Denim vs the Activewear Industry Editorial on Denimology

Denim vs the Activewear Industry Editorial on Denimology

Denim vs the Activewear Industry Editorial on Denimology

I’ve been doing product reviews on Denimology for a little over a year now, but technically I am a “contributor” meaning I can provide just about any other kind of post as well! I didn’t write as many editorials as I could have, because I was also managing this blog on a day to day basis. Now that I’m posting three times a week here, and am a Brand Relationship Manager at Denimology, I’m trying to contribute to both as equally as I can. However, it’s tough to spend a lot of time on a post there, and not want to share it here! As mentioned in many of my previous posts, there’s been a growing trend in leggings, sweatpants, and other active/loungewear being worn in place of jeans due to the perceived lack of comfort that jeans provide. I don’t get this at all…so I decided to write up a post about it explaining why I find this silly! Here we go…

Denim was originally created for the working man…designed to be tough and last through years of abuse. Comfort and fit wasn’t initially a big focus. Eventually, denim shed that image and became a closet staple, as fashion-savvy men and women realized how versatile it is and the penny pinchers among us caught on to its durability. For several years now, beginning in the early 2000s, denim hit the premium market, coming in a wide range of fabric blends, washes, fits and styles, and became known as the perfect asset to the fittest derrières everywhere as well as a status symbol. However, it still seems as though denim has not lost its traditional image, as lately more and more people are ditching jeans for a more comfortable alternative: activewear and loungewear, thanks to brands like Lululemon creating a new trend of fashionable gym clothes being worn as street wear. Other popular lifestyle brands are catching on, creating stylish sweatpants, leggings and joggers, which are being snatched off the shelves at a crazy rate. The premium denim industry has long since expanded beyond the traditional jean, creating fabric blends with tencel, lycra and spandex…and many of these blends don’t even feel like denim anymore, yielding impressively comfortable jeans that move with you, can hang with you on a long, otherwise uncomfortable flight and don’t bag out over time. Some of these fabric technologies already existed long before this activewear trend, but many premium brands out there have pushed higher production of jeans that implement them as a response to it. It’s certainly an era of denim vs the activewear industry in the fashion world!

After doing so many product reviews for Denimology, and discovering so many ridiculously comfortable yet flattering denim specimens, sometimes it baffles me why, after this barrage of incredible, supersoft denim technology on the market, jeans are still seen as “uncomfortable.” Could it be because these comfortable exceptions are primarily within the premium denim industry which is too high of a price range for most? Could it be because for the average person, premium denim is more of an “insider” thing and isn’t found in most of the stores that people frequent for their jeans? I know for one thing, when I mention how many jeans I own to those who just see jeans as a basic item, I get a lot of stink eye…but then when I explain some of the amazing things I’ve seen in the industry lately, those same people suddenly seem to understand (at least a little) and are surprised by how big the industry really is, and most have never even heard that what we do here at Denimology is even a thing! Either way, I just wanted to showcase some of my favorite examples out there that should have changed the way people see denim a long, long time ago!

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JLeer Challenges the Classic 5 Pocket Jean

JLeer Challenges the Classic 5 Pocket Jean

JLeer

JLeer Challenges the Classic 5 Pocket Jean

I get SO EXCITED when I hear about new denim brands. The market is so saturated and competitive as it is, and yet so many still manage to gain ground with new ideas (I mean, how much can you do with a pair of jeans, anyway?) and fabric technologies. It’s one of the reasons why I love the industry so much…a jean is just a jean, right? Yeah, but…incredibly, there’s always so much more. Pretty much every jean on the market today is based on the classic 5-pocket design (two in back, two in front and a side coin pocket nested in one of the front pockets), whether the pockets are actually functional or not. I usually prefer them not to be, since it’s already an easily-bulky area! In addition, I rarely ever use those back pockets to avoid accidentally dropping my precious items in the toilet (a common malady among us females). Although we like our jeans to be tight and formfitting to show off our curvy figures, there’s still a large portion of the population who doesn’t like to carry around a purse all day and only carries around a handful of items at a time. Enter JLeer, a new independent brand that’s emerged to challenge the classic 5 pocket jean style and offer an alternative that caters to those who actually prefer their pockets to actually be large enough to be functional, without the threat of anything falling out during bathroom breaks.

