American women are ditching skinny jeans after decades of romance

  • American women are ditching skinny jeans for looser styles.
  • Sales of straight-leg jeans surpassed skinny jeans in the United States in 2021, according to NPD figures.
  • Skinny jeans have been a wardrobe staple for decades and dominate sales.

American women are ditching skinny jeans after a decades-long love affair.

Skinny denim pants have been a wardrobe staple for years, but new sales data indicates their moment in the sun is over.

The straight fit became the best-selling jeans fit in 2021, accounting for a third, or $3.3 billion, of the women’s jeans market in the United States, according to data from NPD Group.

Skinny jeans are the only style that has seen revenue decline in 2021, although it remains the most popular fit among younger shoppers, NPD said.

NPD apparel analyst Maria Rugolo said the shift was likely due to customers turning to more comfortable denim styles towards the end of the pandemic. Fortunately, retailers were poised to roll out new styles and fits to meet these changing consumer tastes, she said.

For years fashion editors have heralded the end of the skinny jeans fashion cycle – and time and time again they have been proven wrong. In recent years, however, tastes have started to change, and major denim clothing brands such as Abercrombie & Fitch and American Eagle have noticed that consumers are starting to favor looser styles.

Levi’s CEO Chip Burgh echoed that on a call with investors in early 2021. Burgh said sales of a new line of baggy jeans for men and women had “got off to a very, very quickly” and that the trend was here to stay.

Still, he doesn’t think we’ve completely closed the door on the leaner figure. “I don’t think skinny people are going away on the female side of the business,” he said.