Picture this. It’s 2008, American Apparel reigned supreme, your go-to outfit was a Kate Moss inspired hipster-esque tank top tucked into disco pants, layered with a useless vest or skinny scarf and topped off with a fedora.
If this look sounds familiar, then you’ll recognise it as none other than what is known as ‘indie sleaze’—the aesthetic that dominated from the late 2000’s till its demise in 2012.
While some of us may still be adjusting to the resurgence of Y2K style, allow us to reacquaint you with the latest noughties fashion trend set to take over social media.
Those in the know will be aware of the chokehold ‘it girls’ including Alexa Chung and the Olsen twins (pre The Row days, obviously) had over people during this period.
It was an era characterised by Facebook albums exclusively featuring low-res point and shoot photos in club bathrooms, excessive smoking, smudged mascara and of course the indie music scene for which the aesthetic is named after.
Balenciaga’s slouchy Motorcycle Bag was the investment accessory and the nonchalant put-together nonsense that Chloë Sevigny, Pixie Geldof and Zoe Kravitz donned was all the rage.
If you take one look at the highly popular Instagram account @indiesleaze, the self-appointed documentarian of “the decadence of mid-late aughts and the indie sleaze party scene that died in 2012”, you’ll recognise the unhinged level of fashion faux pas that have become synonyms with the style.
Yet, despite our clear disdain for the pairing of stockings with shorts, and over-the-top grunge and punk influences à la Vivienne Westwood, it seems that more and more people are willing to forgo their prim and proper ‘clean girl look’ for the sleazy indie style.
In late 2021, trend forecaster Mandy Lee officially heralded the return of indie sleaze with her TikTok video chronicling the “obscene amount of evidence” that the look was coming back.
In the clip, Lee highlights the key characteristics of the indie sleaze as “amature style flash photography, opulent displays of clubbing and rise in outdated technology”.
Given that we’ve already seen the return of wired headphones and grunge-like apparel courtesy of Megan Fox and Kourtney Kardashian, will this mean that we’ll all be dressing (and partying) like it’s 2008?
Hi N Wasted Xtra Onyx Panel, $204.96 at Ksubi
Long-Sleeved Printed Top In Stretch Mesh, $169 at Hugo Boss
AERE Leather Cowgirl Boots, $260 at THE ICONIC
House Of Harlow x REVOLVE Loren Coat, $408 at REVOLVE
Anine Bing Caden Tee Rio De Janeiro, $145 at Tuchuzy
Sandro Cropped Biker Jacket, $662 at FARFETCH