Fran Denim Ivy Shorts in Black Review

Wearing Fran Denim's Ivy Shorts in Black

I can’t believe I’ve gotten this far in my blogging life without reviewing a pair of shorts! I’ve done so many product reviews featuring premium denim for Denimology and my own blog here since 2013, and yet I’ve always ended up with cropped or full-length styles (no complaints though!). I’ve worn denim shorts for many years now, ever since I got more confident with fitness (and especially weight lifting), so I guess it’s only appropriate I finally cover that area of the denim world. Speaking of weight lifting, even though many of my favorite shortie shorts from Siwy, American Eagle, True Religion and BDG still are my favorite in terms of fit every time summer comes around, I still find that as I keep up my gym routine, my body keeps changing year after year. I’ve noticed that I need higher cuts in the back, and a smaller waistband-to-hip-room ratio. I’ve been an advocate for Fran Denim ever since I discovered them, but even more now am I realizing how awesome they are for women who are serious about lifting weights! So, since I got some pretty good feedback on the post I made a little while ago about their new denim shorts for summer, I’m happy to share my Fran Denim Ivy Shorts in black review.

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New Summer Shorts for Muscular Women from Fran Denim

Muscular Woman in Fran Denim Shorts

Image: Fran Denim

Women everywhere, no matter the size, always know the struggle of finding jeans that fit. Fortunately, ever since premium denim became popular in the early 2000s, several brands have drastically made that process a little less painful due to improved fits and fabrics that better form to your shape, but to say this issue has completely been remedied would be a bit of a stretch (no pun intended). This is especially the case if you have a more muscular or curvy build, and with the rise of weightlifting as an incredible and beneficial workout for women, a few brands have stepped up to the plate to make the denim world a bit more inclusive. Fran Denim has been one of my top brands that are made fit more ample shapes, as I am naturally a bit muscular but also strength train. I’ve reviewed a few pairs myself (see one here, and here…the second being my favorite) so I can definitely vouch for them! Another great pair that also fits the bill is Barbell, but I’ll have to give them their own post soon (it’s about time I highlight them again anyhow). With the summer being upon us and the subject matter being the aforementioned brand, I thought I’d share some new shorts for muscular women from Fran Denim.

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Fran Denim Kelly Crop Jeans Review

Fran Denim Kelly Crop Jeans Review

It’s been almost two years since I last wrote about Fran Denim, and I’m glad to see them still going strong! It’s great to see such a huge response in the denim industry for fits that are made for body shapes outside of the typical model type; more and more big names (and some new) are putting out collections fit for the curvy ones among us. However, there still isn’t a whole lot out there for athletic types, even though sometimes we can fit in the “curvy” demographic. I might not have a super muscular shape, and I do easily fit into most jeans on the market, but I am a gym rat (#ISquat), and many of those jeans I do fit in could definitely fit a little better. I have the larger bum and smaller waist which often leads to a least a slight waist gap, causing me to hike jeans up a few times throughout the day. Or, sometimes the waist is fine, but the legs don’t quite accommodate much muscle. I even have situations where the whole jeans do fit, thanks to stretch, but they are tighter in my more toned areas which still make them slide down or shift throughout the day. Enter Fran Denim…a true lifesaver! Read on for my review of the Fran Denim Kelly Crop—a new release!

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Birthday Recap of my Shiniest Moments in Blogging

Birthday Recap of my Shiniest Moments in Blogging

Birthday Recap of my Shiniest Moments in Blogging

Well it’s that time again, when I stop and think in disbelief how fast the time has gone…and how the hell I’m already one year (or two or three or…heck, 10) years older. It’s definitely scary how our relative perception of time gets shorter as we get older compared to how many years we’ve lived, making it feel like time is speeding up. At least, that’s the theory I’ve read and tend to believe. What’s hard to believe though, is that I even got into this blogging business to begin with. Only a few years ago it was just a fleeting thought with no plans to even bring it into fruition—the last time I had even attempted to start a blog was on Blogger in 2009 when I thought I would document the planning of my wedding. I did squeeze a few denim-related posts in here and there but only had one follower (my fiancé’s sister) and I just didn’t feel a drive, passion or motivation in general to continue beyond only a handful of posts. That probably lasted about three or four months. Perhaps I wasn’t as well rehearsed on how to promote a blog—social media was already a strong point of mine, as was networking and web development, but I definitely didn’t know as much about marketing or how to properly promote posts cross-platform as I do now.

