TikTok's ongoing efforts to hold skinny jeans accountable for the harm they've inflicted on our closets and leg circulation have culminated in a verdict I think we can all agree on: straight-leg jeans reign supreme.
According to data recently published by market research firm NPD Group, straight-leg denim — now the top-selling fit among women in the U.S. — has finally usurped skinny jeans.
Maria Rugolo, an NPD Group apparel industry analyst, attributed preference for looser denim to our collective shift towards comfortable clothing, a trend accelerated by the pandemic.
Interestingly, younger consumers are more likely to eschew skinny jeans than, say, baby boomers. In fact, NPD Group found that people born between 1946 and 1964 increased their skinny jean spending between 2019 and 2021.
On the flip side, Gen Z'ers prefer straight-leg jeans, followed by relaxed, wide, and boyfriend fits.
While NPD Group didn't directly link the decline of skinny jeans to TikTok, the platform — beloved by those born between 1997 and 2012 — is home to a slew of videos piling on to tight denim, declaring the fit "canceled," "cringe," and "cheugy."
Given Gen Z's influence on retail and spending habits, I wouldn't be surprised if their skinny jean slander had something to do with the decline of body-hugging denim.
Even Millennials, once staunchly pro-skinny jean, seem to have conceded. According to NPD Group, Millennial-focused retailers reported the highest occurrence of mom jeans selling out.
Like it or not, you probably have Gen Z to thank for your new favorite pair of jeans.