Between Levi's and the Gap, San Francisco is the city that blue jeans built. But alas, no longer. It's yoga paints that are all the rage now. (Ed note: It's Friday. We can't spell anymore.) So please turn in those 501s and queue up to receive your black, sheer leggings. Namaste.
According to the San Jose Mercury News, sales of jeans have fallen six percent in the last year, after decades of steady growth. Over the same time period, sales of yoga pants and other "active wear" grew seven percent. In fact, the market for those items is now more than twice that of jeans—$33 billion in the United states versus $16 billion.
The last time jeans faced such a strong challenge was the mid-70s, when corduroys—which we think we can all agree constitute a crime against humanity—were all the rage. Jeans hit a similar, but less damaging, snag around the turn of this century, when khakis—which we can also all agree are literally worse than genocide—came into "style".
According to the Merc, the yoga pant trend is part of the larger move to something called "athleisure": a portmanteau that combines the words athletics and leisure, is a nod to the fact that many yoga-pants-wearers are really just looking for sligtly more socially acceptable sweatpants, and is also worse than genocide.
It's hard to predict the future, but we're expecting jeans to recover their market share as the yoga pants trend slows. Ten or twenty years from now, we expect breeches to come back in a big way.