Are stretch jeans a thing of the past?
I don't think they'll suffer greatly with the rigid denim comeback I'm starting to see. A part of me understands the allure of stretch—comfort. On the other hand, I've recently been able to get back into my 16-year-old, pre-children Levi's and they are so comfortable. No constant hiking them up like the way skinnies with stretch always do. They have conformed to my body over the years and fit perfectly.
Even though I'm a denim lover and always will be, I'm way too relaxed to ever be a member of the cult of hard core rigid denim. You know, the ones who only put their jeans in the freezer but never wash them; or know exactly which Japanese mill their selvedge denim comes from. I'm a firm believer in using a washing machine and I will concede to air drying, but I embrace that this fabric was made to be work-wear. It can take a lot of abuse and still perform.
One of the biggest tips for breaking them in is to wear them in the shower or bath and let them drip dry or wear them until they're dry. They will usually stretch about an inch to an inch and a half as they're worn.
Below are a few favorites if you're looking to move away from stretch and make an investment in a very comfortable future.