The End of Jeans

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Recently NBC news ran a story on the end of jeans.

Or rather, they reported, in a story by Courtney Reagan and Sabrina Korben, that Denim is in Real Danger of Going Out of Fashion. You can read the original on-line story here. That story was picked up by other media sources; I actually heard it in a CBC clip. And now it’s everywhere. Just Google it and see in how many variations and permutations of that headline pop up.

Talk about “click bait.” The details of the story explain that “domestic [U.S.] sales of jeans dropped 6% last year.” Okaaay. So maybe the real story is that the iconic American company Levi Strauss is, according to the article, “struggling,” with “net profit falling a whopping 76%.” Well, that’s sad. I remember wearing Levis in high school in the 70’s. In fact we wouldn’t wear anything else, all other forms of jeans being devastatingly uncool. The article blames the fall of denim on yoga pants… citing a survey taken by investment bank Piper Jaffray which said that, among affluent teens, leggings and yoga-wear were the “top fashion trend for two seasons in a row.” Good news for Lululemon, I guess. And no surprise to those of us who walk down crowded high school hallways behind an army of teenage girls all in black yoga pants.

But still…. denim going out of style? Really? On behalf of jeans everywhere, I just want to misquote Mark Twain and say that reports of the death of denim have been greatly exaggerated!

This montage of shots appeared on the fashion blog The Trend Spotter . Trend Spotter is a great blog. I love that the writers show a range of shots which helps me to wrap my brain around the trend they are currently spotting.

Looks like what they are spotting this year is that denim is definitely NOT going out of style.

Well, duh. I mean, seriously, how many pairs of jeans do you have in your closet? I have a TINY closet and I have five pairs. Five. I don’t have five of anything else.

Mind you, two pairs are are on their way out. Meaning that I might pull them on for a quick trip to the grocery store or the library…with a tee shirt and sneakers, but that’s it. And one of the two is destined for the Goodwill bag when I do the fall “cull” of my closet in a couple of weeks.

So that leaves three decent pairs of jeans. One pair is fairly new. I bought them in the spring. They are Paige Hidden Hills with a straight leg, and a high rise. My second pair are skinny jeans. Even though I have embraced the straight leg jean wholeheartedly … I still love my J-Brand skinny jeans. The problem with them is that they are low-rise. Drat! My third pair of jeans are 7-For All Mankind, boot cut.

So I have five pairs of jeans in my highly edited wardrobe. And really one might even say that I have three wearable pairs, really.

And even with three pairs, what am I shopping for this fall?  Yep… jeans.

I would love to find a pair of jeans that are high rise and a bit distressed. And maybe in a looser fit.  I love this shot of Olivia Palermo on the fashion blog Trend Survivor. The look is ladylike and a bit slouchy at the same time. I think I might be able to pull that off…maybe.

My friend Liz who is the personal shopper at Nordstrom tells me that it will be hard to find jeans with both a high rise and a loose fit because the loose fit naturally sits lower on the hip. I’m hoping then that the loose fit itself will disguise middle age middle and maybe the higher rise won’t be necessary? Or I may find that the loose fit is too low rise and feels like it’s falling off me. And I will have to settle for high rise and distressed and abandon the loose fit idea.

We’ll see.

Funny, isn’t it? Some say that denim is going out of style. Experts say that sales of jeans are dropping. That this might be the end of jeans. Yet jeans seem to be everywhere.

Just what IS the truth here?  I guess VF Corp which owns Wrangler and Lee Brand jeans is going to do its darnedest to figure this out. According to the article I mention above, VF Corp is creating a denim “think tank,” their so-called “global denim innovation center,” which they plan to open soon.

Well, let’s leave them to it. As Viola says in Twelfth Night…”Time must untangle this knot, not I; / It is too hard a knot for me to untie” (II,ii.) Isn’t it amazing how Shakespeare helps us to solve these little problems in life?

Now… I really have to go. I have shopping to do, people! Hubby is away this week in the wilds of Algonquin Park.

And I have all week to shop. And read. And watch reruns of Downton Abbey. 

Do tell… how many pairs of jeans do you have in your closet?

