Denim’s back, but with way-back styles

Pandemic pounds are leading consumers to buy looser fitting (and often old-school-looking) jeans.


June 30, 2021

There’s a very random fight happening on TikTok.

Gen Z users are making fun of millennials for wearing skinny jeans. As it turns out, skinny jeans actually are falling out of favor… but for a logical reason.

People put on pounds during the pandemic

Which means that sales trends are shifting from skinny jeans to more comfortable fits, per Forbes. (The same is true of underwear — we wrote about that here.)

It’s not just a change in taste, either. Denim demand is rising overall.

At Levi, sales for men’s relaxed fits and chinos are up 20%+ YoY, while women have been choosing Loose and Stay Loose styles. According to Levi Brand EVP and president Jen Sey, it’s a combo of ’90s nostalgia, comfort, and sustainability (Levi’s loose fits use more sustainable fabrics).

Over at American Eagle, AE’s Mom Jeans became the top seller for the first time this spring.

And it’s not just here

Vogue India talked to 3 denim designers — Dhruv Kapoor, Kanika Goyal, and Pooja Shah — who all said wider-leg, looser pants have become the top sellers.

Overall, the market value for denim was $90B in 2019 and is expected to hit $105B by 2023.

But the real question is, will JNCO ever really make a comeback?

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