The next hot designer jeans brand? Gap

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Gap's back-to-school resolution? Beat premium denim designers at their own game -- and do it at prices up to $100 cheaper than those on the tags of Seven for All Mankind, Citizens of Humanity and True Religion.

Gap recently rolled out more than 20 redesigned styles, ranging from long-legged flares to chic, sleek crops. Prices range from $54.50 to $69.50 -- but starting today, for a limited time, they're $20 off.

And as Gap's head designer, Patrick Robinson, told Racked, the jeans boast many of the qualities designer jeans have cornered heretofore: trendy silhouettes, carefully wrought details and environmentally sound construction.
For the past five years or so, the market for jeans priced at $100 or more has exploded, the justification being that jeans are an investment piece, the thing in your closet you get the most mileage out of -- so why not splurge a little on a pair that makes you look and feel fantastic?

When I bought my first pair of Sevens, four years ago, I was amazed -- their fit and stretch and rinse were revelations, and the price didn't seem so crazy when I considered my graveyard drawer of 15 or 20 pairs of $40 jeans that had warped and stiffened after a wash or two.

But while premium jeans were enjoying a consumer boom, lower-cost denim retailers were stepping up their game. Now, my closet is filled with Gap and Old Navy denim.

Gap Inc. and other mass companies have caught on to the designer tricks -- and the best part is, they've incorporated those elements without losing their realism about fit, a sensibility that designer denim never even pretended to have.

Gap's size six pants are size six pants, and their inseams actually make an attempt at reaching the waist. With this newest incarnation of the 1969 line, Gap may just leave upscale denim in the dust for good.
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