fashion sunglasses bikini love
Photo by Marvin Corea on

2012 fashion: The comeback that divided the internet

5 mins read

The infamous fashion trends from 2012 seem to be making a comeback, with trend pieces being spotted in stores.

Fashion influencer Rachel Ocool spotted some mid-2010s pieces in Zara. A denim bralette, a shirt with an embroidered collar, and bomber jackets could be seen in her TikTok video about the discovery.

What is 2012 fashion?

The mid-2010s were peak times for scene, Tumblr girl, indie sleaze, and twee fashion. Fashion trends were shared throughout and inspired by sites such as Tumblr and MySpace.

Many have mixed reviews about this era of trends. Some look back on it fondly, others cringe when it is mentioned. Some even argue that it is not old enough to make a “comeback” yet.

Scene fashion

Scene fashion is a subculture that was born from emo subculture, followers are often referred to as “scenesters” or “scene kids”.

Fans are usually seen with brightly coloured hair and heavy eyeliner. Fingerless gloves, chokers, plaid and stripe prints, and bright accessories all contributed to scene fashion. Chunky boots with mini tutu skirts and big belts could often be spotted too.

The subculture formed in the early 2000s and while it has died down since 2012, some of the fashion items are making a comeback.

Indie sleaze

Indie sleaze is inspired by 90s grunge and 80s opulence with erotic undertones. This trend has evolved from indie fashion that took people by storm in the early 2010s.

Oversized shirts, ripped tights, worn-out knitted cardigans and messy hair are signature pieces of the trend. Smudged eyeliner, glitter, and plastic accessories are also core to indie sleaze.

Tumblr girl fashion

The Tumblr girl aesthetic consists of wedge sneakers, fishnet tights, black clothing, short skirts, thigh-high socks and galaxy print.

Tumblr girl fashion has changed itself throughout the years. Being inspired by indie sleaze and the twee aesthetic, it has formed as a unique aesthetic.

This trend was undoubtedly a core memory in many young adults’ childhoods. At its height of popularity in the mid-2010s, Tumblr girl fashion consisted of a monochrome palate, with lots of black and white clothing and accessories used.


Defined as “quaint”, “dainty”, and “delicate”, twee fashion is a sharp contrast to the heavier and bolder trends we have looked at.

woman in dress and cardigan in countryside
Image Credit: Orhan Pergel on

Like most early 2000s fashion, twee gained popularity on Tumblr between the late 2000s and early 2010s.

Twee combines “preppy” styles (such as white shirts with cardigans or jumpers, knee-high white socks and brown plaid skirts) with retro touches like cat-eye sunglasses.

Why is 2012 fashion coming back?

Vice wrote an article about the downfall of the 20-year fashion cycle.

They said that: “every trend, every era, every reference is happening everywhere all at once.” With more freedom of expression in today’s society, people can choose clothes from any era or scene.

woman in brown trench trench coat standing near clothes rack
Image Credit: MART PRODUCTION on

We have so many different aesthetics surrounding us all at once. It probably doesn’t help that fast fashion sites such as Shein sell clothing so cheap that people can change aesthetics every month.

People’s thoughts on the comeback

On the comment section of Rachel’s video, the response is mostly negative. One commenter said: “I know fashion works in cycles but this one could have taken longer.”

Another said: “This is the trend revival I have been dreading.”

However, some are excited for the return of one fashion trend. Tumblr girl aesthetic fans are delighted by the news that 2012 fashion is slowly coming back.

“The bomber jacket is so nice I don’t know why people are hating,” said one commenter.

Another said: “I loved this and miss it I’m happy to see it trending again.”

With such mixed feelings it is a good thing that fashion trends are becoming timeless. It gives everyone the freedom to wear what they want, from the grungiest outfits to full galaxy print looks.

Feature image credit:

+ posts

Second year student journalist studying Bachelor of Arts with Honours in Journalism Studies.
Writer for Brig and Discovery Music, Chief Sub Editor for Brig

Second year student journalist studying Bachelor of Arts with Honours in Journalism Studies.
Writer for Brig and Discovery Music, Chief Sub Editor for Brig

Leave a Reply