No pants, no problem?
Kylie Jenner, Hailey Bieber, Bella Hadid and more stars and fashion notables seem to think so. They usher in a Gen Z fashion trend of leaving the house in just tights or underwear-style briefs — no outerwear required. Sounds daring? It’s just the latest way this generation is using creative liberties in clothing to revolt.
“Fashion just expresses what’s going on in the culture broadly,” says long-time business culture journalist Christina Binkley. “We are in a time where rules are being broken.”
This is why it seems like catwalks, red carpets, and sidewalks are seeing fewer pants than ever before.
What is the “no pants” trend?
It can mean a number of different fashion choices, but boils down to a lingerie-inspired outfit. Some step out with tights as pants (remember the fuss a few years ago about wearing leggings as pants?), men’s briefs with nothing else on top (see: Hadid), or a bodysuit as a complete outfit.
We have Fashion Week and celebrity models to thank for making this look trickle down to everyday people. Designers like Bottega, Miu Miu and Burberry showed different take on bottomless looks, and it was only a matter of time before fashion influencers like the Kardashian-Jenners, the Hadids and Julia Fox made it the hottest fashion trend since Barbiecore. .
“If you did that in the office, that’s the stuff of nightmares,” Binkley jokes. But while it’s a decidedly NSFW fashion trend, it’s not terribly indecent by fashion world standards.
“In many of these cases, they’re no more revealing than they would be if they were in a bathing suit,” adds Binkley. “It looks a bit shocking to those of us who aren’t used to that, but these are just rules someone made up at some point.”
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From throwing away bras to going pantless: Gen Z is just the latest generation to rebel through fashion
The “no pants” trend isn’t just for Gen Z — everyone from Kim Kardashian to Taylor Swift to Tessa Thomson to Rita Ora is in on it. But the non-celebrities who embrace it look younger, and fashion experts say it’s a brand for this generation, which has previously experimented with wearing a bra.
“We’re known for taking things to the next level across the board,” says Aiyana Ishmael, an editorial assistant at Teen Vogue and self-described “older Gen Z.” “That’s why Generation Z likes these kinds of trends: because we say, ‘Okay, this feels insane and I like the idea of holding on to this insanity.’ … It feels so different and probably something that feels rebellious.”
Breaking the rules isn’t exactly a new concept in fashion. The sexual revolution of the 1970s led to braless looks that went in and out of style.
As Gen Z culture makers, the eldest of whom is now in their mid-20s, look to make their mark, they are faced with one thing their fashion predecessors failed to recognize: the volatile, oversaturated and competitive nature of the internet.
The ability to constantly refresh our timelines means we’re always wondering “What’s the next big thing? What’s the next viral moment?” says Ishmael.
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Do you dare the pantsless trend?
For the non-celebrities who want to get in on the trend, there’s a time and a place.
Ishmael recently dressed as Bella Hadid for a week as a project for Teen Vogue, which included recreating Hadid’s famous men’s slip outfit for a day at the office.
“I was laughing with my co-workers, like, ‘Oh my God, I hope no one higher up sees me walking around in these little shorts,'” jokes Ishmael. “I think it’s definitely tricky when you’re not a celebrity, but definitely something you can still explore if you want to.”
It’s best to save those fashion experiments for a night out, she notes. For more inspiration, check out the celebs rocking this trend the best. Ishmael points to Fox as a fashion influencer to embody for confidence.
“Her style is so unabashedly herself,” says Ishmael. “She’s very stubborn and even if (what she says) isn’t true, she feels very sure of herself. When she wears the craziest things… it feels so honest and true to herself, which is the key to wearing of something As long as you own it, that’s really what holds the outfit back.’
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