For years, retailers and trend-setters alike have been singing the praises of baggy ‘mom’ jeans and claiming skinny styles are on the brink of falling out of fashion. Yet for all the celebrities sporting loose denim, and advertising campaigns devoid of tight trousers, skinny jeans remained ubiquitous in shops and on the streets.
Then the pandemic hit – and all of a sudden the thought of pulling on a pair of skin-tight jeans just to sit around the house all day wasn’t quite so appealing. Now, more than six months after the lockdown began, social media is rife with people saying they’ll never go back to their skinnies again.
So will 2020 be remembered as the year skinny jeans finally died out? We asked fashion experts for their take on things.
“I have seen the downturn in skinny jeans over the past few weeks coming out of lockdown,” says personal stylist Nina Whitehead.
“All my clients aged between 28-48 years old have been requesting different jean shapes, not wanting to be restricted by skinny jeans anymore.”
Whitehead says her clients still want a flattering silhouette though, even with a looser fit: “The most popular styles I am finding are shapes that are tapered in at the hem, mom jeans, and high-waisted.”
Marks and Spencer reports that it’s seen continued demand for denim throughout lockdown, with its ‘Ivy’ skinny jean and stretchy jeggings remaining bestsellers, though more relaxed fits – such as mom, boyfriend, and wide-leg jeans – are growing in popularity.
“We’re backing categories and customer trends that have accelerated during lockdown with a big focus on everyday style,” says Maddy Evans, head of womenswear buying for the brand. “Our bestselling jeggings are available in black, gray, indigo, a range of colors, and also prints.”
Meanwhile, ACAI Outdoorwear attributes its success during the pandemic to sales of a particular skinny garment.
“Since lockdown, we have enjoyed a record-breaking quarter, thanks in no small part to our core range of Skinny Outdoor Trousers,” says co-founder and creative director, Kasia Bromley. “We have absolute faith in our core bestselling range of skinnies and know many of our customers credit them as the hardest-working staple garment in their wardrobe.”
It seems that despite what trend forecasters and clothing designers might say when it comes to denim, shoppers still have a soft spot for skinny jeans – but now more than ever, they’ve got to be the comfy kind.
With mom jeans gaining ground, could 2020 be the beginning of the end for skinnies? “In short, no,” says Bromley. “Skinny fit styles are here to stay – just as long as they offer wearers incomparable style, performance, and fit.”