As lockdown restrictions relax around the country, many of us are daring to RSVP to intimate gatherings with an affirmative. For our closets, that means pulling out pieces that had been relegated to bottom-drawer status in the recent past. As you reach out for your beloved jeans, consider this (if you are an avid follower of gen-Z trends, you’ll already know): Earlier this year, the TikTok generation seems to have voted out skinny jeans, effectively declaring them as ‘over’.
As I planned an outfit for my first outing since April, I got thinking about this. Skinny jeans were my OOTD staples for most of the Noughties and 2010s; the default sartorial setting, if you may. It was what we wore in a rainbow of hues to hang out in the college canteen and beyond, and what we continued to wear even as we bagged our first jobs. But has the pandemic’s forgiving-trousers-only dress code made us averse to anything that needs to be painstakingly peeled off our bodies at the end of the day? Are the cult Noughties favourites past their prime? I, for one, have been cheating on my skinnies with Uniqlo crops for some time now. Even so, I haven’t been able to get rid of them entirely. Are we on a break or should we just break up?
Dhruv Kapoor, whose collections often feature denim must-haves, doesn’t think you need to bury those skinnies just yet. “I personally never liked skinny jeans in the past, but I am in love with them now! They make an appearance in our spring/summer ’22 collection too,” he says. “Nothing really dies out completely in fashion. It just settles down when there is a new and overpowering influence. But it always springs back in due time.” Kanika Goyal is on the same team. “Fashion is cyclical. Every now and then people feel the need to add new denim styles to their collection. But that doesn’t make skinny jeans outdated. I would categorise them under classics rather than a passing fad (barring the low-rise kind, though!).”
So as we take a little breather from skinny jeans, what are the dominant denims we can turn to instead? Make room for anything roomy. Comfortable, anti-fit and gender-fluid are top go-tos right now. Think flared, wide-legged, cropped or XL baggy styles. Definitely say yes to those trusty boyfriend and mom jeans. Goyal reveals that her high-waist barrel fit, straight fit and lightly flared fit have been bestsellers. “We’ve also been doing variations of utility cargo pants and track pants in denim over the past few years, which have found many takers too.” In Kapoor’s case, his wide-leg ankle-length jeans with an elasticated waist are a chart-topping hit. “Baggy, unfinished hems and micro denim shorts for both men and women are big at the moment. I am also a big fan of denim on denim, which you will find in all our collections.”
We have also witnessed the rise and rise of DIY distressed, hand-painted and patch work jeans. Blame it on denim lovers having extra time to get crafty this past year, the serious urge for something new or their conscious crusade. Doodlage’s ‘Cloudwalker’ collection, for instance, is made from factory-rejected denim waste in a bid to reuse materials that already exist. Similarly, upcycled and gender-neutral brand Tiger and Twig too has a collection of zero-waste jeans—factory rejects with minor flaws revived with hand-painted patterns (think floral, visage and cow prints) or patchwork. “There is a definite decline in the inclination towards skinny fits at the moment. Our wide-legs and mum jeans have done phenomenally well for us. They are easy, inclusive and flattering on every body type,” says Pooja Shah, founder of the brand.
Scroll through for shopping and styling inspiration, if you're planning your reentry into social setups in denim