The sustainable denim industry is kicking it lately! I suddenly have so many items I want to share with you all here, and I’m considering posting twice a week on occasion when I find time in my schedule! I’m happy to see a lot of organic cotton or hemp jeans being released, as well as better manufacturing processes (less toxic dyes, less water, etc), but now that knowledge is growing that this is a necessary thing, and consumer demand for sustainable apparel is increasing, it’s interesting watching companies push it forward even more. I’m sure the idea of biodegradable denim isn’t an immediately enticing thought, but think about it: globally, we humans manage to create about 92 million tonnes of textiles waste. Biodegradable doesn’t necessarily mean “break down after a few wears,” but rather created with more plant-based materials that won’t sit in landfills for several lifetimes, like plastic does for example. One company that is taking it to that level is AG Jeans, with their new biodegradable denim capsule collection.
I’m not sure who’s really wearing jeans much these days as we shelter in place, but if you are as denim obsessed as I am, you might be missing them a little by now! Like most, I’ve been opting for leggings more, but I really am missing all the jeans I’ve collected over the years from blogging and from my own interest alone. Jeggings or denim-like leggings with comfortable, superior stretch are definitely not new in the grand scheme of things and we’re pretty much all familiar with them, but it’s just so nice to throw on a pair of smooth, sleek leggings with no annoying seams or waistbands to dig into our sides as we chill at home. Seamless denim, wouldn’t that be nice? It hasn’t really proliferated the market much, although brands like Siwy have introduced them a few times here and there. However, AG Jeans, which is another one of my all time favorite denim brands, now has a collection of their own, and I’m willing to bet they are more comfortable than most others out there.
How is everyone doing out there? I know so many people focusing on creating face masks during these crazy times…never before have I ever seen so many come together with their own versions of the same project to help their communities. Even people who I didn’t know could sew are whipping out these things like crazy. I myself have started with a few prototypes and will be creating my own. Whether you are trying to stay financially afloat or are donating your own creations, it’s all great to see and shows how hard working we all can be to make it through the toughest times.
I remember when colored denim first popped up in the premium market, somewhere in the mid to late 2000s. It definitely seemed like a reasonable next step in a trendy sense, but this was still in the relatively early stages of the days of premium denim, when skinny jeans were still working on grasping a hold on the market. The super stretchy fabric technologies used widely today weren’t quite around yet and bootcut styles were still pretty darn popular. At the time, it seemed consumers were more interested in what brand insignia was displayed across their behinds rather than fit, feel or wash, but that’s not to say those weren’t important selling points. From my memory, when celebrities were first seen wearing colored denim, a lot of people weren’t quite ready for it yet. Nowadays, more and more people crave simplicity and well fitting pants regardless of the brand, and seem to be more willing to have fun with color, especially now that a lot of style influences from the ’90s have returned, thanks in part to the booming festival fashion market with the younger crowd.
It’s obvious I pretty much live in denim…the review for Sonas yoga leggings I did last week was definitely something new for me (although I’m just about always wearing leggings at festivals). When summer comes around and it’s the usual time for weeks-long heat waves here in California, wearing jeans is not always practical. For work hours, I usually opt for knee-length bermuda shorts to satisfy my denim preferences. However, the cool thing about denim is that it comes in so many different forms, and I’ve been seeing some super cute options in the form of denim dresses! Shopbop recently ran a denim dress campaign, and I also found myself swooning over several varieties from Revolve. I’m definitely loving the black denim dresses from Etienne Marcel (above) and DENIM x ALEXANDER WANG (below)! That patchwork number from GRLFRND (also below) is one to add to the wish list as well. I don’t yet have any denim dresses (I know, a surprise) as I usually just prefer to wear denim below the belt, but these are making me think twice. I’m usually into the darker styles, but I tried to get more of a variety of washes and cuts here for everyone to enjoy. Which one is your favorite?
Here are several more styles of denim dresses to choose from:
When the weather warms up and the wine starts flowing, I love my maxi dresses. There’s something about that lightweight, breezy, flowy feel against your legs as the sun bears down on your shoulders that gets me dreaming of summer all year long. As someone who usually prefers wearing pants over skirts (because without a thigh gap, there’s always going to be some sort of chafing going on by the end of the day which is exacerbated by the stickiness of sweat), I’m surprised I never really considered the maxi dress alternative: the jumpsuit. Rompers, its shorter-leg cousins, are usually pretty prevalent in the California town where I live, which makes sense because we’re pretty warm thoughout most of the year, but I never could see myself in one. It’s not like I don’t wear shorty shorts or mini skirts when it’s hot enough either…I think it has to something with the fact that I have a fairly short torso as it is, and I fear rompers will only make me feel or look blocky. Jumpsuits, on the other hand, keep that elongated, svelte look (as long as the fit is right), and seem like something I would have work at some point by now. I guess I just hadn’t seen one I liked.
