It’s almost here! Everlane’s highly promoted, much-anticipated denim collection drops tomorrow (get early access a few hours before sales open up by joining my email list) and I have a comprehensive preview and review for you! A lot of you guys shop Everlane through my affiliate links and it really means a lot to me. It keeps the doors open at Seasons + Salt and I can’t thank you enough! I’m hoping this preview is a helpful guide if you’re considering shopping the new line. What I am sharing here is in no way influenced or sponsored by Everlane, but the jeans were a gift to me.
Before I dive in, I feel like I need to qualify this review by saying I’ve always been a bona fide jeans girl. Since my first pair of sand-blasted flair jeans from the Limited in 1995 to shopping rinse wash denim in the men’s section of the Gap a few years later, to diving into the world of designer denim even later, jeans have always been a mainstay in my closet. If it’s not summer, I am wearing them multiple times per week.
Everlane has waited nearly six years to release denim. The company’s founder says he wanted to make sure he did it right, with a factory that was up to their standards. Everlane says they’ve found the world’s cleanest factory (which happens to be in Vietnam) and it recycles 98% of the water used to make the denim. Just in case you aren’t privy to all the facts on jeans manufacturing, it takes a lot of water.
Everlane’s new line is comprised of three fits for women, and two for men. The jeans are made from Japanese fabric that the brand claims will hold its shape and won’t bag out. The three styles for women are: a high-rise skinny, a mid-rise skinny and a ‘modern boyfriend’ fit.
I put these jeans to the test as best I could in the short amount of time I’ve had them in my possession, and below are my thoughts.
HIGH RISE SKINNY in Dark Indigo
SIZE: 28 Ankle
RISE: about 10.75″
INSEAM: just shy of 27″
LEG OPENING: 11.5″
COLORS: Black, Dark Indigo, Mid Blue, Bone
I’m wearing the high rise skinny in my true, consistent denim size: 28. At first glance I think they’re cute, even though I’m not super into skinny jeans any more. I opted for the ‘ankle’ inseam (listed as 26.5″) over the regular length (listed as 28.5″) because of personal taste. I like the bit of ankle showing, it looks great with most of my shoes, and works well with chelsea boots.
The fabric is thick, medium-to-heavy weight with just a bit of stretch. They remind me of my raw denim jeans, but a tad lighter and less restricting. They are semi-loose at the waist, and quite tight through my knees and calves. The high-rise waist hits me right at the belly button, but I do feel I have to tug it up to keep it truly high, otherwise it settles down on my hips a little bit, which isn’t a problem unless the crotch area gets droopy. I have had this problem with high-rise denim before. It needs to be pretty snug in the waist to stay in place.
FABRIC: Medium/heavy weight, structured with just a bit of stretch. I think the denim is sturdy enough that it will hold their shape, but eventually break in and mold to the wearer’s body shape.
FIT: True to size, snug in the calves and knees when I sit.
PERFORMANCE: A little stiff and structured (in a good way) but still stretchy. Has short pockets, about three inches deep.
STYLING: Very easy to style, they are a classic wash and cut. HOWEVER, I do wish these jeans were not so ‘skinny’ and cut more straight at the bottom, a slim or a slim-straight style. I feel like Everlane missed the mark there. I’ll go more into this at the conclusion of my review.
This jean is also available as a Mid Rise Skinny.
MODERN BOYFRIEND (sized down 1x) in Black
SIZE: 27 Regular
RISE: about 10.75″
LEG OPENING: 13.5″
COLORS: Black, Mid Blue, Bone
When I first saw the Modern Boyfriend fit, I immediately thought, “those aren’t for me,” mostly because anything with ‘boyfriend’ in the name isn’t usually my style. But then, I decided to try them on in a size down, and bam, prefection! THIS is the style of jean I have been looking for, a slim(ish) straight-leg jean. Worn like this, the Modern Boyfriend is hands down my favorite of the three. It’s classic and modern all at the same time. It’s fitted, but not so tight it could be mistaken for leggings.
The fabric feels just as thick and structured as the dark indigo, but it seemed to give a little more after a full day of wear. By the end of the day it felt a tad softer than earlier in the day when I first put them on. The retention seems pretty good. The knees have loosened, but they don’t look baggy, making them more comfortable in that area than the skinnies. Overall the fit is slightly more relaxed, which I think not only looks good, but definitely feels good!
It’s crazy to me that the rise measured the exact same as the high-rise style. I double and triple measured just to be sure. The shape of the waist is a little different than the high-rise, which sort of curves in. The waist on these is slightly less curved in.