JLeer Challenges the Classic 5 Pocket Jean - Men's Image

Image: JLeer

JLeer was born in 2012 and is located in Charlotte, North Carolina. Every jean in their growing denim collection includes the 5 pocket style, but takes it one step further with two 6.25″ long, 4″ wide l “Smart Pockets” that sit on the front of the thighs, about halfway down. Styles expand across both men’s and women’s, with bootcut, straight and skinny styles in several washes from light blue to dark blue to grey or black. For women, styles include The Lady Mac, which comes in a lower mid rise skinny or straight, The Lady Mary (a lower mid rise straight style with more discreet “Smart Besom Pockets”), and the Skinny Mary which has discreet Smart Pockets as well and a lower mid rise. For men, JLeer offers The Fitz (a skinny with hidden Smart Pockets and a 10″ rise), The Mac (9.5″ rise bootcut, skinny or straight) and The Zipper-Skinny Leg with more discreet Smart Pockets and a 10″ rise. The women’s jeans are made up of 99% cotton 1% elastin for a nice flattering fit and the men’s are 100% cotton or 99% cotton 1% spandex for the skinny styles. I love how these are kind of like cargo skinny jeans (are cargo skinnies still a thing? I liked them!) but kind of not…they have their own unique look without the bulk!

JLeer Challenges the Classic 5 Pocket Jean - Women's Image

Image: JLeer

For quite some time we have been frustrated with the classic 5 pocket denim design. The challenge was to change the way we think about the classic jean. After scouring the market and trends we were not able to find an alternative. So JLeer was born! JLeer embodies new designs and has been many years in the making. Our brand is perfect for anyone who carries a wallet, keys and a phone. If you are ready to try something new, JLeer is perfect for you. We are constantly working on new items so please check back to see our new Functional Fashion line! “

Speaking of dropping your phone in the toilet after stashing it in your back pocket, JLeer has put together a video addressing the unfortunate occurrence and shows how their jeans prevent “Toilet Trauma!”

Shop or read more about JLeer at their website here, and while you’re at it, check out their blog here!

Sweatpants Get Dressy

Sweatpants Get Dressy

I’m sure by now we all know that loungewear has sort of become the new streetwear, along with activewear. Personally, I prefer to keep my sweats in the house or on quick grocery store runs, and my activewear in the gym, but it is sort of fascinating to sit back and watch all of these “dressy” versions of said items pop up in shops everywhere. The sweatpant has gotten a huge makeover…with prints, sparkles, shiny appliques…you name it. Speaking of names, it also is now called the “jogger.” I grabbed myself a black sparkly pair for $15 off of the American Eagle clearance sale in order to try out this trend for myself (I’m really not so sure of it yet), and I plan to do a post soon! I’m usually all about mixing and matching opposing or unusual elements of fashion, but I might have to let this one grow on me for a bit. I’ll probably wear them more on game nights or other equally as loungy visits to friends houses. I remember when Victoria’s Secret’s Pink sweatpants shot to fame thanks to Jessica Simpson, and I actually liked wearing them around with the elastic part hiked up to form the sweatpant version of the boyfriend jean (Kind of like the leopard print Monroe Vintage Sweatpants below. I guess you could call them the early version of the jogger?), however it was fairly short lived for me. I wore them to class every now and then with Uggs when that was…acceptable (maybe it still is for the college folk amongst us?), but that was about it. But anyway, for now, check out these high class joggers I found on Shopbop…what do you think?

Shop the full collection at Shopbop here!

Burgundy and Stripes

Burgundy and Stripes - Side Angle View

Burgundy and Stripes

I totally see a pattern here…without even trying, I keep ending up wearing a lot of burgundy and black lately…often with stripes. I could maybe blame the acquisition of my striped Rebecca Minkoff Mini Mac bag, but there’s something very theatrical and playful about black and white stripes that I love…especially with, yes, burgundy or a dark plum. Yummy. Anyway, it’s recently warming up again here in California which is nice for now, but dammit we need more rain! At least it allowed me to pull out some tank tops for styling ideas again for a little while. Here, I’m wearing a tank from Old Navy with a cute hoodie my sister got from London and bestowed upon me. It has so many cute embroidered and applique details, I’m in love! I wore my American Eagle Outfitters booties with it to round out the burgundy look. As for jeans, I thought I’d try out my hand at the raw denim world. This is my first pair! For those who aren’t familiar with what that is, raw (or dry) denim is basically jeans that are just that…raw out of the factory, heavily dyed, with the wash and detailing treatment skipped. This allows for, providing you wear your raw jeans heavily for months and even years before you wash them (ew, I know), truly custom, faded jeans that tell a story, you could say…and are unique to you! I plan on making another post that gets more in detail about what raw jeans are in the future. For now, check out this great post at Denimology!