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47 thoughts on “The End of Jeans”

  1. I have six pairs of jeans. They're not going out of style, though some of the prices have become completely ridiculous. Thank goodness the rises have gotten higher again.

    1. I agree about he rise….thank goodness. And about the prices….Gap jeans are still pretty affordable… but some brands are pricing themselves beyond my range now. Thanks for reading.

  2. I'm not ready to admit how many pairs of jeans I have in current rotation, but will say it's less than the count of all my fingers and toes. I don't see jeans going anywhere. I feel more at home in jeans that just about any other garment, and have no plans to retire them. You have a great jean wardrobe, nice mix of styles! Love those loafers too.

    1. If I had included white jeans, coloured jeans (green and coral) my count would have been higher. And I have a couple of other pairs stashed in my trunk…one grey, high rise boot cut from Max Mara that I bought several years ago and hope to be able to wear again. Love them. I think I might give those Madewell slim boy jeans a try, since you recommended them.

  3. You were made for jeans!! You look fabulous in all of them. I can tell you that yoga pants are popular here in Texas but jeans will never go out of style. 🙂

  4. Well, I would be ready to add my thoughts to the "think tank." I am old enough to remember when Levi's fit well, really well. Curved over the seat and hit just below the waist. I will be darned if I can find a pair of well-fitting jeans now for what Levi's used to cost. Low rise and uni-bottom seems to be the norm, probably to cut production costs. More curves and higher rises use more fabric. Perhaps fit is why women are finding yoga pants so appealing.

    1. Excellent points! I used to love my Levis…but haven't bought a pair in years. There is a company that makes jeans called Yoga jeans…that are a bit stretchy, and have a higher waist like a yoga pant…sadly I can't find them anywhere anymore. Maybe someone needs to do a survey of affluent non-teenagers like us!
      Thanks for reading.

  5. Susan – I believe that Kilborn's on the Rideau in Newboro carries Yoga Jeans. You must have heard that Holt Renfrew will be closing in Ottawa – I rarely shopped there but it was comforting to know that I could – end of an era.

  6. an embarrassing amount for sure. Old Navy Boyfriends are distressed and lately seem to have a higher rise that does not exaggerate the middle age muffin top and they also have a line of Skinnies that are high rise ( I love em.)

  7. Although I have a love and hate relationship with my jeans most of the time, I will never allow them to leave my side. Leggings and Yoga pants can only carry us so far into the winter!

    And may I add, you look stunning in all of your jeans!

    Simone
    primebutterfly.com

  8. Artsy in Boulder (Debbie)

    It'll take a crowbar to pry my jeans from my cold, dead hands! I have a couple of boyfriend cropped chinos and some stretch-corduroy skinnies, but otherwise it's jeans, baby. Anything trouser-cut or tailored just doesn't flatter my figure or look "right" on me (feels like I'm wearing someone else's clothes). Most of my jeans are slim bootcut or old-school, as in cut slim and straight in the leg, but not straight on the hips/waist. Two pairs boyfriend–relaxed/slightly distressed, and slim-fit. One pair skinny denim leggings. Oh, and some ancient and thrift-store finds for slouching around and painting in.

    As for why jeans might be declining in popularity? Perhaps it's the crappy-quality denim on offer, seemingly at all price points. Generally too much stretch, leading to bumps, wrinkles, and sags (hey, at midlife I don't need any help with a saggy butt, thanks). Dis-spiriting. Most of my go-to pairs are 5-7 years old, back when the lycra content was 1 or 2% and the denim substantial (but not stiff). I actually still have my first pair of Sevens, from (I'm thinking) about 1998 or 1999: the first year distressed denim hit the radar, and having an intentional tear was cutting-edge. Despite countless washings, they still fit/hang better than many pairs I've bought and sent along to the thrift shop (due to quality issues) in the years since.

    1. I feel like I've given the boyfriend thing a try…and don't like them on me. I'll stick with slim or skinny leg and/or boot cut.
      I just bought a new pair of Second Yoga jeans today. A bit distressed looking (ie faded) , slim, straight leg and denim that is a bit more heavy than other jeans I've tried this week. They're made in Montreal, I'm told.
      Like you I have a couple of pairs that are old (stashed away for now) that I can't get rid of.
      Thanks for stopping by.

