Wednesday, August 19, 2009

A Biased (Cut) Review

Menswear blog Biased Cut sent in this very comprehensive review of the new men's jeans at Gap. I dig it.

Ms. Shoptometrist -

I used to be a frequent reader, but I think I lost you there sometime in the spring. Nonetheless, I'm back, and I saw your request for some input on Gap's Premium Jeans men's line. I thought it would be interesting to spend my lunch trying on their various cuts.

Now, to be fair, most (ok, all) of the jeans I currently wear are relatively skinny in nature. Not the super skin tight rocker jeans, but definitely far from any "boot" or "relaxed" cuts you'll see at most outlets. But I decided to sample three different cuts at the Gap: Standard, Authentic, and Straight. Skinny isn't under the Premium line, and it also isn't under $60, so I didn't try it.

  • Standard: My first thought when buttoning these up was "Wow, I haven't worn anything this baggy since 'Nam". But they were comfy. So much so that I could definitely see myself sporting these in the great outdoors. While I can't imagine wearing them around the city, these would be a great pair of jeans to scrape up in some rough brush or scuff with grass stains. They were noticeably roomier in the crotch, which was a welcome change, and besides a little ballooning just below the waist, they fell comfortably down the rest of the body. Verdict: 3.5/5.0.
  • Authentic: Again, this pair took a few minutes to grow on me (metaphorically). I realized that these would make a classy, more formal pair of jeans to be worn out on a nice evening. The crotch area was tighter, as most men are probably used to in recent years, but it felt strange because the rest of the pants weren't as equally close-fitting. I think with just slightly less fabric in the leg opening, we'd have a great fitting pair of jeans here. Verdict: 4.0/5.0
  • Straight: According to the Gap, the only difference between the Authentic and Straight is that the Authentic is slim through the leg, while the Straight is... straight. It's somewhat ironic that the Straight is named so, since it gave my lower body a more hourglass-shaped figure. I felt these were too sloppy-looking to be worn for fancier occasions, but their loose fit definitely won't make them many fans in the fashionable crowd. Verdict: 2.0/5.0.
I didn't end up purchasing any, but I also went in with no intention of purchasing any. If I had to choose one, I would have chosen the Standard because it's what my wardrobe is most lacking right now, and inevitably slimmer jeans will fall out of style. Plus they had the best wash in my size. At $54.50, plus an instant $20 off, these are a pretty solid deal. However, if I'm in the market for some well-fitting, inexpensive jeans, I'm headed to 546 Broadway and picking up these babies in another color.

Many thanks to Biased Cut for their time and words! Also, in case you're curious about the skinny fit, Fashion Herald tries them on for size.

UPDATE: I sent my friend Omar on a mission to test them out and he's come back to report that his experience was very disappointing. Like the Biased Cut review, he tried on three styles and, much like my own experience with the women's version, felt they were certainly comfortable, but ran way too big and just didn't fit right. He also found the straight cut to be roomier in the leg than a straight cut ought to be. For a comparable price, he prefers BDG, Urban Outfitter's in-house line.

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  1. I HATE Gap jeans! I think they are terrible and overpriced for what they are. I can get better quality designer jeans for the same price at places like Nordstroms Rack and Filene's Basement.

  2. That seems to be the consensus around here. I haven't really been able to find jeans at discounters because they tend to have limited size runs, so I guess it's all about luck. For now, I'll have to stick to full retail for the fit and quality I want.