The Brief: Pairing little shirts with big pants is a style associated with eGirl, Alt Girl, and skater girl aesthetics.
Little shirt/big pants is both an aesthetic and a meme. The style is often associated with Alt Girls, eGirls, Instagram Baddies, and skater girls who wear large, baggy pants with small crop tops. This outfit combo has inspired an entire archetype: the “little shirt/big pants girl” who has mythos and memes about her. These girls are usually depicted as “cool girls” who are up-to-date on the latest trends. They’re often, though not exclusively, portrayed as thin and white.
Urban Dictionary defines “little shirt big pants girl” as: “A new breed of ‘indie’ or ‘alt’ girl. They can often be found wearing a small, tight fit top (usually cropped) and rather large pants such as jeans. This type of girl will wear heavy, long pants even if it is 85*F outside.”
The little shirt/big pants look traces back to the 1990s when they were popularized as streetwear by skaters and hip hop artists and famously worn by TLC. Over the years, stars including Aaliyah, Britney Spears, and Avril Lavigne, have all sported the look. More recently, Depop shoppers, influencers, and celebrities have favored the style.
Memes about this outfit often joke about how it’s simultaneously niche and generic. As the look has been equated with a sort of identity via the “little shirt big pants girl” stereotype, memes and TikTok videos make references to how girls can be characterized into “types” based on the sizes of their clothing. Big pants/little shirt styles are often juxtaposed with little pants/big shirts and other trends that are based on the size of shirts and pants.
sza claimed all the tiny shirt big pants instagram girls on her taxes this year
— tiffany wines (@radioheadass) February 17, 2019
all i know is little shirt big pants, eat one meal a day at 4pm & cry
— trinity シ (@trinityswrld) July 22, 2020
this is how I feel when I wear little shirt big pants pic.twitter.com/jcVvWn29KA
— Paris (@paris_ironman) July 21, 2020
nah bc the girl who made fun of me 6 months ago is now calling herself a “big pants little shirt girl” please
— lola (@dontdropthatjam) July 19, 2020