Friday, November 19, 2010

My Experience With Levi's Curve ID



I've never thought of myself as a curvy woman.
I have curves, yes. But according to Levi's Curve ID, I'm a boldly curvaceous woman. Which is fine. I have been doing a lot of squats and lunges at the gym, so it's nice to know that I've got something to show for it. Just call me Beyonce. J.Lo, step aside, por favor.
You can take the Curve ID quiz at levis.com for yourself. You'll be identified as having one of three figure types:
1. Slight Curve: Straight waist, slim hips and thighs.
2. Demi Curve: Evenly proportioned from waist to thigh.
3. Bold Curve: Defined waist, fuller hips and thighs.
I took the Curve ID quiz on the Levi's site, and discovered that I was a "Bold Curve" woman. The idea that a pair of jeans could actually fit my waist and not gap in the back was enticing, as promised to wearers of Bold Curve jeans.
At the Levi’s store, I tried on the Bold Curve skinny jean in Liquid Black. I selected the size I usually wear and also one size larger. Sometimes you have to size up for skinny jeans, right?
I also tried on the Bold Curve straight jean in Pitch Black, also in two different sizes.


Let me tell you first and foremost, I had to heave and ho to get my regular size up and over my Bold Curve hips. Holy moly. I did get them over by leaping up and down in the dressing room. Thankfully all of those squats, lunges and frog jumps I've been doing have given me considerable athletic ability. I have no idea what the other patrons thought of the sounds coming from my dressing room. Perhaps they thought a kangaroo had gotten into the dressing room and was wrecking havoc with a pair of pants.
Let me be frank. The skinny jeans were brutal. They made my butt look not only big, but also unattractive — as though I'd never done a squat or a lunge in my life. The straight jeans were similarly cruel. You'd think they'd be a little more forgiving than the skinny jeans, but no.
Look, I've seen my butt naked. I know my butt and have worked with it for many years. The overstuffed derriere in those Levi's was not my butt. That ass was an impostor, wanna-be ass. It was the Dan Quayle of asses.
If I wanted to look like I have big hips, a big butt and big thighs I would shop in the juniors department. Maybe by "Bold Curve" Levi's really meant, "Will make you look fat even if you're not?"
My actual theory is that Levi's makes jeans for men and has no clue how to make clothes for women. I think the whole "Curve ID" fiction is about how to fit either a) teenagers or b) models. You've got your skinny models, your average models and then your Victoria's Secret models, and hence, those are the three Levi's body types.
Fortunately I walked out of the Levi's store and down to The Gap to try on a pair of the 1969 line. I was able to try on pair after pair of skinny jeans that slipped easily over my hips and made my butt look as though I have indeed woken up at 5:15 in the morning to go work out for the past four months.
Thank you for that, Gap.
The jeans I tried on included: Legging Jeans in True Black, Always Skinny Jean in Over-Dyed Black Wash and Forever Skinny. The Always Skinny Jean has a lower rise and the Forever Skinny has a higher rise. I like to think of the latter as "Skinny Mom Jeans."
I wound up purchasing the Always Skinny.
All in all, I found The Gap's skinny jeans to be much more forgiving of non stick-straight women's figures than Levi's. Though perhaps lean, slim-hipped women have trouble fitting into The Gap's jeans? I don't know. Levi's may be a dream-come-true for little pixie-shaped women who have a hard time finding jeans. I guess the reason I'm taking Levi's to task is because they came up with this whole "Curve ID" nonsense to attract women of all shapes and sizes to come into their stores, only to offer jeans that seem remarkably unkind to curves of any kind.
I'd be curious to hear of other women's experiences in the Levi's dressing room, and to find out what kind of denim beast they sounded like while trying on jeans.

48 comments:

  1. I think you should have provided actual pics from your outing so that we, the commenters, could make more informed comments.

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  2. I can't disagree with Cary... Pics would have helped.

    That being said, anything that diminishes a woman's curves is a bad thing. Curves = HAWT. JMHO, YMMV.

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  3. I actually thought about it. But then the thought of providing an open forum for trolls to body snark me didn't sound like such a good idea after all.

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  4. So glad you are happy with your post-baby figure and your new Gap jeans. Thanks to your post, regardless of advertising I will continue to think of a twelve-year-old boy when I see the term "Levi's jeans".

