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Are We On the Cusp of a Terrycloth Renaissance?

Separated by a decade, united by a fabric. Left: Amy Poehler as Regina George's "cool mom" in Mean Girls, 2004. Right: a look from Acne Studios's spring 2015 collection.
Separated by a decade, united by a fabric. Left: Amy Poehler as Regina George's "cool mom" in Mean Girls, 2004. Right: a look from Acne Studios's spring 2015 collection.

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Terrycloth: memories of Juicy Couture tracksuits, the image of Amy Poehler as Regina George's "cool mom" in Mean Girls, and bathrobes flood the mind. Also? Acne Studios's spring 2015 runway show.

The fashion-forward Swede brand showed two looks in the fluffy, alienating fabric for spring: a short jacket (pictured above) and a minidress that calls to mind the fabric's bathtime heritage by impersonating a towel wrapped below the 'pits and tucked tight above the breast. And they're not the only ones performing dangerous experiments with the aughts-approved material.


Photos: Getty

Once assaulted with the visual reality of terrycloth in 2014, we started to notice it elsewhere: on the sweetheart neckline of a $2,865 Alexander McQueen party dress, as a bib top by cool loungewear line Base Range, and on a $295 Lisa Marie Fernandez beach poncho (which actually makes sense, from a functional standpoint).

Terrycloth operates on two speeds: high and low "pile." Pile refers to the raised surface, or nap, of a fabric. In this case, that's how tall the loops that make up terrycloth are (think of a fluffy hotel bath towel versus the thin one you picked up at Ikea). So far we've discussed high-pile (much more offensive), but a low-pile revolution—labeled French terry—is taking place as well.


Terry comparisons. High pile, in Lisa Marie Fernandez's beach poncho, to the left, and French terry demonstrated by that T Alexander Wang hoodie to the right.

Alexander Wang's T line is selling a $275 striped sweatshirt in less-fluffy French terry, while Urban Outfitters offers a cardigan in the fabric for $69. These may seem like innocent toppers spawned by this moment of athleisure, but we could be in danger of the revival of full-blown tracksuit terry.

· Your Early Aughts Dream Team: Juicy Couture and Steve Madden [Racked]
· Juicy Founders Pam & Gela: 'We're Taking Back the Tracksuit' [Racked]
· The Future of Juicy Couture's Once Glam Empire: Kohl's [Racked]