Bubble Skirts Are The Latest ’90s Fashion Trend To Be Recycled


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Bomber jackets, high-low dresses, and cargo pants have all returned to the trend landscape in 2022. For Gen Xers, it’s clear that ’80s and ’90s fashion is having a moment.

The latest recycled trend to put on your shopping list for fall, according to New York Fashion Week, is the off-beat bubble skirt.

Princess Diana famously paired one with a white double-breasted blazer in 1987. The style lived on for a few years, as one of our editors wore a bubble dress to her sorority formal in 1991: It was strapless and pink on the top, black and bubbled on the bottom.

Princess Diana in a blue and white stripped bubble skirt dress and white blazer at the 40th International Cannes Film Festival.
Princess Diana atthe 40th International Cannes Film Festival on May 15, 1987. (Photo by -/AFP via Getty Images)

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For their spring and summer 2023 collections, designers Ulla Johnson, Khaite, Proenza Schouler, and Duaphinette presented new, modern versions of the bubble skirt. They’ve borrowed from the more outsized versions of the early 90s for more subdued and very wearable silhouettes, making them a bit easier to style with pieces that are currently in your wardrobe.

A bubble-skirt dress could be perfect for your next dressed-up event, especially in a joyful red hue—and it’s never too early to start planning for holiday parties. The best part about this style is that from the waist down, your movement is pretty much unrestricted, and lines from undergarments or anything else are not a concern.

This khaki style is so casual you could wear it with sneakers or boots, or dress it up with a blazer and heels (a la Lady Diana) and wear it to work on a dinner date.

This one is more of a splurge, but Cynthia Rowley can be trusted to make high-quality, beautiful clothes that you’ll keep in your closet for a lifetime. Pair this one with a fuzzy sweater and boots for a winter white look (it also comes in purple and black).

This may be the most wearable of the bunch. Throw on a white t-shirt and slides or sneakers for a not-boring casual look, or pair it with platforms and a sparkly tank and you’re ready for your next dinner party or special event.

The look may not be for everyone: It won’t be the item you reach for if your goal is to blend in. But if you feel like getting a little adventurous with your style, bubble skirts or dresses could be a fun new addition to your everyday or special-occasion wardrobe lineup.

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