When you spend most of your time in workout clothes, wearing jeans can feel like a chore. In fact, it probably seems like sacrilege for me to even talk about jeans on here at all. Bear with me a minute, folks.
The problem is, although my work dress code is casual, it’s not that casual. I can’t get away with leggings and a workout tank, so unfortunately I do have to occasionally wear real pants. My go-to outfit is skinnies, a nice top and jacket, and some boots. But ever since my tried and true pair of skinnies bit the dust a while back, I’ve been struggling to find an acceptable substitute.
Enter my jeans dilemma. Besides most of them being uncomfortable, it’s also really hard to find jeans that actually fit properly. I tried on a couple dozen and the fit or feel or all of them just was not good. Even the same cut of my old favorites just wasn’t working for me.
While I was shopping online and getting frustrated, I came across a pair of jeans listed as “yoga legging jeans”. Now THAT got my attention.
I read a couple of reviews and ordered a pair. I was not disappointed.
The magical jeans are James Jeans twiggy dancer leggings in piro clean. The fabric is wondrously stretchy and soft, while still being sturdy enough to look like actual jeans. Piro is an ideal dark wash. It has good dimension and doesn’t look flat, but they go easy on the whiskering so they don’t look gaudy.
I used to be a bit of a denim junkie, but I’d never tried James Jeans before and had no idea what to expect. My typical jeans size is 24, but I ordered both 24 and 25 to compare. I kept the 24, which was definitely the right move. They felt a bit tight putting them on for the first time, but have quickly relaxed just enough to be comfortable without bagging out. I recommend sticking with your normal jeans size. I don’t recommend sizing up, since they may slide down. I have to adjust mine a couple times throughout the day, but the occasional adjustment seems pretty much inevitable with skinny jeans, and they’re not as bad as most pairs. Plus, they make up for it in comfort. They’re so stretchy that I can do a full squat in them without feeling like I’m going to rip out of the jeans or cut off the circulation in my legs.
After a few weeks of wearing the piro clean pair, I liked them well enough that I ordered a second pair in black swan, a pure black. My old pair of black skinny pants are literally falling apart, so I was really glad to find a replacement right in the nick of time.
One of my biggest fit issues with skinny jeans is that they’re not truly skinny. I usually end up with an extra inch or two of fabric around the ankles, which turns my “skinny” jeans into more of a straight leg. Loose ankles are very unflattering on my petite build, so I have zero tolerance for skinny jeans that don’t fit cleanly.
You can imagine my surprise and delight when these fit like a true skinny leg. They do have a bit of extra bulk at my ankle due to excess length, but if I get that hemmed off, they will still be quite skinny. The inseam is around 30″, so they’re short enough that hemming isn’t completely necessary, though I’ll probably do it at some point. On that note: don’t expect these to be a full length skinny for you taller girls.
Another jeans fit issue I was struggling to manage: rise. I used to wear low rise and low rise only, but since my butt has grown from lifting, low rise jeans don’t offer as much coverage as they used to. These jeans aren’t ultra-high, but they’re high enough that they don’t dig into the flesh of your hip or tummy and don’t have you holding onto the back of your jeans when you bend over. Although I was skeptical at first, I’ve grown to really like the rise on these.
One unusual aspect of the twiggy dancer jeans is the seamless side construction. On the plus side, it makes these look nice and clean. On the other hand, it also makes them look a little bit less like real jeans. It’s nice not to have the side seam digging into my leg, though.
I only have one worry with these jeans: longevity. Since the stretchy, lightweight fabric is fairly thin, I’m worried it will wear through quickly. I’ve been wearing these about twice a week for a couple months now and they’re still looking great, so I’m hoping they’ll stay like that for a long time.
If you’re an active lady who needs comfortable, stretchy jeans, I definitely recommend giving these a try. And if you’re petite and have my same baggy ankle problem, I recommend these even more strongly.
On that note, make sure you look for the “twiggy dancer” jeans, not just “twiggy”. If a retailer (like Nordstrom) doesn’t list the “dancer” part, just look at the photos to see if the side is seamless. The plain twiggy has a seam down the outside while the twiggy dancer doesn’t. I haven’t tried the twiggy style myself, but they don’t seem to be as stretchy, so I’m sticking with twiggy dancer.
P.S. Jeans tip: to keep your dark jeans dark, turn them inside out before washing. This keeps the dark color from rubbing against other fabrics or parts of your washing machine. And just like your activewear, cold water and letting them air dry will help preserve the elasticity and great fit.
Shop twiggy dancer jeans
The piro clean pair are available via Nordstrom. There’s a handful of sizes in black swan on sale at ShopBop, otherwise you can get them via James Jeans. Amazon also has some sizes on sale in black swan and oil slick (coated black), as low as $56. There are quite a few other versions out there, too, which you can find below: