This "marathon eating" pair of pants is the next best thing to not wearing pants.

Jenn Rice
October 02, 2017

We’ve all reached the point of fullness—in the aftermath of a Thanksgiving feast, happy hour or even a particularly fibrous salad—where the hardware on our jeans starts to cut into the skin. The discomfort endures until you make it home and pop open the button for sweet relief. I’ve always found denim uncomfortable and constraining—until a recent trip to Greenville, South Carolina. At Beija-Flor on Main Street, co-owner Emilie Whitaker suggested Beija-Flor’s popular Kelly Emana jeans when I told her that pants weren’t for me. The jeans were … shockingly comfortable. “As half Brazilian and half Southerner, I was raised to appreciate the importance of fellowship and food—but as the daughter of a fashion designer, I also know that when you look good, you feel good,” she says.

“From the outside, they look like the latest premium raw denim, but the inside is where the technology is doing its thing,” she adds. Invented by a female physicist in Brazil, the yarn in the jeans supposedly boosts physical performance and minimizes muscle fatigue. 

While slipping into the jeans, I mentioned my upcoming carb-laden breakfast tour and the Euphoria food festival schedule. Whitaker called the pants “marathon eating jeans,” so I shouldn't worry about wearing them during several consecutive feasts. “They’re great Thanksgiving jeans,” she says. “No cliché ‘undo your button’ necessary.” To further prove how comfortable the jeans are, Whitaker will wear them while running in the Kiawah Island Half Marathon this fall. The rest of her team will wear the jeans in 5k to raise proceeds for Living Beyond Breast Cancer.

Leaving the store with two pairs, I tested their capabilities on Greenville History Tours’ new breakfast tour. The morning consisted of three stops: pumpkin pancakes at Famous Toastery, French toast made from biscuits (plus a side of biscuits and a self-serve jam bar) at Biscuit Head and a trio of mouthwatering French pastries at LeGrand Bakery. By stop two, lethargy kicked in, but the stretchy Kelly jeans were still wildly comfortable given everything I’d consumed—a little tighter, for sure, but no button indentations (because there are no pesky buttons to begin with!).

I have to confess: I ended up taking a nap afterwards … in the jeans. That night, I continued the marathon with fried goat cheese balls and paella at The Lazy Goat, squid ink pasta and briny West Coast oysters courtesy of JJ, the “oyster king,” at Jianna and Euphoria’s hyped Taste of the South event, where Southern chefs showcased their best.

A weekend of food survival in jeans that felt like buttery velvet every step of the way—what more could you really ask for? I’m wearing these on Thanksgiving.