Why buy the Popcorn dress in 2022

Mara Hoffman, @slipintostyle, @_sailor_goon

Love at first sight exists in fashion. You can lock your eyes on a garment in a runway recap or street style gallery, and know you’ll do almost anything to make it your own. For a number of people, that whirlwind moment intersected with a semi-controversial trend: the popcorn dress. Specifically, Mara Hoffman’s Amy dress.

“I knew I had to get my hands on this darling ’90s-inspired dress ASAP,” said TV host and fashion designer Katie Sands. BAZAAR.com. Nicolette Mason, New York brand strategist and creative consultant, had an equally instant reaction: “You know those pieces that stick in your memory as soon as you see them? For me, Mara Hoffman’s Amy dress in is a part.”

The “Amy” is a bodycon midi dress with long sleeves and a recognizable texture. (Google “popcorn dress,” and she pops up in front of Stella McCartney and Marine Serre’s popcorn-style pieces, as well as literal popcorn box costumes.) The dress features a Tencel knit, a more eco-friendly fabric and an abstract black and white print.

Net to wear

Amy Midi Dress

Mara Hoffman


Amy has been steadily trickling down my Instagram feed over the past six weeks, but it hasn’t reached supersaturation like so many It-Bags and nostalgic trends. And it’s more accessible than items with larger viral followings because it’s sold in sizes XXS to 3X.

The must-have appeal goes back to that distinctive throwback fabric. “Mara Hoffman’s Amy Dress transcends the typical bodycon dress due to its incredible textured fabric,” Intermix Chief Merchandiser Divya Mathur tells us. “It’s sexy and graphic, while being fun.” (It’s also still in stock on their site.)

“The dress is such a daring piece,” acknowledges brand designer Konyin Ayuba. “It gives an elevated sexiness that does all the work, so I keep it simple with antique jewelry and a strappy open-toe shoe.”

Amy is easy to style and put on: Bodywear designer Lindsi Lane Watts and stylist and interior designer Hema Persad each told me they were struck by how comfortable the dress was. It may look more like loungewear than clubwear, but it’s still dressy. Watts wears hers with Valentino heels and a Hermes Kelly for “that extra pop and shine with gold hardware.”

“I felt like it was a good investment because there is no season,” added Persad. “You can wear with tights and heels in the winter, like me, and sandals in the summer.”

The beauty of the Amy dress and its eco-friendly fabric is that it’s knit to last – it’s not trend-driven like so many other internet famous items. For her part, Sands has already planned weeks of outfits around the Amy: “I’m sure you’ll be seeing this dress in the spring and summer for engagements, rehearsal dinners and everything in between!”

And if you’re really into that sweet dress, Mara Hoffman has more popcorn dresses where she came from.

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