A Brief Pause for A Fashion and Gear Review: Jeggings As Bike Pants

Near the end of last week the women from Po Campo threw out a tweet that one of them “almost” bought a pair of jeggings and wondered who was for or against them? Not too long after, Barb Chamberlain asked about them too, and then I sheepishly owned up to the fact that I had recently bought a pair.  I have studiously avoided them since I started hearing that dreadful term ‘jeggings’- it’s an apropos word, but for some reason I find it obnoxious.  But then I had a costume party to attend a few weeks ago, and Mr. Ding and I went as Sandy and Danny from the movie Grease. Or rather, the older, chunkier, and balder (in the case of Mr. Ding) versions of Sandy and Danny.  For Sandy’s cool-girl black costume I decided that something a little more structured like those dreaded jeggings would be more attractive on me then some lycra-infused leggings.  Turns out they worked great for the party. And I put them away.  After all the Twitter chatter though, I got bold over the weekend and decided to actually wear them out and about and see how they work as bike gear and report back to everyone.  I did this for you ladies.  😉

side view jeggings

It was a pretty warm winter weekend here in Chicago – temps in the mid 30s with little wind.  This meant that I didn’t need tights under my jeggings since they are similar to jeans – and I didn’t need my super warm boots or extra socks either.  I grabbed Oma and my bike helmet and headed out to run some errands and then stopped by the  Vive la Femme and Kathryn Kerrigan stores in Bucktown (plus-size clothes and large-size shoe stores having some amazing sales) where Amanda kindly took this picture of me.

Biking in Jeggings

When I made the decision to buy some jeggings I went with the Not Your Daughters Jeans brand – and I got them from Zappos. Vive la Femme carries their jeans, skirts, and some shirts, but not jeggings, alas. Since I already had a pair of NYDJ jeans and a denim skirt I assumed I could order the correct size and be good to go, and I was.   Side-note on NYDJ.  The stuff is pricey but they know how to make jeans fit nicely on womanly bodies , both regular-sized and plus-size women’s bodies.  I have been really impressed by how well they fit and last – their regular jeans have a bit of stretch in them, but not too much and the jeggings have the right amount of stretch in them as well, but still not too much. Barb tweeted that one of her daughters said she was too old to wear jeggings.  I admit that being smack dab in the middle of the 40s myself,  I’ve also thought a lot about being ‘too old’ to wear jeggings. Add in that I’m a big ole plus-sized 40-something, and well, I wondered if this was one of those trends that I should just leave for the 25 year-olds. But ya know what, I think not!

Black jeggings and vest

Jeggings are tight like leggings, but this particular pair is a little stiffer because of the denim.  I like that and think they look better on me because of it. The jean-like structure is probably what keeps them from looking like sausage casing.  Keep that in mind if you’re looking at jeggings made from other, more light-weight materials.   I am 6ft tall,  have a longer rise, and long legs so pants are never easy to find for me. These are not super long, but they’re not ankle pants either. That’s another reason I’m fond of NYDJ – they carry taller lengths – at least in the plus-size line, I can’t speak for the regular-sized lines. And for those of you who have big ole bike-riding calves like me, never fear. These were tight around my calves, or I guess just fitted. I could feel them, but they were not too tight to be uncomfortable. And, as you can see, I can tuck them in my boots . These jeggings are not super high-waisted, but  NYDJ are never low-waisted either – they hit at just the right spot.  I didn’t feel like I would expose my backside while riding, though you saw the longer red jacket I wore cycling,  and I sit upright on my bike. They don’t really slide down, but they do stretch or give a little. They were good bike pants – they were fitted, and can be easily tucked into boots, and would work well on my mountain bike as well as on my Dutch bike. They stretch, so they move with you you ride – much more comfortable than regular jeans, but still sturdy like denim. I doubt I’ll ever be caught out wearing jeggings with just a t-shirt or short camisole so I don’t think I’ll ever worry about exposing my backside riding my bike in a pair of jeggings.   I will say that after taking these pictures however, I may have more wardrobe possibilities with these than I originally thought.

Here’s a couple of more pictures of me in my new jeggings – I had Mr. Ding take these. I’m generally a poor model so forgive me, but I thought I’d show you a few more shots of how they look on my body. The other concern I’ve always had about jeggings is proportion:  I’m not small, so I thought a big ole body on top of skin-tight pants might not be the look I’d want to go for.  While I won’t be wearing this outfit out in public w/o a jacket or something, the proportions are not as out-of-whack as I thought they might be.  I do think the boots help the proportions too.  Not sure how they would look with ballet flats.

black shirt and jeggings

black shirt and jeggings

And please note the very fun arm-warmers/fingerless glove thingies that I’m wearing. They are decorated with heart-shaped bike gears and come from the online store ShanaLogic  So tell me – are you going to get yourself some jeggings now?

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