Skinny Jeans Vs. Gen Z: Our Style Expert Weighs In on Generational TikTok Feud

James Aguiar | April 19, 2021 | Style & Beauty

skinny jeans vs gen z debate

To skinny jean or not to skinny jean, that is the question. How you might answer depends greatly on the year your were born.

There's a full-on war raging on social media. Gen Z, or anyone born between 1997 and 2012/15, says skinny jeans are disgusting. Millennials, born between 1980 and 1996, think straight-leg pants belong in Seinfeld reruns and nowhere else.

TikTok is rife with fighting words as Gen Zers drag all life from the 2010's preferred bottom. Millennials, likewise, are clapping back. It's all pretty hilarious, but if the stylish masses are not supposed to wear skinny jeans, what then should we wear?

Modern Luxury's VP of Fashion and Creative Director James Aguiar weighs in on this hot debate—and his opinion might surprise you.

See also: See "Gucci Aria" Celebrate 100 Years of the Iconic Italian Fashion House

Recently, it's come to my attention (a good year late) that there is a war raging between Gen Z and Millenials concerning the stylishness of skinny jeans versus the-yet to-be-determined alternative? (Baggy, Mom, loose, hi rise?)

Like all great feuds, this one has sprung from the shallow depths of TikTok and seems to be a passionate dispute with far deeper meaning. Watching the recent, unwatchable release of Godzilla VS King Kong, I found myself wondering what side they would be on?

King Kong is clearly the millennial in this war. He is almost 90 at this point, while Godzilla is a mere 67. Kong could definitely rock the “skinny” look with his leaner legs, although his large feet would be hard to get through those tapered ends. How many of us have twisted our ankles and feet into unimaginable contortions to get them on, only to fall over trying to take them off? Godzilla (who I assume is non binary) would slither into a looser silhouette with ease.


I rarely wear skinny jeans and usually wear these styles instead #tiktokfashionmonth #skinnyjeans

original sound - Taylor Hage

I'm younger than Cher and older than Ariana (or is that too old a reference at this point?), and so being neither a millennial nor a Gen of any letter, I have worn both proudly. I take no ownership in this debate, because it goes against the very thing that I am against: jean shaming and/or fashion humiliation.

Through the vast history of the fashion world and the trends that control us, there is an unmistakable plan. In order for us to make one feel good, we must in turn make others feel bad. This doesn’t usually lead us to dig deep and find the inner strength to be ourselves. Instead, it forces us to purchase whatever makes us feel better. To quote another movie that surely dates me: “I’ll have what she’s having.”

The ironic outcome is: there are no winners. No one is cooler for wearing skinny jeans, just like no one is cooler for wearing the yet-to-be-marketed-clearly other choice. Chances are, you just spent $80 to $300 on a piece of cotton. Yes, I know Gen Z likes to “thrift” (not a verb by the way), but the person who tossed those “cool” jeans aside did so to get the “skinny” ones.


the only time I will defend millennials #millennial #skinnyjeans #denim #jeans #lowrisejeans #boyfriendjeans #keiraknightley #2000sthrowbacks #90s

original sound - Tinx

Just like Godzilla and Kong, there are no winners. The battle will continue for decades, long past Gen Z, Gen X, or Gen whatever’s next. Just know that I’ll be watching, popcorn in hand.

Coincidentally, there is a brand of Godzilla jeans that will set you back around $250. See how that works?

Photography by: Mica Asato / Pexels