Skinny jeans have had a pretty rough run of things lately. Most notably, there's been an ongoing debate with millennials and Gen-Zs on TikTok with some 'youths' firing shots at the classic denim style.
According to the internet, just like side fringes, skinny jeans are characteristic of millennials' aesthetic, with some folks even labelling skinnies 'over' and 'lame' (*gasp*). And I realise that, as a millennial, I'm kind of biased. But, it needs to be said, I also saw skinny jeans at their best.
Wide-leg, frayed and mom-jeans might be the trends of 2021 and, working in fashion, I'm aware that waving goodbye to certain 'looks' comes with the territory. But rather than painting skinny jeans like the bad guy, or the toxic relationship that we entertained for too long, and only reluctantly considered leaving when the internet said it was time, let's take a minute to remember what skinny jeans did for us.
For many, the first foray into the world of skinnies came in the early noughties. At the time, we used straighteners religiously, put foundation on our lips (I'm not defending that), and loved our denim low-rise, in various levels of distress, complete with acid-wash finishes. It was a time, kay? But we weren't the only ones loving skinny jeans - even celebrities wore them on the red carpet, often in colour-pop shades and adorned with statement belts.
And of course who could forget their role in the 'emo' scene that followed shortly after? In addition to your ~dramatic~ side fringe and shredded Converse, skinny jeans completed the not-so-holy trinity.
As we finished high school and went off to work or uni, skin-tight jeans were the only jean you needed to pack. You could meet your friends in town wearing a high-waisted style with a cropped jumper or slouchy t-shirt and Vans, and go straight from there to a house party. They were versatile and boy, did we capitalise on it.
When it came to clubbing or nights out, skinny jeans were the fail-safe option. Heck, I would go as far as to say that they were responsible for the legendary 'jeans and a nice top' combo. It's a big call but I stand by it.
What other trousers would we have worn with our Docs to that cool concert if not skinny jeans? Or when we hit the ice skating rinks with our mates in winter?
Over time, white trainers and tight jeans became synonymous with Saturday brunch and, in some offices, we could even get away with wearing black skinnies (which kind of looked like trousers) to work with a smart blouse and blazer. The outfits options were seemingly endless.
Granted, we might be in different life stages now, and fashion is always changing - that's part of why we love it so much. But the thing is, you shouldn't feel like you have to stop wearing something you love just because the internet pressures you to. You do you, boo. Nor should you be trolled, however humorously, by Gen Zs for still wearing skinny jeans in 2021.
Regardless of whether you move them to the back of your wardrobe or not, it's worth acknowledging that skinny jeans have been part of our personal style evolutions. They grew with us. So, times might change, trends will come and go but before you start listening to people bad mouthing skinny jeans on the interwebs, remember how well they served you over the years. And for those who weren't there for it, show some respect.
This TikTok perfectly sums up how far we've come:
"For all you Gen Z-ers calling us lame for liking skinny jeans, you have to remember what we grew up with: low-rise jeans."
One might say, we walked so that you could run. You're welcome.
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