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Levi’s revamps the Classic 501®

Levis revamps the Classic 501

The Levis 501 worn (from L to R) Upsized (1-2 sizes larger), Downsized (1-2 sizes smaller), and True To Size

Levi’s revamps the Classic 501®

There probably isn’t any jean in the entire Levi’s collection that is as iconic and well-known as the classic 501. The boyfriend style of jeans comes and goes amongst those concerned with fashion and style trends, but the 501® never seems to disappear amongst those who simply love a comfortable, timeless jean that will last through either daily abuse at a physically demanding job, those never-ending weekend projects or lounging around on lazy days off. It’s been around for 140 years, originally made for the working men of the west (cowboys, miners, ranchers). Obviously, as denim has become more of a fashion staple, Levi’s has grown their line to accommodate a wider range of preferences and tastes. The 501® has definitely gotten that treatment over the years, coming in different washes and distressing treatments, but now it comes in another style that reminds me a lot of G-Star RAW…tapered. The 501® CT still fits similarily to the classic 501®, but has a tapered leg from the thigh down. It is designed to wear true to size for a fitted fit, one to two sizes down for a tighter fit, or one to two sizes up for a more relaxed fit!

Levis revamps the Classic 501

The Levis 501® CT in Precita and Rolling Fog

Inspired by you, we took the 501® Jean and designed the perfect tapered fit. Wear it relaxed and borrowed-from-him or downsized and sexy, depending on your style.”

Levis revamps the Classic 501

The Levis 501® CT in Torn Indigo and Old Favorite

Not long ago, I reviewed the classic 501 for Denimology! It’s definitely a comfortable jean. I prefer skinny jeans since I always feel the boyfriend styles make my body shape look frumpy, but I do love the occasional relaxed fit for those days when I just don’t give a damn. The only other boyfriend style I own is from Rich & Skinny‘s older, original (and better, if you ask me) line, although it’s definitely more dressy than the 501®…and I have a looser, distressed rich blue Classic Rider jean from Lucky Brand that I got a size larger and can wear as a boyfriend. The only difference with the 501® is that it does have a more form-fitting, flattering fit on the hips and thighs than a traditional boyfriend jean has!

Levi's® 501 Jeans in Vintage Indigo Review on Denimology

Levi's® 501 Jeans in Vintage Indigo Review on Denimology

I’m still trying to find the right moments to rock my 501® jeans, but as a denim lover, I am glad to own an iconic piece of denim history in my collection!

Read more about the Levi 501 history and the new 501® CT here. It’s actually pretty interesting. Shop the style right here!

Lucky Brand Introduces Italian Denim

Lucky Brand Introduces Italian Denim

Image: Lucky Brand

Lucky Brand Introduces Italian Denim

I think I can credit Lucky Brand for beginning my denim obsession, all the way back in 2007, when I bought my first pair. I had a pair of the much-loved Little Maggie jeans, which has a super low rise and bootcut fit. Despite the rise being lower than what I was used to, I was impressed by the cut and fit and the fact that it didn’t need a belt at all. The quality alone spoke for itself! The brand is still a favorite of mine today, and I’m always eyeing them for the next pair to snag my interest. Lucky Brand has expanded their already amazing line with a premium Italian denim collection. It includes five different fits: the Brooke Legging in Black and in Sydney (a light blue wash), the low rise Charlie Skinny (another favorite fit of mine), the curvy Lolita Skinny (a fit I’ve been wanting to try), and the mid rise Brooke Straight. This collection is made possible by a collaboration with Italian denim mill Candiani Mill, which actually is now the most sustainable and successful denim mill in the world. The mill is about 75 years old and has survived through 4 family generations! Candiani is extremely innovative, which explains its success…”employees are rigorous in their research and development—whose secrets are highly guarded—testing all new fabric innovations in the mill’s internal development center. Seeking to establish trends by finding new combinations of fabric and treatment, Candiani continually develops and refines new wash techniques that offer a more scientific and sustainable method of treating denim.”

