Forget Phrase T-Shirts. The New (Old) Way to Express Yourself Is With a Yin-Yang

Raise your hand if you had something with a yin-yang on it back in the day. (You can’t see it, but I’m raising my hand too.)

Well, time to dust that old thing off. Or maybe just get a new one. The ubiquitous ’90s (by way of the ’60s!) symbol is back.

This time around, it’s gotten a bit of makeover.

The new yin-yangs—especially the ones that turned up most recently on the jumpsuits, belts, tops, and dresses at Stella McCartney’s resort 2015 preview—are less about an Age of Aquarius redux and more about a certain kind of ironic nostalgia.


Look closely and you shall find the Stella McCartney yin-yang that you seek.

Gone are the psychedelic Summer of Love swirls that accompanied the yin-yang of the ’90s; today’s is all about the stark and snarky digital age: If the poster child of the old yin-yang was a peace-sign-throwing Drew Barrymore with baby bangs and daisies tucked behind her ears, then today’s yin-yang baby is a face-making Cara Delevingne wearing giant sneakers and Willy Wonka sunglasses.


Cara Delevingne in New York.

So what does it all mean? It means this: If you’re old enough to have worn a yin-yang the first time it came back (and let’s face it—this applies to any fashion throwback), then you better wear it with a bit of sass now. Skip the flowy floral skirt and rasta beads and pair it with sporty silhouettes, black and white, and clunky slides—basically the opposite of what you wore it with before. That’s the secret to making it look fresh.


Crisp and futuristic on Assembly New York’s spring 2014 runway

And if this is your first time wearing a yin-yang, welcome to the club! Enjoy it now, but don’t worry. Chances are you’ll see it again in a few short years.


An editor wears sparkly Ashish yin-yang shorts on the street at New York Fashion Week

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