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Most popular jeans style by state: Ohio goes retro

Google search trends revealed the most sought-after style of denim.
Credit: OlegDoroshin - stock.adobe.com

TOLEDO, Ohio — Fashion from the '80s and '90s has made a comeback--jeans included. 

Although skinny jeans were all the rage 10 years ago, nostalgia brought back several denim styles that haven't seen an upswing in popularity until recently. Sometimes it's a family affair: mom jeans, dad jeans, boyfriend jeans and more are among some of America's most beloved style. 

Each trend isn't universal. Fashion company Dia & Co. analyzed a year's worth of Google search trends relating to jeans from all 50 states to estimate each region's denim preference. In addition to popular styles, the company also considered trends in wash, rise and other denim products.

The most popular style across the country was the classic straight jean, which took first place in 17 states. Although straight jeans were searched the most, they didn't see the sort of increased interest other styles did. Searches for cargo jeans increased by 33%, baggy by 18% and flare by 14%. 

Ohio joined seven other states including Alaska and Texas in searching for mom jeans more frequently than any other style. Mom jeans are characterized by a high, loose waist and have a troubled past.  

Although the term "mom jeans" emerged as a way to criticize the style as unflattering (the Washington Post published an article in 2006 titled "Mom jeans flatter no body" and Tina Fey wrote a 2003 SNL skit poking fun at the jeans), the style saw an increase in searches beginning in January 2016 until reaching an all-time high in March 2021. 

Other jeans included cargo, balloon and the popular 1970s flare jeans, the latter of which was most popular in five southern states, plus North Dakota. Out of all U.S. states, only New York still preferred skinny jeans, which now are anecdotally associated more with Millennial fashion than Gen Z. 

Across the board, high-rise jeans won out over low-rise, and light wash on average was more popular than dark wash. However, light wash jeans trended higher in popularity in southern states and darker washes saw success on the coasts. 

Demin will likely continue as an American fashion staple for the foreseeable future. The way it's worn, however, will vary from place to place and time to time. 

To see the full Dia & Co. post, including each state's most popular pair of jeans, click here

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