— By now, you're probably familiar with jeggings. You may even own a pair of jorts.
But have you encountered junderpants?
The wave of denim-simulating apparel has hit new levels of hybrid madness. From Huggies' diapers that look like denim (jiapers?) to jeans worn as pajamas, there's no end to the creative uses for plain old dungarees.
Here's a closer look at some of the most popular, most extreme entries into the frankendenim pantheon. One thing's for sure: They may be weird, but they're selling like hotcakes.
It all started with the jegging. The hybrid term — part legging, part jean — was coined sometime in 2009 to describe a product that offered the comfort and stretch of leggings with the figure-flattering capabilities and look of jeans. The style proved so popular that Conan O’Brien famously donned a pair of incredibly revealing acid-wash “majeggings” (that’s man jeggings) on his show last December.
And like it or not, jeggings aren’t going anywhere soon. According to New York Magazine, cotton prices have risen 126% since last July, which means jeans that use less cotton are cheaper. So jeggings, which incorporate stretchy synthetic materials like spandex and, due to their slim cut, use less fabric in general, are here to stay.
Jeggings too tight for you? Pajama Jeans have got you covered. If you’ve watched TV (really, we mean any channel), then you’ve probably seen the infomercial for Pajama Jeans, which are exactly what they sound like. “Looks like denim ... but feels like PJs!” the ad declares. Sounds silly, but the garment has garnered a serious Snuggie-like following. According to Sonia Makurdsik, the marketing consultant for Pajama Jeans, the company has seen a 200% increase in sales since launching last July on web sales alone.
Increased demand means, well, more Pajama Jeans. “Sales showed us that this is a product we want to launch in mass retail as well,” says Makurdsik. “Pajama Jeans will be in every major retailer — from drugstore chains to Walmart to Bed Bath & Beyond — by July.”
Makurdsik credits the pants' instant success to a catchy commercial and filling a void in the market. “If you look at college kids, they’re going to school in pajamas and if you go to the airport, everyone is wearing sweat pants,” Makurdsik says. “So we thought, there’s a need for apparel that is comfortable on the inside where you feel like you have pajamas on, but is very stylish and you can wear them with flip-flops or with heels.”
And if sleepwear can get the denim treatment, why not underwear? Japan Trend Shop, an online store hawking quirky and unique products from Japan, is the source of what has come to be known as “junderpants” — tight boxer briefs that look like jean shorts. “For sure, the ‘worn’ denim look is all the rage in Tokyo at the moment,” the site’s description reads, “and this underwear adds innovation to that trend by transposing jeans fashion to your briefs.” And for just $63 (more than the price of some jeans), they can be yours.
But the icing on the faux-denim cake, if you will, is Huggies’ Jeans Diaper. The brand released the denim-print diapers in limited release last summer and they sold so well they’re back again this summer, this time with a charity angle: For every Jeans Diaper and Jeans Wipes sold, Huggies will donate diapers to babies in need — up to 22.5 million diapers.
Why denim diapers?
Kimberly-Clark, the brand that manufactures Huggies, found that by the time babies are 6 months old, nearly 60% of moms will have bought them denim pants. They also conducted a study that showed that 40% of moms wear jeans the majority of the week and own between four to six pairs each. Like mother, like baby, they figured.
“It's such a heartwarming moment when you see your baby in denim jeans because you're starting to see a little person,” says Keegan Coulter, a brand manager at Kimberly-Clark. “By the time a mom's baby is 6 months she'll have changed over 1,100 diapers — after that, it's not your most favorite task. But what's special about the jeans diaper is that it makes her feel like her cute baby is even more irresistibly cute.”