Denim Guide Fall 2014
Summer’s in NYC are best spent in cut offs or mini skirts with a stealthy pair of lycra shorts, but as the cool weather approaches, PDF wanted to put together a denim guide that can help you look good on your bike. We still can’t believe that in 2014, no one has put out a really viable and stylish pair of commuter jeans for women. Excellent commuter pants abound, from Outlier to Betabrand, but for those of us who wear jeans day in and day out, options are limited at best. There are some brands that have some great jeans with just that little bit of added utility. These are the ones we love and wear most often.
These are PDF’s top choice for a variety of different reasons. Stylish and super budget friendly, they might be the best all-rounder. The high waist means that they accommodate athletic thighs, and still taper in enough at the waist to stay put. The denim, while on the thinner side, still manages to hold its shape pretty well. They come in a variety of rinses, and tend to be pretty color fast, with only the black ones getting kinda grey in the butt after lots of riding. You can also easily fit a small ulock in the back pocket. They are fairly durable and will last you at least one season, and at just under $40, they are a pretty great deal.
BEST FOR BUDGET, U-LOCK SIZED POCKET, AND SLENDER NATURAL WAIST.
These are another favorite here at PDF, primarily because of the weight of the denim. They tend to use a heavy fabric, with plenty of stretch that doesn’t lose its shape after repeated wear. These jeans will survive multiple seasons of heavy use before blowing out. The only thing to keep in mind while shopping this particular style, is that the different colors are actually different fabrics, not just different rinses of the same denim. One colorwave might hold up really well, while another fabric may lose its shape quickly. As a general rule, the more traditional denim styles are best, with the coated/distressed/ultra on trend fabrics posing potential problems. The legs taper well, accommodating bigger thighs, and fit a slender natural waist. A small, well placed dart in the waistband means you can ditch the belt.
BEST FOR DURABILITY AND ON TREND FABRICS.
Over all these get high marks from our pal Glori, but are not loved by all at PDF. They are particularly well suited for slim body types and women with long legs. For a basic jean, they throw in a few design flares and fabric updates every season, so you’ll always have several on trend options. The fabric can be thin and may not last multiple seasons. At $60-$80, the price isn’t all that low either. Because Glori favors the kryptonite chain around her waist, we can’t speak to the pocket’s u-lock utility. However, the fact that you can get these in different inseams is pretty great, and towards the end of the season, Urban usually has some decent markdowns, at which point you can snap up a pair for about $40.
BEST FOR LONG AND LEAN BODY TYPES, AVAILABLE IN DIFFERENT INSEAM LENGTHS.
Basically like cycling in a pair of heavy tights. Zara’s jeggings are super fitted and ultra stretchy. And despite heavy use they do not lose their shape and continue to look almost painted on. The back pockets lack top stitching or arcuate embroidery, so a u-lock will more than likely slip out, but with Zara’s consistent markdowns, its rare that you’ll ever pay the $40 price tag, instead expect to pick them up for around $20. For that price they are incredibly stylish, comfortable, and functional. The darker colors will almost immediately show wear and discoloration at the crotch. However, if you like making your own cut offs, from short shorts to just above the knee, these hold up great and don’t unravel or split.
BEST FOR A SKIN TIGHT FIT THAT DOESN’T LOSE ITS SHAPE.
BEST FOR CUSTOM INSEAM LENGTHS, ULTRA BUDGET FRIENDLY
While this brand might have a cult like following in street wear, you’ll be hard pressed to find folks on bikes with Rag and Bone jeans. Thier standard offerings just don’t have enough stretch to accommodate quick pedaling, and their denims are too cotton heavy to be comfortable for long wear. If you absolutely must have Rag and Bone jeans, their jegging is an option that allows you to comfortably ride a bike. Undoubtedly, this jegging is one of the nicer ones on the market. It has the construction and details to merit its price point, and the fabric is rich and super soft. Unfortunately they stretch out rather quickly, so its best to size down as much as possible and wash and dry constantly.
BEST FOR LABEL CONSCIOUS CYCLING
This recent entry caught our attention because of its beautifully shot campaign featuring ballet dancers rehearsing in their denim. Promising and ostensibly delivering a 360 degree fit, these jeans look incredibly good. The have very on trend looks and fit. Should they be durable enough to please the athletic community they seem to be courting, we might have found something great. They are however, new for this season, so we’ll be testing them on the roads of NYC, and we’ll let you know how it goes.