Classic styles of denim from decades past aren’t the only thing making a comeback this fall.
As silhouettes become more free flowing with the resurgence of the wide leg in both denim and trousers, one company is greening their jeans by literally incorporating the old into the new in their product: taking material bound for the bin and crafting it into new pairs.
Levi’s is slated to roll out its Recycled line made of 17 per cent recycled cotton at the end of the month.
“Basically what they do is they take the scraps from the factory cutting table and instead of throwing them away as waste, they put them back into the milling process,” said Rod Van Straten, women’s merchandise manager with Levi’s. “Scraps are disintegrated and then put back into cotton yarn, and they’re woven back into new denim.”
In addition to the reissue of its Orange Tab collection, inspired by looks from the ’60s and ’70s featuring higher rises and flared legs, the company is also unveiling its “boyfriend jean,” part of what Van Straten called the resurgence of a deconstructed look, particularly in bottoms.
“We’re actually starting to see certain celebrities popping up wearing more oversized, typically more boyfriend looks that are more slouchy, a little bit more relaxed, so it’s a new interpretation of the deconstructed pant,” he said, noting that Katie Holmes has been photographed around New York sporting the look.
For men, Van Straten said slim and straight silhouettes continue to gain momentum.
Paige Premium Denim offers both a straight leg, slim cut jeans with a classic rise for men as well as a more slouchy, relaxed fit with a higher rise for fall.
For girls, the look is notably wide in jeans this fall, said Shannon Johnson of Winners.
“The skinny jean is not going to go away completely, but I think now you can do something that’s still figure-flattering without feeling that you’re not on trend,” she said. “I think that the raise of the waist and the fuller leg of the pant is really important for a lot of us who don’t feel 100 per cent in our skinny jeans.”
Womenswear retailer Reitmans features its own wide leg denim trouser it touts for both office and casual wear from petites to plus sizes.
Van Straten said more denim consumers are making the transition from work to social activities at day’s end in their jeans.
“A nice medium to dark shade of indigo can really look polished during the day with a great blazer and a good shoe and then very easily can transform into a nighttime setting by peeling off the jacket and wearing a flirty top,” he said.
For women with a curvier figure, Van Straten suggests opting for a darker shade of denim jean, as well as looking for something with a contoured waistband to prevent gaping.
“What can happen with curvier women is they have to size up in order to accommodate, perhaps, more weight that they’re carrying in their hips, and the waistband can then tend to not fit snugly around their waist, which leads to a little bit of an unfinished type of look,” he said.
“As well, a boot leg really helps to proportion the leg as well as elongate the leg on a curvier body type.”
For those with a more boyish or slender figure, Van Straten suggests selecting either the skinny or trouser pant.
“The skinny will really hug the body and give you an appearance of feminine curves, and a trouser almost camouflages a lack of curves and will create an A-line shape which can also be really, really exciting.”