Businessman Levi Strauss and tailor Jacob Davis invented the humble denim jean in 1873. By the 1920s, Levi’s original 501 jeans had become the top-selling men’s work pant.
Jeans have come a long way since then, and so too has their construction.
For quite a few years I’ve met women who find it easier to dress in their ‘exercise gear’ for school drop offs/pick ups, coffee with friends and so on, than to put together a casual outfit from their wardrobe. Yes sometimes the exercise gear is actually worn for exercising, but often it’s just an easier way to leave the house- and comfier.
So it was no surprise for me to read that, ‘sales of the iconic blues fell 6 per cent during the past year in the US after decades of almost steady growth. The decline is being driven by women,’ in a recent article*
Why? The article went to on explain that ‘people more often are sporting yoga pants, leggings, sweatpants and other athletic wear instead of traditional denim.’
Hmmm, I saw that coming.
I’m the first to admit that I love staying in my Lulu Lemon leggings after a Pilates class. They’re comfortable, they don’t restrict me as I fill my stomach with food and they’re rather cosy when watching telly at night. But I draw the line at wearing my leggings to work, catching up with friends or going out for coffee (even if I’m just on my own, working on my laptop at the caf√© downstairs) At this point I put my jeans on, and yes I have a few to choose from.
The issue here is that women are giving up on denim because they love the comfort they get from leggings. I get it. But LEGGINGS ARE NOT PANTS and in the last few years there are increasing options for us to dress in denim and be both comfortable and stylish.
Even the most traditional denim brand Levis, has changed their denim composition to meet the increasing need for comfort. Over the past couple of years I have noticed the typical mix of 98% cotton and 2% elastane change significantly.
More and more denim retailers, including Levis, are increasing the amount of elastane and lycra, and even introducing polyester into the mix. The added elastane gives jeans the stretch and comfort while the poly gives jeans their softness.
Here’s a breakdown of the content of my 5 most recent jean purchases-
5. Levis 98% cotton 2% elastane
4. Nobody denim 100% cotton
3. Trenery 93% cotton 6% polyester !% elastane
2. AG Adriano Goldschmied 94% cotton 4 polyester 2% spandex
1. Frame denim 93% cotton 5% polyester 2% lycra
What I’m trying to say is that you CAN wear jeans and still be comfortable, and you DON’T need to resort to wearing leggings (as pants)
Here are some of the most comfortable jeans on the market under $130. I challenge you to try one of these and see that they are as comfortable as leggings!
Just Jeans, Second Skin Rinse Jegging
Trenery Slim Vintage Jean
Mavi Alexa Mid Rise Super Skinny Jean In Black Super (available at Just Jeans)
Country Road Indigo mid rise jegging
Levis REVEL DEMI CURVE SKINNY JEANS
Sportsgirl superhigh raw blue jean