The great debate among Gen Zs and Millennials has been skinny jeans vs. baggy jeans. Gen Zs say skinny jeans are out and baggy jeans are in, but Millennials are having a hard time saying goodbye to their beloved skinnies. To put the rumors to rest, we did our own research and looked to Fit Intelligence, our data analytics tool, to see if skinny jeans are really out.
Skinny Jeans vs. Baggy Jeans
Before we get into the numbers, let’s define what exactly qualifies as a pair of baggy jeans. According to Elle UK, jeans are considered to be baggy when the cut is ‘barrel leg, straight leg, or asymmetric.’ Mom jeans also fall into the baggy denim category and have increased in popularity along with the other styles mentioned.
Our research shows that baggy jeans aren’t just making a comeback for Gen Zs. In a recent CNBC article, Levi’s CEO said that “the world might finally be entering into the early stages of a new denim cycle. One where tight-fitting pants are suddenly out of style, and instead shoppers young and old are flocking to loose-hanging, wide-leg and flared jeans.”
Celebrities, fashion icons, and influencers would have to agree. We’re seeing less skinny jeans and more relaxed fit denim hitting the streets. Vogue featured a few celebrities embracing the trend and highlighted that in the past year we’ve gravitated towards dressing for comfort, so it makes sense that we’re choosing more comfortable denim too.
What Jeans are in Right Now?
If the fashion industry says skinny jeans are out, then are they really out? Let’s take a look at our data collected from our 200+ retail partners to see if they’re correct.
According to Fit Intelligence, the top purchases for denim from January 2020 to March 2021 are skinny jeans, mom jeans, and straight-leg jeans. You read that right – skinny jeans are the top purchase among denim categories. However, the debate of skinny jeans vs. relaxed-fit jeans just started in the last few months. It’s also interesting to point out that 27.8% of all Fit Finder users are Millennials and 27% are Gen Zs – so it’s basically a tie.
If we look at the purchases of skinny jeans from January 2021 to February 2021, the amount of skinnies purchased decreased by 12%. On the other hand, the number of purchases of mom jeans has consistently increased month-over-month from December 2020 to March 2021, by 45%, 8%, and 23% respectively.
Straight-leg jeans have seen a pretty consistent increase in popularity as well. Purchases of straight-leg denim increased by 29% from December 2020 to January 2021, and by 25% from February 2021 to March 2021. We’ve also seen an upward trend with wide-leg jeans. The amount of purchases of wide-leg denim has been steadily increasing by 21% from December 2020 to January 2021, and by 30% from January 2021 to February 2021.
The Future of Skinny Jeans
Based on our data, we can see that skinny jeans are not as popular as they once were, but that’s not to say that people aren’t still purchasing them. It may take some time for consumers to accept and adjust to the new baggy trend. Until then, we believe that retailers will still sell, and shoppers will still buy skinny jeans. We’re betting that in another few months, we’ll see an even larger decrease in the purchase of skinny jeans, but we can’t confidently say that this more fitted denim style is a trend that will ever disappear.
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