    1. Thanks Arlene. Can't seem to get the Shakespeare out of my head… lines pop up at the weirdest times. Happens when one has read those plays …or listened to kids read them….a million times!

  9. I have three pair, and as soon as it cools down three degrees I'll be wearing them constantly! Jeans will live forever. Thanks for sharing with Visible Monday, you look fab in yours. xo

  10. The end of jeans??? What a bunch of dolts. Do they pay attention at all? WOW.

    OK… Now on to you. You wear those jeans so well. ALL of them. You seriously look great in all of them. I especially love the outfit with the long red sweater. It's a great menswear inspired outfit.

  11. I have a whole slew of jeans – at least 10 pairs – they are a go to with a tee and jacket for autumn, quick dress and out the door. Love all the looks you shared – the 7- for All Man Kind look great with the grey sweater. Ah yes Holt Renfrew the Mothership of great fashion finds in Yorkville…was just there over the weekend. Visiting from Visible Mondays..Celia M. – HHL

  12. I also saw that story, Susan, and I just had to laugh. In Texas, we wear a lot of denim. It will never go out of style here…and you will have to pry it out of my hands. Love your looks! I hope you will stop by to enter the $1000 giveaway I am hosting for Lafayette 148 New York…their autumn collection is gorgeous!

  13. I currently have three pairs, all of them DKNY Soho skinny because those fit me really well and are more mid rise, which I also prefer. I love baby boot cut but I am currently looking for some with mid rise. My previous pairs were low rise and it drove me crazy so I donated them. I seriously doubt jeans will ever disappear but yoga pants are definitely popular. I still see just as many jean clad teens and young women though. Yoga pants seem to be the preferred outfit of the stay at home mum of upper middle class demographic. The ones who drop their kids off at French Immersion elementary school and then go for a walk with their friends followed by a latte. Jeans are so ubiquitous I got a little tired of them and so sick of that skinny jeans with high heels image showing up daily on just about every fashion blog. I will never give them up though.

    1. I am so over low rise too! But it's hard to find midrise that's really midrise. I like how Madewell actually gives you the rise measurement. So I measured the rinse of my favourite jeans (10 inches) …and avoid anything less than that.
      Thanks for stopping by, Shawna.

  14. I have eight pairs of jeans… and I am not really a jeans person lol. I have three pairs of black skinny jeans which get worn regularly on non work days during Spring, Winter and Autumn. 2 pairs of white jeans (skinny/straight leg), 1 pair of blue medium wash skinny jeans, 1 pair of blue dark wash straight leg and 1 pair of blue dark wash boot cut jeans. The straight and boot cut jeans don't get much wear but I keep them for those days when I need a subtle change of silhouette:) Truth be told I could manage nicely with just my black skinnies 🙂

    1. Your jeans collections sounds like mine….except that I only have one pair of black skinnies. I like certain cuts with certain outfits especially different boots…..even though I always have a fav pair that gets the most wear.
      Thanks for reading, Deborah.

  15. I love jeans, wish I could wear them to work! Have more pairs than I can count (or will admit to); have been told by my daughters that I need to go on a jean diet!

    1. Love that…a jean diet. Just tell them that everybody knows dieting results in rebound effect…you could end up with goodness knows how many pairs!
      Thanks for stopping by, Janice.

  16. I'm embarrassed to admit how many pairs of jeans I have – although I do wear them almost every day. You look great in all of yours! Jeans will never go out.

    1. I wear my jeans much more now that I'm retired. I find I miss my work outfits ..but I feel too dressed up when I wear them shopping or for lunch. That might be an idea for a blog post….how to adapt my business wear for casual wear.
      Thanks for reading.

  17. None in my closet … but a couple of drawers full, and a storage box of ones I'm not wearing at the moment for whatever reason! Going out of style? Balderdash! I admit I'm wearing and looking for other kinds of casual fabric pants these days, but jeans are clearly among those items that we're told will always work. And I believe them on this one.
    Looking fabulous in every example, you are!

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