As we slowly say goodbye to sweatsuits and welcome pre-COVID favorites back into our wardrobe rotation, it’s no surprise that a cult classic style like denim has been one of the first to spike. In signs of recovery, the sold out product percentage for jeans has risen to 30% last month, from 9% six months ago in September 2020. (And sweatpants are being searched 39% less than they were three months ago.) Altogether, these indicate that the denim product category is resonating with consumers and is top-of-mind when it comes to purchasing decisions.
Aside from the pandemic regulations starting to lift, thanks to vaccination distribution, we can also equate this growing interest to viral moments over the last couple of months. Gen-Z has taken to TikTok to declare skinny jeans (along with side parts) to be “dead”, claiming that they make millennials look “old”. Well, think what you may, but it certainly has sparked an uptick in other styles of denim.
So, are skinny jeans out? Not necessarily, as we’ve recorded search volume is still up 15% from three months ago; but, its style competitors are undoubtedly outpacing it. You can see below that "boyfriend jeans" have more than double the search volume of "skinny jeans", at 480k monthly searches, up 49% from three months ago, and other high rankers include baggy jeans, flare jeans, and bleached jeans.
Read on for the silhouettes and attributes that are currently causing a buzz in the denim market.
Welcome back to the 90s! This “retro” style has been a favorite amongst the Gen-Z and TikTok crowd. We’ve seen influencers like up-and-comer Addison Rae sport the style as well as Bella Hadid and Emily Ratajkowski opt for them in off-duty looks. The most forward renditions feature a low rise while more wearable options have mid-to-high rise. Currently, the baggy style has a sold out product percentage of 21%, and online search volumes are up 32% from three months ago.
Flare + Bootcut
Keeping with the nostalgic notions, another trending silhouette includes the early aught’s bootcut to more extreme 70s-inspired flare jeans. Either way, you can spot this style by the fluted leg opening. This style is typically more fitted up top, making it more polished and easy to wear if you’re not a TikTok teen or model off-duty. You can thank the runways of Brandon Maxwell and Celine for kick starting this trend and sparking a rise from a 7% sold-out rate in September 2020 to 38% in March 2021.
Another uptrending silhouette is the straight leg. This cut feels reminiscent of a trouser and is a popular choice amongst the luxury market (see Khaite, Agolde, The Row for inspiration on these); although, this style has gained mainstream popularity thanks to Zara. From November 2020 to February 2021, the retailer’s monthly rate of adding new straight leg styles to the assortment jumped from 8% to 49%. Now coined “the Zara jeans”, their straight-leg cut is all over the ‘Gram and has been a “cool-girl” staple for spring paired back to minimal sneakers and a crop top.
Silhouettes aren’t the only aspect creating buzz in the denim category; keep your eyes on print and color, too. Bleached denim has made its way onto our radar with a sharp 4,763% increase in global online search volume over the last three months. In addition, white denim is making its comeback outside of skinny jeans and prints like animal (snakeskin, cow, zebra), toile and paisley are a few popular choices in the market.
The outlook is good for the denim market - and we're more than ready for it! If you're a StyleSage subscriber, find even more data on denim trends in our platform.