Abs Fabulous: Tummy Is Back As Baby T-Shirts Take Us Back To The 90s | Fashion
The t-shirt – that staple of summer style – has been improved for 2022. The so-called “baby t-shirt” – cropped, tight, often with a cute slogan and last popular around the turn of the millennium – is back.
Worn by celebrities including model Hailey Baldwin, singers Olivia Rodrigo and Charli XCX, and the cast of American teen TV series Euphoria, the popularity of the baby t-shirt is part of a broader comeback of the 2000s style for young fashion brands. Urban Outfitters, Fiorucci, Weekday, Praying, Vanna Youngstein and Heaven by Marc Jacobs all produce t-shirts in this fit.
Resale app Depop says searches for the item peaked in April 2021, up 309% from a year earlier. “Since January 2022, we’ve seen searches rise steadily again by 11%, showing that the baby t-shirt is gaining popularity as the summer months approach,” said Agustina Panzoni, Head of Trends at Depop. The Heaven T-shirt with its teddy logo is a particularly sought-after model.
Jade Wickes at Style Magazine The face call the baby t-shirts”the essential of the comfort dressing room”. She says they’re “definitely part of the 90s and 2000 revival alongside the ubiquitous popularity of skate style,” where t-shirts are usually worn with baggy pants and an inch or two of belly . The bare, sharp belly has become a familiar sight – seen everywhere, from the red carpet to pop videos and episodes of Friends.
In recent years, fashion has covered stomachs more, but it seems the midriff, as seen on the Miu Miu catwalk and beyond, has returned. “The belly is back,” says Panzoni. “This time around, the trend includes all genders and body types.”
Because baby t-shirts now often come with slogans, Wickes sees them as a post-pandemic way to make a statement: “Their defining characteristic seems to be that they’re slapped with irreverent, tongue-in-cheek phrases that tend to reveal a little about your personality. Having been masked for the past two years, these slogans feel like playful shorthand.
Vanna Youngstein’s baby t-shirts feature cute slogans like “Dreaming of U” or “Bunny” – giving them a playful, online-friendly irony. The designer has featured seven of her designs on HBO shows Euphoriawith the “Don’t be jel” t-shirt worn by Maddy, the character of Alexa Demie, out of stock.
She agrees with Wickes: “I think because of the pandemic, people want an easy way to express their style. Baby t-shirts are very reminiscent of the 90s and early 2000s and are a way to reference it with a new twist.
Youngstein names the Spice Girls and short-lived British duo Shampoo, as well as Björk and American R&B singer Brandy, as the poster women for his baby tee.
But it’s not just a retro trend. “I love that they’re both nostalgic and really modern at the same time. They’re a laid-back way to wrap up your style in one piece,” she said.