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The Madewell Fall 2014 Collection Heralds the Return of Comfy Denim

A curiosity piquing piece in Huffington Post this week once again rattles on about the long-term decline of denim sales in Canada, putting the blame squarely on the likes of Lululemon and the rising popularity of activewear. According to data from consumer tracking agency NPD Group, the dollar value of sales of jeans in Canada dropped by 5 percent in 2013, with sales of kids’ jeans dropping a full 10 percent. Only Ontario bucked the trend, with denim sales flat for the year.

What does this mean for fashion? Well, exactly what you think it does, denim is appearing less and less in collections, with designers opting for athletic looks, like the hugely popular leather jogger of the moment. I can’t really live with people wearing Lululemon yoga or sweatpants to work or brunch, but what I can offer a nod of approval to is the return of the loungey denim pant. The scuffed up, sloppy, relaxed style that offers the same amount of comfort as a jogging pant, but with ten times the style.

Madewell fall 2014 collection

Since J.Crew alum and Canadian born Somsack Sikhounmuong took the reins last February at Madewell, that’s exactly what he’s been offering: Beat up denim, flannels tied around the waist, elevated sweats, tough leather and suede moto jackets. The Fall 2014 collection is an ode to brisk autumn days, where jeans get dressed up in heels or down in daps for a very sporty, tomboy, college-appropriate ensemble.

Madewell fall 2014 collection

I love that slouchy, masculine-meets-feminine vibe, which plays more with proportions and textures. And while they all look very harmonious thanks to the perfect styling seen here, many individual pieces can stand on their own, offering no end of updated denim ensembles. Skinny denim isn't going anywhere, but it's more relaxed than in seasons past, making for a real rival to the jogging trend. That elasticated activewear can go do a running jump because there’s a new breed of jean hot on its tail!

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