Jeans on the decline as Americans give up and just wear yoga pants

In News by Maggie Serota / September 5, 2014

Despite being versatile, stylish, comfortable and seemingly ubiquitous, blue jeans are taking a significant sales hit and according to Associated Press, it’s all due to the rise in popularity of yoga pants, sweatpants and other athletic wear that telegraphs an enthusiasm for juice cleanses and cross-fit.  Over the past year, the sales of jeans has dropped a whopping six percent and is losing considerable market share to pants with elastic waistbands.

According to market  research firm NPD Group , the sale of jeans dropped to  $16 billion in the last fiscal year while the sale of active wear climbed a whopping seven percent to total 33.6 billion dollars.  This dip has jeans manufacturers legitimately worried while retailers like J.C. Penney are drastically expanding their inventory of athletic and leisure apparel. It’s time to get used to seeing more and more people being totally fine with leaving the house in sweatpants.

Of course, there were a few times where jeans manufacturers shot themselves in the foot. Take for example skinny jeans, which were only flattering on people with two percent body fat and felt like they were squeezing your internal organs into a vise. By comparison, yoga pants feel like stepping into a warm hug.

One way traditional pants manufacturers are trying to compete  is by trying to marry the appearance of denim with the comfort of leggings with products like jeggings or those yoga pants that are covertly styled to look like office wear. In other words, brands like Levi’s are trying to recover lost revenue by making pants that have the comfort of sweatpants but still give the illusion that the wearer is making an actual effort.

The last time jeans’ market share was threatened was 12 years ago when theirs sales took a three percent drop due to an abrupt rise in the popularity of khakis. So yeah, people were clamoring to look like accountants long before the rise of normcore.

Amanda Hallay, assistant clinical professor of fashion merchandising at LIM College told Associated Press that the shift to athletic or leisure wear marks a radical shift in lifestyle change in the consumers, which makes sense. Think about how many people can now work remotely and enjoy a “pants-optional” work environment in their home offices. Also, many other offices have instituted more casual dress codes that will allow attire that is slightly more formal than pajamas.

“Everyone wants to look like they’re running to the gym, even if they’re not,” said Hallay

Well, when you put it like that, the future sounds kind of horrifying.

Source: Associated Press