Can dad pants take over skinny jeans fad?

The global pandemic may finally put an end to the long reign of skinny jeans as women don't seem quite so keen to squeeze their bodies into this far-too-tight fashion item after spending many a lockdown month in jogging pants

Published: Jun 16, 2021 02:00:38 PM IST
Updated: Aug 11, 2021 05:34:05 PM IST

Photo by Edward Berthelot/Getty Images

Could the global pandemic have finally put an end to the long reign of skinny jeans? Indeed, women don't seem quite so keen to squeeze their bodies into this far-too-tight fashion item after spending many a lockdown month in jogging pants. As a result, they're turning to pants that combine style and comfort, such as cargo pants, dad pants (or dad jeans) and even parachute pants.

Things aren't looking good for skinny jeans -- so much so that the most legendary of fashion magazines, Vogue, announced in early June that "Marc Jacobs Is Saying Goodbye to Skinny Jeans, Too." And this is not to be taken lightly. The pandemic has totally changed our fashion habits, and it has considerably changed the shape of our pants, favoring more comfortable cuts which, in the end, aren't a million miles from our beloved joggers.

Skinny jeans have been shunned by Gen Zers, who don't see them as a flattering addition to their silhouettes -- not to mention the fact that they're totally has-been. Instead, mom jeans are largely the cut of choice for Gen Z. In other words, skinny jeans have been out of the fashion loop for several months already, despite being one of the few pieces that revolutionized fashion. But then how could they survive a pandemic that brought jogging pants hurtling back on trend in a matter of weeks? As lockdowns and restrictions ease, women all over the world are looking to reconnect with a certain elegance, but not at the expense of the comfort they have been accustomed to for more than a year. As a result, skinny jeans have stayed in the closet, and women have seized the opportunity to favor looser styles and more comfortable materials.

The comfort of jogging pants, the elegance of tailoring

So what better idea than to go borrow a few things from menswear wardrobes? After dad shoes -- those oversized "ugly" sneakers that the whole world ended up wearing -- it's dad pants that seem to be taking over women's closets this spring. These male-inspired pants -- rocking the famous "dad look," with a high waist and sometimes with pleats -- have the advantage of being elegant, verging on tailoring, while also offering a certain comfort with their straight, wide, sometimes even XXL cuts. All brands seem to be offering them this spring, and women are going crazy for them. The global shopping platform ShopStyle recently reported an increase of nearly 70% in searches for this type of pants, highlighting growing consumer interest for these cuts. Dad pants could even dethrone mom pants, which are a little less comfortable.

In some way or another, the pandemic has totally changed the face of fashion. Not only do consumers expect more transparency from brands—especially in terms of sustainable development -- but they also want a more timeless wardrobe in which they feel comfortable. And that's something that has already—at least temporarily—relegated stilettos, suits, ties and the likes to the background, proving far too restrictive for everyday life.

In this vein, other pants styles seem to be gaining renewed interest, especially on social networks: cargo pants— the functional fashion item par excellence—and parachute pants which, with the approach of summer, seem an unavoidable addition to casual looks. All in all, it's a trend that's likely to last a few more months before more sophisticated fashions come around again (or not).

Click here to see Forbes India's comprehensive coverage on the Covid-19 situation and its impact on life, business and the economy​

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