Can we talk about crotch blowout for a minute?
You are gonna live in your jeans quite a bit and eventually your favorite pair is gonna bust in some fashion. I honestly did not even make up this term it's a real thing (I had countless discussion with Vinny about this back in the day). The problem with sanforized jeans (props to @dangerhelvetica for knowing the difference) is that they are weaker than the raw or shrink to fit counterparts. The only jeans that I have not had blow out on me are raw jeans, but they are most definitely a bit of work (ok a lot) to make them fit. I'd guess that you will go through 3 - 4 pair of regular jeans before you start to see your raw jeans die in the same fashion. In an ideal world you might have a raw pair that you use as your workhorse jeans and then a pair of non-raw jeans which are probably a lighter weight and in all honesty more comfortable.
Some various tips and thoughts:
- Find a jean repair shop. Most tailors can patch up your jeans, even repairing full on blowouts. Actual jean repair shops may simply have the better equipment and experience to make the repairs that much better.
- Watch this show about denim from Putthison.com https://vimeo.com/7391362 It includes some tips on washing those raw jeans and overall just a nice video about denim (In the time it took me to write this post I noticed @dudeglove also posted this link).
- Buy a pair with a small amount of spandex or lyrcra just to treat yourself, but don't wear these every day unless you are willing to replace them often. These have always been the weakest pair for me but they are also the most comfortable. And not in a skinny jean terrible way... more like a guy who drinks his fair share of beers and wants to have a little stretch on some days for comfort. Fidelity Denim makes a nice pair and I've heard from others that on the cheaper side Uniqlo has a decent pair (personally I buy a ton of socks and underwear from Uniqlo).
- Actually consider @slowbird 's advice from above.
- Find a jean repair shop. Seriously, paying 25-30$ to fix a pair of jeans is almost always cheaper than buying a new pair.