...considering some levi 501 shrink to fit. Instructions seem to be all over the place online on forums... buy 1 size larger in the waist and 2-3 inches longer inseam to allow for stretch? get 1 smaller than true waist size for a skinnier fit? Wear/dont wear them in the tub... soak for 20mins-2 hours hot/cold water? blargh. I think you'll find that many will recommend going true to size in the waist on these (they're already oversized when new to account for shrinkage). Hot soak for 1/2 hr. hang dry. Spray-on starch optional. Try that first. They get dense and stiff. I usually see about 2-2.5" shrink in inseam, and waist usually shrinks about 1" to a perfect fit on me. Almost all shrinking will happen in that first soak. BTW - I always go with a 30w in the STF. You and I seem to be the same size, FWIW. I think you'll like the experience. Bring a tape measure when you buy and see what the actual waist is. Buy 'em fitted at waist but not tight. They'll stretch back out. For about $40, a mistake isn't the end of the world. I want to buy some quality jeans. Would I be getting decent quality with J. Crew, Gap, Levi, and Banana Republic? Or should I be looking at Diesel, Acne, Rock and Republic, and APC? Just looking for some guidance and recommendations. I appreciate your input and help. The latest from JCrew denim washes (non-raw) seems to be really excellent. I like 'em, but haven't bought 'em. Selvage denim, nice details. Gap is pretty good these days. Levis is the benchmark, but in no way a real denim experience unless you're gonna try shrink-to-fits (imo). APC - no question, if you want a raw experience, they're an excellent place to get all the experience in one package. just save money and go with levis. they make decent washes and almost surely have a model that will work for you ^ R has a good point, as always. An excellent place to start.