Hey Fashion World, the Oversized Meme Trend Needs to Go


Meme Fashion Trend: Moschino oversized backpack
(Photo: Getty Images)

Lizzo may have debuted the world’s tiniest bag at the American Music Awards last month, but Jeremy Scott is one-upping the Grammy-nominated singer by going the opposite direction with a giant, supersized Moschino backpack.

The ridiculously-sized bag was part of Scott’s Moschino pre-fall 2020 show which was held at the New York Transit Museum in Brooklyn this month. In a scene that is very much a commuter’s nightmare, a model can be seen walking through the subway train lugging a giant backpack that’s almost bigger than its wearer. Seriously, take a look for yourself:

Honestly, the bag is so big, we didn’t even notice the oversized baseball cap at first look!

But Scott isn’t the only designer seemingly trolling the fashion world with designs that could very well appear on @itsmaymemes, the viral Instagram account run by a 17-year-old in Hawaii who distorts images of celebrities by making their clothes appear disproportionately large or small. Earlier this year, Opening Ceremony released a giant tote bag called the “Super Large Tote,” which went viral thanks to a video of a woman attempting to get through a subway turnstile with the enormous bag (again, another commuter nightmare).

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The oversized meme trend first blew up in 2018, with Lyst dubbing “meme fashion” as one of the most searched fashion trends of the year. Designer Matty Bovan created a jumbo fanny pack as part of a collaboration with Coach, while both Proenza Schouler and Jacquemus created XXL totes for spring 2019 (the latter is also the maker of the minuscule “Chiquito” bags which Harper’s Bazzar notes can “barely fit AirPods.”)

Oh, and let’s not forget about that Jacquemus straw hat we saw all over Instagram (or at least, versions of it) in the summer of 2018.

And while we understand that these gargantuan-sized items do make a great statement on the runway, we’re confused as to the purpose they serve IRL, other than being great content for the ‘gram. Plenty of these oversized accessories are not just for the runway, but also for sale to the general public (Opening Ceremony’s massive tote retails for $135, while Proenza Schouler’s denim XXL tote will set you back $2,110), and we can’t help but see them as wildly impractical novelty items.

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Take Canadian retailer, Aritzia’s Mega Puff Meme jacket, for example. The monstrous puffer is, as the brand says, “inspired by the meme that started it all“—@itsmaymeme’s image of Kendall Jenner in a ginormous Photoshopped version of Aritzia’s Super Puff that went viral last year. Some may think of the jacket as a brilliant marketing ploy, but we see it a wasteful garment to produce just for the sake of Instagrammable content and brand awareness.

(Photo: Aritzia)

Does anyone really need a bag/backpack/parka/hat that large? We imagine each of these items would just get in the way of everything and become cumbersome and annoying after a while. And we don’t even want to think about the back problems ginormous bags may cause…

But perhaps the appetite for these novelty items is an indicator of the state of the fashion world right now, and how much it has been influenced by social media. As The Fashion Law says, “Fashion has arguably never been less about clothes and more about hype than it is right now,” adding, “[Consumers] are not seeking out products based on the level of design or the textiles at play. Most people really just want to Instagram photos of themselves with products that are connected to their influencers of choice.”

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And, indeed, it seems like these items are merely for the likes, the clout and the dopamine that comes with them. But this notion of buying Instagrammable items, like those under the umbrella of the oversized meme trend, is unsustainable—both for ourselves and for the environment.

So honestly, we say it’s time for this *huge* trend to go. And if you do plan on purchasing an oversized bag/parka/hat, please do not wear it on the subway. Your fellow commuters will thank you.

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