. Linda says...

    These jeans look really great on the models in the photos. They look like an awful 90’s flashback to mom jeans on me. And like other women have said, the thought of no stretch in the waist just hurts me. I guess it could work if I didn’t ever eat or bend over. :P But then I’d be dead, so ya, I’m gonna pass!

  37. SD says...

    AMEN!!! I recently realized that 100% denim is the ticket– but you have nailed this– let the body speak!

  38. Leah says...

    Madewell high riser skinny skinny all day, every day … !

    • Kat says...

      100% agree!

  39. Every model looks like she’s one step away from a serious camel toe. Hard pass!

    • This made me laugh. Camel toe is indeed not a good look.

  40. I agree too much stretch is not good, I prefer the cotton but I HATE high waisted jeans and agree with many of the comments, a jean called a wedgie is the stupidest and most miserable sounding pant. This high waist Jean trend makes girls look uptight and miserable.

  41. I am SO SICK of high-waisted jeans!! I can’t find any low-rise jeans anymore and that is all I wear. Two years ago it was that all the low-rise were also short ankle-length. So annoying that they are always changing everything up!!

  42. Sonya says...

    These new cropped jeans are NOT flattering. Maybe on models.
    I like all-cotton jeans, but I think that some styles, like skinny jeans, need a little bit of stretch or they’d be super uncomfortable and they’d also bag out in the butt (which is not sexy at all).

  43. Lindsey says...

    Levis 501s totally remind me of my PARENTS. I grew up in the 80’s and 90’s and both my Mom & Dad only wore Levis 501’s for years… I remember my mom would always wait for them to go on sale each year and then stock up on a new pair… I remember thinking it was funny that you could see the waist size written on the back tag, haha, If only they would’ve saved all those Levis… lol!

  44. Very good memories of my old 501s. My favourite jeans ever. Always bought second hand at London vintage markets. Now on a mission to get some more.

  45. Kate says...

    Um… A jean called wedgie? No thank you. (Is it just where I’m from that “wedgie” means when your underwear goes up your butt? I’d rather not have that problem from a pair of jeans).

    • Cassie says...

      I thought the same thing! What a name. I’m in Australia though so maybe it’s a local thing?

  46. Sarah says...

    Man do I regret getting rid of ANY pair of jeans that I previously owned that were 100% cotton. Had I known that one day I’d only have the choice of jeans with spandex, holes or skinny jeans, I would have hoarded every pair I ever owned. I hate the fact that every pair of pants (that I come across) have stretch in them! I don’t want that! I have two pairs like that, how many more do I need? Bring back normal jeans! Sorry if that sounds crazy, but this has been such a struggle for me lately. I will definitely be looking into the Levis though.

    • Laura says...

      Go to levis.com all the oldies are there. No I don’t wor there it was just so wonderful when I found them!

  47. catalina says...

    I just don’t think her butt looks great on that picture! and I find the gap between her legs unattractive, sorry!! :( I have worn 501 when they were THE pair of jeans to have some years ago, now I don’t know if I would go back. …

    • Agreed. If thats a good butt, maybe I have one after all!

    • Luli says...

      Agreed. That is NOT a good butt.

  48. It’s so true! We carry vintage Levis at the Seven Sisters store in Portland because they look great on everyone. The trick is finding the right size. You can’t go by the measurements on the tag since they are vintage sizes and depending on the year and place they were made they all fit differently. The trick is to try on lots of pairs until you find the needle in the haystack. Once you do they will last forever and you’ll wear them non-stop.

  49. Kate says...

    A little bit of stretch is helpful — my waist is a good deal smaller than my hips, and without the stretch, usually I just have a gaping waistband.

    But I totally agree with the above commenter that clothing manufacturers seem to be cutting corners in terms of fit and quality material. A jeans with a lot of stretch just don’t look as good when they start to get worn. They don’t develop a great patina like those vintage Levi’s you linked to.

