Refer to 1995. clueless just hit theaters and Cher Horowitz – the stylish coming-of-age film protagonist, played by Alicia Silverstone – wore the cutest little white T-shirt layered over a yellow knit vest and plaid miniskirt, a look still imitated to this day. Fast forward to now, form-fitting tees are at the forefront of every It-girl’s wardrobe, with fans like Olivia Rodrigo, Dua Lipa, Bella Hadid, Hailey Bieber and Kendall Jenner totally hooked. . And the trendiest brands of the moment also nail t-shirts for babies.
Recent Spring/Summer 2023 collections from Martine Rose, Charles Jeffrey Loverboy, Mowalola and Jordanluca featured modern takes on baby t-shirts. And, of course, niche E-girl labels like Heaven, Praying, Maxine Beiny, and Marc Jacobs’ Ashley Williams offer plenty of options with iterations adorned with graphics reminiscent of the 90s. For minimalists, The Row, Frankie Shop, and X Karla (Bieber’s favorite, FYI) offers classic versions in neutral tones for endless style possibilities.
Although they first appeared in the 70s as a must-have sports top – men with handlebar mustaches in tiny sweat shorts come to mind here – baby t-shirts became extremely popular from the early 90s. Whether Britney Spears wearing this “Dump Him” t-shirt, any of Paris Hilton’s Ed Hardy styles worn with a Von Dutch trucker hat, or the 2004 cast mean girls in their matching Juicy Couture t-shirts (Regina George — played by Rachel McAdams — sporting a top with “A Little Bit Dramatic” written across the chest is forever etched in my memory), the form-fitting tee reigned supreme.
Now, tiny navel-baring t-shirts are back on our screens thanks to hit TV shows Euphoria. Maddy (Alexa Demie), Cassie (Sydney Sweeney), Jules (Hunter Schafer) and Kat (Barbie Ferreira) wear retro-style baby t-shirts throughout the show, most of which are made by stylist and designer Vanna Youngstein. These pieces can no doubt be emulated with vintage finds on Depop, eBay or Vestiaire, with brands like Galliano-era Dior, Fiorucci and Baby Phat topping search lists. High street retailers are also out for t-shirts – from a range of heavily graphic choices at Urban Outfitters, to clean lines in sleek fabrics at Cos.
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The verdict is in: baby t-shirts are back. Whatever style you want, make sure it’s very small.