Photo via Room Shop Vintage Instagram.

This Is The Summer of The Big-Ass Scrunchie

While last summer's breakout star was the giant hat, 2019 is all about inflating scrunchies to gigantic proportions.

by Emma Specter
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May 9 2019, 1:24pm

Photo via Room Shop Vintage Instagram.

For decades, summer has been all about making yourself smaller. Women's magazines have encouraged us to tone, tighten, and tauten our way through the warmer months, girding our loins and subsisting on Skinny Pop (100 calories a bag, baby!) in order to shimmy our way into a bathing suit that's one size smaller than the one we wore last summer.

Last summer, though, something amazing happened; hats went big, bold, and buck, inflating themselves to gargantuan proportions courtesy of Olmos & Flores, Lola Erlich, and, of course, Jacquemus, friend to the maxi and mini alike. No less an authority than the New York Times pointed to the "gigantic straw sun hat" as the summer trend of 2018, and even men got in on the big-ass-hat fun, thanks, once again, to Jacquemus, proud father of the nano-bag. Suddenly, summer wasn't about waifish, gaunt proportions and fasting on the beach beneath a paperback copy of "Normal People"; it was about casting the largest possible silhouette on the sand, and frankly, it was way overdue.

But what's the giant straw hat of 2019?, you might be muttering to yourself distractedly as you cast about in vain for a replicate. Luckily, GARAGE is here to inform you that 2019's answer to the Big-Ass Hat is its distant cousin, the Big-Ass Scrunchie.

The Big-Ass Scrunchie comes to us courtesy of Room Shop Vintage, a husband-and-wife-run curated vintage and sustainable shop based in Philadelphia. Their "cloud scrunchies" radiate out from their wearers' heads like so many pastel-hued jellyfish, gently bobbing in the wind and subtly dominating the looks they're paired with; they're the natural evolution of the "fancy scrunchie" mania thats overtaken the fashion world over the past few years.

For years, scrunchies were seen as a social scourge, painfully '90s-redolent — it's not an accident that Kimmy Schmidt, a character who spent most of the aughts in an underground bunker, favors them — and maligned by the likes of Carrie Bradshaw. After scrunchies were seen on the Balenciaga and Mansur Gavriel runways, they were spotted on the certified cool girls of New York and L.A. and quickly tricked down — cerulean sweater-style — into fast-fashion retailers.

"Around November of last year I started seeing scrunchies having a moment and thought, hey, we could make our own out of recycled fabric — but let's make ours different by making them really really BIG," says Shelly Horst, co-founder of Room Shop Vintage. The Big-Ass Scrunchie is at once a celebration of the normal-sized scrunchie and a rejection of it, a boldly inflated middle finger at anyone who would urge you to keep yourself small and contained.

If you just can't get on board with hedonistic excess, the Big-Ass Scrunchie also comes in mini, but really, why would you ever want that? Gather your locks at the nape of your neck, sweep them back in a cloud, and don't forget to live más out there this summer.