Jorts. A portmanteau of ‘jean shorts’. Probably worn by imagineers as they sit down to their morning cronut, right? I guess the other zeitgeist option of taking the vowels out and making them JNSHRTS didn’t look so cool.
Feeling I was probably more in the jeggings demographic, I wasn’t convinced that Ripton & Co’s Diesel Jorts were likely to find a place in my wardrobe. But in the name of testing and curiosity about the promises of ‘technical denim’, I risked a waistband with a fastener…
Ripton & Co is an American company devoted to making casual looking clothes out of ‘technical denim’. If you read their website, there are a lot of words about making stuff that works, but having fun, but that is hard wearing and functional, but looks casual, shows your personality, feels rebellious… that sort of thing. They do make some other clothes (including dungarees – review of them to follow!) but Jorts are their mainstay, and they do a variety of colours and cuts. Only launched in 2019, they made some headlines with the fun ‘Girls Gotta Eat Dirt’ video, sponsored by them. Marketing genius – but how would the product be in real life?
The Women’s Diesel Jorts come in a range of sizes from 24 to 32, with a choice of cut off or hemmed legs. Guys fancying themselves some Diesel Jorts will find they get the same hem choice, but in sizes from 28 to 38.
I opted for hemmed, and having tried on a couple of sizes went for the size 32. In UK clothing, I’m usually on the mumsy side of a size 12 – I can wear a Fat Face or Next 10, but send me to TopShop and I’ll be a 14. The jorts have a high waist, and while the 32s are quite big around my waist, the smaller sizes felt like they were too tight across my hips to be flattering. Plus, I’m not really a tight clothing kind of person. That said, I think the Jorts sizing is a bit on the svelte young things side – size 24 must be for teeny tiny hipless people who don’t eat cheese.
In use, the jorts seem to have given a little bit, and especially after a few days of wearing can start to feel a little baggy – they then tighten up again after a wash. In hindsight, I should perhaps have gone for the size 31. Or maybe Ripton & Co could just make something a bit more brie loving?
They’re denim, but not denim as you know it – in fact the material is more akin to some skinny jean style jeggings I’ve had. It’s got a lot of stretch in it, and it’s thinner than standard denim. This means the seams aren’t so bulky – handy for riding in – and they feel less warm to wear than standard denim shorts. Much to my surprise, I’ve found myself wearing these for most of this summer, only really taking them off long enough to get them through the washing machine.
I’ve preferred to roll the legs up, finding them a little more flattering at the shorter length. I’ve not really got used to the high waist – I’m a nineties low cut child – and find it can create an unsightly tummy area with a T-shirt over the top. Again, perhaps a sign I should have braved a smaller size.
To the British mind, the idea of riding in denim seemed a little ridiculous, and for a long pedal I’d not be choosing these. As a devout kneepad wearer, they’re not going to cut it for technical rides for me – they finish way above any pads. But for riding into town, commutes to work, and short lunch laps where a chamois and knee pads aren’t needed, these are really comfortable. The thinner fabric and ample stretch means there’s no chafing or uncomfortable lumps, and even in warm weather they’re comfortable. The high waist is a bit warmer than a lower waist would be, but it also means there’s never any bum crack issues when leaning forward to ride.
I’ve worn and washed these a lot, and they’re not showing signs of wear or tear. They’re $79 in the USA, then to the UK there’d be some shipping and probably taxes on top… possibly not worth that effort, but certainly worth sniffing out a pair if you’re in the USA or have a friend heading there.
I would like a lower waisted version of these, or a slightly more forgiving cut to the hip so I could have a more fitted high waist. But I am as surprised as anyone to discover that these have become a staple of my wardrobe. Surprisingly practical and great for all the occasions where you don’t need the full mountain bike baggies.
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|Brand:||Ripton & Co|
|Product:||Women's Diesel Jorts|
|Tested:||by Hannah for 3 months|
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