I think I am not alone in believing that buying new jeans, for women, can be as challenging and frustrating as buying swimsuits. My favourite pair, purchased in 2006, is in such terrible shape that I can’t wear them out of the house anymore. I have others, but I’ve been hunting for a nicer pair for a while. Therefore, I was more than happy to test a pair of jeans from Ligne 8, a new bike clothing company with a wide range of bike-friendly clothing options for men and women.
I have been interested in Ligne 8 since Velojoy did an article on them. I was happy to discover that they have not only make bike-friendly clothing for men and women, they have a wide range of pieces for each. Two pairs of jeans, two skirts, a dress, six shirts, six knit tops, five jackets, four pairs of pants (not including the jeans), and a pair of shorts… You get the idea – a person could easily dress herself completely out of this collection, if her wallet allowed!
Both the Aubrey straight leg jean and the Simone cropped jean are made from Japanese denim with “NANOtex” technology to make the denim more all-weather appropriate. If you aren’t familiar with Japanese denim, there are plenty of articles out there pronouncing its superiority. I don’t consider myself a denim enthusiast, but I am always interested in quality materials and craftsmanship. The denim feels softer, more flexible somehow, and even after I washed them (cold water, hang dry), they softened up quickly. I don’t know if that is a Japanese denim trait, but I definitely appreciate it.
Initially, I received the Aubrey jeans in my normal size 8, but I could barely squeeze into them, and asked if I could get a size up. The size 10 pair fits much better and looks better. They actually look really nice, and the darker denim is very classy. The stretch in the denim means they stretch out a bit, but I prefer that to being too tight. I like the reflective trim on the selvedge edge, as well as the reflective logo up the inside back of each leg, but I am disappointed that the reflective logo starts so high up inside the leg. I had to really roll my pant legs up to see that (I prefer a pants strap, if necessary, but I realize cuffing pant hems is a thing for many people). I wish there were inseam length options, since I have a slightly longer leg and like a longer inseam.
The jeans are have a slick denim print “anti-chaffing” patch (described as a gusset, but it’s not really a gusset because it goes over the seams, not into the seams) in the crotch to make biking more comfortable. It is very soft, and blends in so well that I initially hadn’t noticed it. I can’t say that I noticed it made a difference biking, but it could if I wore them more frequently. The back is higher, of course, for a bit of extra coverage, and the pockets seem deeper than my other jeans; my iPhone 6 fits pretty well. They were neither tight nor constrictive while biking, but I didn’t have an opportunity to test the water-repellant properties.
I believe they are well constructed, and the bike details, along with the Japanese denim, make them a high quality garment. The price, $128 a pair, is about average for a really good pair of jeans, which is what I consider these to be. I have worn them more than I normally wear jeans, because they look dressier than what I currently own.
When I’m ready to buy jeans, these just might be the pair I buy. I could buy a dressy pair of jeans from many places, but I might as well get the higher rise in the back with the reflective trim on the seams. If you are going to buy something you’ll wear frequently, why not get something bike-friendly?
You can read more from Elizabeth on her blog, tinlizzieridesagain.