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  5. I hate having to buy jeans. women's jeans suck. they are either wasp waisted or so low rise they barely cover my pubic hair. Not only that, they are always 4" too long and I am not that short. I guess they assume all women wear 4" heels all the time. Men can buy their jeans by the inch, waist and length. Is it too much to ask for makers of women's jeans to give us the same option? All I want is a pair of jeans that sit an inch below my waist and are the right length with a regular straight leg. Impossible to find.

    I do wear Levi's though, bought in the men's department by waist and length. A little baggy in the thighs but I guess you can't have everything.

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  6. A little judicious use of the 'ole "kick-ban" should take care of the snarky comments.

    P.S. love the new banner.

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  7. Good to know. Does the Gap or Levis have over the hill body jeans?

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  8. I'll probably be shamed into fashion hell, but the only jeans that look AMAZING on me, are Old Navy. The Flirt, The Diva...whatever. And though I'm short, I don't necessarily need "petite." If I am going to wear heels, Regular will do, otherwise, I;m a "short."

    I don't know why I shared this information.

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  9. I don't know WHY I'm about to go take this quiz.....

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  10. All asses were not created equal. Way to go, Captain Obvious of the Levi's marketing department.

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  11. Like a recent movie, all I can say is it's complicated.

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  12. I haven't tried the Levis, but as a "curvy" woman (I suppose) who also works the bootay with squats, lunges, and damn-it-all-to-hell frog jumps, I LOVE Gap jeans. They fit me really well, every time.

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  13. The last pair of jeans I purchased were a pair of levi's "demi fit" skinnies. I hadn't even considered them since college, when I made the switch to designer jeans, but I've actually been pleasantly surprised - they make my butt look like I actually do work out.

    Did you try another curve ID? You are so skinny!

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  14. @christina's world: I'm only happy with my post-baby figure because of all of those 6 a.m. workouts. I think I feel the same way about Levi's. Levi's are for boys.

    @ellen abbott: Okay. I laughed at "barely cover my pubic hair." And also: Women don't always wear 4" heels?

    *Looks confused*

    @cary: I don't know what a kick ban is.

    @Eva Gallant: I thought that's what the "Forever Skinny" was.

    @Soobs: I can't wear Old Navy. Their sleeves are all too short and their pants are all floods. It's like sixth grade all over again.

    @Jules: *Jumps up and down* Come back and report your results. I almost typed "resluts."

    @Richard: Clients like the obvious Richard.

    @La Piazza: You're right.

    @Ajm: They went downhill for at least five years or so. It took a lot to get me back in...but I wasn't disappointed shockingly enough.

    @Libs: Do I look like a masochist? If the big girl jeans were too tight on me, what the hell will happen if I try the skinny girl or normal girl jeans? Not. Gonna. Happen. Now I have Levi's PTSD.

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  15. Levi's has never made a good jean for a curvy woman.

    and this is me, speaking as a curvy woman.

    Lee's has a "no-gap" trouser (love that word) now that is really pretty decent...

    Pearl

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  16. I hate jeans shopping...that's why I don't own very man. I need to get my butt back to the gym

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  17. Kick ban is an old time chatroom command where a sysop (am I dating myself here?) could kick someone out of a room and ban their nickname all in one fell swoop...

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  18. i almost never read fashion reviews, but i read this one, and not only was it funny, it gave me a great idea of where to start looking-andnot- for jeans after my babe is born. thanks!

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  19. We're not using the word "Jeggings" though, are we? Because that's not a good word. I've heard someone call them "Leans" instead, but that word can fuck off as well. Did the waistband still gape at the back? I have a problem with that because I have a squeezable ass, so I started buying belts that have elastic at the back (but they look like regular belts from the front) because they're crack-proof.

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  20. @Pearl: I think I wore some atrocity called Levi's Reverse Fit in the 80s.

    @BSBC: I'm a muscles convert.

    @Cary: Oh good. I was worried I'd missed out on some blogging slang.

    @Maggy May: You never know. One woman's nightmare jean is another's dream.

    @Twills: These were not "jeggings." I can't go there.

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  21. levis have always sucked for me. always...i do however have one pair of seven jeans that i cling to for dear life because i can't find them anymore. boo.

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  22. @Twills - Jeggings are terrible! It's like, "Hey, teenage girls are wearing tight enough jeans. Let's make some vulgar ones."

