As Americans' waistlines expand, restrictive jeans become less comfortable and less popular.
Today, people often opt for leggings, joggers and yoga pants instead of denim, which has seen sales drop from $7 billion to under $5 billion in the past two decades, Bloomberg reports.
The trend even inspired a parody video that, let's face it, is pretty on point.
According to market researcher NPD Group, last year marked the first time in the history of US consumerism that sales of athletic pants were nearly equal to those of jeans.
One of the group's analysts, Marshal Cohen, told Bloomberg,
As we saw 'casualization' continue even further, the customer basically told us that they had enough denim until something really unique and innovative came along... We really saw the denim industry and denim retailers basically turn their nose up on the customer and say, 'We don't care what you really want, we're going to tell you what you want.'
Companies like Gap have stared to adapt with activewear lines. In an interview with BuzzFeed, Nancy Green, Gap's Athleta executive, shared,
My generation grew up wearing jeans — jeans are just a part of our life, and it still is but this generation is growing up in yoga pants and activewear. So I think it's just going to be bigger and bigger and bigger for the future.
Athleta's plans to stretch activewear use beyond the gym, the supermarket and the college lecture hall extend all the way to the workplace.
There's activewear that's only for performance and then there's what we do, which is so much broader than just activewear — what we do could fill 80 percent of [a customer's] closet. I think it could be huge.
Iconic denim company Levi's won't give up on its product just yet. Senior Director for technical innovation Bart Sights told Bloomberg,
There's not another piece of apparel in the world — probably in the history of mankind — that has remained virtually unchanged and still provides function… The trick is to get a look like this on a very modern fabric — a fabric with a lot of stretch in it.
Best of luck, Levi's, but my Millennial friends and I aren't giving up our drawstring, multi-burrito-accommodating pants without a fight.
Citations: Could Slouching Sales Mean That Jeans Are Going Out of Style? (Complex)