Why Don’t Commuter Jeans For Women Exist?
Posted on October 2, 2014
I have spent the past year advocating tiredly (yes, tiredly) for the mainstream inclusion of assistive devices (If you are new to me, I am a paradoxical bike riding cane user). And I have to admit, it stopped me in my tracks when I realized I could not buy a most basic item of clothing. Commuter Jeans, designed for bicycle commuters, are only made for men. There are no commuter jeans for women.
What is the difference between a commuter jean and any other jean? Not too too much, but it’s enough for me to feel left out. Check out the features of these popular men’s commuter jeans.
Swrve has been making commuter clothes since 2005. Let me clarify; Swrve has been making commuter clothes for men since 2005. Features of Swrve’s Commuter Jeans include a durable denim blend. Reflective belt loops. Reflective material under the cuff. Articulated knees. A gusseted crotch. A slight rise in the saddle. And most importantly, a pocket for a lock.
Levis Commuter Jeans are touted as ’normal jeans’ with the addition of a few important features. First, spandex. On top of that, they are coated in an invisible water and odor resistant finish. But the selling point of these jeans are the undetectable reinforced seat, the reflective strip inside the pant leg, and a loop along the back waist that fits a full sized U-lock. It is worth nothing that Levis is introducing a woman’s commuter jean in Fall 2015. It is also worth noting that Fall 2015 is a year from now.
Osloh Traffic Jeans come loaded with a wide array of features… for men. Again, spandex. Reinforced seams. Double lined pockets. Anti-stink/anti-moisture coating. These jeans even come with padding in the seat and crotch. There is not a detail in these jeans that I wouldn’t want for myself.
So why aren’t there commuter jeans for a (tomboy) lady like me?
Have you ever noticed how women’s shirt and pant pockets shrink as the seasons pass? And while there may be an aesthetic value to small pockets, they serve no functional purpose. Check out my best friend’s butt (and how the U-Lock fits about halfway in her back pocket).
Now check out her boyfriend’s butt. Yes, there’s also a U-Lock there. And it fits perfectly.
Note: When you ask your bestie for ass-shots, you should always expect to receive ultra close ups.
Mindy and Alex often go for bike rides together. They also lock their bikes up together (it’s disgustingly adorable). But Mindy never carries the lock. It doesn’t fit in her pocket. This gentleman just pockets it.
I once tried to ride a bike in a pair of skinny fit jeans. They were so tight that I tripped and fell when I tried to kick my leg over the seat (suddenly I feel an obligation to remind you that I am a clumsy walker). That spandex give is essential, even if just for the moment you mount your bike.
Finally, the rise on women’s pants have been pretty low for about a decade now. I do something called the ‘shoe-tie test’ where I check my butt crack when I tie my shoes. If crack shows, I change. I share a lot, but sharing my buttock cleavage with the driver behind me does not interest me.
So what features should a woman’s commuter jean have? For me, the answer is easy. A woman’s commuter jean should be everything a man’s commuter jean is. I’m not someone who wants a, tightened, pinked up version of a men’s clothing item, but maybe you are. But isn’t this why choice is so important? Because we are individuals. With different needs. And different styles.
What are your needs? What’s your style?
This is what I am learning. When we stop to look at our most basic needs, we will all find that some very little, very simple things are overlooked in a very big way. And it is sometimes a gender thing. Sometimes a disability thing. Sometimes a race thing (drug stores don’t sell brown bandages). It can be an anything. And while I enjoy asking why, I also like celebrating those who try to change this.
So on that note, my next ‘fashion‘ post will be about Taylor Johnston and her Gamine Workwear jeans. As a professional gardner, Taylor wasn’t getting her needs met. So she did something about it.
Furthermore, there is a pair of women’s commuter jeans in development and early orders are being filled. Check out the all new (and crowd funded) RYB (Ride Your Bike) Jeans.
Update 1: We have an option! Outlier makes a Woman’s Daily Riding Pant. Con: These pants are not denim, denim being the core material this post is focused on. Pro: But the material is an environmentally friendly, stain/stink resistant, durable material designed to look and feel like a pair of jeans. I can’t wait to try these out.
Update 2: Another option. The Ligne 8 Aubrey Straight Leg Jean. Pro: The pockets are big enough to fit things in them. Con: Their Women’s Commuter Jean has 6 Performance Features to 7 Performance Features of the Men’s Commuter Jean.
Update 3: Another option. Rapha Women’s Jeans. Pro: They are stain resistant and fast drying. Con: The pockets are tiny.
About Me: My name is Liz and I write about the stigma of disability and assistive devices. Sometimes my writings bleed into other aspects of my life (i.e. today I’m writing about the clothes I wish I could wear). I am currently petitioning my favorite store, asking them to sell my cane since they sell eyeglass frames (I’d be so grateful if you signed). I believe the inclusion of assistive devices in mainstream retailers will ease the stigma of disability. In that same vain, I believe inclusive clothing made for a woman’s body and need will empower each person who wears it.