Wide-legged or skinny? Fashion experts weigh in on the jeans scene

Sep 7 2021, 8:33 am

Canadians are shopping again as the world reopens. According to Statistics Canada, retail sales were up by 4.2% to $56.2 billion in June of this year, led by higher sales at clothing and clothing accessories stores.

With the return of social events, going back to the office, and inevitably, fall weather, we have genuine reasons to wear jeans once again. But after Gen Z proclaimed skinny jeans to be out of style on TikTok earlier this year (the internet reacted, as it does), and baggy, wide-legged jeans made a comeback, what should we be wearing?

Fashion designer Marc Jacobs, among other stars, including Hailey Bieber, Katie Holmes, and Tracee Ellis Ross, have been embracing the baggy jeans trend, according to Vogue. To hear what Canadian fashion experts have to say, we spoke with Courtney Watkins, the owner of luxury consignment store Mine and Yours, and broadcast host, producer, and on-air style expert Mana Mansour.

“It’s no surprise that wide-leg and mom jean silhouettes have become especially popular since the resurgence of 90s trends became the forefront of fashion recently. Plus, this challenging year has proven how much we yearn for a bit of nostalgia of the good ol’ days (hello, Friends reunion!),” says Mansour.

Watkins agrees, saying mom jeans and wide-leg jeans have been a “hot COVID trend,” with some of the most popular designers for denim at Mine and Yours being Agolde, Denim Forum, and Saint Laurent. “One of the most flattering ways to wear mom jeans is with a fitted top, cropped sweater or oversized tee for an effortlessly casual look and [to] show some ankle skin.”

When she first heard about the TikTok jean trend, Watkins says she was “almost offended.” However, when she tried on a pair of high-waisted, straight-leg jeans and thought about how long she had been wearing skinny jeans for, she “realized Gen Z was right.” She says there has been a “massive interest” from clients searching for more comfortable, “looser, baggier, and wider-leg jeans.”

Like Mansour, Watkins believes Y2K styles are coming back in a big way, and we’re all taking inspiration from this era. “We’re even noticing shoppers searching for low-rise [jeans] as well,” she says.

Are skinny jeans gone — forever? (I personally hope not because I own a few pairs.)

“I still think they have their place (tucked into boots during the winter months, for example),” says Mansour. “I also think that we haven’t survived a global pandemic to only go back to not wearing what makes us happy. I say if you love it, and it looks great on you, wear it. Also, remember that fashion is almost always cyclical.”

Mansour explains her only qualm with wide-leg and mom-style cuts of jeans is that “they are not the most flattering on most body types.” She tells us, “If you’re say, petite or curvy, they don’t do much to lengthen height or flatter curves.”

The style expert’s advice to get around this? Find wide-leg or mom jeans with a great stretch that aren’t too tight on the thighs nor too wide on the leg. “Cropped [styles] also help give the illusion of height for my fellow petite gals,” she adds.

“My favourite style of jeans will always be a cropped flare/boot cut. I find it the most universally flattering, and it looks great throughout the seasons, whether with ankle boots or a great strappy sandal,” says Mansour. “I will always wear them, pandemic or not.”

When asked about the style of jeans she sees herself wearing beyond the pandemic, Watkins says, “Though I might keep my favourite pair of skinny’s, I am all about high-rise straight-leg!”

She adds, “At the end of the day, wear what you feel most confident in but don’t be afraid to push yourself into trying some new styles.”

Catriona HughesCatriona Hughes

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