  50. Amanda says...

    Any curvy and/or athletic gals familiar with these? I’ve got an itty bitty waist and big ol’ hips, plus muscular legs – I have trouble finding jeans like these that fit my hips AND my waist at the same time!

    • The Loft has two styles: Julie for curvy types and Marisa for straight hips. The only place I can find pants that really fit.

    • L. says...

      Me too! I like Curvy Fit Loft jeans for this reason but I have found that they lose their shape pretty quickly. I wish there were an all-cotton option for curvy folk. Taking in the waist is not a cheap alteration.

  51. Angela DonGiovanni says...

    This post inspired me! I bought a pair of 501s and got a great deal, $40! Hope they fit! Thanks for the insight, I’ve missed non-stretch (and not low cut) jeans!

  52. Anne says...

    Do you have any suggestions for jeans like these, but for cheaper? Maybe under $80? Thanks!

  53. katrina says...

    This thread made me remember I have an authentic pair of Edmonton made 100%cotton vintage jeans somewhere… I dug them up, and they fit! Now, flattering? Not so much. I’m a petite size 2, and they are long bell bottoms. They might get cut to cute vintage shorts.

    • Amy L says...

      I’m from Edmonton! What kind are they??

  54. KimJ says...

    I haven’t loved a pair of jeans since the stretch jean became popular. I used to love, love a pair of two day old jeans. Also, I’m glad you mentioned the bum flattening effect of stretch. I thought it was aging!

  55. Meredith says...

    I guess I’m getting old. Low-rise, skin tight jeans have never looked good on any woman ever. Skinny jeans were a cruel joke on women. Skintight clothing looks like it doesn’t fit. Unless you are in a sheath gown accepting an Oscar, your clothes shouldn’t be skin tight! If you wear 100% cotton jeans that FIT you, you can sit down, bend over, squat, whatever because there is room. I”m so glad this trend is going away. The butts in all of those pictures look great but they are still too tight. Those are pictures of women in jeans for men’s gratification. And I’m so glad I refused to throw out my cotton wide leg jeans from the 90s. I did throw out my cotton wide leg overalls and I miss them to this day.

    • eg says...

      actually, some women like their butt to look good in jeans for themselves.

  56. Amy says...

    I’m on board with all of the curvy women here. I have a big bum. It’s large, round and perky (for the most part), so it looks best in stretch jeans. I have big thighs too, so I imagine I’d need jeans three sizes bigger if I were going to fit into no-stretch jeans. The model appears to have a rather small bum, to which these jeans work well. Just not my body-type.

  57. I agree! That totally makes sense about the design and fabric content creating a flattering look. The best looking jeans I’ve seen on IG and Pinterest have either been vintage Levis or newer Levis that were made to resemble the older versions.

    Now I want a pair of the Wedgie :)

    xo Azu

    http://www.raven-locks.blogspot.com

  58. OHMYGOD, thank you for mentioning this! I am only 23 and yet I have been frustrated with the jean trends every since a young teenager. I hate stretchy jeans. Always have. What’s the point if they are going to stretch out by the end of the day and be falling off of you? Plus I have a more pear-shaped body with a lot of booty and I want to show it off in the right way. Which does not involve stretchy or a low waist.

  59. Amy says...

    low waist stretchy jeans were in when I was in high school so they will be what I think looks cool till the day I die.

    • Laura says...

      Me too! It’s so funny how we always remember what was cool when we were in school and think it’s still on trend. The same goes for music…for example…I sometimes forget that the heyday of the Backstreet Boys was, in fact, 20 years ago!

  60. AManda Blair says...

    FYI– that top photo is a picture of Kendal Sargent. She’s on insta. And if you’re curvier, 550’s are also a great vintage jean to try!

  61. I’ve tried to make the 501’s work but they simply do not flatter — I think they look best on really tall, leggy women with narrow waists. I think jeans with just a LITTLE stretch work best to flatter, while also not looking too jegging-y. Madewell hits the happy medium, I think.

