Fashion is notoriously cyclical. What’s cool one day is naff the next, and if you hold on to a style long enough, it’ll come back around and be cool again.
Take for example the ‘chunky sneaker’ trend that’s dominated modern streetwear. Previously decried as ‘dad shoes’, the chunky, functional sneakers that were popular in the 90s have now become de rigeur today, while modern performance runners are considered mostly incompatible with everyday fashion. Give it a few decades and the reverse may be true.
Indeed, the 90s seems to again be the source of inspiration for Australia’s most current menswear trend… Or maybe it’s just the changing priorities that The Bat Kiss has precipitated.
Online fashion retailer ASOS has reported a huge spike in baggy jean sales since lockdown. Since March, wider fits including skater and baggy jean styles have seen a +222% increase in sales compared to last year. Skinny denim has always been the most popular fit among ASOS customers, which is why this sudden change has been so unexpected.
Is this emblematic of changing sartorial tastes, or do men simply prefer the comfort of more relaxed jeans, particularly during These Unprecedented Times? The latter explanation seems more convincing.
With most of Australia still locked down, abiding by strict social distancing and keeping travel to a minimum, men might not feel the need to ‘put in the effort’ and wear more fitted jeans (although we must say, it’s hardly an imposition to wear fitted jeans or try and dress well). Why bother when no-one’s going to see you?
That said, there’s definitely been a trend towards looser fitting clothing in general. The oversized look has steadily grown in popularity thanks to celebrities like Kanye West and Justin Bieber, or brands like Rick Owens or Carhartt WIP.
It will be interesting to see if Australia’s appetite for baggy jeans continues post-lockdown, or if we go back to rocking skinny jeans once we can, you know, actually go out.