JNCO, the company behind the pants with a leg opening wide enough to accomodate a girthy calf or two honeybaked hams, is going out of business.
“Due to licensing issues, JNCO will be ending production and concluding all sales through our website. “We were honored to serve our vast customer base and with harsh feelings will be winding down operations. While this is an end of an era for JNCO, what JNCO stands for will continue to live on in all of our customers and fans who will carry on the spirit of our brand and all it represents.”
The assumption is that no one was really buying JNCOs anymore—not necessarily because they are out of fashion, but simply because there are more stylish alternatives. Our very own sartorial soothsayer Julianne Escobedo Shepherd gazed deep into her tea leaves back in 2015 and accurately predicted that we would all eventually be wearing large, wide pants. In March 2017, the Hairpin implored the fashion world at large to stop pushing the wide-legged, cropped pant agenda. A month later, The Cut heralded the return of the offending pant, suggesting consumers “succumb to the siren song” of pants that, by all accounts, look best on Madewell models. JNCO laid the groundwork for this resurgence, which is merely a more finely-tuned adjustment of late ‘90s fashion sensibilities, adjusted for more modern times. Like tiny glasses, the wide leg pant is back, optimized for a new generation ready to embrace comfort and willing to sacrifice the long, clean line a skinny jean affords.
While this news will elicit nothing from people who remember these pantaloons and thought they were heinous, I must admit that this news has struck a particularly nostalgic chord for me, personally. As an impressionable teen who reportedly cried for one week after Kurt Cobain died by suicide, I spent a year wearing JNCOs purchased with my meager savings (these, I think) and striped vintage polo shirts I found at the Northern Dutchess Hospital thrift store, while sporting a pixie cut inspired by Angelina Jolie’s in Hackers. I carried a yellow Care Bears lunchbox as a purse and, when I moved across the country to California during my sophomore year dressed in this fashion, I somehow, magically made friends. Maybe it was the jeans.