JNCO: The Big-Ass, Baggie Jeans Aim for a ComeBack
How is this a surprise? Of course, big-ass, baggie jeans are coming back! That’s right people, let’s call them what they are: raver jeans. Those flared-out, exaggeratingly humongous bottoms are getting rocked again. The trend is headlined by the relaunch of the most infamous brand of big jeans, JNCOs.
Thanks to a Chinese investor and the fervent resurgence of rave culture, not to mention the ’90s in general, the standard-bearing label JNCO will now put their signature baggie jeans — with the 20–23-inch leg openings — back on butts this fall, along with other less baggie couture.
According to JNCO.com, the brand will rep the following motto: “Challenge conventionalism. Explore the unfamiliar. Honor individuality.”
But let’s focus on the jeans, because few things could create a gaping schism between generations back in the day, than how big your jeans were. Anyone older than 25 thought they were the ugliest possible pants anyone could jump into. And yes, you could literally jump into a pair of JNCOs. True, they were not so flattering to the female form, but coupled with a tighter top and an exposed, above-the-waistline panty band, they left plenty of room for sex appeal. Hell, JNCOs had plenty of room for everything.
I remember toward 1998, I was a late teen and things were getting ridiculous. I had a pair of JNCOs that were 36 inches per leg — mind you, I’m a size 32 waist — and I’d buy the 36 waist jeans on top of that just to have them hang looser. I was just mid-sizing compared to some who wore JNCO’s biggest versions, which came with 50-inch-wide legs. These things would look like skirts or kilts when you walked in them. The raver’s greatest accessory back then was a very adjustable, sturdy belt.
Now, on top of buying them wider than I needed, I also used to buy them longer than I needed because I preferred to cut the bottoms off so they nestled on top of my kicks just perfectly. I didn’t want to be like some ravers, whose long, wide jean legs were filthy black on the bottoms by the end of the night — or the morning, depending on how late your rave went.
But the baggie jeans were comfortable as hell. You weren’t ripping the crotch after pulling a splitting dance move or bending over, although they would snag or get caught on various surfaces from almost any angle. I also happen to think that baggie jeans looked better for trippy B-boy dancing. When I was a 17-year-old raver back in the ’90s, skinny jeans were not cool or flattering. Honestly, I couldn’t believe it when skinny jeans came back 10 years ago. I thought nothing looked worse on a guy than nut-hugging skinny jeans. Eventually I sold out and resigned myself to wearing “skinnier” jeans, but I held on to a couple of pairs of JNCOs, knowing this day would come.
I’ve been saying it, and nobody believed me: “JNCOs will be back.”
We’re on a cycle. And after regurgitating the ’80s, the young ones are having little trouble retreading counterculture fashion from over the last few decades in order of appearance. At least my generation wore JNCOs first.
Originally published at www.insomniac.com.