Amber Alert: Acid wash denim is making a comeback

A collage of acid wash denim items

An acid wash denim emergency: no wonder the model has her back turned…

Acid wash denim has once again been spotted in stores around the internet.

We say “again”. Like so many elements of 80s fashion, acid wash denim is one of those looks that just keeps coming back, no matter how hard our officers try to stamp it out for good. And, ALSO like many other elements of 80s fashion, those young enough to not remember it the first time around are quite often willing to embrace the look. This is why The Fashion Police exists, people.*

(*We’re joking: you’re totally free to wear what you like. Unless it’s Crocs. Then we really ARE coming after you.)

Acid wash, as you probably, know, is  a technique of bleaching denim using stones and chlorine, until you get that washed-out “marbled” effect, as shown above. This wash was super-popular during the latter part of the 80s, but the items in our lineup are all currently available for sale from popular, mass-market fashion brands (River Island is a particular culprit here), so as you can see, this isn’t a history lesson we’re giving you here: it’s a serious warning.

Why do The Fashion Police hate acid wash? It’s not JUST because of its strong association with the Decade That Fashion Forgot. No, we think acid wash has the ability to make any item look instantly cheap and – we’re just going to say it – tacky. Take the skirt at the top right of the image, for instance (It’s from River Island. We really weren’t joking about their culpability in the acid wash denim war…):

Light acid wash denim skirts

This is seriously frump-tastic. And we say that as big fans of longer-length skirts (They give you licence to wear sky-high heels: what’s not to love?), so it’s not the length that’s triggering our fashion-crime detectors here. It’s the elasticated waist. And the shapeless cut. And, of yeah, the ACID WASH DENIM, which somehow manages to make a frumpy denim skirt look almost trashy. How does it do it? Honestly, we have no idea. That, friends, is the power of acid wash denim. It’s also why we’re putting out an Amber Alert on the stuff and advising people not to approach it – we don’t want any nasty accidents, after all.

As always, however, taste is totally subjective. Who knows: maybe we just hate acid wash because we once had a nasty encounter with a denim jacket, which our memories have totally suppressed? It could be. (Note: it isn’t.) Indeed, many of you will probably want to tell us it’s just because we’re OLD and FAT and couldn’t pull it off even if we wanted to. (Which obviously we DON’T.  Just in case that wasn’t obvious from the rest of this post.)

What do you think, trainee officers? Do you love it or hate it? Will you wear it or arrest it?

What are your thoughts on acid-wash denim?

Go shopping:

Pacsun acid wash dress | River Island acid-wash shirt | River Island acid-wash skirt | Topshop acid-wash mini skirt | New Look acid wash denim mini skirt | Topshop acid wash hotpants | Republic hotpants with PU pocket | A|Wear acid wash skinny jeans


  • February 5, 2013

    Paula via Facebook

    I won’t go back to 1987!!

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  • February 5, 2013


    Hate it!!!

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  • February 5, 2013


    Hated it then, hate it now. I am seriously too old for this &%$#

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  • February 5, 2013


    My mother is going to be happy about this…I’m already praying to the gods of fashion to help us enter in stores where this terrible temptations don’t hypnotize my mother.

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  • February 6, 2013


    I still haven’t gotten over the fact that I loved it in the 80’s.

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  • February 8, 2013


    I think some of them look “kinda” good…! :/ I actually like it on short dresses, shrt skirts and SOMETIMES on shorts pants! 🙂 XO!

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  • March 1, 2013


    Lol @ acid wash has been spotted in stores around the internet….
    In 2013 ~ The only place they should be spotted in are community thrift or Goodwill stores.
    I can’t rock those.

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