Skinny Jeans History - Slim-fit Pants

Slim-fit pants or skinny jeans (also known as drainpipes, stovepipes, tight pants, cigarette pants, pencil pants, skinny pants or skinnies) are a type of pants that are tailored to have narrow legs and small leg opening. Some skinny jeans are made with stretch denim so they could be slim while other can have zippers on the leg openings.

“Ancestors” of skinny jeans are breeches which were fashionably tight and worn since the seventeenth century. They were first popular in France, at the court of Louis XIII, and were later introduced to England, and the rest of Europe. They were very popular among the high classes. In time tight trousers ceased being popular but appeared again from 1805 until 1850 (fashion moves in cycles) as a tight variant of the loose work trousers worn during the French Revolution. These tight pants were called "pantaloons" and were worn high on the waist. At the beginning of technological revolution, when mass-production replaced tailoring, more loosely fitted pants started replacing tight pantaloons. At the end of the 19th century they again fall out of fashion and stay there until 1950s when popular stars of music and film are reintroducing them.

Skinny Jeans

Country music stars and actors in western movies started again wearing tapered jeans as well as musicians of the beginning of the rock and roll. Some of the names that wore skinny jeans were singing cowboy Roy Rogers, Gene Autry, actress Marilyn Monroe, and Sandra Dee and Elvis Presley. Drainpipe jeans were a part of an image of rock 'n' roll. Skinny pants were continued to be worn by rock bands and musicians in the 1960s, bands and musicians like The Beatles, The Rolling Stones and Bob Dylan. End of the 1960s brought hippies and bell bottom jeans which ended the reign of skinny jeans until 1970s, glam rock, rockabilly and punk which especially liked red tartan drainpipe jeans. 1980s bring spandex which as a countermeasure brought skin-tight acid-washed jeans popular with most heavy metal bands. In the 1990s, tight jeans were popular among pop stars but it quickly went out of fashion in favor of baggy carpenter jeans. Scene stayed like that until 2004 when skinny jeans (did we say that fashion moves in cycles?) started replacing baggy gangster jeans and are here still.

Skinny pants started as a fashion for the rich but in time all classes started wearing them and there are even skinny pants for both sexes. There are theories made by doctors that skinny pants can cause many kinds of medical problems like apoplexy, numbness or varicose veins.

Skinny Jeans