Welcome to Indie Sleaze

What it is, Why we love it and Where to Find it Secondhand!

The year is 2006. It is the height of Tumblr and MySpace. Mark Hunter (aka Cobra Snake), Jeremy Scott, and Sky Ferreira are championing the reign of a new fashion era. And partying with the Misshapes. This era will be defined by its grubby maximalist feel. It pulls inspiration from the ‘90s grunge scene and its hedonistic energy is captured with in-the-moment flash photography. Brands like American Apparel are in their heyday, iPod nanos are all the rage, and Hipsters are in. 

This fashion era, taking place mainly from 2006-2010, was deemed indie sleaze and is making a hardcore comeback right now. Appealing to nostalgia and irony, this trend has led to the emergence of a whole new category of fashion. One based in the Y2K tacky and liberated aesthetic.

A Few of Our Favorite OG Indie Sleaze Celebs

The OG indie sleazers – clockwise from top left: Sky Ferreira, Kate Moss, Sophia Lamar, Santigold, Leigh Lezark, Jeremy Scott, Geordon Nicol, Cory Kennedy + an Olsen twin

Indie sleaze has roots in both rebellion and anti-fashion. Taking on an “anything goes” mentality, this alternative movement feels like a rejection to the runway-to-rack traditional structure of trends. Instead, trends now begin online. They then are able to gain momentum solely through the space of the Internet and social media. 

As stated in Dazed’s recent article exploring the re-emergence of this trend, “people want a more nonchalant mash-up of things that feel right in the moment. Indie sleaze was ultimately about seeking pleasure, approaching life as a giant mashup, making the most out of the moment at a time when life was getting darker” – Geraldine Wharry, founder of the Trend Atelier.

Celebrities like Chloe Cherry, Devon and Sydney Carlson, and Olivia Rodrigo all embody this maximalist, bought-it-at-a-thriftstore aesthetic. But make it look effortlessly cool.  

The New IndieSleaze as seen on Olivia Rodrigo, Devon Lee Carlson + Sydney Carlson, Chloe Cherry

Want to be a part of the ultra-cool movement?

We’ve curated the best picks to have you dressed in indie sleaze in no time –and secondhand, of course! This “retro” aesthetic is recent enough that you can find the actual pieces. No need for new.

Get the look: graphic baby tees

From left to right: Mimi Wade Fairy Tales Baby Tee on Depop, OGBFF Niche Microcelebrity Baby Tee, Vanna Kitty Atomic Cherry Tank on Depop

Get the look: statement Tights

From left to right: True.dyed Pamela Tights, Lace Blue and White Crossover Tights on Depop, Ashley Williams Tattoo Tights on SSENSE

Get the look: Graphic Skirts

From left to right: OGBFF Mini Skirt, Cowboys of Habit Lycra Clown Dress, Praying Plaid Text Skirt on Depop

Get the Look: funky Hats

From left to right: Stomachofyourdeadsoulmate Twilight Beanie on Depop, Ed Hardy Plaid Cap on Depop, Handmade Fleece Yellow Beret on Depop

Get the Look: Chunky Jewelry

From left to right: Silver Cross Necklace on Depop, StinkyJewelz Cold-Hearted Necklace, Glass Flower String Necklace on Depop

-Caroline Jenkins

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