Sales Of Jeans Are Down 6%, Everybody Panic

The impending demise of jeans is currently big news. Is it really news, though? Are Americans really eschewing indigo-colored cotton, moving on to elastic-waisted options like leggings and yoga pants? Current trends and the preferences of teens indicate that the next few years might be tough ones for companies in the blue-jeans biz.

The NPD Group, a market research company, are the team who came up with the 6% figure. “It’s rare for denim to take such a dramatic drop,” their chief industry analyst told NBC News. While a spokesperson for The Gap counters that fashion trends are always cyclical and they’re still selling plenty of jeans in Gap and Old Navy stores, stores in the Gap family happen to sell a lot of athletic wear. They have an entire separate brand of it, Athleta. Is this the way of the future?

Denim has been an American uniform for half a century now: why are we changing now? Experts in the field call our current trends in casualwear “athleisure,” where yoga pants now can accomplish the key things that Americans ask of our leisurewear: being comfortable, looking acceptable, and making our butts look great.

Denim sales for men seem to doing okay: Wrangler, from clothing conglomerate VF Brands, reports that sales are up slightly. Incidentally, only about 20% of Wrangler’s sales are of women’s clothes.

Denim Is in Real Danger of Going Out of Fashion [NBC News]

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  1. GoldHillDave says:

    Maybe it’s the high prices. I get quite serviceable and durable jeans from Costco (their Kirkland house brand) for $13.99. But then I’m not a brand snob, at least when it comes to jeans.

  2. KJaxx says:

    I think it could be cost and waistlines. As America’s obesity levels rise, so does Americans inability to wear jeans well. It is probably mentally easier to buy stretchy yoga pants or sweatpants or a flowy elastic-waist skirt in a somewhat friendly and general size such as “extra large” rather than face the fact that in a pair of jeans you need a 42″ waist. I’m not condemning it, but I am saying that finding comfortable jeans that fit well can be a challenge for people who are not in the best physical condition.