FABRIC: Nearly identical to the dark rinse, it’s medium-weight, structured, with just a bit of stretch. They will probably hold their shape, and eventually mold to the wearer’s body.
FIT: Designed to run big for looser, boyfriend-style fit. I sized down for a more fitted look.
PERFORMANCE: A little stiff and structured, but still stretchy. Feels slightly more stretchy than dark rinse, but that might just be the looser fit. Full-sized pockets.
STYLING: Very versatile, fitted enough to wear with oversized tops, loose enough to wear with slimmer-fitting tops. Sized down, I feel like these are the perfect jeans, I just wish they were making them in more than one shade of blue!
MODERN BOYFRIEND (sized down 2x) in Mid Blue
SIZE: 26 Regular
RISE: about 10.75″
LEG OPENING: 13.5″
COLORS: Black, Mid Blue, Bone
These jeans are definitely the softest of the bunch, though I haven’t tested out the bone color yet. The fabric also seems a bit stretchier than the other ones. My guess is the sandblasting has softened them up a bit. The wash is decent – and it’s actually grown on me as I’ve worn them – but I kind of wish they’d left the fake whiskering off.
To address the obvious, these jeans are quite tight on me. It’s deceptive because they feel comfortable since the fabric is more forgiving, but it’s not typically a look I’d go for. I wanted to show you how the Modern Boyfriend can actually fit like a slim/straight pair of jeans. I probably won’t keep these, but I’ll definitely order them in a size up (from what I’m wearing in the pictures).
FABRIC: Medium-weight, soft and stretchy with a bit of structure.
FIT: Designed to run big for a ‘boyfriend’ fit, I sized down 2x for an ultra fitted look. Even in this small size, they are still quite comfortable. But the waist digs in a bit on me when I sit down.
PERFORMANCE: I originally selected these because I thought they would stretch out and fit me just right, but it turns out they have pretty good retention and stayed true to their shape (even with being the most stretchy). These jeans also have full-sized pockets.
STYLING: Very easy, the mid wash looks really good with white, cream, tans, navy, basically most of my closet!
MY OVERALL IMPRESSION
I’m so glad Everlane finally tried their hand at denim, and I think they did a great job. They didn’t blow me away with their styles or their washes, but I think it’s a good start. In my opinion, denim has gotten too far away from its roots as a work pant. On more than one occasion I’ve had a very expensive pair of designer jeans need to be babied because the fabric was too thin. I’ve had denim rip in the knees and rear far sooner than it should have because the fabric was so soft and thin to start with. The last few times I’ve shopped in person for premium denim, I’ve been turned off by the overly distressed, dyed and sandblasted styles. Everlane contrasted this with simple washes in durable, weighty denim. I expect these to be long-wearing pants.
WHAT THEY GOT RIGHT:
Their jeans are classic styles and washes. The fabric is strong enough to be a true jean, but still forgiving enough to be comfortable. They’re coming in at an impressively low price point – $68. I don’t remember the last time I bought new jeans at a price like that. Everlane seems to have done a great job securing a factory that’s true to their ethics. It’s super sustainable, based on all that I’ve read. I would like to hear a little more about the people making the jeans, and what life is like for them, working at that factory. Hopefully, Everlane will eventually add them to their factories page.
WHAT THEY GOT WRONG:
Everlane has been a trend-setter in the marketplace for at least the past two years, if not longer. Their popular Modern Loafer has inspired copycats by the likes of Madewell and J.Crew. They’ve turned the cashmere sweater marketplace upside down by selling the sweaters at a lower price point than most retailers, and lowering it further last fall. So, when they announced the upcoming release of a denim line, I expected some more industry-leading styles. Instead, I was greeted with skinny jeans x2 and a sleek boyfriend fit. I think Everlane played it safe by creating the bulk of their line around a skinny jean. This is surprising to me for a brand that is more of a trend-setter than a trend-follower. Skinny jeans have been a mainstay in the denim world for what, 10-15 years? The sartorial scene is ready for something other than skinny jeans to be center stage. I wish Everlane would have released a classic straight-leg style. I’m mostly satisfied with the Modern Boyfriend style, sized down, but they did not release this jean in a dark indigo wash, which I think would have been awesome in a straight leg.
WHAT I’M ORDERING:
Modern Boyfriend fit in mid wash, size 27 (which is down one from my true denim size, to achieve a more fitted look).
Modern Boyfriend in bone, size 27 (see above!).
If you’re local….
Everlane is hosting a denim pop-up in Portland:
PDX Denim Counter
Location403 SW 10th Ave.
Open Daily: 11—7
If you’re not… there are a few other dates.