  62. I have at least 10 pairs of Levi’s, including the Wedgies, and love them all but I can’t wear them when I am with my toddler precisely because they don’t have any stretch. Someone else mentioned this in a comment about having to bend down a lot and sit on the ground with your child (mine doesn’t walk yet either) and it’s impossible in the non-stretch Levi’s. I think a post about this would be super interesting as it seems to be the case for many women. I believe Jessica’s daughter is a bit older than my son so maybe when he’s running around independently, I can pull out my Levi’s more often. Until then, GAP high-waisted with a little stretch are super child-friendly.

  63. I have a pair from Madewell from a few years back, I think it was some special collaboration, but I got them on sale & they are very similar – old-school, not stretchy, just a straight cut. I haven’t worn them in a while, I’ll have to bust them out soon. I really like Madewell jeans in general. I haven’t had Levi’s in quite a while, but this post makes me want to try some again!

  64. Jessica says...

    I didn’t fill out until after I reached 25…and suddenly I had hips! and an ass for days! it’s a big ol’ butt despite it’s size it’s quite perky i must say.

    the levi’s 501s with no stretch make me look WIIIIDEEEEE and my butt ceases to look perky and in yo’ face in a bada bam way. no thanks. i’ll take my Joe’s jeans and J brand and shimmy on down the street sashaying my hips for all to see

    • Christine says...

      Amen sister!

  65. Jessica says...

    I would love to find great women’s non-stretch jeans here, I’m searching for ages. The best I found was a 99% cotton, that is my favorite now, but still far from the true jeans that I loved to use just a few years ago. Seems like ever the expensive brands are blending a lot of polyester now and I hate all these false jeans.

  66. Ashley says...

    Sorry, the picture on top does NOT make that woman’s tush look flattering. They scream “mom jeans.”

    I also have to say I don’t really like the high-waisted look in general, but especially not on hourglass figures like me! I think I’ll pass on this trend.

  67. Theresa says...

    I only wear Levi’s, but not 501’s. I like the ones with a little stretch and I’m a curvaceous, size 16 and never thought 501’s fit my body right.

    • jen says...

      Maybe they started making womens 501s, but when I used to buy them used, they were mens jeans, and they were too baggy int he waist and too tight everywhere else.

    • Cait says...

      What fit of Levi’s work well for you? I’ve got a butt that will not fit well in 501s…

  68. Sandra says...

    I love the look of the 501s on other people, but even when I was skinny/pre-kid/pre-40s I always had hips and a bum and the pocket size and placement of Levis has never worked for me. It always gave me the unflattering large bum/tiny pocket look. It’s too bad–I really love how classic Levis are.

  69. i’m feel like i’m the opposite of this/most of the comments. i love skinnies that have a lot of stretch. my favorites are from ag jeans. i don’t want to have to feel like i need to unbutton my pants if i’m sitting for too long, but then again, i haven’t tried the levi 501’s so maybe i’ll give it a shot?

    hammyta.wordpress.com

  70. Molly says...

    I’m 5’3 and have a tummy. 501s will never happen, esp after 3 kids. Please keep the stretch!

  71. Cynthia says...

    I like a little stretch in my jeans to slim me down and give me room to move. I have never worn skin-tight jeans anyway. My favorite is dark wash Gloria Vanderbilt Amanda jeans. Her jeans are cut for my figure and very comfortable. Plus I can get them for a good price at Costco.

  72. I’m totally on the fence about this. I love a high waist but I cannot wait to rip even the stretch jeans off my body at the end of the day, so I can’t even imagine 100% cotton at this point in my post-child-having life.

  73. KariM says...

    This is a classic example of how important it is to only follow trends when they’re flattering for you. So many people follow trends blindly and look terrible. And Levis 501s have always, always looked dreadful on me.

    • Bethanne says...

      Exactly! It’s always about knowing one’s own look and style and then being decisive about trends.

