T-shirts – a summer style staple – have been upgraded for 2022. The so-called “baby t-shirts” – cropped, tight, often with cutesy slogans, and last popular around the turn of the millennium – are back again.
Worn by celebrities including model Hailey Baldwin, singers Olivia Rodrigo and Charli XCX, as well as US teen TV drama cast euphoria, the popularity of baby tees is part of a wider comeback of noughties style for young fashion brands. Urban Outfitters, Fiorucci, Weekday, Praying, Vanna Youngstein and Heaven by Marc Jacobs all produce T-shirts with this cut.
Resale app Depop said item searches peaked in April 2021, up 309% compared to a year earlier. “Since January 2022, we’ve seen searches continue to increase by 11%, indicating that baby tees are growing in popularity as we enter the summer months,” said Agustina Panzoni, Depop’s trend manager. The Heaven T-shirt with its teddy logo is a much sought after design.
Jade Wicks in style magazine Advance calls baby tees a “staple of comfortable clothing.” He said they were “definitely part of the nineties and the rise of Y2K alongside the ubiquitous popularity of the skate style”, where tees were usually worn with baggy pants and an inch or two of belly. A bare, polished belly is a familiar sight– seen everywhere from the red carpet to pop videos and episodes Friends.
In recent years, fashion has covered the stomach more and more, but it seems that the tummy, as seen on the Miu Miu catwalk and beyond, has returned. “The stomach is back,” Panzoni said. “This time, the trend covers all genders and body shapes.”
Since baby tees are now often accompanied by catchphrases, Wickes sees it as a post-pandemic way of making a statement: “The defining feature seems to be that they are slapped with impolite and irreverent phrases that tend to be a little revealing. about your personality. After being covered up for the last few years, the slogans feel like a funny shorthand.”
Vanna Youngstein’s baby tees feature catchy catchphrases like “Dreaming of U” or “Bunny” – giving them a playful and friendly irony online. The designer has seven designs featured on HBO’s euphoriawith the “Don’t be gel” shirt worn by Alexa Demie’s character, Maddy, sold out.
He agrees with Wickes: “I think, because of the pandemic, people want an easy way to express their style. Baby tees are very reminiscent of the nineties and early early years and are a way to refer to them with a new twist. ”
Youngstein sees the names of the Spice Girls and the short-lived British duo, Shampoo, as well as Björk and American R&B singer, Brandy, as his baby tee poster women.
But this isn’t just a retro trend. “I love that they are simultaneously nostalgic and look very modern. They are a casual way to sum up your style in one piece,” she says.