Skinny jeans aren't going away soon. Figure-hugging denim has been a staple of women's wardrobes since the mid-2000s. Even as different styles saw fashion booms and busts in recent years, nothing has truly threatened the supremacy of the skinny. It's the essential style; all others are auxiliary. Many have declared the death of the skinny jean. From influential fashion blogs such as WhoWhatWear to Internet hotsheets like BuzzFeed, skinny jeans are being called a fizzling trend. Nonetheless, no single style has yet been able to gain a following sufficient to pressure the skinny—much less dethrone it—and it's likely to be a while before one does. Perhaps it's just wishful thinking. "The skinny jeans trend just won't die," Jezebel lamented, back in 2014. Two years since, it still won't.
According to March data from trend forecasting firm WGSN, skinny jeans make up 54 percent of new full-price jean assortments in retail stores—the merchandise you see on typical store racks. No other style comes close. "The skinny jean is not dead," said Sidney Morgan-Petro, a retail analyst at WGSN. "It just has more competition now."
That competition remains weak. Store shelves are actually selling fewer bootcut and boyfriend jeans than last year, at under 10 percent each. While flares have seen a large increase, to 11 percent, its still nowhere close to unseating the skinny. Slim fit jeans stand at 14 percent. The closest rival is the cropped style, at 25 percent. But that particular cut overlaps with many others, including the skinny. (Skintight jeans that stop mid-calf count as both skinny and cropped, for instance.)
Most retailers, if not all, still bank on the skinny to drive sales volume because that's what the masses demand. Street and runway styles pushing wider jeans have yet to convince the populace to switch. For instance, a recent trend in '70s clothes sparked a spike in flared jeans. The latest entrant is high-waisted flares cropped above the ankle, popularized by designer Rachel Comey. Fashion show catwalks last fall were chock-full of baggier denim but the style was less prominent just one season later, according to WGSN's runway show analysis. But for now, the skinny's reign continues.