There are few garments as polarizing as the skinny jean. On TikTok, Gen Z is saying that pin-thin denim is officially out of style—yet many millennials, who grew up with the trend in the aughts, still have a strong love for them. Personally, I am reminded of wearing skinny jeans in high school in the late 2000s, when they had a huge moment. I would quite literally squeeze myself into women’s jeans—the tighter, the better!—and modeled my entire jean wardrobe after the styles worn by stars like Nicole Richie and Lindsay Lohan.
These days, I’ve given my skinny jeans a rest, but the tight jean look still lives on. Denim brands such as J Brand, Levi’s, Wrangler, and more continue to sell them as a classic offering; skinny jeans have moved past a fad, and are now a seasonless wardrobe staple. Yet, in the land of celebrities, there’s a new hot jean in town that’s threatening to steal the skinny jean’s spotlight entirely: Big, baggy denim.
Over the past few weeks, stylish stars such as Hailey Bieber, Tracee Ellis Ross, Bella Hadid, Katie Holmes, and more have all stepped out in denim that is more roomy and wide-legged. The movement makes sense, given the current times: Over the past year, we’ve all gravitated towards dressing for comfort, so why wouldn’t we approach our jeans that way? Celebrities have styled the big jeans in a variety of chic ways, offsetting their slouchy look with tailored coats, sky-high stilettos, and the It bags. Whereas the skinny jean dresses up and streamlines any outfit, the baggy jean has the opposite effect and gives any outfit a cool, effortless feel. Plus, they are decidedly much comfier, too—what’s not to love?
It turns out, stars are not alone in their skinny jean fatigue, either. I asked some of my colleagues their thoughts on the new baggy denim look—and many of them are ready to retire their skinny jeans, too. “I’m glad to see skinny jeans go,” says Cassandra Pintro, editorial producer. “I’ve always been biased toward fashion that feels more freeing, and skinny jeans are not the match for that.” Beauty writer Akili King agrees. “I don’t really wear skinny jeans; I love a mom jean or wide-leg jean,” she says. “I love being comfy and not restricted.”
Market editor Rachel Besser also echoes the sentiment—though she’s not ruling super-slim jeans out entirely. She says, “I loathe skinny jeans and wearing them makes me feel like I am on a parade float, nude, with unflattering fluorescent lighting—but, a few years ago, I felt the same about flip flops, so maybe I love skinny jeans?” She’s not wrong: As with any trend, skinny jeans will likely be worn by all the stars in a few months, and the cycle will start all over again. But for now, it’s all about channeling three words—Big jean energy.