Levi’s is revolutionizing women’s jeans fit technology just in time for fall/winter, or as many know it, “denim season.” Jeans are a San Francisco wardrobe staple, so it is no surprise our locally founded jeans pioneer is the first brand to recognize that finding jeans can be as agonizing for women as trying on bras or bathing suits. “All women suffer to find a good fit,” says Mary Alderete, Levi’s VP of Global Women’s Marketing. In interviews conducted with women globally, Levi’s found that most women try on ten pairs of jeans before settling on one. While men blamed the jeans for not fitting their body, women typically blamed their bodies for not fitting the jeans.
In a massive undertaking that involved analyzing the three-dimensional body scans of 60,000 women worldwide, Levi’s attempted to answer the conundrum “Why don’t these jeans fit me?”Analysis revealed three distinct body types that together encompassed 80 percent of women across the world, which they categorized in terms of their ‘Curve ID’: the “Slight”, “Demi” and “Bold” curve. For each ‘Curve ID’, popular styles like the “Skinny”, “Straight Leg” and “Boot Cut” were created in figure flattering fabrics and finishes for each body type, which were then tested on real women during “Fit Safaris” before finalizing patterns for release.
Just what is your‘Curve ID’? Generally speaking you can be diagnosed by problem type. If you experience pinching at the waist (otherwise known as the dreaded muffin top), you may be a “Slight”. If you need more room to cover your backside, “the women who have suffered the longest and the most” according to Alderete, you may be a (bootyful) “Bold”. If your curves are proportional and you fit into most jeans, you may experience an even better fit as a “Demi”. Levi’s used three live models with dramatically different body types but identical jeans size wearing the “Slight”, “Demi” and “Bold” curve styles to prove that fit is “about shape not size”.
Your ‘Curve ID’ can be evaluated by a Levi’s expert in their stores. How do they do it? A Levi’s Fit Technician will ask you to stand feet together, arms crossed and bend from side to side to determine your natural waist. String is fastened around this point to allow the Fit Technician to take measurements around your pelvic bones and eight inches down at your seat. Comparing the ratio between these measurements determines your ‘Curve ID’.
Levi’s is committed to its new women’s fit plan. Satisfied ‘Curve ID’ customers can look forward to purchasing the same jeans in the future as the company “brings these fits back in new fashions, finishes, (and) details,” Alderete promises. While there currently has no plan to apply the fit innovation to tops or outerwear, Alderete says Levi’s will “put together a styling point of view . . . that compliments each body type.” Imagine cinched waist tops that accentuate the curvy shapes of “Bold” women and billowy tops to compliment a “Slight” curve wearing Skinny Jeans. The company plans to expand its research and fit customization to accommodate the remaining 20 percent not yet within the three ‘Curve ID’s.
“Women of all shapes should have a perfect fitting jean,” concludes Alderete. While fashion magazines are filled with unscientific, editorial comparisons using celebrity body types to endorse jeans styles and brands, Levi’s has taken a scientific and pragmatic approach that they also consider more “authentic”. “Our brand is much more about . . . being who you really are as opposed to trying to be something your not.” With ‘Curve ID’ fit events around the country, Levi’s is encouraging all women to come as they are and embrace the body they have with jeans that celebrate it. —Miko Heidi Laube