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UK shoppers move away from skintight denim

Skintight denim is finally losing its grip on the UK jeans market. Shoppers are embracing looser-fitted styles. Straight-legged jeans are now the most sought-after cut. There has been a gradual widening of trouser legs over the past decade as shoppers rediscover flares and buy into relaxed boyfriend and cropped looks. The biggest denim trends right now include ripped and baggy jeans.

For John Lewis sales of straight-leg jeans are up 60 per cent on last year while demand for boyfriend jeans has surged by more than 40 per cent. For spring/summer 2018, skinny jeans accounted for 50 per cent of John Lewis’ denim sales, but in spring/summer ’19 they accounted for 38 per cent, showing customers are trying out new styles and moving away from the classic skinny jean look.

Jeans are big business for UK retailers. Shoppers will buy around 87 million pairs this year. White jeans are also back. Sales of white denims almost surpassed those of blue jeans for the first time in the last week of May, with searches up 42 per cent since the beginning of March. However a closer look at the actual shopping behavior of Britons shows a reluctance to jettison the skinnies just yet. One in two pairs of jeans bought in the UK is still a skinny fit.