Gap tries to reclaim denim with 1969 Premium Jeans
In case you missed the ads that are EVERYWHERE, Gap has launched a new line of jeans aimed at matching the fit and finish of its high-end competitors at much lower prices. The 1969 Premium Jeans line -- a nod to the 40th anniversary of Gap -- represents a total overhaul of the chain's jeans patterns.
Gap is promoting seven styles each for men and women under the theme "Born to fit." Which made me wonder, was the revamped denim born to fit me?
I took my curiosity to the Gap at WestStore Plaza, where a couple things quickly stood out. The jean collection is now prominently displayed in the middle of the store instead of existing as an afterthought in the back. Sizing is a bit altered, too. The Premium Jeans line is supposed to fit true to standard designer jeans sizes, so a tag for a size 8 now reads 29/8.
Somehow, as I picked out what I thought was one of each style to take to the dressing room, I overlooked the Boyfriend jean table. But here's how I fared with the other six options:
Real Straight: This is the closest I'll ever get to a skinny jean, and it didn't look as disgusting on me as I feared. The denim hugged my hips and thighs, but not uncomfortably thanks to the material's forgiving stretch. I could even do squats in these babies! My only quibble was the waist felt a little loose, making me feel like I'd need a belt after a few hours' wear.
Curvy: I heart these jeans! They curved nicely on my tush and came in a slimming dark-wash. The regular length was perfect on my nearly 5'9'' frame, and I could probably go with the long fit to wear with heels. Definitely my fave pair.
Sexy Boot: Total disaster. I was hopping all over the dressing room just trying to get them on, and then I could barely button the stupid things. NEVER the way to a woman's wallet.
Always Skinny: I felt like an elf in these. For the first time in my life, my ankles couldn't breathe. My thighs looked gross. Even the dark wash couldn't slim them down. The style did nothing to dispel my belief that skinny jeans only work on skinny, skinny people.
Perfect Boot: Until trying on this style, all the regular-length jeans had fit just fine. But the regular-length "perfect boot" looked like high-waters on me. Not so perfect.
Long & Lean: I think I still have an old pair of these jeans in the back of my closet from the days when Gap was on my must-hit list at the mall. (Note to Gap: I miss that version of you.) The fabric now feels softer and thinner, both nice improvements on the past. I thought the slightly higher rise might do wonders for tummy fat. But the crouch had too much fabric. When I sat down, there was bulge where no woman should have it.
I didn't end up buying anything during this shopping expedition, despite the limited-time offer of $20 off any pair of 1969 jeans. I might go back for the curvy style. Overall, the jeans' fabric felt soft and light, similar to the designer version that cost me $150. I liked the stretch and the washes on the new Gap jeans, too.
Like most brands of jeans, some styles worked, many didn't. You just have to suck it up and try on a ton of pairs.
For "premium" jeans that cost between $59.50 and $69.50, the effort might be worth it.
~ Deal Diva Colleen
(Photos: I tried on the jeans, but I'll leave it to the professionals to model them. Curvy jean = Cute. Always Skinny jean = Scary. Both jeans are shown here in medium wash.)