At this point in 2020, it’s pretty difficult to find myself truly shocked by anything. So, while my first reaction to learning that jeggings are back at the top of our shopping lists may have been “wait, what?” it was immediately followed by “yeah, that makes sense.” And despite the fact that wide-leg and boyfriend jeans have pretty much dominated the denim scene for the past year or two, it really does make a ton of sense.
According to data included in Afterpay’s Bi-Annual Global Fashion and Beauty Trend Report, searches for jeggings are way up, particularly for New Yorkers and people who are shopping on Sundays. As a fashion editor myself, I have two main theories why stretchy, skin-tight styles are having a resurgence. First, jeggings are every bit as comfortable as regular leggings but naturally appear to be more dressed up. While it was fun to wear nothing but sweatsuits (and then sweatshorts) at the beginning of the COVID-19 quarantine, we’re not feeling quite as thrilled about sporting PJs 24/7 anymore. Jeggings arrive at that rare junction between being universally appropriate for a variety of different occasions (from dinner with friends to date night and even socially distanced parties in the park) while also being super easy to wear.
Second, we’re all craving comfort in the form of nostalgia. Almost nothing about the year 2020 has felt normal, let alone easy, which has left many of us longing for simpler times. And while we can’t actually revert back to life circa 2011 (nor should we), there’s something comforting about reaching for a similar pair of pants we were wearing when we saw Bridesmaids in theaters or while dancing around to “Friday” by Rebecca Black.
Luckily, we have come a long way since the days of denim-printed leggings and Pajama Jeans (perhaps one of the lowest points in denim history). And the 2020 version of the jegging leans more toward the jeans part of its namesake than the leggings part. The modern iteration is more of a super-stretchy, slim-fit style that’s more comfortable than rigid denim and significantly easier to tuck into the trendiest boots of the season. Most also feature a traditional zipper and button fly with real belt loops and back pockets (although faux front pockets are still majorly popular for creating a smoother finish) to further place them in the camp of true pants. As much as jeggings remind us of years past, there are definitely a few styling tricks to keep in mind to ensure you look fresh and modern.