The Brooke Legging is a mid rise, with a 9″ front rise and generous 13.5″ back rise for the right coverage when sitting. It fits straight through the hip and thigh with a 10.25″ leg opening.

Lucky Brand Introduces Italian Denim - Brooke Legging

Brooke Legging Jean

The Brooke Straight is a mid rise like the Brooke Legging, with a 9″ front rise, 13.5″ back rise and a 13.5″ leg opening.

Lucky Brand Introduces Italian Denim - Brooke Mid-Rise Straight

Brooke Mid-Rise Straight

The Lolita Curvy Skinny is probably my favorite out of the bunch here, both in wash and in fit, because curvy styles always fit my more athletic shape better. This style is selling out fast! It features a mid rise, with an 8.5″ front rise and 13.5″ back rise, and 12.5″ leg opening with a curvy fit through the hip and thigh and a 29″ inseam.

Lucky Brand Introduces Italian Denim - Lolita Curvy Skinny

Lolita Curvy Skinny

This season, Lucky has partnered with Candiani to introduce Ultra Luxe Italian Stretch denim for women. Using Candiani’s patented sling technology—a yarn spinning technique that changes the constitution of the fabric, giving it a clean, smooth finish that offers superior stretch, ultimate comfort and unparalleled recovery—the fabric sculpts and shapes to make legs appear extra long. For men, Candiani continues to perfect the “clean jean;” a dark, clean wash with a super soft hand feel and tonal stitching.”

The Charlie Skinny is a fit that I own and like and I’d love to try it out in its premium Italian version! It features a low 8″ front rise, a 12.8″ back rise and a 12″ skinny leg opening, with a 29″ inseam.

Lucky Brand Introduces Italian Denim - Charley Low-Rise Skinny

Charley Low-Rise Skinny

Of course, the collection includes a men’s line as well! Shop the women’s Lucky Brand Italian Denim collection here, and read more about this awesome partnership with Candiani Mills at the Lucky Brand blog here!

Return of the Flares at Free People

Return of the Flares at Free People

It would be silly to assume that amongst the hundred or so (or more) jeans I currently own in my ridiculous collection, there wouldn’t be a flare style or two. Flares are tough, I think…and to me, always look best on the tall, svelte model type. However, they also do well at accentuating one’s curves. But it’s always annoying, at least to me, to get the length right. I always stick with skinnies for the most part, because the same pairs can be worn with flip flops, boots, sky high heels, you name it, without looking odd. I don’t wear or own a ton of bootcuts, flares, or wide legs because each pair has to be cut for a specific shoe or shoe height, so they don’t always have the right flexibility for what I feel like wearing on any particular morning. But man, I do love vintage style, and bohemian, and the flare, when done right, can look amazing! Free People is one of those stores I rarely visit, because…well, I always want to buy the whole store! They also have a sweet partnership with Citizens of Humanity, in their denim department of course. Speaking of Citizens, the one flare review I did for Denimology was the Citizens of Humanity Hutton in Palais Royal! While it is a wide leg, I felt it was a whole lot more like a flare, and I felt pretty awesome rocking them. Free People is no stranger to the flare jean, but they have a brand new line that has me falling back in love with the look. Check out these awesome printed, wide leg, corduroy, skinny flare and even overall styles below!

The Indigo Stripe Flare below has me itching, as well as the Skyler Seamed Skinny above and the two at the very top of this post! I like a lot of contrast, so as well as we’re skinny from the hip down then big from the knee down, I’m game! Also, you always have me at printed denim…

Personally, I don’t really like super wide leg styles, but look how fab they look on the models! Body type is key…or maybe just the right sense of style to match the look…Baggier pants always work best with a tight top, in my opinion! I’m still not privy to the overalls, but I never have seen a flared overall so…here you go!

Shop the entire flare collection from Free People right here!

