Fashion / Style

Jelly fashion is due for a revival – will you wear it?

jelly fashion

If I was the sentimental type (I am), I could very nearly shed a tear just thinking about the glittery, lilac jelly sandals of my childhood. In fact, when I was in my teens I tried to summon the same fondness by picking up a clear pair at Westpoint (the shopping centre in Blacktown, not the US military academy). While, I wouldn't recommend clear jelly sandals – sweat fog, dirty easily – I still harbour a fondness for jelly anything. And I'm not the only one.

Brazilian footwear brand Melissa has been championing the jelly revival with its constant flow of collaborations that are catnip for chronically online fashion fiends. Melissa's most popular partnership is perhaps its styles with Y/Project, offering a series of pointy mules, boots and textured slides inspired by Victorian court shoes. The brand has also linked up with Telfar, Collina Strada, and Jean Paul Gaultier (a partnership which dates back as early as 1983), to name a few.

Most recently, South Korean eyewear label, Gentle Monster, presented its 2024 collection which featured candy-coloured wrap-around shades in gummy textures – most of which have since sold out, no doubt as a result of furious unboxings on TikTok. Back in 2022, Coach launched its viral Tabby bag in a gooey jelly fabrication, along with a selection of jelly sandals, for its Spring 2023 runway in New York.


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The term, and the clear, gloopy texture has also found its way into the beauty sphere. Not only do we wash our faces with "jelly" cleansers or apply "jelly" balms, Milk Makeup has just launched its own Jelly Tint for your lips and cheeks.


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Jelly style is a byproduct of the 1970s "plastic fantastic" design movement, and takes inspiration from traditional French fisherman sandals. By the 90s, jelly-anything had exploded into the mainstream, and became a core character-building moment thanks to all the blisters and maimed feet. While your memories of the style may be tarnished (again, stinky feet and blisters) Melissa is one such brand that crafts its styles in Brazil from a patented PVC called Melflex, which unlike the jelly shoes of your childhood, are pliable and soften over time.

RUSSH fashion director Charlotte Agnew is also a fan, first taking to jelly sandals when she worked at American Apparel in 2016. You can count on her turning up to the office in summer wearing jelly sandals in a library of various colours and iterations. Agnew says, "Jelly is practical and elegant... and I like the way they look on my feet".

There's a caveat though. While the material – with its childlike sensibility, playfulness, nostalgic pull and candy texture – is experiencing a boom, Agnew believes "jelly is only for the feet; jelly on anything else is a trend".

I ask her to elaborate. She likens them to a sugar rush. "They are the candy that everyone buys now to wear now but will end up on The Real Real." Food for thought. Although, if this is all a sugar high, then I don't ever want to come down.

Below, find our favourite jelly styles to shop now.


MELISSA X TELFAR Large Jelly Shopper


GUCCI Women's Rubber Slide Sandal





Melissa x Collina Strada Puff Sandal in Pink. Jelly Shoes Trend.

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Images: @renatakats @melissaofficial