Women’s jeans sales grew nearly three-times faster among Baby Boomers in 2021, versus pre-pandemic 2019

Port Washington, N.Y., March 21, 2022 – For years, skinny jeans were the most popular jeans style for women sold in the U.S., but times and tastes are changing. The styles that gained the most revenue in 2021, versus pre-pandemic 2019, were straight fit, flare, and boot cut, as wider-leg jeans styles began making inroads in market share. In 2021, straight-leg jeans became the best-selling fit, accounting for one-third, or $3.3 billion, of women’s jeans market revenue in 2021, according to The NPD Group.

“Comfort apparel trends accelerated by the pandemic shifted jeans trends towards looser fits,” said Maria Rugolo, apparel industry analyst at NPD. “The rise in various styles has opened up consumers of all ages and generations to more variety and options at just the right time. Consumers were looking to branch out beyond the styles that had been sitting in their closets for over a year.”

While skinny jeans continued to be the best-selling style among Millennials and Generation Z, it was the only style to experience a revenue decline in 2021, versus 2019, even as Baby Boomers increased spending on the skinny jeans. In fact, Boomers accounted for 12% of all women’s skinny jeans sold in the U.S. in 2021, an increase of 3 share points, versus 2019, based on Consumer Tracking Service data from NPD.

The gateway to dressing up again

With consumers feeling more comfortable venturing back into offices and other social settings last year, pent-up demand for jeans began to reveal itself in sales trends. Overall revenue from women’s jeans increased by 9% in 2021, compared to 2019. 

“With many people wondering how consumers might choose to dress up in the future, denim now has the opportunity to be on both ends of the spectrum,” Rugolo said. “It can help fulfill casual everyday needs, while also offering a versatile, dressy option for those not ready or willing to get back into structured wardrobes. Having consumers interested in various fits, styles, and uses keeps the overall category trendy and brings interest and sales along with it.”

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