It took me awhile, but I think I’ve finally been bitten by the vintage denim bug. I’m hugely loyal to the super stretchy skinny jean—or skinny jeans in general—as I feel I work too freaking hard at the gym to cover it all up with baggy styles, darn it. Even when the boyfriend jean became popular way back in 2007 or 2008, I wasn’t partial to it at all, until I tried a pair from Rich & Skinny and fell in love. After reviewing several amazing skinny styles with Denimology years later, I put them aside once again in favor of form-fitting jeans. I didn’t only get the chance to review slim fits though, as there were several boyfriend fits mixed in here and there, and my tastes started to move in that direction once again soon enough. Later, when I was introduced to the love that is quality selvedge denim, I finally began appreciating 100% cotton, vintage jeans and the “they don’t make them like they used to” idea (although I don’t agree with that completely nowadays). I realized though, that they are super hard to shop for! Most denim fans prefer to visit antique and second hand shops to see in person and try on these jeans that really did come from denim’s early days, because the fits can be difficult for different shapes. This is because these pieces came out way before stretchy denim did and thus have barely any give (and usually have already been formed to their past wearer’s bodies). I don’t even have many great thrift shops around me, so I was stuck browsing them online.
Colored denim is always so fun to break up the collection of traditional blues, greys and blacks in my closet. I usually associate colored denim with the Springtime, as bright colors are usually a bit more expected around the season of blooming flowers and green hills. However, during the Fall, colors are just as vibrant (if not more) with the changing leaves! Shades of brown, red, orange, tan, or gold are definitely perfect for tucking into boots or hiding under long tunic sweaters (or however you like to dress up your denim when the weather turns to cold). I can’t believe Fall is already well under way and Winter is just around the corner, but especially for us here in California, winter doesn’t actually seem to officially hit until a month or two after the solstice…and Fall always takes its time as well as October is still one of the hottest months of the year for us! In that regard, styling for the seasons is sometimes a bit different in our neck of the woods.
The sleek, leatherlike look is always in, regardless of the season. I always like edgy looks, or pieces that look like they just came off of a long motorcycle ride or rock concert (from the stage side, of course) to balance out more casual outfits. Leather jeans were always kind of appealing to me, but I never owned any; partially because of the price, but also because of the fear of washing them or feeling too suffocated. There are always vegan leather options, but in my past experiences they only felt kind of clammy as the day went on, again not offering a whole lot in the breathability department. I know there are a lot of awesome new options, but I haven’t quite dipped back into that realm yet. However, when coated jeans emerged onto the scene, and I finally got to review a pair or two, I found a new alternative that I knew I could love!
Coated denim (also known as “waxed denim”) is regular denim with a layer of acrylic, resin, polyurethane or pigment. When done on a black jean, it really looks like a beautiful leather piece! Using denim allows them to be more stretchy, soft, and breathable for a comfortable all-day wear. I really love wearing them under a casual tee shirt or out on the town or a DJ gig! They can be kind of tough to wear in warmer weather, so now that Fall is here and Winter is just around the corner, my coated denim will emerge once again. The extra coated layer offers a bit of warmth, and I think they just look way too cool under boots. Most come in black, but there are some jewel-toned alternatives out there, which of course are great for Fall to match with the season’s colors! Some of my favorite coated denim pieces include already-loved denim styles like distressing and rips, and moto or zipper detailing. Here are a few pieces I’ve gathered to share with you that I think are great examples of coated denim.
What do you think? What are your favorites?
When shopping for black jeans in the past, I was always looking for the most jet black, dark and saturated (wash wise) pair I could find. I mean, it’s fair to say that’s a fundamental piece for anyone’s closet, and I do own a pair or two of those. However, I always end up saving those only for special occasions for fear of washing them and having them fade. Now, I know I have posted in the past about some pretty awesome fadeless black jeans from brands such as Level 99 and DSTLD in the past, but I haven’t owned any of those yet and still was afraid to wash the nice black pairs I have and love.