WHEN IT COMES TO JEANS I’m a completely faithless lover. I’ve fallen head over heels for Paige‘s Skyline Ankle Peg and its Verdugo Ankle, lost my heart to J Brand‘s Curvy Fit Cigarette Leg and succumbed to the charms of Lucky Brand Sweet Jeans. I’m tempted to have a dalliance with Amo, a brand-new line beloved by fashion folk–oh so adorable–but the $250 price tag sends me into sticker shock. A year and a half ago I had a fling with Levi’s Bold Curve jeans that I wrote about right here. I didn’t experience my usual problem with them gapping at the waist, and the under-$100 price gave me a thrill. Have I mentioned I’m fickle? I moved on to other brands.
But then a recent Bloomberg Business story, “Distressed Denim: Levi’s Tries to Adapt to the Yoga Pants Era,” about a new direction for Levi’s made me curious enough to renew my acquaintance with a past love. According to the article, the company had missed the “athleisure” clothing trend, which, begun by Lululemon, then enticed the entire fashion industry to manufacture clothing that could be worn in or out of the gym. The secret sauce was any advanced technological material that would help smooth stomachs and rear ends and otherwise flatter a woman’s figure.
Levi’s management, alarmed at its plummeting market share, experimented with new techniques and fabrics–contouring, to help the leg look slimmer and longer; putting in large back pockets to accentuate the seat, and adding stretch in strategic places while still keeping the feel and look of its signature jeans.
Game to test the new line that’s called the 700 series, I headed to a standalone Levi’s store (in Georgetown), where I counted on finding the widest selection. I tried on a pair of 712 Slim jeans with a mid-rise and a tapered leg through the thigh and calf in a charcoal color and then another new style (300 series), which had more shaping properties for the tummy, rear end and through the leg. I thought the pocket placement made my rear look slightly rounded and lifted in both styles, but the latter in a navy blue color that I preferred would require hemming. I ruled them out for the hassle factor. Then, what the heck, I gave the 711 Skinny jeans a try. To my surprise, they also accentuated the good aspects of my figure without emphasizing those unsightly bumps that make me balk at buying tight jeans. When I read the label, I noticed that they had 1 percent more stretch than the Slim jeans. Still, I decided to purchase only the Slim cut, making a note to myself to go back and revisit the Skinny.
I’ve had my new Levi’s for about a month now, and they’re comfortable and soft enough for me to consider wearing on a six-hour plane ride. So for now, we can definitely continue our relationship.