I see London, I see France, I see literally everyone's underpants. For Spring/Summer 2024, fashion week presentations across New York, London, Milan and Paris left their trousers at home, unveiling an uptick in the underwear as outerwear aesthetic.
While the trend has reached increased adoption in SS24, we've seen rumblings of its emergence in the past few seasons. When Miu Miu debuted its micro skirts in Spring/Summer 2022, bottom garment lengths slowly started shrinking across the industry. Soon after, fashion week favorites including Kylie Jenner, Bella Hadid and Julia Fox debuted underwear as outerwear looks styled with tights, motocross jackets and UGGs. Finally, in Spring/Summer 2023, the trend officially trickled onto the runway from the likes of AMBUSH, Givenchy and Ottolinger. While Miu Miu launched a pair of bedazzled underwear at a price point of over $4,000 USD.
The underwear as outerwear trend comes from an ongoing aesthetic cocktail of Y2K nostalgia, sheer fabrics and panties brimming out of trousers. In SS24, the aesthetic has evolved – what was once visible underwear layered under unbuttoned trousers has become the complete removal of pants altogether. Additionally, we're starting to see the trend styled on a variety of gender presentations and cross-category styles.
In a shock to no one, size inclusivity is still majorly lacking as the trend pertains to runways. Though we're hopeful, as underwear as outerwear transitions from fashion week showcases to consumer closets, that it will be one for everybody and, crucially, every body.
If the underwear as outerwear trend said "Jump," Natasha Zinko said "How High?" In its SS24 showcase dubbed "Camp," the London-based brand unveiled its collection to the backdrop of the great outdoors. Models hurried down the grassy runway in pillows as shirts, camouflage uniforms and single-arm leotards. The standout piece in the collection, however, was a skirt styled out of five pairs of white underwear paired with knee-high tights and kitten heels.
Newcomer to the London Fashion Week circuit, SRVC debuted its recent collection inspired by a dystopian beachscape. Presenting garments ranging from hoodies to big toe-only socks, the brand's unique take on vacation dressing grabbed the attention of show guests and fashion enthusiasts alike. For SS24, SRVC presented a range of underwear as outerwear options in the form of comfy cottons.
It was only a matter of time before GCDS, the brand known for blending playful and provocative, tapped into the underwear as outerwear trend. With past collections including SponageBob SquarePants dresses and bedazzled kitty purses, the Italian label never shies away from the unexpected. For its rendition of the seasonal staple, GCDS offers underwear in both denim and sweatpant materials, styling them with trench coats, sheer tanks and stilettos, obviously.
As one of the pioneers in shortening pants to micro heights, Miu Miu is yet to miss in underwear department. For SS24, the brand swapped it's traditional muted hues and mini skirts for neon, speedo-like bottoms. As for styling, Miu Miu chose to pair the fluorescent underwear with layering up top ranging from black suit jackets, yellow bombers to classic collared shirts.
At Milan Fashion Week, Cormio satirically shared in its press notes "If she looks hot, You know like, studded belts, a lot of pink, all-over leopard print, lurex knits, fishnet dresses, skimpy one shoulder tops, or even worse, bikinis! Then you’ll know She's a Jezabelle!" The brand flipped a middle finger at the male gaze and double crossed the patriarchy with garments from and for all women. The collection included underwear as pants in a range of Y2K graphics from blue and white polka-dots to bedazzled boxer briefs.
Though SS24 wasn't Ottolinger's first experiment with underwear as trousers, the brand returned to Paris Fashion Week with a range of new styles. From high waisted, sorbet hued underwear to classic black briefs, the brand firmly cemented its intention for the trend to be a ready-to-wear staple. Extra points goes to the house of Ottolinger for layering its underwear with thick orange belts.
At LFW, Chet Lo and Jawara separately proved underwear as outerwear is not solely for womenswear. In a binary breaking rendition of the trend, Chet Lo presented its classic spiked fabric in the form of a jet black thong. Meanwhile, Jawara took a sexy lifeguard approach offering bright red underwear paired with low sitting belts and latex vests.