Tuesday, April 27, 2010

The Battle of the Jeans - Gap vs. Old Navy

I credit @glossmenagerie with giving me this idea. A couple of days ago on we got into a discussion around Gap jeans vs. Old Navy Jeans. I was in a most uncomfortable position - I was jean-less. Or at least without jeans I can fit into that were not completely worn through between the thighs.

Lovely thought, I know.

Anyway, we discussed sizing and durability of each brand. I was in favor of Gap, while @glossmenagerie seemed to be in favor of Old Navy. So I decided to buy a pair of jeans from both brands at the same time, track the life of jean, and see which jean bites the dust first.

Yes, this is a long-term experiment.

The Jeans

The Gap 1969 Curvy Jeans in Dark, size 16 Regular
These jeans are 99% Cotton, 1% Elastene (whatever the heck that is). I had a hell of a time finding a pair of jeans that I was comfortable enough paying $69.50 for. I held up several pairs and compared waists and lengths to find the shortest leg and still had to get them hemmed. The woman at the Gap strongly suggested I buy these tight (as in "they don't look good when they're first put on") because they will stretch out. I've experienced this so I know this to be true.

Old Navy The Flirt Jeans in Rinse, size 16 Regular
The composition on these jeans is much different, and believe me - I can feel it. Compared to the Gap, these feel like I'm wearing a burlap sack, but for $29.50 I'm going to wear them! They are only 65% Cotton, 34% Polyester, and 1% Spandex. At least all elements are something I can recognize! I didn't go with the Gap purchasing philosophy here of buying a size or two down knowing they will stretch out - because I don't know if these will stretch out. However, on my first wearing, Kara pointed out "they make [my] butt look baggy" so maybe I should have tried a different style or size.

How this showdown will be structured:
  • As I wear the jeans I will track them.
  • As I wash the jeans I will track them.
  • Should the jeans acquire damage I will report what kind.
  • I will declare the jean "dead" when it is no longer suitable to wear to work - I consider this to be significant "non-intended" tears, mostly in the crotch area.
In the end no matter the outcome I will still probably buy Gap jeans more often - I rarely get told I have a baggy butt in them. But you never know - maybe the Old Navy durability will win me over!

Jean Buying Tip
I have heard that denim jeans are usually cut "in bulk" at a lot of these stores. That means they stack the denim and sort of cut them out. You quilters out there will know when I say this means that the more you have stacked, the more variability you get. Jeans cut at the same size may have varying lengths and widths. I strongly suggest trying on several pairs of the same jean and choosing the best of the bunch. Just so you know - I'm bad about following my own advice. I often order online and roll the dice on the Gap Jeans. Given how inconsistent Gap is in the size/shape of their jeans of the same style and size I would not be surprised to hear they cut their jeans in bulk.

Don't Forget! I'm Giving Zoya Charla Away!!!