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Fran Denim Sarah Skinny Jean Review

Fran Denim Sarah Skinny Jean Review - Front View

Fran Denim Sarah Skinny Jean Review

With the rising “strong is the new skinny” trend going on (although I hate calling it a “trend” as I believe healthy habits should be part of everyone’s daily routine), there’s been an increasing demand for denim that fits more athletic bodies. As I’ve written before, there’s also been a small influx of denim created to wear during activity, such as commuting by bicycle and even climbing. But for the hardcore athletes amongst us, like those who lift, it’s often hard to find denim that fits muscular bodies properly. A couple of years ago, Barbell Denim came onto the market, and most recently now, Fran Denim has been gaining ground. Created by a Crossfit enthusiast, these jeans are specifically made for women and men who are serious about their strength training or muscle building lifestyles! The face behind Fran Denim noticed my post about denim for athletic folks, and sent me along a pair to try! So here is my second denim review all on my own, apart from Denimology…for the Fran Denim Sarah Skinny!

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Fran and Cadence Join Athletic Denim Demands

Fran and Cadence Join Athletic Denim Demands - Fran Denim

Image: Fran Denim

Fran and Cadence Join Athletic Denim Demands

It’s super interesting nowadays to see one major factor that’s gaining an increasing influence on the denim and fashion industry in general: a higher demand for pieces that accommodate different body types and activities. Denim is already so amazingly versatile as it is, so it makes perfect sense for the industry and individual brands to be flexible to consumer demands for the sake of longevity…no two body types are alike and neither are lifestyles. I’m a pretty active individual, and very passionate about fitness, but I guess you could say I’m lucky that even though I have a fairly muscular shape, I don’t really struggle much with denim that fits. But I’m not a weightlifter either, and that seems to be where the void in well-fitting denim lies. There also has been an increased need for denim that can take the daily beatings and offer the right support for 24/7 active lifestyles, such as those who regularly commute by bicycle. Within the last few years, a few new denim brands have stepped forward to fill these voids: Barbell Denim started as a Kickstarter campaign last year and is making waves within the athletic female world (view my post from last year here), Levi’s@reg; released the Commuter Jean for cyclists and so Dish Jeans also released a pair for cycling commuters (post here). Two new brands have recently emerged to join the ranks and add a little competition: Fran, which is made for female bodybuilders, and Cadence, a men’s raw denim brand for urban bicyclists.

Fran Denim

Fran and Cadence Join Athletic Denim Demands - Fran Denim 2

Image: Fran Denim

Fran denim specializes in denim made for the athletes who have difficulty purchasing jeans due to their athletic body types, specifically larger quads and calves. So far the brand has been successfully been focusing on the Crossfit market which has shown to be the largest demographic with the most pressing need. Most of these athletes usually purchase jeans 2-3 sizes larger to fit their more muscular builds, but Fran jeans are designed to fit true to sizeand are constructed larger in the thigh area. Fran focuses not only on the Crossfit community but also on many other athletic platforms such as weightlifting, gymnastics, swimming, you name it! Do you often have trouble finding jeans that fit because of your hard-earned, rock hard body? Then Fran might just be the brand for you! Fran has actually been around since 1997 but the void in athletic fits was brought forth when one of the founders began a Crossfit regimen in 2012 and became transfixed by the “intoxicating” passion the female Crossfit athletes posessed. Taking the new mantra “strong is the new sexy” to heart, Fran Denim experimented, experimented, and experimented some more with new fabrics, washes and details to expand into a special line to suppport the “unquenchable determination” of these rock hard ladies. Fran is essentially “a denim line made specifically for the woman who is redefining beautiful.” Check out their video below!

Cadence

I don’t write a whole lot about men’s denim, but specialty brands definitely deserve a mention no matter which gender they cater to. I find it fascinating there are brands coming out to supply denim to avid cyclists! Cadence manufactures all sorts of cycling apparel, and label themselves the “originators of cycling denim”, which made me realize these guys were born in 2003! Cycling denim is definitely nothing new, thanks to Cadence! Dustin Klein is the designer behind the brand, which originates in San Francisco, home to one of the largest cycling communities in the United States. Cadence is well rehearsed in, and known within, the cycling culture and has become a bit of an icon. One of the best things I can see about their cycling denim is that it is all raw, which allows cyclists to end up with a pair of jeans that is all their own, as raw jeans break in beautifully based on the wearer’s lifestyle! These jeans are untreated but have a 2% Lycra™ blend to allow the flexibility needed to cycle comfortably. According to Billings Gazette, Cadence was born when Klein grew tired of his favorite jeans wearing out so quickly in high friction areas like the crotch and along legs where repetitive motion from bicycling on a regular basis wears through the fabric quickly. He experimented with patches, differently placed pockets and extra reinforcements until he found the perfect denim recipe. There is even a small reflective patch on the back for safety and the seat reinforcement is patented to slow blowout caused by constant riding. View the video below to learn more about Cadence!