These days, when we’re deciding what to wear, two factors reign supreme: comfort and affordability. For starters, many of us have been trapped indoors for the better part of five months, possibly working from the sofa or, worse (better?), from the bed. And for that, jeans will not do. Instead, it’s joggers, track shorts, T-shirts, and oversized shirts that fulfill our dressing needs. After all, unless you have a day’s worth of Zoom calls ahead of you, there’s really no reason for you not to find comfort in clothing right now.
With the pandemic-induced loungewear boom still going strong, prices for items as simple as sweats and hoodies are skyrocketing. I personally saw a standard black cotton sweatshirt the other day that, despite being 60% off, still cost over £250. (Granted, it was Givenchy, and I was shopping online at Moda Operandi, but you get the idea.) Even Entireworld, R29’s unofficial uniform of quarantine, costs hundreds for a set of joggers and a t-shirt. In trying times, it seems that people are willing to pay above and beyond for comfort. But still, when jobs are hard to come by and money is tight, spending big money on loungewear is hard for even me — a shopping enthusiast with a soft spot for sportswear — to justify.
So, when I came across iets frans… while searching for, what else, jogger shorts on Urban Outfitters’ website a few weeks ago, I was pleasantly surprised by the affordable price point. The streetwear label has been around since 2017 but is only just now making its way to mainstream popularity with its unbeatable combination of stylish and comfortable loungewear that won’t break the bank. Its selection — which costs anywhere between £6 for a pair of socks to £75 for men's outerwear — includes comfortable and on-trend loungewear options like jogger shorts, zip-up crop tops, tie-dye hoodies, and oversized varsity “Dad” T-shirts for women.
The brand was conceptualised by UO’s Europe and Asia design team. The name, pronounced “ee-yetz franz,” means “something French” in Dutch, a reference to the mid-‘90s French film La Haine, according to Vice. Michael Taylor, Urban Outfitters’ menswear buying director in Europe and Asia explained to the publication that it was the film’s “Parisian street culture: sportswear mixed with functional workwear" that inspired the line. The company’s website describes the brand as “modern athleisure,” and calls it a “go-to for elevated sportswear basics, fresh silhouettes, and technical fabrications.” For us, it’s an affordable equivalent to the covetable streetwear pieces that don’t currently land within our budgets.
Despite the similarities between iets frans… and other (much more expensive) streetwear, the Urban Outfitters brand, with its at-home youthful photoshoots and high-low styling, still manages to feel novel, despite having already been around for nearly three years.
See for yourself just how many quarantine wardrobe boxes iets frans… checks off by shopping our top selects from the Urban Outfitters brand below.
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