From Bella Hadid to Kendall Jenner, why did everyone stop wearing trousers? The no pants trend, explained – Screen Shot
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From Bella Hadid to Kendall Jenner, why did everyone stop wearing trousers? The no pants trend, explained

By now, you’ve probably seen the photos. Kylie Jenner looking chic in Loewe briefs, Bella Hadid eating pizza in tighty-whities paired with a leather jacket, and Camila Mendes attending New York Fashion Week in… not much.

Long story short, it seems that underwear is in and pants are out. So, when did everyone stop wearing bottoms, you might be wondering. The answer? The no pants trend has been happening gradually, but sightings have skyrocketed in recent months. Here, find out why trousers have disappeared and how you can embrace the trend to enter your no pants era too.

So, when did it start? The barely-there style has its origins in the ‘lampshading’ silhouette that was popular in the mid to late-2010s. Favoured by the likes of Ariana Grande, Rihanna and Kim Kardashian, this iteration of the no pants trend manifested as baggy hoodies, billowing blouses and oversized blazers often paired with thigh-high boots.

In fashion editor Kendall Becker’s words, the trend was “all about a peak of skin,” whereas the no pants trend “embraces the whole leg for a more streamlined and minimalistic look.” As we shifted into the 2020s, bike shorts reigned supreme, hinting at what was to come.

More recently, we’ve seen the micro-mini skirt as well as the subtle emergence of skinny trousers and leggings on the runways once again, says Becker. The latest iteration of this trend, however, opts for bottoms that are even teenier and tinier—or sometimes not even there at all.

While the no pants look dominated fashion weeks earlier this year, the trend has also become a staple of street style. And, if we were to name a leader of the sans trousers club, it would have to be the internet’s most divisive nepotism baby, Hailey Bieber, who’s been championing the look since 2019.

This begs the question: Is the no pants trend actually stylish, or are those wearing it just skinny? Teen Vogue journalist Aiyana Ishmael tested out a few of Bieber’s pants-less looks to see if they worked for plus-sized people, including a micro-mini moment. The verdict? Ishmael noted how, “after walking around the office, many of my coworkers and colleagues agreed that this look is, in fact, my look.”


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A post shared by Aiyana N. Ishmael (@aiyanaish)

While it’s not quite the no pants trend, Ishmael pointed out how “everyone deserves to wear micro skirts” and that “styles should come in all sizes.” Sarah Chiwaya, writer and founder of NYC Plus, an IRL community for plus-sized individuals, also took the trend out for a spin by emulating Kendall Jenner’s Bottega Venetta fit. “All in all, it was a pretty enjoyable experience,” Chiwaya concluded. However, the writer reminded readers to be cautious of “body as accessory” trends like this one.


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A post shared by Sarah Chiwaya – Plus Size Fashion in NYC (@curvily)

As Chiwaya sees it, “this trend mimics the head-turning sensibility that makes a street-style or Instagram statement, but it doesn’t have the staying power of wearability and comfortability––two factors necessary for a powerful trend.”

Another stylistic note to consider is that most of the underwear sported by celebrities embracing this trend are menswear-inspired or straight-up men’s briefs. This adoption of accessories traditionally associated with men echoes the similar tie trend that has taken off recently. Menswear as womenswear is nothing new, but there has been an uptake in gender-neutral underwear styles recently (think the iconic Skims briefs) that might also be feeding into the trend.


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A post shared by SKIMS (@skims)

While the style might seem impractical at first glance, it may actually be a comfy solution to an edgy night-out look. Some no pants fits could even be a variation of balletcore. Take Kendall Jenner’s sunflower-adorned ensemble, for instance.

So, why is this trend happening now? “Fashion is just expressing what’s going on broadly in culture,” business of culture journalist Christina Binkley told USA Today. “We’re in a rule-breaking era.”

Gen Z is known to push the envelope when it comes to fashion, so ditching trousers doesn’t seem to come out of left field. It also may have connections to the sheer moments we’ve been seeing on red carpets this year—think Florence Pugh’s stunning Valentino ensemble, she’s still wearing a skirt, but her underwear is still very much a main accessory. In contexts like this, the sans pants trend could even be understood as a post-Roe v. Wade response to body autonomy.

