May 7, 2021

Tight squeeze: why muscly men love ultra-skinny jeans

Gym life, Instagram and the male cast of Love Island have all cemented the unceasing trend for neo-jeggings. Will it ever wear off?

In the confounding world of mainstream menswear, certain things are, to adopt entertainment industry parlance, critic-proof. Oversized cargo shorts, flip-flops worn in cities, retro football shirts worn as nightwear; no matter how much fashion experts scorn, they continue to be worn by men. But few things inspire the same heedless devotion as skinny jeans.

Snug, tapered and often lightly mauled, ultra-skinny jeans found a second wind after becoming the unofficial uniform of male contestants on Love Island. And it’s that link to the denizens of ITV2’s summer phenomenon – who, of course, were unfailingly gym-sculpted – that cuts to the core of their appeal. In short: wide-legged Japanese selvedge isn’t going to allow strangers to appreciate the size of your calfs.

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