  74. Stretchy pants for the win! I do the high waisted ones and love how they look and fit!

  75. I haven’t worn jeans (or trousers, really) in a decade. This article makes me long for a pair of great ones <3

  76. Heather D says...

    Unless you’re a plus-sized apple shape like me, then you pray for a little stretch! ha!

    • Ooly says...

      Totally. I’m not plus sized but I am hourglass shaped. These are most definitely only flattering on boy- shapes or very very flat women! But they’re cute on them.

  77. How funny, I was actually just searching yesterday for the perfect boyfriend jeans and had basically decided on 501s! Must be a sign. ;)

  78. Megan says...

    Ha! Since having children clothes for my lower half must have stretch. Won’t be jumping on this bandwagon anytime soon.

  79. Melissa says...

    This is why I call bullshit on capsule wardrobes – everything -EVERYTHING- comes back in style. I owned so many great pairs of 501s that I got rid of! Save everything that fits you great, it will all come back in style soon!

    • Ooly says...

      Or focus on your personal style and what works for you instead of following trends ;)

  80. Amy L says...

    I love stretch. High waisted jeans from Jcrew are amazing. I have kids. I bend down. I sit, not just stand (like all you see models do in all pants shown). I need movement. I need flowy looser shirts to pair with the pants. I’m a size 2 and can wear most pants but even for a slim woman, I find the stretch so comfy. I don’t think lulu’s are real pants, but I’ll take the next step up. Or half step ;)

  81. I totally agree. I’ve got a pair of imogene + willie’s Elizabeth, a pair of mom jeans by American Apparel, but my favorite pair is a vintage pair of cropped Levi’s 501 that I got at the flea market a couple weeks ago.
    I talk about them in my latest article, should you want to read it: http://consciousbychloe.com/2016/03/03/worn-2-perfectly-imperfect/
    OK, now a little Ballet Beautiful to take care of that butt and I’m gonna get dressed to start my work day!

  82. Sara says...

    Yesss! I found a pair of black Levi’s at the thrift store the other day that I LOVED the look of, but of course they were 2 sizes too small. One day.

  83. I have Levis 711 Mid-rise skinny jeans and love them! They’re not expensive and they make my butt look great. They are not 100% cotton, but the stretch is minimal — just enough that I can bend and sit without feeling pinched.

  84. Alexis says...

    I love how those 501s look on the model but I find that you have to have a specific body type to make them look good. I’m more thin with narrow hips, so any curve I have gets lost in them. I’ll stick with a little stretch!

  85. Elisa says...

    I love non stretch jeans! Over the years I struggled to find nice stretchy jeans, they always make my thighs look massive and my bum flat. The only ones that work are black ones for that reason.
    I also don’t like the leggings look especially not for blue jeans on me. So I am desperate to find nice non stretch blue jeans and am wearing the two pairs I still have for ages now. However, I can’t joint the recent trend on Levi’s 501, as these were actually the ones that never flattered me ( funny enough made my butt look massive)
    So I am still searching for the holy jeans grail and any tips are more than welcome!!

  86. I find 501’s really hard to fit my body — they work if you are skinny and have no bum, tum and thighs, like in your teens and 20s (when they were my go-to jeans). Now I need to size up to some ridiculous size only to have them fit around my bum and gaping around the waist. Most of my jeans are stretchy and I’ve found the cheapest ones (Noisy May) that have great stretch — they don’t sag at all. Frame are a pricier option and they don’t sag, either.

    Anett | Tall Girl’s Fashion

    • Amy says...

      I totally agree regarding the gap around the waist. By the time I get my thighs to fit in non-stretch jeans, the waist appears three sizes too big on me! I’m short and petite but curvy. My thighs are a size 6-8 and my waist is 2-4. I needs some stretch.

    • Laura says...

      There’s a fix for the boot gap that’s really easy where you put a piece of elastic in the waist band that does not show. Google it and be happy.

