Now & Then: The History of Skinny Jeans

Skinny jeans are an unlikely mainstream fashion choice that’s here to stay.

Since the skinny jean’s most recent emergence on the Balenciaga runways in 2003, the narrow legged style never fails to kick off debate amongst fashion lovers. No one then imagined that the unforgiving style would be embraced beyond fashion’s 1% (i.e. models). And yet, almost a decade later, the skintight styles remain a fully paid up member of mainstream America’s hardest working denim.

An impressive achievement when you consider skinny’s origins. The drainpipe jeans of the 1950s were embraced as the uniform of rock n’ roll’s “bad boys,” and again in the late 1970s by punk subculture bands such as the Clash, The Ramones and The Sex Pistols who adopted the skinny as the ultimate badge of the rebel.

Despite the industry’s counter-cultural chit chat this past season that pegged the latest flare silhouette to finally usurp the straight leg, it seems that for now, as far as Americans are concerned, skinny rules.

Skip the dreaded jegging styles and pull on the new Surry Skinny-Fit from Raleigh Denim. Made from homegrown raw indigo from Cone Denim Mills in North Carolina, the Surry has just the right amount of stretch and stitch. Each pair of jeans is hand signed and individually numbered.

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Rowena Ritchie

Rowena is EcoSalon’s West Coast Fashion Editor and currently resides in San Francisco, CA.