Where can I buy women's blue jeans without "stretch" for under $50 in the US?
December 4, 2007 10:54 AM   Subscribe

Where can I buy women's blue jeans without "stretch" for under $50 in the US? I'll go to chains, web sites, or retailers that are local to Portland, Ore.

Looking for women's size 6 or 8. I used to love the Gap's "long and lean" style. I also like most other jeans that go up to just below the belly button and have wide ankles. I HATE stretch for so many reasons that I could write a book, and as a result I don't have any blue jeans for the first time in my adult life. Are there any stores that sell non-stretch denim in decent cuts? Does non-stretch denim even exist any more?
posted by croutonsupafreak to Clothing, Beauty, & Fashion (27 answers total) 7 users marked this as a favorite
why don't you still like the 'long and lean'? that's what i wear and i love them.
posted by youcancallmeal at 11:13 AM on December 4, 2007 [1 favorite]

I don't like them because they now have "stretch" in them, and I have a major aversion to stretch as an inferior alteration to denim. I can certainly go off on my rant about why I hate lycra/etc. in jeans, when they should be 100% cotton, but I was hoping to avoid making this into "ohmigawd stretch denim sucks so bad amirite?"

I haven't been in a Gap in a few months. If they are now selling 100% cotton blue jeans again, please let me know.
posted by croutonsupafreak at 11:18 AM on December 4, 2007

Hmmmm. They might have stretch in them, but it's definitely less than a lot of other brands. Enough that I'm wearing a pair now and had to seriously eye them to notice it. Alas...

The only brand I can think of with no stretch at all (as far as I know...now I'm doubting myself...) is Levis. Not the crappy ones from Target (those are ALL stretch and make me crazy, but the old style ones.
posted by youcancallmeal at 11:21 AM on December 4, 2007

Levi's and Lee's both carry lines w/o stretch (and plenty with, but it's clearly marked on the label when as containing Lycra). Found at the usual Kohls/Mervyns/mid-line retailers.
posted by jamaro at 11:23 AM on December 4, 2007

Gap's current line seems to be 98% cotton, 2% lycra, according to the straight-leg pair that I bought a month or two ago. I never even realized they were stretch and wouldn't have without looking at the tag.
posted by odi.et.amo at 11:29 AM on December 4, 2007

I used to be a buyer for the women's designer denim collections for Macy's. We carried multiple cuts, in stretch and regular denim. There were certain seasons when a particular vendor (I bought the big names - Tommy, Polo, DKNY, CK, etc.) would skew towards more stretch or more regular in their line, but the point of having a decent assortment was to make sure you had some of both, in multiple cuts, across the brands.

I find it hard to believe that much has changed in 3 years - you should be able to walk into any Macy's and find *something* in their denim department that works for you.
posted by allkindsoftime at 11:31 AM on December 4, 2007

I'm eager to hear what suggestions people have, because my jeans preferences are pretty much exactly the same as yours, and I'm continually frustrated by finding an otherwise great pair of jeans that has the extra 2% of spandex that just ruins it for me.

I've had the best luck shopping at second-hand stores, where there's a wide variety of brands and styles available, including some from past seasons and usually at least a few that are non-stretch. It does take a bit of effort to pick through the whole rack, though, and can be disappointingly hit-or-miss.
posted by not me at 11:38 AM on December 4, 2007

Lands End has some. You can search by fabric. $49.50 (+ shipping).
posted by barnone at 11:45 AM on December 4, 2007

These might work for you- 100% cotton and they look long with a slightly flared ankle.
posted by rmless at 11:45 AM on December 4, 2007

You can also make your own 100% cotton jeans at Lands End, with the waist and leg-opening fit to your own needs! I think they're $70.
posted by barnone at 11:55 AM on December 4, 2007

You all are awesome! I'll be pursuing these choices in greater detail tonight, when I'm off the clock.
posted by croutonsupafreak at 12:00 PM on December 4, 2007

croutonsupafreak, I can certainly identify with your hatred of demin with stretch. My recommendation for non-stretch blue jeans are Levi's 501 Shrink to Fit, which (are technically for men but really) are unisex. The pair I'm breaking in at the moment have turned into the best fitting pair of jeans I've ever owned. You can get the [[super.cheap]] at langstons.com. There's a method to buying the correct size (as, obviously, they shrink in length and width so you need to go up a couple/few inches in waist and inseam) and many ways of breaking them in to get them to look a certain way by the end of years of wear.
posted by zippity at 12:24 PM on December 4, 2007 [5 favorites]

Oh yea, and the Shrink to Fits are slightly tapered in the leg, but they don't look that way after they've been properly broken in. (peg leg = UGH) They actually just look like straight leg jeans.
posted by zippity at 12:26 PM on December 4, 2007

These are cheap & 100% cotton.
posted by slowfasthazel at 12:32 PM on December 4, 2007

This is a great reason to go thrift store shopping.
posted by OmieWise at 12:32 PM on December 4, 2007

From that oldnavy page:
fabric & care
  • 100% cotton.
  • Machine wash.
  • Imported.
  • Dark Authentic: 99% cotton, 1% spandex
The heck?
posted by Rhomboid at 1:17 PM on December 4, 2007

Woops. I quit reading after the 100% cotton. The funny thing is, I have those jeans and I swear I bought them because they were 100% cotton on the tag. I am checking this out when I get home.
posted by slowfasthazel at 1:41 PM on December 4, 2007

Trashy as it sounds, you'll probably really like Victoria's Secret jeans. Try the Original London in non-stretch. It sounds almost exactly like what you're looking for.
posted by lilithim at 1:56 PM on December 4, 2007

posted by A189Nut at 2:19 PM on December 4, 2007

Not within your price range, but Lucky seems to have a good amount of 100% cotton (for real this time). For example these, these, or these.
posted by slowfasthazel at 2:21 PM on December 4, 2007

I've been on this quest too and haven't found a good answer. There are very few 100% cotton women's jeans out there now.

The jeans search engine zafu.com lets you specify material, but only at the very end after you've narrowed things down by all their other nonsensical (to me, I clearly don't think about jean fit as much as I should) questions. I think the only 100% cotton rec they had for me was the Land's End jeans mentioned above.
posted by yarrow at 2:27 PM on December 4, 2007

I bought the 100% cotton Lucky jeans I'm wearing now at Buffalo Exchange for $22.
posted by granted at 3:16 PM on December 4, 2007

(Apparently there are two Buffalo Exchanges in Portland - it's a consignment shop, which basically means higher-end thrift store.)
posted by granted at 3:18 PM on December 4, 2007

I have these, 100% cotton.

Also 100%, 100%, 100%.
posted by birdie birdington at 3:18 PM on December 4, 2007

You can also make your own jeans. I'm not a customer and have never used the service but it's always bouncing around the back of my head as something I should try someday.
posted by chairface at 4:39 PM on December 4, 2007

Lucky stores, mentioned above, have 50% off sales a few times a year. Keep an eye out for them. I've never paid more than $60 for Lucky jeans because I only buy during their sales.

Also, the "Lil Maggie" style that slowfasthazel linked to is probably way too low rise for your tastes. I have a pair, and like them, but they are almost too low rise for me, and I like a low-ish rise.
posted by misskaz at 5:39 PM on December 4, 2007

Nthing the consignment, resale and thrift stores. I have the same aversion to "stretch" in jeans as you and my best luck has been at those stores.
posted by green herring at 12:10 PM on December 5, 2007

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