  87. Eliot says...

    Perfect timing! I’ve been on the hunt for a great pair of 501s for a few months and I finally bought the perfect pair yesterday at a high end thrift store in Austin. They had been donated that morning and had been on display for less than an hour. Everyone wants them! And who wouldn’t? They really do make your butt look great.

  88. Shannon says...

    I was just talking about this with a friend on our walk this am. I always loved the look of 501s, (classic) but they never fit me right. I have a small waist and wide hips. After reading this blog, I may have to give them a go again :)

  89. Where I live .. there are quite a lot of just ordinary Levis and they look good on women with regular bodies as well as thin.
    I have a pair but my all time favorites are the jeans I bought in Buenos Aires, that have a tiny bit of stretch to them so they are comfortable.
    I am thin and it is hard to find jeans that fit. I don’t like stiff jeans either.
    My Levis had to be washed about a dozen times before I liked them.

  90. Misty says...

    Nope. Not for me. Jeans with no stretch lose their shape throughout the day.

    • Lauren E. says...

      YES! I’m with you. This is one of the main reasons I buy jeans with stretch – because otherwise my butt is totally sagging and the knees are stretched out by the end of the day. And then I have to wash them after every wear. No thanks.

  91. Katrina says...

    Levi’s for life! I usually go high waisted skinny but 501s are great for the summer as they are less tight, I get them in white. They also make a “lady pair.” But be warned, Levi’s are hard to fit if you don’t have a bum.

  92. Terry says...

    With price points between $148 and $278 for the 2 styles of Levi’s mentioned, I feel somewhat manipulated as a longtime consumer of
    the brand.

    I’ll stick to my vintage 501’s and 505’s, grateful to have them, worn, ripped and repaired, at a much saner price.

  93. Julie says...

    good grief, I doubt any one of you will ever say no stretch jeans once you hit a certain age…and by that, probably around 40. Unless you are one of those naturally skinny gals (ha) or anorexic (no one will ever cop this this state) wearing jeans that do not give will be simply uncomfortable. Sure, in your 20’s and even early 30’s, you can skip a few meals and get that flat belly again, but peri menopause will slap you upside the head and make you fly right. All of the brands (yes, ALL OF THEM) including Eileen Fisher (just bought my first pair, half off booyah) have some type of stretch. Comfort will be calling, I swear.

    • Erin says...

      Haha, I’m 28 and dying at this comment. No matter the age, I’m not getting it with this jean trend. Looks cute on these women, but not for me.

    • Christie says...

      haha! So true. If I looked like that stylist, I would totally be sporting those jeans. But nearing 40 and with two kids (and no help to give me the time to work this body out) …uh, no.

    • Rosey says...

      I’m only 32 and already cannot deal with uncomfortable stiff clothes. I live in swingy dresses or stretchy jeans and t-shirts. Just thinking about the stiff waistband on these jeans is making me feel uncomfortable! Though maybe if I were 5’10” and 120lbs, I’d feel differently ;)

    • No it isn’t uncomfortable if they are your size. My mom wears Levi 501’s. She is in her sixties, and she looks amazing in them. She rolls them up to show a little ankle and wears them with a plain white t shirt, and simple sandals when she travels, and everyone thinks she is very elegant.

  94. I love the Best Girlfriend Jean From Gap. They’re medium rise and a bit shorter.

  95. Katie F. says...

    I’m in desperate need of new jeans (my Levi’s are all worn out), but I agree. Love non stretchy jeans. Hate how after 1 wear, stretch jeans stretch out too much and end up sagging all over and I have to re-dry or re-wash them to get them back in shape. These ladies look great!

  96. It depends on what you’re doing in them. If it’s to sit in front of a computer, stretchy is better. At least you don’t cut off your circulation. If it’s to walk around or go shopping, 100% cotton is better. Especially if they’re tight.

  97. hannah says...

