This Trick for Stretching Denim is Bizarre—But It Works

Raise your hand if you love the way rigid, vintage-feeling denim looks? Now keep your hand raised if you also like how it feels upon first wear? Didn’t think so. It’s not always the most comfortable of things to slip into given there’s zero stretch, so I hear you on that one. I love essentially everything about authentic, heavy denim—aside from the feeling upon the initial wear. Of course, they loosen up and start to give in all the right places as you break them in, making them ultra-flattering and the main reason they’ve been my go-to for years. But let’s just call a spade a spade: At first, they’re quite tight.

Even though I practically live in jeans, I will confess that getting into my favorite pairs of rigid denim can often result in jumping, pulling, wriggling, light sweating, and a general feeling of frustration. Now, I’ve always been a huge proponent of the fashion squat (if you’re not familiar, yes I do mean a literal squat—I drop it low a few times to stretch my jeans out in all the necessary places), but I’m always open to new tips to make my favorite denim more comfortable. So when my co-worker was talking about the weird trick she uses for a flawless fit, I was all ears.

She proceeded to tell me that upon purchasing and before her first IRL wear, she sleeps in her rigid denim. Yes, sleeps. As crazy as that sounded to me, I simply had to test this theory for myself. Anything in the name of journalism, right? For this experiment, I turned to my two favorite brands for perfect, 100% cotton denim: Re/Done and Grlfrnd. Here’s what went down.