Every item on this page was chosen by an ELLE Canada editor. We may earn commission on some of the items you choose to buy.

It’s been just about a decade since we collectively retired our acid-wash skinny jeans, animal print cardigans, oversized hobo bags, and red wayfarer sunglasses—what in 2009 used to be the style du jour. But if the internet tells us anything at all, it’s that we’re on the cusp of a hipster renaissance. This time around it just has a slightly less cringe-worthy name: indie sleaze.

The hipster dominated the subcultural scene from the mid-late aughts to the early 2010s. It was an era of reckless hedonism, non-stop music, and never-ending afterparties. American Apparel was in its heyday, Cobrasnake-style party pics dominated every nightlife blog, Alexa Chung was the fashion world’s It girl, and Bloc Party played every major music festival.

The fashion was eclectic and unpolished, uniting a mishmash of styles from various periods and subcultures. It combined ‘60s era Edie Sedgewick with ‘90s era Kurt Cobain grunge while also taking cues from the bright-coloured spandex craze of the 1980s. Colourful tights were worn underneath distressed denim shorts and paired with an oversized flannel and peep-toe sandals. Skinny vests were all the rage. Braided headbands and impossible-to-take-off lamé bodysuits were the afterparty uniform (alongside a can of PBR strapped to your hand, of course) and everyone owned a thrifted fur coat that smelled like cigarettes and booze. The style embraced a carefree attitude as glamorous as it was gritty. If you were a hipster, you regularly looked like a hot mess.

In a now-viral Tik Tok video, trend forecaster Mandy Lee (@oldloserinbrooklyn) states there’s an “obscene amount of evidence,” pointing to the revival of indie sleaze aesthetics, citing the reappearance of wired headphones and amateur flash-style photography.


Trend forecast: indie sleaze revival #trendcycle #nostalgia #tumblrfashion #indiekid

♬ Sex and the City (Main Theme) – TV Sounds Unlimited

After almost two years of pandemic-related lockdowns there’s a collective yearning for IRL interaction and over-the-top exuberance and the hipster represents the last subculture in recent memory that fits the bill. While we certainly don’t need to revive everything hipster-related, throwing on some leopard print and blasting The Kills like it’s 2010 might be exactly what we need. Here’s how you can capture the indie sleaze essence in 2022.