I’ve talked to a few men recently who find the most comfortable type of jeans to be the old-school rigid non-stretch 100% cotton options that used to be the norm. I love a little bit of stretch in my jeans but recognize that this isn’t the case for everyone, so I searched the internet for some of the best non-stretch denim options that have stood the test of time.
When looking for this type of denim, you need to look for 100% cotton rather than the 98% cotton and 2% stretchy fibers that are the most commonly available currently. What makes the material stretchy is when the cotton is combined with a small synthetic fiber that gives it the stretch. All cotton denim is usually more rigid and is often classic or straight-leg cut rather than skinny. They may take a little time to break in, but the break-in period is worth it as they are much more durable than stretch fabrics and generally last longer.
To find classic jeans that do not contain synthetic fiber, you have to look at traditional brands like Levis, Wrangler, Eddie Bauer, Lands’ End, and L.L Bean, who continue to make original rigid denim in more relaxed fits. Read on to find out more about the best nonstretch jeans for men.
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The best place to start when looking for classic denim is Levi’s. Levi’s has so many different types of jeans that it can become a bit of a quagmire when trying to find what is best for your needs. They sell a lot of denim with stretch, but you can still find some classic options.
An easy place to begin is on Levi’s site and filter the results by non-stretch and then double-check anything that comes up is 100% cotton. A popular all-cotton choice is the 501® Original Fit Jeans (pictured above) which seems to work well for many men. This design has a straight fit, has been a favorite for many men for decades, and comes in many different washes. If you are looking for comfortable jeans that look good and are durable, Levi’s 501 is a solid choice.
Available from Levi’s
Wrangler Authentics Men’s Classic 5-Pocket Relaxed Fit Cotton Jean
Wrangler Authentics Men’s Classic 5-Pocket Relaxed Fit Cotton Jean is another classic rigid style that is a safe bet if you are looking for a non-stretch design. This design has a zipper closure, a relaxed fit, and is made with breathable, thick denim that feels soft. Wrangler designs are usually a pretty reasonable price for great quality and a durable weight of denim.
Available from Amazon
Carhartt Men’s Relaxed Fit Tapered Leg Jean
Another reliable option, especially if you are looking for work pants, is the Carhartt Men’s Relaxed Fit Tapered Leg Jeans. They are heavyweight 15-ounce, 100% cotton denim that is made to last for years. The cut is very loose, making them perfect if you have to move around as you work. The zipper is high quality and reinforced, and the pockets are deep enough to make them super practical.
If you want a heavyweight all-cotton style that is durable and long-lasting, this could very well be a good choice for you. This design seems to have some inconsistent sizing issues, so make sure you try them on before removing any tags to return them if you encounter problems with the fit.
Available from Carhartt.com
L.L Bean Men’s Double L® Jeans
The L.L Bean Men’s Double L‘s are jeans that men go back to year after year. They have a classic fit that most men find comfortable and easy to move around because of the traditional straight leg. The denim is heavyweight 100% cotton denim with a reputation for being super durable, but they are also prewashed, so they are soft and comfy upon first wear.
They come in five washes and six different inseam lengths, so there is a size for almost everyone. Men also love the comfort, style, and fit of the Double L Classic fit.
Eddie Bauer Men’s Authentic Jeans
The Eddie Bauer Men’s Authentic Jeans are another nice, loose fit that works well for many different shapes and sizes, especially for those who are tired of the skinny slim fit and prefer more of a classic denim look. They are made of midweight 12-oz cotton denim that has been treated to feel soft and has a slightly worn-in look. The fit is a straight leg with a nice fit through the hip, thigh, and leg.
The Authentic Straight fit is a decent versatile weight that works well for much of the year. The Eddie Bauer sizing tends to be pretty consistent, so they are usually a safe bet for ordering online.
Gap Standard Jeans
The Gap Standard Jeans are another option if you are searching for rigid denim that comes in a relaxed fit through the leg, so you have room to move. They are made from sturdy midweight 12.5 oz denim, and the design has a button closure. These are known for being a great pair of jeans that are good quality and that have a good fit for average guys.
American Eagle Non-Stretch Jeans
American Eagle is another retailer where you can find a few pairs of rigid cotton denim with no stretch. They don’t tend to have much selection in stores, and you have to generally order them online, where the sizing is a bit limited. You can usually find a few pairs of straight, bootcut, or relaxed fits in different washes. The non-stretch options use the original AE denim that is 100% cotton.
Lands’ End Comfort Waist Jeans
Our final non-stretch jean pick is the Lands’ End Comfort Waist Jeans. These are heavyweight ringspun combed cotton denim, so they are thick yet not super rigid. They have been prewashed, so they don’t shrink and are slightly softer than unwashed denim.
Since they are a heavyweight fabric, you can expect this style to be durable and last a long time before they wear out. They are loved for their excellent fit and comfort and for being well-made.
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