Trying on jeans ranks up there as a most-loathsome shopping experience: Wriggling into pair after pair (after pair) means being confronted by the realities of definitely not having the hips-to-waist ratio or the inseam of a fit model. It can be just as bad as swimsuit shopping — maybe even worse. Sure, online denim shopping means flailing in a sea of denim in the comfort of your own bedroom instead of the fluorescent-lit hell of a fitting room, but you’re still trying on pairs you likely won't keep, in a wide range of sizes, since fit varies so wildly between brands. LikeAGlove is attempting to make the online denim quest a whole lot smoother. The brand's “smart leggings” are equipped with built-in conducive fibers that take thousands of measurements of the shape and contours of your gams to make online jeans shopping easier. Your measurements get sent via a Bluetooth controller to LikeAGlove’s free app, which matches up with a catalog of popular denim brands. The idea cropped up when founder and CEO Simon Cooper was at a family barbeque last year. His wife complained about the impossible search for great-fitting jeans, and challenged her husband to use his tech prowess to make the quest less frustrating. You can technically veg out in the unisex leggings and do all your decidedly non-active pursuits in a pair of LikeAGloves — “a few pre-sale customers say they wouldn’t mind wearing them around the house,” Cooper says — but they’re intended to be measurement garments, not a wear-everywhere stand-in for those jeans you’re trying to buy. “LikeAGlove was designed to help customers keep up with their changing figures and ensure they can get the perfect fit each time they need a new pair of jeans,” he adds.
Cooper says the roster of denim brands accounted for on LikeAGlove’s app “[makes] up over 80% of the denim market,” and covers a variety of price ranges. The leggings can be pre-ordered for $39.99 before October 16, and the price goes up to $49.99 for orders from October 16 to December — all of which will ship in early 2016. The regular price will be $99.99, and orders placed after December 1 will arrive in summer 2016. Right now, denim is the only "measurement garment" that LikeAGlove is offering, but expect additional pieces with the same fit-wizardry capabilities eventually. “While we are focused right now on the denim market, we do have plans to expand to other garments down the road,” Cooper told Refinery29. “It’s our mission to help consumers find what fits their shape best, and we know that jeans are not the only apparel item causing serious fit frustration.” Denim brands are fretting over the widespread popularity of stretchier, more forgiving, questionably sports-inclined alternatives to jeans in this age of all things athleisure. The irony isn't lost on us that it could just be this spiffed-up pair of leggings that comes to the rescue of slumping denim sales.