Pedal Pushers Refashioned from Skinny Jeans

Did the Pandemic Kill Skinny Jeans?

It’s official. We seem to be in the early stages of a new denim cycle. Looser fitting jeans with a high waist or a flare at the bottom are in. The pandemic may have hastened the demise of skinny jeans, says Levi Straus CEO Chip Bergh:

“This is not the first time we’ve seen this resonating with consumers. Cycles do come and go. And I think the pandemic definitely played a contributing role to consumers looking for a more comfortable, more relaxing denim.”

“Suffocatingly Slender Denim”

In the Wall Street Journal, Donna Bulseco tells us that skinny jeans will make us look out of date:

“Elvis wore them in the 1950s. The Sex Pistols flaunted them in the ’70s. In 2006, British supermodel Kate Moss made them trendy yet again. But squeezing into skinny jeans today—particularly if you pair them with a blazer and pointy stilettos, or a too-tight plaid flannel and an equally pointy pair of chelsea boots—will place you in a bygone decade. Or worse, it could get you fashion-cancelled on TikTok, where Gen Z has boisterously condemned skintight denim.”

Comfort or Weight Gain?

Comfort has definitely become more important in the last year. There’s nothing about skinny jeans that’s very comfortable. Plus, what’s the point when people are looking mainly at your head and shoulders on Zoom anyway?

Then there is the question of weight that we may have gained over the past year. For young people we now have objective data pointing to significant weight gain in the pandemic. Data from self-reports of weight, diet, and physical activity are also pointing to the possibility of significant pandemic weight gain for adults, too.

So for many reasons, skinny jeans seem less relevant to our current circumstances. No wonder they’re fading from the fashion plate.

Click here, here, and here for more on the demise of skinny jeans.

Pedal Pushers Refashioned from Skinny Jeans, photograph © Jo H. / flickr

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April 18, 2021

2 Responses to “Did the Pandemic Kill Skinny Jeans?”

  1. April 18, 2021 at 8:59 am, John DiTraglia said:

    i think the secret is that denim is so strong that it won’t rip. kind of like a girdle.

  2. April 18, 2021 at 4:14 pm, Chester Draws said:

    This is a “just so” story.

    Women’s fashion does not change for practical reasons. If it did skinny jeans would have died once cell phones became ubiquitous. Instead women have spent years with a phone that they can’t put in a pocket.

    Even when it is practical, fashion tends to be practical about showing how you meet some ideal. Skinny jeans show you are skinny. You can be pretty sure that the new trend will not be obese friendly. It will simply be skinny friendly in a new way (a while back jeans were baggier, but also low slung, so you could see stomach — that was far from fat friendly).