    I'm a slim girl, and I've had good luck with Gap too. They gapped in the back a little, but they were OK with a belt. My best fit is American Eagle, so I just don't really bother going anywhere else anymore. But I'm still childless, and my jeans situation probably will change when the baby situation does...

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  23. I used to wear Levi's in college, but haven't owned a pair since. And that was when it was cool to be baggy, so your butt didn't matter as much. I've dreaded the skinny jean trend because I have total ghetto bootay. But maybe I'll give the GAP jeans a try now...
    My favorite jeans are Citizens of Humanity - they seem to hug the booty just right.

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  24. @Char: I've had luck with Sevens, Citizens, J.Brand, Paper Denim. I cannot wear True Religion. I suspect people who can wear True Religion can also wear Levi's.

    @Rebekah: That's why they invented elastic.

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  25. @Mel Heth: Citizens are amazingly kind to both booty and thigh. They're on high rotation in my closet too.

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  26. What about the other categories like "Over Curve", "Max Curve" and "Horror Curve"?

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  27. "bold curves"?

    ass quizzes?

    I am so in the wrong marketing market.

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  28. Hi Mandy,
    You should be paid,
    paid very well, for
    the advise you provide
    to Levis & One for the GAP.
    Happy Thanksgiving to you
    and yours.
    Sincerely,
    Richard

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  29. Thanks for this fashion testimonial. I really need new jeans, and I need a place that has a system (the department store style-of-the-week doesn't work at all). Will definitely try Gap.

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  30. Shit, Really?
    My first time here and it's confirmed: I am built like a 12 year old boy.

    Bad enough that my housekeeper keeps hanging my 12 year old son's jeans in my closet, bad enough that they fit me perfectly, bad enough that my damn husband laughs at those things.

    Those skinny jeans from the people at the Levi's store fit me like they were made for me. I also wear True Religion and Blue Tattoo. I also do squats, lunges, yoga, buns of steel, simulated speed skating....

    Maybe implants are the way to go....I'm feeling inadequate.

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  31. One of the things I especially like about any jeans that have "give" and stretch is that I absolutely love it when my jeans fit Everywhere.
    I don't want them baggy anywhere ..
    I lost weight when we arrived in BA and happily did not gain any back, which made it necessary to buy a new wardrobe .. which meant that I had to go for overly expensive Armani jeans since that is all that I could find that fit and was not some horribly cheap South American brand ( probably made in China or Brazil)
    I need to come back to the US to buy jeans !
    About the body snarks ... no one with a face like yours has to worry about snarks .. really. really.

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  32. As a banana-shaped woman (with large boobs precariously perched), I can fit into Levi's, Lucky's, and even got my two-year-old's pants up to my knees.

    This sounds great and all, but chicken legs + muffin top = imbalanced breakfast AND body shape.

    Pants are overrated, anyway.

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  33. I am plus-sized and do you know that they make "skinny jeans" at Torrid?
    Yeah, I tried some on, thinking that they would somehow transform my size 20 ass and thighs into a size 12. Not only did that NOT happen, I swear to God, I thought someone else was in my dressing room behind me!
    It was like 2 pigs fighting under a denim blanket.
    I ended up getting "gradual skinny" jeans (not as tight) and some "boyfriend" jeans because of my fantasy of having a boyfriend whose ass is tiny but, magically, whose jeans I could fit into and wear successfully.
    I'm not "reality" based at all.
    :-)

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  34. I will not go to that sight. I dread buying Jeans and bathing suits. Hate it. 5am?

    Im eating cake right now and still try to shop in the Jr.s department.

    FU 40 something.

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  35. I too was Bold Curve. But please, who doesn't have a gap in the waistline of jeans. I thought this happens to all women?!? I totally agree that levi designs jeans for men. I mean, if that girl was an example of bold curve....goodness.

    ps....newest follower here and pumped to read on!!

    www.katsplaybook.com

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  36. I've never understood why men's pants come in a size that tells you the waist and length, but women are set sizes. Seems to me the waist size and length would be a good way for us to pick pants, too. My problem with jeans is not just finding a size that fits but a LENGTH. Hemming jeans is never an option because they don't hem well. So I found one brand, American Eagle, that fit and are comfy and I buy only those now.

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  37. Lee's no gap jeans are the best! they actually fit me (I am very curvy to the point were my husband says "hey real women have curves") without a gap!