The final verdict? “This trend certainly does not scream comfort,” concludes Becker. “It’s a hard ask to expect a consumer to wake up in the morning and reach for a no-pants look before heading off to work.” But if you’re looking to give the eye-catching trend a go, Becker suggests layering “an oversized blazer overtop for a bit of extra comfort.”

15 modest fashion essentials you’ll want to wear even once Ramadan is over

Modest fashion refers to the act of dressing for various degrees of coverage. Despite popular belief, it isn’t always connected to ethno-religious fulfilment. Once considered a somewhat niche section of the industry, brands are now taking more of an interest in it than ever before, with searches for ‘modest fashion’ and other related terms growing exponentially year on year.

Though there are no links between a particular religious group and modesty, it would be doing a disservice to the Muslim community to not mention its contribution to modest fashion consumption, especially luxury. The 2022 State of the Global Islamic Economy report confirmed that expenditure on modest fashion had increased to £240 billion that year and is expected to grow to £253 billion in 2023.

Both high-end and high-street brands are taking their piece of the modest fashion pie with their respective modest collections. These are strategically marketed around the month of Ramadan and subsequent Eid festival, with a portion of those participating also choosing to dress in varying levels of modesty throughout the month and often purchasing new clothes to wear during gatherings and events.

From high-street to luxury, how are brands approaching modest fashion?

H&M and Mango annually release modest collections around this time, though they are only named ‘Ramadan’ collections in Middle East and North Africa (MENA) countries. You’d be familiar with these being released as spring collections that feature bright colours and rich fabrics, accompanied by campaigns heavily featuring POC models.

A quick search of ‘Ramadan’ on the respective sites, though, will reveal a curated array of gowns and Eastern-inspired wear. On the flip side, Loro Piana, aka the peak of luxury fashion, also released a new capsule collection with Harrods this spring 2023, with literal abayas, a traditional clothing item worn by the Muslim community. The Italian brand’s collection has a strong sense of familiarity with traditional Eastern silhouettes and embroidery, but again was not initially released as a Ramadan collection. Loro Piana later decided to name it a ‘Ramadan’ capsule collection.

It’s surprising that brands, particularly luxury brands, would initially shy away from dedicating these collections to those who observe Ramadan, considering the popularity of these brands in MENA countries. We can either assume the best, which is that they don’t want their customers to feel limited by the modest label. One can presume that some potential customers might feel less inclined to buy clothes from a line they believe is only for modest dressers, as opposed to a way of adding more options in core collections which cater to them.

On the other hand, naming a collection as modest opens up brands to a greater degree of accountability, in turn stopping them from pigeonholing or colourwashing its image. Colourwashing is an umbrella term which refers to brands marketing themselves a certain way in order to capitalise on people’s personal ethics and values.

Akin to greenwashing, this strategy is used heavily by clothing brands who seek to make profit by making out as though they’re big supporters of different marginalised communities.

We could go as far as to say that fashion brands are almost “modest-washing” by displaying items and collections as modest. Still, they are not actually educating themselves on what modest wear is, and what people are looking for when it comes to modest clothing.

Upon speaking to young people who identify as ‘modest dressers’, the overarching theme is that brands simply aren’t providing them with a variety of suitable options. These companies have a duty of care to their customers and, in the case of modest fashion, must ensure their due diligence—either by including more modest dressers in their design and buying teams, or through curated edits coming directly from modest influencers.

Though brands aren’t leading the way so to speak, social media certainty is. Modest fashion has found its people on TikTok, with #modestfashion currently sitting at 3.3 billion views. This is owed to the influx of young profiles who have individualistic style preferences and have found ways to mix and match traditional and modern pieces to suit their personal aesthetic without being forced into the abaya/kaftan box. It all comes down to influencers and upcoming content creators changing the narrative on what it means to be modest and calling attention to the fact that it doesn’t mean giving up one’s personal style.

Gen Z influencers like Zozo’s Fits, who at first glance doesn’t look like what we’ve been brainwashed to think a modest dresser looks like, represent everything that modest fashion is today. With the support of content creators like these, brands can tap into the modest wear market without the need to launch a ‘modest’ or ‘Ramadan’ collection. They can accurately cater to what their target audience is looking for.

While we impatiently await that urgent change, we’ve curated our own top modest fashion-friendly pieces for any readers looking to dabble in the world of modesty:

H&M finds

Massimo Dutti finds

Mango finds

ASOS finds