Chic Jeans is a budget denim wear that gained popularity in the 80s as it was considerably cheaper than the designer Vanderbilts.
With the high waist and snug fit, this denim brand was a favorite of many especially those who could not afford the high-end counterparts, till they suddenly went out of vogue after a series of financial difficulties.
Though not as popular, this denim brand is still in existence according to the reviews and in this article, we are going to find out what happened to the brand and where you can shop for them.
History of Chic Jeans
The Parent company that manufactures the Chic Jeans line was founded in 1923 by Henry I. Siegel and was originally known as Honesdale Manufacturing.
It had its base in New York and a factory in Tennessee where it exclusively produced white label workwear and jeans for men as a third-party manufacturer and circulated these wears among retail stores and brands like Montgomery Ward and J.C. Penny.
The brand expanded further, owning three factories in Tennessee.
Jesse Siegel took over the family business in 1949, after the death of his father, and made several alterations to the business and clothing lines.
Jesse branded the company, using his father’s initials, H.I.S, and would go on to make adjustments to the Khaki pants, making wears and designs that appealed to his core audience of teenagers and young men.
These changes reflected positively on the revenue and status of his brand which got categorized among the nation’s top sportswear designers at the time.
Along the line, the name of this firm was switched to Henry I. Siegel Co. and the female line of the brand, “h.i.s for Her” was launched in 1964 to fill the increasing demand for formerly “men’s garments”.
Sales increased tremendously with this new line and again, Siegel privatized the company.
With cheap imports of men’s clothing drifting into the country, Jesse Siegel put a hold on the manufacturing of the men’s line and chose to focus instead on the woman’s wear that was named the Chic label.
The Chic “true to size” jeans were launched in 1975. Height, waist size, and inseam lengths were some of the improvements that were carefully put into consideration. Other fits were added to the brand including the classic, relaxed, and slim fit.
Soon, in the mid ’80s, Chic Jeans joined the league of other popular denim, making its way to the top manufacturers of women’s denim alongside big brands like Levi Strauss and H.D. Lee.
The trademark of the brand was registered in Germany and went on to grow into one of the foremost women’s jeans, taking the centre stage in the German market.
By 2002, Chic by H.I.S. Inc. was bought and restructured by VF Corporation, which is the parent company of lines like Wranglers, Lee’s, and Vans, on the basis of its customer loyalty to the brand.
What happened to the Chic brand?
In the early ’80s, Burton Rosenberg, (the CFO) alongside the management of the company borrowed huge amounts of money as they took part in a highly leveraged transaction, and this debt piled into millions.
During the same period, a rival brand, Gitano lowered the prices of their products too in order to acquire market share forcing the company to lower their retail prices too to meet up with the competition.
The h.i.s also brought back the men’s jeans with the same budget prices and this catapulted their sales greatly.
Burton Rosenberg who had now risen to the position of a Chief Executive Officer, succeeding Jesse Siegel, made a wrong move by raising $69 million in public stocks to pay the $114 million debt from the leveraged transaction and to expand the company.
Unfortunately, there was a dent in the retail fashion business with some of the more popular customers of the Chic line going out of business.
This downturn greatly affected the brand and led to the closure of a number of factories in Kentucky and Tennessee. One-fifth of the workers were laid off also and production was moved to Mexico.
Another noticeable change with this brand is that the H.I.S brand is no longer a cheap, middle-class brand offering budget-friendly models but is now more of a designer brand since its move to Mexico.
Despite being acquired by the VF Corporation in 2002, for some reason, there is yet to be a revival of the Chic Jeans line as there is no walk-in stores one could go to snag a pair of these jeans.
Are these jeans still selling?
Though it is hard to come by, with a bit of effort and determination, there are a few places where you could get a pair or two of Chic Vintage jeans.
The Chic website is still on though there is no use checking there as the offers on the websites could not be more different from the comfy and slim-fit jeans that the brand is known for.
Where can one buy them?
Despite not being available on the website and not having walk-in stores to pick your favorite pair of jeans from, there are a number of people who mysteriously have had access to the denim from this brand using some of the sites listed below.
You can get your pair of Chic Jeans on the Wal-Mart website. Type in the keywords and scroll carefully through the options displayed on the screen.
The Amazon website is another place where you can shop for your favorite pair of Chic Jeans just like the other brand faithful before you have done.
My four favorite styles from Chic Jeans (and why you should buy them)?
There are a couple of styles from Chic Jeans that you can rock depending on your body type and preferred color.
The fits and styles available will be analyzed below to help you make the right choices when shopping for your Chic Jeans.
The Chic Stretch Elastic Pull-on Pants
From the Chic Classic collection, these straight, high-rise denim pull-on pants come in four different shades including black, dark shade, mid shade, and khaki-colored denim.
The fabric is a blend of cotton, spandex, and polyester. It stretches slightly and the length of the jeans varies slightly for average and petite sizes.
These Chic Stretch Pull-on jeans run true to size and are lightweight as well. Other features include slanted front pockets and pleats in front.
It has fitted legs that are not snug to the point of discomfort and are an excellent choice, especially for the older folks who prioritize their comfort. These jeans can be styled as casual wear or layered to form part of a dresser style.
The Chic Plus size Jeans
The Chic Plus size jeans come in four shades including black, mid-shade, dark shade, and Starlite. It is a blend of cotton, polyester, and spandex material.
The material used for these pants is not just quality and hard-wearing but soft, thick, and stretchable too.
The elastic waistline makes it easy and comfy to wear. It also faux back pockets do not add any actual bulge to one’s shape, mock zipper, and shallow front pockets to hold items.
Unlike other jeans, these are not made with double seams and this gives the outfit a dressy appearance that makes it perfect for casual, professional, or semi-formal occasions. It is recommended to size down if you have thinner legs as the ankles open up wider.
The waistline of this denim is not high and one might have a problem with having to pull them up occasionally. Also, it also tends to be a bit longer for individuals with petite figures.
Women’s Missy Classic Jean
Still from the Chic collections, this model is available in just the rinse shade. This straight-legged Jean is mid-rise and fits true to size. It is made with quality material and the color does not run after washing.
It has mock front pockets and patch pockets behind. The blend of cotton, polyester, and spandex gives it a comfortable stretch.
It can be styled with heels to give it a dressier look and is available for sale.
Chic Women’s Petite Cotton Pull-on pants
These jeans are perfect for petite, chubby women and elderly people. It is more or less what is termed “mom jeans” which are made with sturdy, quality material to assure durability.
According to the reviews, these pants are bigger around the waistline and while they are flat behind, a bulk appears in front of it making it not very stylish or comfortable. The length, waist, and legs fit properly without being too snug or roomy.
The material is lightweight and does not shrink or fade after wash. It comes with deep pockets and an elastic waist that is easy to pull on without all the fuss that comes with zips and buttons.
Apart from being comfy, these jeans are sold at affordable prices and are available in black twill, stonewash denim, destruction blue, and khaki twill. You can use the link below to get a pair for yourself.
Despite the challenges this brand has scaled through over the years, one thing is sure from the reviews, that they have maintained the denim quality and fit that it has been known for over the years.