fashion ‘I’m a fashion editor and there’s a reason you suddenly want to break up with jeans.’ Tamara Davis

Zooming out from my floordrobe and crowded browser history, there’s actually a broader reason for this. And it has a lot to do with having too much choice. Yep, good old decision fatigue… but for denim.

The problem is that the market is confused.

Trends in this category used to be pretty definitive. In the 70s it was all about flares; in the 90s it was baggy. In the 2000s we had low-rise and in the 2010s skinny jeans felt quite revolutionary and quickly rose to prominence.

Then, around the time COVID hit, people started seeking a more relaxed silhouette, and jeans moved away from the leg into a wider shape. We had wide and straight-leg jeans dominating for another few years, and we all breathed a (literal) sigh of relief at not having to undo our top buttons after lunch.

But now we’ve hit a snag. The question is, where to next?

Lots of the aforementioned brands are catering to a Gen Z appetite for super low-rise waists and baggy legs that feel new to them but bring back high-school baggage for many of us. Although we’ve long moved past using harmful language like “muffin top” for our midsections, I think we can collectively say that pubic-hair-skimming jeans were not a good time for anyone (except maybe Paris Hilton.)

Then there are whispers around about skinny jeans being back. A scattering of them on the runways, along with scarier styles like (gulp) capri pants and “cropped flares”. The cool girls are wearing pedal pushers, apparently, and that’s mildly terrifying.