A not-so in-depth analysis of 2020’s most ubiquitous trend
Scroll through the timeline of your preferred social media platform and it’s highly likely that, before too long, you’ll stumble across a lewk that orbits around a tennis skirt.
From sporty, logo-emblazoned a-line numbers to classic pleated butt-skimmers, the style has taken off in a big way across the course of the summer – racking up 175,000 hashtags on Instagram, a casual 6.5 million views on TikTok, and selling out on sportswear retail sites around the world (only to appear on Depop soon after, jacked up prices a given). As one Twitter user sagely put it: “Girls don’t want a boyfriend. Girls want the Nike tennis skirt”, and right now, it seems, ne’er a truer word was spoken.
So where did the trend emerge from, and why has it taken over, like, right now? Read on as we analyse a few key ideas – none of which involve a sudden upsurge in people picking up a tennis racket FYI. Let’s go.
BRANDY MELVILLE HAS A LOT TO ANSWER FOR
If you thought Louis Vuitton, Prada, Off-White, and Dior were among the most covetable brands right now, dive into the realms of Depop and you’ll find a very different story. As one of the most searched, lusted-after labels on the platform, over the course of the last year Brandy – the one-(small)-size-fits-all US retailer known for giving its teen girl staff a superiority complex – has claimed her spot as queen bee among young fashion fans, with close-to luxury prices to match. When it comes to her aesthetic, we’re pretty sure you’re fully familiar with what the label has to offer: think basic tank tops, strappy sundresses, bootcut jeans, and – surprise! – the very kick-y little pleated skirts we’re seeing everywhere right now.
IT’S THE TUMBLR 2.0 EFFECT
Unless you’re a fully fledged member of the generation that is Z, it’s highly likely you’re feeling a touch of déjà vu when it comes to this newfound obsession with tennis skirts – which is no surprise, given we’ve seen it all before. Cast your mind back to the late 00s and you’ll probably recall the heavily #aesthetic American Apparel-procured cropped tank tops, white cotton kilts, and Lolita-esque knee highs that formed the sartorial cornerstones on everyone’s fave social networking site, Tumblr. Along with e-girl, dark academia, and cottagecore style, essentially, what we’re seeing right now is a Tumblr revival, as those not old enough to have done it the first time around dig into the archives of their wizened, crone-like fashion forebearers, who – according to one TikToker – “should be qualifying for their senior discount” by now (and I mean triggered, but also, like, enormous mood).
BLAME IT ON EUPHORIA
…or more specifically, Hunter Schafer’s character Jules, who was seen wearing (you guessed it!) a whole bunch of pleated tennis skirts in candy-coloured baby pinks and plaids throughout season one – but then, considering the show owes a whole lot to Tumblr when it comes to its uber-Y2K stylistic tendencies, that’s not really all that surprising, is it? With Euphoria’s body harnesses, cute co-ords, and flawless, gem-studded make-up looks already infiltrating the TL, it was only a matter of time until its classic kilts made it onto the most-coveted list.