Forbes India 15th Anniversary Special

The 'skirt-over-pants' look is back with a vengeance in 2024

This new trend is straight out of the Y2K playbook and one which Millennials and older generations could well have done without

Published: Jan 13, 2024 08:45:04 AM IST
Updated: Jan 12, 2024 04:50:44 PM IST

The 'skirt-over-pants' look is back with a vengeance in 2024The 'skirt over pants' combo is back with a vengeance in 2024, for women and men alike. The 'skirt over pants' combo is back with a vengeance in 2024, for women and men alike. Image: Miguel Medina / AFP©

You may have thought that we were done with the relics of the 2000s, but it seems not... After low-rise jeans, capri pants, sagging and bucket hats, the younger generations are now bringing the famous 'skirt-over-pants' look back into fashion. It's a trend straight out of the Y2K playbook, and one which Millennials and older generations could well have done without.

Cycling shorts, sleeveless down jackets, visible g-strings and leggings are just some of the most reviled, if not controversial, fashion items of recent decades. And they all have one thing in common: Generation Z has taken great pleasure in putting them back in the fashion spotlight, even propelling them to the top of the trend list over the past two years. And that's something that only the under-20s could do... After all, they didn't have the privilege—or the trauma—of experimenting with the supposedly futuristic—or outlandish—fashions of this decade the first time around.

Just when you thought that young people were (finally) turning away from all things Y2K, in favor of the '90s, it seems they're diving back in headfirst. And not just with any trend: it's the 'skirt-over-pants' combo, one of the most reviled pairings of the 2000s, which is now the focus of their unwavering passion for that decade. It's a trend that reflects not only a certain taste for non-conformist fashion, but also a renewed interest in layering.

Also read: From sequin tops to silver skirts: what to wear this festive season

More than 10 million views

The combination of skirt and pants—layered one over the other, of course—seems to be particularly appealing to younger people. The proof can be seen on TikTok, where the hashtags #skirtoverpants and #skirtsoverpants have already racked up 8.8 million and 2.8 million views respectively. And that's without counting their variants, such as #skirtoverjeans, which has passed the 5 million views mark. The trend is confirmed by the global fashion search engine Stylight, which reports a 37% increase in searches for the terms 'skirt over pants' on Google in just one month, between December and November 2023.

There are no rules to this trend, other than wearing a skirt over pants. Whether with pleated or straight skirts, mini or maxi skirts, or even asymmetrical pieces— anything goes. When it comes to pants, it's best to avoid leggings—let's stick to one Y2K inspiration at a time—but you can wear cargo pants, jeans or tailored pants, for example. However, the revival of this Y2K trend seems to favor loose-fitting pants, whatever the style.

*For this report, Stylight analyzed the search behavior of its 120 million annual online shoppers in December 2023, and compared this data with the month of November 2023. The platform used the same dates to analyze Google Trends data.