How I Break-In Too-Stiff Denim (And How to Find Your Perfect Fit)

Best practices for finding wear-all-day jeans that fit like a glove.
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It wasn't until a few years ago that I began wearing denim with any regularity—but it's safe to say jeans are now an essential part of my wardrobe. They're the first thing I reach for en route to morning drop-off (with a vintage tee) or dinner with girlfriends (dressed-up with a pair of embellished slides or boots). The one thing that keeps me from wearing denim, however, is the fit. Too often, I'll come across a perfectly flattering pair that's fantastic—until I sit down, at which point it cuts into my waist so tightly I can barely breathe. (Just me?) Sometimes fixing the problem is as simple as sizing-up, but too often this meant sacrificing the fit in other areas. The trick, I've learned, is in patience—and breaking them in correctly. While the pair I'm wearing here is one of those magical jeans that instantly fits like a glove, I recently broke-in a pair of AGOLDE denim, and learned a few tips along the way I wanted to share:

1. Buy your regular size. Unless you truly can't breathe or feel like they might rip, a slightly-uncomfortable fit is the proper size since denim will usually stretch anywhere from a half-size to two full sizes throughout a day of wear.

2. Move! Doing exercise movements (lunges, squats, etc.) in denim around your house may feel ridiculous, but it will also help shape your jeans to the proper fit much quicker than waiting for them to stretch all day.

3. An unconventional tip: I've never personally tried this, but I've heard that a quick, fool-proof way to break in jeans is to take a bath in your jeans and then air dry them while they're still on you. (Has anyone tried this?)

4. Take care of them. Don't wash jeans as often you would other, softer items (I wash mine once every three to four wears). When you do wash them, wash only in cold water and avoid the dryer when possible, which sometimes shrinks them.

I'd love to know what your go-to tips are? Or do you just size up? Let me know in the comments, and see some of my favorite denim below: 

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