The UK’s Baggy Boom and Where Skinny Fit Is Still a Hit

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We all put our trousers on one leg at a time, but their fit is likely to change wardrobe to wardrobe. What’s your preference? Do you like the tight fit of skinny jeans or the freedom of wide-leg denim jeans?

Well, as it turns out, we may be able to predict the fit of your wardrobe based on where you live. New data has analysed our wardrobe searches to predict where in the UK is most likely to wear skinny or baggy clothes.

The study dived into the Google searches of the UK’s 40 most populated towns and cities. By comparing over 60 clothing keywords and categorising them into skinny or baggy, we can see where people in the UK are most likely to look for leggings or a baggy jumper.

Baggy has the UK buckled down

The results are in, and the UK is well and truly the lover of oversized comfort. Baggy clothes were more popular in 80 per cent of cities, while only 20 per cent favoured skinny-fitting clothes.

Topping the baggy charts is Bolton. Searches for the likes of ‘mom jeans’ and ‘oversized blazer’ were more popular than tight-fitting ‘yoga pants’ and ‘jeggings’. The data assessed that ‘baggy’ searches had 27 more searches per 100,000 people in Bolton than ‘skinny’ searches.

Bolton was followed by Nottingham and Newcastle upon Tyne as the next most baggy-loving locations, with searches for baggy clothes dominating Google in these areas.

However, while baggy clothes are more popular in four-fifths of the UK, skinny-searching cities overwhelmingly prove their love for slim jeans and tight shirts.

London is the UK’s skinny-fit capital. In fact, London had 114 more searches per 100,000 people for tighter fitting clothes than the baggy alternative.

Birmingham and Cardiff followed London as the next most skinny-loving cities.

Why the baggy boom?

It’s clear that while some cities do still love their skinny clothes, baggy trousers have the ball in their court. But their popularity has not always been a sure thing. Searches for ‘baggy jeans’ increased by 288 per cent between 2019 and 2021.

The reason for the oversized overdue return can be attributed to a couple of factors. Firstly, nostalgic trends are returning, with the following fashion seasons seeing some 90s inspiration. Straight jeans and big jackets are back. People don’t just want to make a statement; they want their presence inflated and acknowledged. The rise of ‘mom jeans’ means more than just high-waisted comfort. This iconic style from the 80s stands for authority, reliability, and strength. When you put on your oversized clothes, you may just stand a little taller.

The rapid rise of baggy clothing, as demonstrated by searches for ‘baggy jeans’, shows a clear turning point in oversized fashion popularity. It’s no accident that its increased search power coincided with the UK’s first national lockdown. With people staying at home, comfort became a fashion priority. Whether you were wearing joggers during your Zoom meeting or oversized jeans to paint the living room, lockdown showed us that oversized comfort is king.

Millennials and Gen Z are also quickly turning towards baggy fits. Hashtags for ‘baggyjeans’ and ‘skinnyclothes’ have been viewed 136.6 million and 172.6 million times respectively on TikTok. These videos show how young people’s styles have changed, moving increasingly to oversized garments. It’s not just comfort, it’s a style that people are actively chasing.

You don’t need to rush to fill your wardrobe with big knits and flared jeans; a balanced wardrobe with a mix of slim and straight clothing means that you can create more versatile outfits, ready for any occasion.

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