Jeans are a woman's best friend not because they are just so bloody versatile, but because you cannot really do anything to them. They are immortal. The worst that can happen is the colour fading over the years. But bleach them a little and voila, you have a brand-new faded pair right there. If you tear them on a wayward nail somewhere, just rip them a little more and have yourself a pair of ripped jeans. Fray them out some more and you have distressed jeans.
In August 2021, I set out to buy a few pairs of jeans. After trying and discarding about eight pairs of pants ranging from waterless denims to denimless jeans to stretchable pants and breathable fabric, I found two pairs that did not stick to my thighs for dear life. These were called baggy jeans. The man and woman helping me out with these were ecstatic. Their selling point was: "Skinny is out. Baggy is in."
The pandemic had killed the skinny jeans.
The headlines said so. The fashion forecasts said so. Gen-Z said so. And like it is with everything, once Gen-Z passed its verdict on the skinny, it began showing up less and less on the shelves of your favourite jeans brand.
The pandemic had made all of us ease into a level of comfort-over-fashion when it came to clothes. Sweatpants were acceptable outside the bedroom and shorts were the new skirts. So, the baggy jeans and the mom jeans and the boyfriend jeans all had their moment in the spotlight as the skinny waited, patiently, in a corner. We all gained weight during those numerous lockdowns when food perhaps was the only comfort the virus hadn't snatched. The pair of skinny jeans was shoved to the back of the wardrobe as we opted for roomier, breathier pants. It was all good.
But then, the good doesn't last long.
The third year of the After-Covid era, the skinny is back. You cannot kill the sheer mouldability of a pair of skinny jeans. Throw a crisp white shirt over it, and you're ready for a board meeting. Swap the shirt for a sexy top, and your #ootn is right there. Mom jeans or boyfriend jeans never really had the chutzpah that the skinny has. If you're travelling in baggies in the rain, god forbid those wet ankles. The skinny offers you a certain in-between option that doesn't require changing out of your office clothes into a dress for an evening out in town. The pandemic is over. We are back into workplaces and workplaces want you back with a vengeance. As do the night-outs.
Now as a later-millennial, my relationship with skinny jeans has been the pretty love-hate kind. On good days I love those sleek dark denims to bits because they look better than the baggies could ever. On bad days, they are, well, just a pain in the in-between. The low-rise torture devices have been banished and rightly so, but skinny or straight with mid- to high-rise waists will likely survive any pandemic, fashion or virus. Like society, fashion too moves in circles. Fads don't last.
The skinny will fray and finding a fit is still tough, but maybe an extra trip to the store is not all that bad. Perhaps that's the thing about everything millennial. Love, hate, tough love all rolled into one. Forget what Gen-Zers say.