Popcorn Tops, Make Room: The ’90s Trend Is Back & Coming For The Rest Of Your Closet

Low-rise jeans, mini skirts, butterfly prints — the recent Y2K style revival has millennials feeling like they’re in middle and high school all over again. Next up on the list of comeback trends: “popcorn tops” that have now made their way to the spring 2022 runways

Contemporary designers embraced the textured fabric, popular in the ’90s and early ’00s, and took it beyond shirts, showing puckered dresses, leggings, and bags. French designer Marine Serre offered a collection of printed bodysuits, dresses, and gloves adorned with prickly surfaces. While one would think that the wrinkly fabric of our youth would be enough to warrant a second look today, Serre did not stop there, mixing and matching contrasting prints and colors for maximum show-stopper effect. Then, there was Chet Lo at Fashion East, who showed mini skirt sets and halter-neck dresses with contrasting, bold colors, paired with oversized bags in a bubble-like finish and spiky sandals.

We should have expected this return. Like many other archival trends, popcorn tops have been a topic of discussion on TikTok, where Zoomers are discovering fashion staples of the ’90s and early aughts. To accommodate for this, thrift stores and online marketplaces, like Gen Z’s favorite e-commerce platform Depop, have begun to offer clothing from the era. On the home decor front, the look has also popped (ha) up in the past few years, with dimpled ceilings and walls (yes, you know the ones!) making a comeback, albeit in an updated way.

While, back in the day, popcorn textures appeared largely on tees and tanks, this time around, the trend is making its way to other articles of clothing like dresses, gloves, and mini skirts. It’s also looking a lot more modern, if not futuristic. Take, for example, Marine Serre’s deconstructed, quilt-like numbers that blurred the line between flesh and fabric. Meanwhile, Dries Van Noten’s spring 2022 collection offered looks fit for the office with boldly-hued skirts, tops, and dresses in the ruched fabric. Diesel also incorporated the texture into its spring 2022 collection, showing an asymmetrical bolero-and-skirt combo in denim

As the ’90s and Y2K comebacks promise a season full of shrinking hemlines and risqué pin tops, the popcorn trend is here to provide a more modest alternative to staying on-trend. Ahead, some (new and secondhand) options to don the trend ahead of spring.

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