Sex. Celebrity. Politics. With Teeth
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Sex. Celebrity. Politics. With Teeth

No One Can Force You to Wear a Bandage Dress Again

The dress appears to be making a comeback, but one needn't participate in every trend.

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Photo: Frazer Harrison (Getty Images)

Early-aughts fashion has returned with a vengeance. TikTok teens are flaunting the halter tops and low-rise jeans they’re thrifting on Depop, Addison Rae is partying in Ed Hardy, and center parts are back.

Each time another trend from the 2000s resurfaces, a certain group of self-conscious millennials feels compelled to decry it, expressing amazement at the notion that their fashion rejects might once again be considered stylish. In doing so, they forget that trends are cyclical—with the passage of time, most everything comes back into fashion. And, most crucially, they forget that one needn’t participate in every trend.

This is a circuitous way of relaying what might be rather upsetting news to some—which is that bandage dresses appear to be making a comeback, per Refinery29. According to the outlet, searches for the bandage dress spiked 25 percent on Klarna, the “buy now pay later” app, between April and May, and over the last few months a handful of celebrities have been spotted wearing the design.

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The style of dress was engineered—the word engineered feels right here; the dresses have a certain structural integrity—in the ‘80s by the French designer Herve Leger. The design was later re-released in 2007, and worn by the hot celebrities of the time: Kim Kardashian, Blake Lively, Hilary Duff, Lindsay Lohan, et al. (Perhaps women who wore the dresses in the ‘80s also balked at their resurgence.) Leger’s new creative director, Christian Juul Nielsen, says he too has noticed an uptick in the brand’s popularity.

The dresses started to go out of style in the 2010s, as austerity-era fashion began to emerge amid the financial crisis. But conditions may now once again be ideal for their return. Though we’re very much still in the throes of a global health crisis, post-pandemic decadence reigns, if only in spirit.

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Still, there’s no need to panic. If the idea of folding yourself into the strata of one of Leger’s designs makes you sweat, allow me to reassure you: No one can force you to wear a bandage dress again. No need to start an intergenerational war over it.