Bandage Dress CPR: Breathing New Life into Fashion’s Most-Hated Staple

It was drilled into women for almost a decade that in order to look like Fashion—capital F—tight equals tacky. Harem pants, shapeless, smocklike dresses, giant culottes paired with oversized sweaters, slouchy “boyfriend” jeans, so-called “fugly” shoes—those were the hallmarks of actual style, choices that sent a message to both your midriff-baring cousin in Tampa (I am not like you) and to every man on earth (I dress for myself).

And then Instagram happened. Or more specifically, the girls of Instagram happened. Say what you will, but it’s hard to argue with the idea that the Kims and Kylies, the Haileys, and the Gigis of the world haven’t had a tangible impact on the way women want to dress in 2016. These are the girls responsible for swiftly tweaking our perception of what’s cool.

Consider this: When Paris Hilton wears a bustier and a skintight pencil skirt, we curl our lip in disgust. When Hailey Baldwin does it? She looks like the sexiest, most modern girl in the room (and gets a vacation with Justin Bieber as a prize).

Tight clothes are back, people. They’re hot. They feel fresh. They line up with everything that’s happening right now, on social media, and in pop culture—sex and irony and varied interpretations of feminism, with a little trashiness thrown in for good measure.

Sorry, girl who took a selfie wearing a trapeze-shaped $2,000 Marni dress. You’ll never get as many “likes” as the one in the ribbed mock turtleneck that barely clears her ribcage, the one in the skintight jeans that couldn’t possibly show off that ass any more, or the one in the giant fuccboi sweatpants and the CK Jeans sports bra showing off her boobs (that may or may not have been in hiding for the last decade because everyone knows Fashion Girls work hard to pretend they’re flat).

It’s because of this observation that we decided to take things one step further—to try to resuscitate the tightest, tackiest, most derided piece of them all: the bandage dress.

Is it possible, given 2016’s obsession with sex appeal, that the early-aughts staple might actually appear relevant? Take a look at a few ways we reshaped typical bandage pieces, and let us know if it inspired you to break yours out of storage. Still not sold? Get back to us the day Kylie wears hers with a giant hoodie on top and a sick pair of sneakers.

Photographer: Christine Hahn
Stylist: Kim Johnson
Makeup: Janessa Pare
HairTakayoshi Tsukisawa
Model: Hannah Vandermolen/Trump Models
Photographed at No. 8

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