Wide-Leg Jeans: The Weird Fashion Style of the 1990s
Wide-leg jeans, colloquially called baggy pants, are a style of clothing that were popular from the early 1990s to the mid 2000s. The quintessential brand of “hip-hop”-style wide-leg jeans comes from the Los Angeles-based JNCO (“Judge None Choose One”), although other youth- and ethnic-oriented clothing companies manufacture them as well.
In the 1980s, baggy jeans entered mainstream fashion as the Hammer pants and parachute pants worn by rappers to facilitate breakdancing. In the 1990s these jeans became even baggier and were worn by skaters, hardcore punks, ravers and rappers to set themselves apart from the skintight acid wash drainpipe jeans worn by metalheads. They were largely an underground trend in the early 1990s, but took off in popularity in the mid-1990s.
The baggy jeans were very popular along with baggy bondage pants during the nu metal era which lasted from the late 1990s to the early-to-mid 2000s. They continued to be popular in the 2000s, but by 2003 baggy jeans started to be replaced by boot-cut jeans and trousers among white men. However, they continued to be popular among African-American and Latino men throughout the mid 2000s until about 2008.
Wide-leg jeans and pants are at least 20” in circumference at the hem. Wide-leg jeans differ from bell-bottoms in that the entire length of the leg is large in circumference whereas flare or bell-bottom jeans become wider below the knee. Super wide-leg jeans have a circumference at the hem of 23” to 26”; whereas extreme wide-leg jeans are as wide as 50”.