Fig. x: All of my jeans

Ladies Commute Too

An Open Letter to Levi’s Jeans

In the summer of 2011, you answered the prayers of cyclists everywhere. You gave us stylish, functional,magical commuter jeans. In addition to the quality we’ve come to expect from your jeans, you demonstrated great knowledge of what the cycling customer is looking for: comfort, water resistance, reinforcement, visibility, a place to put that pesky u-lock without busting a hole in your butt. Good job, Levi’s. Really good job. You really listened to the cycling community and you got almost everything right. You missed only one small detail: ladies commute by bike too.

Listen, I get it, putting out a new product is time consuming and risky. That’s why I was willing to give you the benefit of the doubt when men’s commuter jeans launched. You needed to test the marketplace; ensure that there was enough interest in this newfangled product to warrant the costly production and promotion processes. If so, surely designing commuters for your female buyers will be worth it. We are, after all, more likely to buy a $70 pair of jeans than our bargain-hunting boyfriends. Got it. I’ll wait.

I’m still waiting.

A few weeks ago I went into one of your stores; my boyfriend having decided to invest in a few pairs of commuters. He tried on the different fits and washes, I waited patiently perusing your new fall line and trying not to knock anything over with my helmet which was precariously dangling from my Chrome backpack. That’s when I asked your knowledgeable male sales associate my question: “When is Levi’s going to come out with women’s commuter jeans?”

“I don’t think they are,” or something like it, he said. He then went on to explain that I could probably fit in the men’s commuters and encouraged me to try on a pair. I didn’t.

Your commuter jeans serve two fantastic purposes: style & function. If I, a female, were to purchase a pair of jeans designed for a man they serve only one: function.

Men’s jeans are very clearly men’s jeans. The pockets are placed lower, the waistline is completely different and they come with a minimum of 3 inches of extra crotch space that I have no need for. So, while I’m sure they have all the fixin’s for a comfortable bike ride, I’d still need to pack a change of pants in my bag if I don’t want to walk around in ill-fitting men’s jeans all day.

The point isn’t that we ladies don’t have anything we can ride our bikes in. A little extra stretch in our denim is pretty standard and leggings provide us with the luxury of riding in spandex without resembling a human-sized sperm on wheels. But, regardless of fashion or comfort, these items of clothing aren’t built for riding.

They offer no reflective tape, no handy holster for our U-lock, the lightest of rain soaks right through them and they take forever to dry and they rarely last more than a year of regular riding—I burn through the crotches of at least 2 pairs of jeans a year and this summer I finally wore out my jeggings—JEGGINGS! They don’t contain a single percent of denim, I ride enough to destroy a fashion concoction made to withstand the late night clumsiness and eating habits of a highly intoxicated, heel-shod female! And, I don’t even ride that much or commute very far.

Women may have a plethora of stretchy clothing options that make throwing our long, beautiful legs over the top tube of our “men’s” bicycle easier, but they are no Levi’s and they aren’t made to ride.

From what I’ve been able to find, only one of your competitors is making commuter jeans for women…they ain’t pretty and they ain’t Levi’s.

Look, I’m a very forgiving person. I’ve run over dozens of excuses in my head for your lack of lady commuter jeans, but none of them are sufficient cause to ignore such a large population of human beings, cyclists and consumers.

Levi’s, I want to love you. I want to buy your jeans. But, if I did, the combination of my bony ass and my Brooks Colt Saddle would surely destroy them in little time.

Please consider making me and the other several thousand lady cyclists a pair of Levi’s jeans that can keep up with us. We don’t want to have to start rumors that you hate women, happiness and the environment.

Love from Chicago,

N. Mueller