Oversized proportions are trending on and off the runway as today’s designers embrace spaciousness – and lots of extra fabric – to expand beyond the human form.
In the history of modern fashion, oversized clothing came to prominence in the post-World War I aesthetic of the 1920s. As women had more social and economic opportunities due to increased industrialism, the clothing made for them became more comfortable and freeing. The public embraced the shift with trendy pieces like the flapper dress and Coco Chanel’s game-changing two-piece dress. Since then, oversized proportions have been a mainstay in fashion scenes, alternatively epitomizing pop culture and counterculture. The hippie aesthetic of the 60s and ‘70s and the shift from fringe 90s hip-hop culture to the contemporary streetwear explosion form two interesting examples.
As always, today’s designers are in a unique position to explore and reinvent this legacy. Through Resort and Spring 2021 collections, we have continued to see oversized proportions. Voluminous tops and coats, wide-leg pants, oversized suits and accessories, Violet Beauregarde blueberry jackets, cocooning capes and sleeves – the only limits are your imagination and your sewing machine.
Jil Sander, Rick Owens & Balenciaga give it edge, Y/Project unbuttons it. Dsquared2 and Maison Mihara Yasuhiro deconstruct it. Ziggy Chen and KidSuper combine it with masks to create larger-than-life, superhuman forms. JW Anderson eschews the model altogether, leaving us to question whether clothes can be oversized if they have nobody to be compared to?