Skinny leggings vs baggy jeans. Which Gen Z Will Throw First?
But what happens when Gen Z is caught between two diametrically opposed trends, one threatening to undo the other, and both popular with teen shoppers?
What we’re talking about here is the struggle between fitted leggings and baggy jeans.
Millennials, for their part, are grateful for the penchant of their successive generations for leggings as they too obsessively wear them for a cup of coffee, on school trips, and even for work. And all the Power of Teenage Consumers still loves is what retailers keep in stock.
But now Gen Z is showing that even in leggings the “skinny” is almost over. On TikTok, they’ve been swooning for months over “flare” leggings, also known as yoga pants.
âFrom a teen perspective, Lululemon is still a # 1 brand with high school kids, but there is a nod to baggy pants, slacks and leggings now in their wardrobes,â said Erinn Murphy, principal. General and Senior Research Analyst at Piper Sander.
And for teens who still wear skinny leggings, they design the look as a âtriangleâ or âinverted triangle,â she said. âSo it’s a loose t-shirt with skinny leggings or a shorter top with looser pants,â Murphy said.
Pacsun President Brieane Olsen said the push for ’70s flares and loose’ 80s styles in pants and leggings is dominating Gen Z, and the styles are appearing heavily on the TikTok and Instagram reels.
Therefore, she said, “At Pacsun, we are seeing a significant shift towards fuller silhouettes in the bottoms among our male and female consumers. Wide leg, loose or loose fit, flare and super flare, and fit. ankle boots are booming denim trends with our Consumer Pacsun. “
Olsen went so far as to say that skinny pants have started to lose money with Gen Z over the past few years, and âgoing into 2022 will be almost obsolete for our consumer.
Market research firm NPD Group noted in a recent report that consumers on the whole have adopted more casual and comfortable âhead to toeâ styles of fashion.
In categories of women’s jeans and active bottoms, such as leggings, looser styles are gaining ground, said Maria Rugolo, fashion apparel analyst at NPD Group.
âWe’re also starting to see looser fit in sportswear,â she said. “Flare is the style right now and TikTok is having fun with it.”