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The Styled Side: Is Kai Ryssdal too old to wear jeans?




jeans denim forever 21
jeans denim forever 21
Photo by Kaitlin Shiner via Flickr Creative Commons

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We love Marketplace host Kai Ryssdal, we swear.

But a new survey of 2,000 people in the UK says jeans should stay off your legs when you're 53 or older (and Kai is 53 as of this year...).

"People in the survey thought that jeans were really for the younger generation, and it's not about style," says Michelle Dalton Tyree of Fashion Trends Daily.

Respondents said that it was harder in their old age to find jeans that fit properly.

But Tyree says the local denim industry is shifting more towards classic looks from when those 50-somethings were kids, and cuts for a variety of body types.

"About 75 percent of the world’s premium denim is designed and created here in L.A.," she says. "We have the infrastructure here to try out different washes and treatments."

Here's what's on trend.

Classic, more simple looks

Heritage brands like Levi's and L.L. Bean are in – their styles aren't too flashy or embellished.

"Customers want simpler, vintage looks and even re-done vintage jeans," says Tyree.

In fact, one of the hottest denim brands right now out of L.A. is a company called Re/Done. They actually cut down vintage mens Levi's and use the panels of fabric to create jeans for women.

"They are a darling right now in the fashion world," says Tyree, "from editors to celebrities and Asian clients who have been coveting and collecting vintage Levis for years."

Jeans cut for different ages, body types

"There are only a handful of companies addressing curvier bodies," says Tyree, "but I think we’re certainly starting to see a lot more of this."

Slink Jeans, started by the founders at Joe’s Denim, is an L.A.-based brand that's designed for curvier bodies.

Plus, 1 Denim is a line that ranges with very slim to curvy fits for women and men.

Athleisure has eaten into the denim market, but not for long

Fashionable and comfortable clothes like sweats and joggers have climbed in popularity in recent years, eroding the market for jeans.

"Denim in L.A. had been having a bit of a slump," says Tyree, "but it’s coming back and lines such as Re/Done and 1 Denim are leading the charge."

Market analysts say it's because denim has more flexibility in different situations than athleisure.

"We were ready to give up the skinny leggings, but denim will be back because there’s really nothing else that goes from work to dinner," says Ilse Metchek of the California Fashion Association.