Trust me, no one was as aghast as I was when I saw that bubble hems had hit the runway. I was looking through images of Prabal Gurung’s spring/summer ’22 show when I spotted them, and all the disastrous outfits I wore back when I was, like, 12 years old came rushing back into my brain. Fast forward some months, and there they were again—this time at Jason Wu’s fall/winter ’22 show, and then at Khaite, Prada, Proenza Schouler, Ulla Johnson, JW Anderson, Valentino, Molly Goddard, and Dauphinette for spring/summer 2023. The more I realized I could not avoid this divisive trend returning from my childhood, the more I warmed up to the idea of wearing a bubble hem again.
The last time I donned the silhouette was probably middle school, but the current iterations are much more sophisticated than, say, the Limited Too and dELiA*s designs of yore. Sure, there’s still an inherently youthful energy to them with all that flounce, but some styles are less exaggerated than others. Plus, it turns an otherwise simple skirt, dress, or even T-shirt into something a little more interesting with the fabric delicately pooled at the bottom. Below, I rounded up some inspiration straight from the catwalks and some bubble-hem pieces that you can shop right now if you’ve been converted like I have.