Yes, the latest TikTok fashion trend is the combination of a skirt and shorts known as the skort. And it has Millennials eye-rolling.
I’m pretty sure I would have laughed if you had told me even a couple of weeks ago that the latest fashion trend popular among teens on TikTok would be a skort. We’re talking about the staple of my elementary school wardrobe that I ditched by the fifth grade because I felt too dorky in them, right?
The skirt and shorts all-in-one item has recently gained popularity via TikTok and sparked a good old-fashioned generational debate between Millennials and Gen Z once again. Remember side parts and skinny jeans being out?
It all started with a viral TikTok video of a girl showing off her new discovery, which of course left Millennials who remember wearing them all the time in the ‘90s feeling like “Oh crap, I’m not that old yet, am I?”
The Viral TikTok Trend
The skort comeback is really just a small part of the overall comeback of ‘90s fashion that’s been popularized on virtual spaces like TikTok where young people desperate to create their self-image and have a defined sense of identity have become enthralled by the idea of an aesthetic. (That’s really a phenomenon as old as time by the way. Ever heard of the preppy handbook? It’s now just entering a different medium).
The skort specifically fits into the light and dark academia aesthetics, which center around schoolgirl-inspired outfits. The academia aesthetics, and specifically dark academia, have been some of the more popular aesthetics within the TikTok app, so it’s natural that some of those trends would lead to the revival of preppier ‘90s items like the sweater vest and now, of course, the skort.
The skort comeback is just a small part of the overall comeback of ‘90s fashion popularized on TikTok.
Because it fits so well into the academia aesthetic, that’s also meant that private school teens and tennis and golf players who have long had the preppy item as part of their uniforms have been especially excited about the trend. Some of these teens have been declaring themselves “ready” for this trend, and shown off all the skorts they’ve acquired over the years.
Outside of academia circles, skorts also found themselves fitting perfectly into the golf-girl aesthetic also known as #BevCartGirls, where young women share their experiences working golf courses, specifically the beverage carts, where they of course spend a lot of time wearing skorts.
Despite the lighthearted jokes from Millennials about Gen Z supposedly “discovering” the skort, and my own dread of the nerdy elementary school outfits, I can see the appeal of skorts.
After a year-long pandemic, I think people are ready to dress up a bit. But at the same time, the world has become so casual that it’s natural for young women and especially teenagers, who are hyper-focused on fitting in, to want something that lets them dress up without making them feel like they stand out too much or look like they’re trying too hard. So enter the skort.
The athletic versions of the skort especially fit well into the casual fashion landscape. They offer a way for girls to be a bit more feminine in the athleticwear-dominated scene. It could easily be worn with the rest of a workout outfit, or a t-shirt to move it away from the workout gear spectrum. And the white pleated workout skorts meant for tennis could easily work with lots of blouses. Combine that with the dad sneakers and chunky socks that have also had their moment in the TikTok fashion trend world and you have a Princess Diana-approved, Gen Z fashion dream.
Millennials might have been jokingly annoyed by Gen Z purporting to discover skorts and treat them like a brand new clothing item. But Millennials aren’t the ones who invented them either!
Nope, the history of the skort goes all the way back to the bloomers of the 1850s. Then the idea of layering a pair of shorts under a skirt became prevalent in the 1930s as women became more active and took up hobbies like tennis. And finally, in the 1950s, the skort made its way onto the fashion landscape both as a term and as a product marketed to the American woman who was becoming more active and sporty.
In the 1930s, women layered a pair of shorts under their skirts to play tennis.
So what’s being called a ‘90s fashion throwback by Millennials is truly a revival of an item first popularized in the ‘50s, or if you really want to get technical, in the ‘30s. But since the ‘90s were when skorts became a part of fashion and not just something women wore to play tennis, that’s still probably the most accurate fashion reference for the newly re-popularized skort.
So Don't Miss Out
Here are some of our favorite skorts — if you can't resist bringing them back.
Urban Outfitter's Katie Plaid Pleated Mini Skirt — $59
Zara Lined-Button Skort — $36
ASOS Flounce London Skort — $38
Lulu's Cabana Cutie Mini Skort — $35
Should you be getting a skort? I’m all for it! I say grab an athletic style skort and pair it with an oversized crewneck, dad sneakers, and chunky socks for a twist on the iconic Princess Diana bike shorts outfit that’s been recreated by many (including the likes of Hailey Bieber) this year. And while you’re at it, why not try out tennis or golf for a new hobby this summer?
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