Picture this: It’s 2014. I’m 16 years old, straightening my badly home-dyed ombré hair and perfecting my black winged eyeliner. I listen to AM by Arctic Monkeys, The 1975 by The 1975, and I Love You. by The Neighbourhood as if they’re gospel. I take photos on my Fujifilm Instax Mini and spend hours perfecting my Tumblr blog. I keep my Dr Martens in pristine condition and wear my dad’s oversized denim jacket over a skater skirt and tights.
In January 2022, Vogue made the official decree: the 2014 Tumblr Girl is back. This declaration comes after a wave of nostalgia for this era emerged over the past year. Twentysomethings who lived their teen years through the era and teens who wish they did are coming together to revive this iconic style.
Teens are recreating the soft grunge style that populated the early-to-mid 2010s in videos on TikTok. One teen even created a Tumblr blog dedicated to reviving the 2014 aesthetic on the dying platform.
3 Tumblr-Era Trends That Are Coming Back in Style
I must admit that it makes me feel exceptionally old at only 23 years old that my teen years are the subject of “I was born in the wrong decade” memes. However, I’m not entirely opposed to the revival of this cultural phenomenon.
The era is not without its faults, much like every other defining cultural moment in history. Tumblr, along with other social media platforms, was notorious for promoting extremely dangerous ideas about body image. In addition, Tumblr users romanticized mental illness through fashionable posts such as the eternally reblogged “stressed, depressed, but well dressed”. In recognizing these flaws, we can appreciate but contextualize the fashion that came out of the era.
Personally, I never fully moved on from this era. Many of the fashion trends subtly remained a part of my own style and my playlist is chockfull of the anthems that defined this period of time.
What’s old is always new again. Join me on a journey through the past as we revisit these three 2014 fashion trends that are coming back in style.
1. Dr. Martens
Would this list be complete without Dr Martens?
This iconic shoe has been around for ages. The AirWair boots that we have come to know and love were popularized in England in the 1950s. Since then, they have been adapted into many styles and colours, and have come in and out of fashion for decades.
In 2014, no outfit was complete without Dr Martens. They finished off a skirt-and-tights look or complemented a more casual, denim uniform. Personally, I loved to partner them with jeans. To this day, you can still find me rocking my Docs with a pair of cuffed jeans.
While the traditional boots are still popular, other styles such as platform shoes and Oxford shoes are currently in favour.
2. Mom Jeans
A stolen staple from the ‘90s, Mom or Boyfriend jeans dominated Tumblr in its heyday. Teens from the 2010s and today strive to replicate the effortlessly fashionable styles seen on their favourite ‘90s sitcom. Hey, I want to look like Rachel Green just as much as the next girl!
In 2014, this style took on a more grungey style when paired with band t-shirts and flannel. The moody look was often completed with a choker necklace and black lipstick although those particular trends haven’t returned to the mainstream (yet!).
Recently, wide-leg jeans are all the rage among Gen Z, much to the horror of Millennials. Mom jeans amalgamated into this greater cultural shift of baggy jeans. As someone who has reluctantly worn skinny jeans with every outfit for the past several years, I welcome the return of this comfortable denim trend with open arms.
3. Crop Tops and High Waisted Bottoms
The moment I saw this style return, I felt a wave of nostalgia hit me like a ton of bricks. Crop tops went out of style just as quickly as they came in. I remember going from wearing crop tops with every single outfit to suddenly noticing them disappear from the fashion scene altogether.
There are two iterations of the crop top look currently coming back in style. The first is the Y2K crop top, which typically takes the form of a graphic baby-tee or halter top. The second, however, is the 2014 trend made popular on style influencers such as Kylie Jenner during her “King Kylie” era.
Crop tops were almost always paired with a high waisted bottom. Often, Tumblr girls wore these tops with jeans or denim shorts. However, a very popular trend matched these tops with high waisted skater skirts. Taylor Swift was notable for loving this trend, so much so that some people literally began to question if she had a belly button. (No, I’m not making this up).
To sign off this post, I thought that it was only appropriate to share some pictures of me rocking the 2014 Tumblr style myself. Please enjoy these very old (and slightly cringe) images of me as a teenager in summer 2014:
What 2014 Tumblr style trend are you most looking forward to seeing revived in 2022?