Wide-leg jeans are this decade’s mini-skirt

Image Source: The Independent

By Faye Couros | @CourosFaye

Within a mesh of monochrome green, Billie Eilish is messing around in a bathtub for a series of ‘My Calvin’ videos for Calvin Klein.

In the voice-over, she is explaining to the world that she will never wear figure-hugging clothes to preserve her privacy.

“I never want the world to know everything about me… that’s why I wear big, baggy clothes. Nobody can have an opinion because they haven’t seen what’s underneath.”

It seems this decade of fashion is about comfort and practicality, and young pop star Billie Eilish is trailblazing fashion’s ever-growing fascination with shapeless yet chic silhouettes.

From the absolute powerhouse that is ‘Athleisure wear’ to even the less likely trend of granny panties, we are turning away from sub-consciously accommodating our style for the male gaze.

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Image Source: Elle Magazine

No seriously.

From Vox to Refinary29 to The Sydney Morning Herald: granny panties are sexy.

The Vox article even proclaims that wearing granny panties is “now de rigueur in randy Instagram posts, daily life, and celebrity red-carpet photos”.

The most popular trend that leans into easy dressing is mom jeans, boyfriend jeans, and more importantly, the straight leg jeans.

Most 20-something-year-olds grew up in the 2000s when the circulation cutting, low-rise skinny jeans were a big thing.

Relief only came when high-waisted jeans took over as denim’s ringleader.

However, in late 2017, a macro-level shift seeped its way into the zeitgeist in the form of wide-legged jeans.

Denim trends reported by fashion data collecting website ‘EDITED’ in 2018 found that although skinny jeans “still represent 58% of sales”, the styles “cropped, culotte mum, ripped, and wide styles have all gained since 2016”.

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Image Source: EDITED

Wide-legged jeans coincide with the late 80s and 90s insurgence that have come back into fashion lately.

The styles, especially mom jeans, tugged the nostalgic chords in our hearts and rebirthed the laid back, grungy, and loosely hung looks of the 90s (sans heroin chic era celebration).

Brands like Madewell, Everlane, Insight. Loewe, and even Dior have designed variations of this relaxed denim trend.

The shifting cultural landscape over the last few years contributed to the rise of looser fit clothing.

An article by Quartzy stipulates that sex appeal has morphed into something new, as comfort and gender fluid dressing have become mainstream.

Quartzy writes that what we consider sexy has changed, and “many are moving away from the skin-tight and towards something a bit more subtly confident, and maybe less over gendered”.

Skinny jeans are great because they go with any outfit, and make getting dressed easier, however, no matter how tiny you are, they still chafe, squeeze, and press down on bloated tummies after lunch.

So it’s almost no surprise that in 2016 The Sydney Morning Herald asked: “Are Skinny Jeans Dead?”.

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Image Source: WhoWhatWear

Figure-hugging outfits aren’t the devil’s work.

They’re still fun and feel great, however, it’s fair to say comfort has finally triumphed, and on the daily, more women and men are choosing clothing items that are practical yet stylish.

Baggy clothes are usually synonymous with masculinity, but loose-jeans prove one can feel feminine and elegant too.

Choosing to put on loose fit jeans is becoming a popular trend due to the freedom it provides.

Walking down the street, unfazed by whatever is up with your body that day, is the break we all needed from figure-squashing skinny jeans.

Denim jeans have always reflected an era; in the 70s, it was flare, and in the 90s, it was mom jeans.

So, will wide-leg jeans be the look that encapsulates this era?

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