    Yes! A few years ago I really wanted to find some non-jegging-ish jeans and it was damn near impossible. I ended up going with a pair of raw denim jeans, which are a pain to break in, but I also found a pair of gap jeans that I’m not sure are 100% cotton, but they’re close enough to still fit the same. I think my next move is going to be some levis though…

  98. I love thefrench brand ‘Frame’ or Current/Elliot for denim. Most of their denim is 100% cotton and create very flattering shapes. I tend to size up since there is no stretch, but I love that they hold their shape and look effortless!

    xoxo http://www.touchofcurl.com

  99. I really appreciate that 501’s are 100% cotton. They feel great. I have a darker and a lighter wash and they are my daily go to. I love that they look good with tee shirts or lace and with booties, or sneakers, or fancy-schmancy flats.

  100. As a lady that’s a little on the squishy side, the thought of no stretch to my jeans brings me back to elementary school when I was constantly fidgeting with the waist of my Levi’s as it rolled over and dug into my stomach – I’ll stick with a little stretch thankyouverymuch.

    • Briana says...

      Totally agree! The thought of the tight waistbands digging into my midsection is giving me anxiety. These jeans only work if you have the body in the images. If you have the body of that stylist or her celeb clients – you could wear anything and look good.

      Maybe this advice is for people with no butt? To emphasize what isn’t there? I already have a (size twelvish) booty, so I will definitely be keeping my stretchy jeans!

    • Ros says...

      This. Omg this.

      Plus, realistically, I wear jeans on days at home: computer work, sitting to read books, crawling on the floor with a toddler, etc. The LAST thing I need is a tight waistband.

      With the caveat that I do buy (cheap, non-levi) 100% cotton jeans for farm work , because they hold up so much better. They are, in fact, work pants.

  101. Madie says...

    I do think the 501 butt looks great, but I have a problem with the long fly in the front – it just looks comically long to me now. I think my eyes have forever adjusted to shorter zippers. I can’t help but think it looks like women have enormously tall vaginas. I don’t want to go back to the comically short flies of the low-rise era, but there must be a happy medium in there somewhere…
    In high school I wore my dad’s hand-me-down 501’s which were perfectly broken in, but we sagged them down on our hips (it was Berkeley in the 90’s).

    • “I can’t help but think it looks like women have enormously tall vaginas.” This made me LOL. As someone who went to college from 2001-2005 I’m afraid I was brainwashed by the super low rise short fly as well. BUT as a mom, pants that hold up/in my belly don’t sound all that bad.

    • Emily R says...

      I’ll stick with my long vagina – I am very tall waisted and simply cannot wear a low rise jean. It gives me a muffin top and you’ll see my crack.

      So I get the best of both worlds with high rise JCrew. They give me a great ass and they have some minor stretch to pull everything in.

    • Elizabeth says...

      You three all made me laugh, and I have a fear of the skyscraper-vagina-fly thing too, and YES where ARE the normal sized happy medium?! I don’t want camel toe, but I don’t want potato sack shape down there… My shape has changed and I’m totally lost on the jeans thing now… Guess I’ll have to try on a 1000 ugly pairs and cry into the fitting room carpet…

  102. So many of the “jeans” I see in stores are just straight up leggings. It’s like the clothing manufacturers gave up on figuring out how to flatter women’s bodies, so they just made everything stretchy.

    • Alyce says...

      THIS.

    • Kate says...

      You’re so right.

  103. Lindsay says...

    Yep! I have been looking for years for good 501s like I had several years ago in college. People were always saying how great my butt was, ha! hope to get some again soon.

  104. Shelby says...

    I should give Levi’s another try. I pretty much only wear Pac Sun’s brand Bullhead. I have a tiny waist and curvy hips and it’s the only brand that ever fits both well. I may consider Levi’s doing the size small and breaking them in!

  105. Thank you for this! I’ve been lusting over pants like these for a long time just never knew how to get them. I’ll be scouring the internet for 501s tonight. :)