We Need to Talk About Cancelling Skinny Jeans for Men

October 19, 2022

I own 15 pairs of jeans — about six of them are skinny, so, yes, as a former skinny jeans lover, I feel your pain too. I remember the first pair of skinny jeans I bought back in 2007. They were stretchy, faded, ripped, and none of my friends understood them. Back then, skinny jeans were for girls and the Jonas Brothers, so wearing them made me a rule-breaker of some sorts. How times have changed. 

Skinny jeans then became a staple in the 2010s, and the unspoken agreement was: the skinnier, the better. Mandem, including yours truly, used to walk around in jeans that were so tight they either had zips at the hem, or we had to sit down to take it off. The skinny jeans’ fever was so real, there was a time someone had to use scissors to get one off me in the heat of fornication. 

As much as we’d like to bash the skinny jeans now, the truth is, it was a trend we all enjoyed because there was something flirty and fun about it. Now, former celebrity skinny jeans ambassadors like Wizkid and Davido are going for relaxed and oversized trousers. So, where did it all go wrong for skinny jeans? 

Let me explain

The 2020 Pandemic

While skinny jeans were a cool fashion pandemic that shaped style for over a decade, the real pandemic came in 2020 and ended its reign. The lockdown that followed the 2020 COVID-19 pandemic changed the relationship between men and clothes. Since we split our time between trying not to lose our minds and convincing our employers that we were meeting our KPIs, the skinnies got replaced with more relaxing bottoms like sweatpants and baggy jeans. 

Fashion blogger, @monsiuercoupet

When the world eventually opened up, most men like me had finally gotten used to being comfortable and allowing their family jewels to breathe, so struggling to put on a pair of skinnies felt like unnecessary stress. Fashion quickly became about how an outfit feels, not just how it looks. 

Gen Zs

At this point, I’m convinced Gen Zs derive joy in taking things away from millennials. They’ve taken away phone calls, side parts, optimism and general peace of mind, thanks to all their annoying apps and annoying desire to always “talk things out”. I blame them for everything, including the death of skinny jeans. 

Gen Zs are constantly dragging millennials for wearing skinny jeans, and this is one battle I’m willing to fight for them. Even though we used to think skinnies were the definition of ashewo fits back in the day, this new generation is showing us that ashewo is not just in the clothes, it’s a state of mind, and I fuck with that. 

Random thought, if Gen Zs hate us so much, why are they obsessed with the 1990s, which is the era millennials were born in? It’s very sus because they drag us for liking 1990s music, but every two to five days, they’re either sampling the sound of that era or copying its aesthetic. 

RECOMMENDED: Nigerian Men, Here’s What Your Pants Say About You

The Resurgence of 1990s Fashion

The death of skinny jeans for men is also connected to our obsession with the fashion, music and overall feel of the 1990s. Many of the new iterations of jeans for men, from the straight cut to the boot cut, were popular in the 1980s and 1990s. Instead of trying to dress like Burna Boy, this generation wants to dress like RMD in Checkmate, and Baba Fryo. We’re swapping tight fits for boxy-looking fits that give off a more polished (and less thirsty) look. 

Social Media has Democratised Fashion

Once upon a time, people weren’t allowed to make fashion choices by themselves. No, I’m not saying we were all forced into a Covenant University, but what was cool was determined by a select group of magazines and bloggers. While we still look at magazines and blogs once in a while, social media has turned fashion into a democracy, and whether we like it or not, it has influenced how we dress. 

Taking “tastemakers” away from the equation, we finally have options and can be more daring, bold and attuned to our own personal styles. You can draw fashion influence from style stars like Denola Grey and I can pull my fashion inspiration from some random guy in Port Harcourt whose style appeals to me. Because of this, no one can definitively say what’s in or out when it comes to fashion. And, yes, I get the irony since I’m telling y’all to give up skinny jeans. 

Ultimately, skinny jeans are fucking uncomfortable. Even though they’re fading out now, the truth is, they, just like straight-cut jeans from the 1990s, may still make a comeback. Our perception of what’s cool is constantly changing, and that’s the best thing about fashion. 

ALSO READ: Nigerian Fashion Is in Its Ashawo Era and We’re Here For It

Join The Conversation

Bring a friend.

You'll like this

Watch

Now on Zikoko

Recommended Quizzes

November 4, 2019

After successfully predicting when y’all are getting married (please, email any complaints to noneofourbusiness@nayousabi.com), we are back to tell you how much is currently in your account. How, you might ask? By using your taste in Nollywood, of course. Shhh. No questions. Just take it already:

September 1, 2021

August is over, and here are some of our best quizzes from August. Enjoy: 1. QUIZ: Only Ajebutters Can Get 10/21 On This Quiz Some people like to form ajepako when they’re really ajebutter. Are you one of them? Let’s find out. 2. QUIZ: Sorry, If You’re Under 25 There’s No Way You Can Pass […]

November 11, 2019

Everyone has something to say about what kind of person they are. But how well do we truthfully evaluate these things? Not that much, I can assure you. The average person is always lying to themselves to make sure they look good. But you know what and who doesn’t lie? Zikoko quizzes that’s what. Take […]

November 27, 2019

Do you have a face that could make angels jealous, or should you really be walking around with a nylon bag over your head so you don’t scare children? Well, this quiz is here to answer that by telling you exactly how good-looking you are. Take and find out: 11 Quizzes For People Who Aren’t […]

December 11, 2019

In the past month, we’ve made quizzes that guessed the last time you had sex, how many people you’ve slept with, and just how good you are in bed. For our latest attempt, we will use your taste in Nigerian music from the 2010s to ascertain what you’re like in bed. Take to find out:

More from Fashion

Watch

Trending Videos

Zikoko Originals

September 13, 2022
Vs The World is a Zikoko original video series that follows best friends Astor and Hassan as they take on the world.
August 23, 2022
Zikoko Ships is a Zikoko Original series where we invite two people who share a relationship to play the Zikoko card games
December 14, 2020
What happens when a group of chatty young Nigerians talk about things they're passionate about? You get Nigerians talk. A show that discusses very familiar struggles for the average Nigerian. From relationship deal breakers to sex education with Nigerian parents to leaving Nigeria, be prepared for a ride.
November 2, 2020
'The Couch' is a Zikoko series featuring real life stories from anonymous people.
October 26, 2020
A collection of videos documenting some of the events of the EndSARS protests.
June 22, 2020
'The Couch' is a Zikoko series featuring real life stories from anonymous people.
June 22, 2020
Hacked is an interesting new series by Zikoko made up of fictional but hilarious chat conversations.
June 4, 2020
What happens when a group of chatty young Nigerians talk about things they're passionate about? You get Nigerians talk. A show that discusses very familiar struggles for the average Nigerian. From relationship deal breakers to sex education with Nigerian parents to leaving Nigeria, be prepared for a ride.
June 2, 2020
Quickie is a video series where everyone featured gets only one minute to rant, review or do absolutely anything.
May 14, 2020
Isolation Diary is a Zikoko series that showcases what isolation is like for one young Nigerian working from home due to the Coronavirus pandemic.

Z! Stacks

Here's a rabbit hole of stories to lose yourself in:

Zikoko amplifies African youth culture by curating and creating smart and joyful content for young Africans and the world.
X