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  38. Calvin Klein loves my curves. I've always worked out/lifted weights and my curves reflect that. Gap likes me, Calvin loves me. You can find skinny and boot cut at Costco for about $25/pair and I have a pair of CK yoga pants that the man loves. They also go by size/length which is great because at 5'7" I'm not the tallest but I'm also slightly taller than regular sizes allow.

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  39. So good to find you!!
    So good to hear your jean advice.

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  40. Hey Mandy - interesting feedback about the Curve ID. I too am a "Bold Curve". Full disclosure: I work for Levi's HQ. I HATE that name - the last thing I want to be told is that I'm bold. IDO of Levi's - a ton of work went into determining the shapes and they know that it's not going to fit 100% of women,you can't please everyone. Would you mind if I passed your experience onto the merchant team?

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  41. Glad you finally found a pair that fit your fabulous new figure. I've always been a fan of Esprit Jeans, they seem to fit my curves well, but I need a new pair, so I'm off to the gap to see if I have as much luck as you did.

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  42. Ya know those kind of guidelines piss me the hell off. Fuckin industry shoving that shit down our throats, as though there are truly only three categories of curves. Pffft.

    *bounces a quarter off that ass*

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  43. @Trooper: You're a marketing genius.

    @Mobius: You're not.

    @Raao: Thank you, sir.

    @Blissed Out: Let me know how it goes.

    @Powdergirl: I think you're the ideal.

    @a Broad: The power of the snark is in the mind.

    @See Kate Run: I can't wear Lucky either! Apples, bananas and pears cannot wear the same jeans, apparently.

    @so not that girl: I think they made a movie about that, something like The Mystery of the Magic Pants. Right?

    @Nice Peace of Buddha: I think swimsuits are far worse than jeans. I stand by that.

    @Kat: You make a good point. And based on your point and a friend's, I think I may give Levi's another try. I really should try on all of the Curve ID styles and see if they are all equally punishing. Welcome to my humble abode!

    @Stephanie: I'm grateful for the few stores that carry longs for the same reason. But it does make one wonder why women's pants can't come in multiple waists and inseams just like men's do.

    @City Sister: Glad to hear you've had some denim success!

    @Redorkulated: If I had a dime for every time someone told me they bought something awesome at Costco, I'd have a Costco membership. Glad you had luck with a brand!

    @Jean: Thanks for reading!

    @Amy: Pass along with impunity!

    @Pina: Esprit always reminds me of middle school. I had an awesome pair of turquoise pants.

    @Sweet Herald: There's at least a baker's dozen, amiright?

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  44. I have some similar complaints. You could barely call me curvy. I'm a skinny-minnie by any means, but more than anything, I'm athletic. However, running hurdles and riding horses most of my life has left me with some pretty pronounced glutes. Most of the bold curve styles just sort of flatten everything in a pretty awkward manner. Even the relatively flattering cuts that I did decide to purchase ultimately lost their shape almost entirely after a few washes. The curve ID line is just cheap in my opinion... I'd almost go so far as to call it a scam seeing as how any hope of the jeans actually being "curvy" just dies after a few laundry sessions.

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  45. I means to say NOT a skinny-minnie in my last comment...

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  46. I have some similar complaints. You could barely call me curvy. I'm a skinny-minnie by any means, but more than anything, I'm athletic. However, running hurdles and riding horses most of my life has left me with some pretty pronounced glutes. Most of the bold curve styles just sort of flatten everything in a pretty awkward manner. Even the relatively flattering cuts that I did decide to purchase ultimately lost their shape almost entirely after a few washes. The curve ID line is just cheap in my opinion... I'd almost go so far as to call it a scam seeing as how any hope of the jeans actually being "curvy" just dies after a few laundry sessions.

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  47. I have some similar complaints. You could barely call me curvy. I'm a skinny-minnie by any means, but more than anything, I'm athletic. However, running hurdles and riding horses most of my life has left me with some pretty pronounced glutes. Most of the bold curve styles just sort of flatten everything in a pretty awkward manner. Even the relatively flattering cuts that I did decide to purchase ultimately lost their shape almost entirely after a few washes. The curve ID line is just cheap in my opinion... I'd almost go so far as to call it a scam seeing as how any hope of the jeans actually being "curvy" just dies after a few laundry sessions.

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  48. I also seem to be "bold curve." But Levi's are always squishy or baggy, no matter what they do. I was a Girbaud addict but now cannot find them. I just rejected Levi's in favor of DKNY Mercer Street skinny.

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