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Bubble Skirts Are Back, God Help Us All

We’re doomed to dress like deflated balloons, apparently.

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A bubble-hem dress from ASOS Photo: ASOS

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While catching up on Fashion Month runway photos this week, I noticed something horrifying: Bubble skirts, those early-2000s monstrosities that make it look like you accidentally tucked the back of your skirt into your underwear except, like, everywhere, appear to be having what the kids would call “a moment.”

You’ve almost certainly seen one of these skirts in the wild before — perhaps you even owned one back in high school — but in case you’ve since wiped your mind clean of the memory, Eternal Sunshine-style, allow me to remind you.

Saint Laurent spring 2018
Saint Laurent spring 2018.
Photo: Victor Virgile/Gamma-Rapho via Getty Images
3.1 Phillip Lim spring 2018
3.1 Phillip Lim spring 2018.
Photo: JP Yim/Getty Images
Mary Katrantzou spring 2018
Mary Katrantzou spring 2018.
Photo: Victor Virgile/Gamma-Rapho via Getty Images
Erdem spring 2018
Erdem spring 2018.
Photo: Victor Virgile/Gamma-Rapho via Getty Images

“Don’t worry!” you might be mumbling to yourself right now in between fits of nervous laughter. “Lots of wacky stuff shows up on runways that never winds up in stores!” That’s true. But I regret to inform you that in this particular case, bubble skirts have already begun drifting down into your favorite retailers — much like the sad, half-deflated birthday balloons they resemble.

There are formal bubbles!

Zac Posen Bubble-Skirt Cocktail Dress, $3,990
Zac Posen Bubble-Skirt Cocktail Dress, $3,990
Oscar de la Renta Bubble Hem Cocktail Dress, $1,099
Oscar de la Renta Bubble Hem Cocktail Dress, $1,099

There are slightly less formal but still very expensive bubbles!

Victoria Beckham Chiffon Midi-Skirt, $1,995
Victoria Beckham Chiffon Midi-Skirt, $1,995
A.W.A.K.E. Octopus Head Skirt, $525
A.W.A.K.E. Octopus Head Skirt, $525

And there are affordable bubbles you nevertheless should not buy, trust me!

Sure, Selena Gomez and Amal Clooney appear to already be on board with the bubble — but you know how people say, “She could wear a garbage bag and make it look good?” These skirts literally look like garbage bags. I rest my case.