The Denimocracy Anarchy Knit Skinny and Contest

The Denimocracy Anarchy Knit Skinny and Contest

Anarchy Knit Skinny in City Lights, Knight Owl, and Bejeweled Indigo

The Denimocracy Anarchy Knit Skinny and Contest

I haven’t had much of a chance yet to review any jeans from Denimocracy on Denimology, but I’ve had my eyes on them for several months now! Like Cult of Individuality, BLANK NYC and surprisingly CJ by Cookie Johnson (as I discovered recently), they have such a wide variety of both traditional and edgy cuts, washes and styles available. I found it interesting though, that they have a line of knit skinny jeans, called the Anarchy Skinny. Unlike the denim we all are familiar with, these are all made with french terry, but with the same 5-pocket style that jeans have. These come in all sorts of colors, including some coated, foil-printed and glittery styles! At 95% Polyester, 5% Spandex, they look ridiculously comfortable, and I thought it was kind of cool that among all of these edgy looks there are three very sweatpants-like, heathered colors including a bootcut! I actually had seen these a little while ago but rediscovered them recently when I was checking out a banner on Denimology advertising a contest that Denimocracy is having right now, to win not one, not two…but THREE pairs of these babies for yourself!

The Denimocracy Anarchy Knit Skinny and Contest

Anarchy Knit Skinny in Bejeweled Auburn, Mystic Lands, and Liquid Onyx

The Denimocracy Anarchy Knit Skinny and Contest

Anarchy Knit Skinny in Nightfall, Auburn, Chestnut and Onyx

The Denimocracy Anarchy Knit Skinny and Contest

Anarchy Knit Skinny in Pewter Heather, Bootcut in Indigo Heather, and Skinny in Toffee Heather

Shop the Denimocracy Anarchy Knit Skinny here, and enter the contest right here! It closes on January 30th, so hurry and get your entry in asap.

Moving On Up and Trying Something New

Moving on Up and Trying Something New

Moving On Up and Trying Something New

It’s kind of hard to believe that it’s been just over a year that I started blogging with Denimology. Blogging was just something that sat on the back of my mind for so long, as a venture I might like to try as I love to write and share ideas with others, whether it’s to inspire or relate with like-minded people. I sat around and mulled over the idea for a long time because I wasn’t sure I could constantly produce enough content. The denim obsession was already a given, so when I saw the ad for new denim reviewers on a regular Denimology newsletter over a year ago, I didn’t even have to think twice in responding to it! And now, here I am, with no prior blogging experience just a year or so ago, with a full-blown blog that I’ve consistently posted daily content on and a brand new opportunity that’s just landed on my lap…I am now the Brand Relationship Manager at Denimology! Of course, I’m a little nervous, but it’s definitely one of those things that just feels right. Going into anything new is always a little scary, but when you just get into that uninterrupted flow that proves you’ve found a true passion, the fear just seems to melt away and there’s hardly a second thought. I am so excited to be a solid part of the Denimology team and be an influencer in all of this popular denim blog’s future ventures! I have had so much fun corresponding with brands and doing my best to represent them in the best way possible.

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Rustic Gemstone Jewelry from Midwinter Co

Rustic Gemstone Jewelry from Midwinter Co

I’m actually surprised it took me so long to write about these guys. I discovered their beautiful, minimalist rough gemstone jewelry on Fab.com years ago and I’ve been a fan ever since! Along with Gorjana, they are my absolute favorite jewelry brand and I have several pieces from them. Midwinter Co. specializes in working with American artisans and fair trade, eco-friendly studios around the world to create one of a kind jewelry with hand-picked “perfectly flawed diamonds, rough uncut gemstones, and high quality, uniquely styled metals.” Every girl loves polished, faceted gemstones, but these strike me because they are all natural paired with a beautiful contrasting, antique-looking metal! They also have a beautiful collection of uncut diamond jewelry. The company is run by a Delaware couple who took the plunge many years back, quit their jobs and became “business focused artists.” All materials are carefully chosen to be sure they are coming from ethical sources, and 10% of all proceeds go to various charities.

The jewelry we design offers a new, fresh perspective of the raw beauty and character of natural gems.”

I own four necklaces from them: A rough amethyst necklace, a citrine necklace, a labradorite necklace and one made of 6 pyrite, jasper and onyx beads. I am a bit of a rock hound, and always like to be sure to be wearing some kind of mineral all the time. These always make the cut!

Shop Midwinter Co. here!