If you hear the word terrycloth and immediately think of the pastel-hued tracksuits you wore to high school in the 2000s, it’s probably time to consider botox if you haven’t already.

Oh, wait. That’s me…

Jokes aside, terrycloth boomed big in the 2000s. There were terrycloth skirts, tracksuits, dresses, hats, and of course, bags. You probably owned at least one item in the material, and chances are it wasn’t something strictly made for the beach, but where did it all begin? Let’s take it all the way back to the 1800s…

The Origins of Terrycloth

While the term terrycloth is largely associated with towels, it actually stands for a specific technique. The technique of weaving terry has been around since the mid-1800s when it first appeared industrially in Europe. First, the process was perfected with silk, and eventually, its use on cotton became more widespread.

The name is derived from the French word “tirer” which means to pull, referencing the loops that are pulled to make the material we now know as terrycloth. The use of the fabric has evolved greatly since its creation over 150 years ago, and no longer is terrycloth just used for towels. In fact, the material typically used in clothing is called French terry. Lighter in weight, French terry utilizes the looping technique on only one side of the cloth, leaving the backside smooth and soft.

From the Beach to the Streets

While the material has been around for ages, the use of the fabric strictly for fashion purposes only dates back to the very first terrycloth boom when high-end athleisure hit the scene in the early 2000s. The world took notice, and everyone from Paris Hilton to J.Lo was spotted wearing a terrycloth tracksuit or carrying a terrycloth bag on their arm.

Dior Terrycloth Bag

Remember those J’ADORE bags from the early aughts? It’s not surprising then that terrycloth has found its way back into the hearts of fashionistas everywhere, with the Y2K revival hitting its peak. The 2000s hottest trends are back, and the terrycloth takeover continues, but will the bubble burst?

Get It While It’s Hot

Every trend goes through the trend cycle, starting slow, hitting its peak, and eventually trickling down to the masses. Terry began to make its return a few years ago with our favorite high-end brands like Chanel and Fendi jumping on the bandwagon. In 2021, the trend was big, and this year, it’s massive. If you’re interested in adding some terry to your collection, this would be the year to do it.

The Best of Terrycloth

Terry Cloth Baguette Bottega Veneta Teen Pouch
Bottega Veneta Teen Pouch
via Moda Operandi
Prada Terrycloth Triangle Pouch Chanel Terrycloth Flap Bag Miu Miu Terrycloth Tote Bag Prada Terrycloth Tote
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Amelia
Amelia
7 days ago

Spending thousands for terrycloth? What a brilliant marketing campaign to sell this crap to people that will buy anything designer. Can they be thrown in the washer/dryer too?

FashionableLena
FashionableLena
7 days ago

When my kids were little, I carried a terrycloth Juicy Couture bag. It was large enough without being too big (don’t like tote bags), and I could still feel stylish. Easy to keep clean. My kids are adults now.
I would not carry one now. They’re fun and juvenile, but those prices are insane. It’s basically a towel/bathrobe fashioned into a bag.

Gayle
Gayle
7 days ago

Ooohhhhh i still have 2 of these i kept from my teenage years hahaha i have around 5bags i still kept from the 2000s era nostalgia good memories…although im trying to keep less and maybe give them away? Wouldnt carry these type of material for a bag anymore now..i only have leather and canvas bags although im trying to explore wicker/raffia bags from prada…i would love a sequins bag too

La Grande Dame
La Grande Dame
7 days ago

2002 called. It wants its bag back! 😉

FashionableLena
FashionableLena
7 days ago
Reply to  La Grande Dame

LOL! I found this picture from someone selling this online for $285! I got rid of mine years ago. There are some going for even more. I guess that I should have kept mine since I got it on sale for around $75. What. A. Profit.

La Grande Dame
La Grande Dame
7 days ago

Haha I was just teasing. But yeah crazy what people will buy!

Lolita Banana
Lolita Banana
7 days ago

It’s an embarrassing trend… Other than seaside or poolside… why would anyone want to carry that kind of bag?

Jerri R
Jerri R
5 days ago
Reply to  Lolita Banana

But what else do we use to clean our car when a bird poops on it (joking of course)

psny15
psny15
7 days ago

It looks hideous!!!!

Aspen
Aspen
7 days ago

Ew how dirty.

Terri
Terri
6 days ago

LOVE the opening sentence! Gave me a chuckle.

Hera
Hera
6 days ago

I think the bags are cute and fun fashion pieces, nothing too serious 🙂 But the prices are insane… I would love one, but I don’t want to be taken advantage of by paying thousands for towels haha

Joey
Joey
6 days ago

Reminds me of nappies.