Update: With Thanksgiving right around the corner, there's two things we can't help but think about when it comes to our clothes: expandable waistbands, and stains. For the former, consider these food baby-ready outfits. For the latter, let these spill-proof pants do just the trick. We're ready to whip out all our summer clothes, but there are quite a few food-related seasonal sartorial hazards to be mindful of, like iced beverages of all sorts, BBQ condiments, and post-work ice cream cones. It makes us weary of the all-white #OOTD (or really, wearing any white, period) and prone to carrying instant stain remover at all times. But Old Navy is making this specific, very justified outfit concern a thing of the past with its latest take on a summer staple: The retailer just rolled out a new white skinny jean that's stain-repellent. Dubbed the Stay White wash, the jeans are made from the brand's classic soft denims, Melissa Morrin, Old Navy's senior designer for women's denim, told Refinery29. "The pairs are then treated with a stain-resistant wash, which makes liquids roll off the surface, magically, making the jeans perform well with many of your everyday liquid spills like coffee, juice, and wine; and combat more difficult stains after one wash," Morrin explains. Currently, the technology is available in the retailer's skinny-fit Rockstar silhouette (in regular, tall, and petite inseams) for $44.94. We tested out a pair of these seemingly game-changing jeans for ourselves (and recorded a little demo, below), with lukewarm black coffee as our stain perpetrator. From the very first cautious pour, the dark liquid flowed down the pant in rivulets without any absorption. Any lingering droplets sat on the surface until wiped off. We tried it again four, five times (mostly out of sheer amazement) and the jeans did, indeed, wipe off clean. There were only a few, very faint stains left over from the drops we couldn't immediately catch (only visible if you really looked for them), but we presume they'll easily come off in the washer.
This project has been a year in the works — "a labor of love," Morrin calls it. When it came time to apply this stain-repellent technology to a particular garment, white jeans were the obvious choice: "Spills, spots, and scuffs are highly visible on white jeans compared to regular denim washes," Morrin notes. (That's a familiar sentiment to anyone who's spilled even the slightest bit of iced coffee on pristine, fresh denim on the first truly nice day of the year). Old Navy also went for the most dramatic, "Holy shit, how did this not cause a stain?!" reaction, thanks to a particularly bright shade of optic white to ensure a super-clean, crisp look.
A big concern for the team during the design process was ensuring that this new fabrication didn't affect the stretch customers know and expect from Old Navy's popular Rockstar silhouette. "We wanted to start off with [our customer's] favorite fit and are exploring adding this technology into a boyfriend jean to give her more Stay White options," Morrin says. Initial feedback has been positive — and it's been exciting to provide an answer to a common wardrobe problem, she says. Taking care of those Stay White pairs is basically the same as for any jeans: Old Navy recommends washing them inside-out in cold water and drying on low. "The technology will perform well through 20 home wash cycles, though the stain-resisting technology allows for more wears between washes," Morrin explains. This isn't the first time that exceptionally hard-working jeans have surfaced: In 2014, Joe's Jeans rolled out its "Spotless" collection, comprised of (you guessed it!) bright white, stain-fighting jeans. Granted, those jeans were $100 more than Old Navy's foray into this sort of denim technology, which is equal parts party trick and ultra-practical. Morrin tells us that while Old Navy is looking to introduce the fabric to other apparel categories down the line, but right now, it's focused on utilizing the technology for just jeans. "White denim is a must-have for spring and summer, and for many, it replaces classic-wash denim to become the everyday jean style," she says. Our warm-weather dressing just got a little less stressful.