The Importance of Fashion Trends

I might ramble a bit in this post, so if I do, I apologize. I just need to get this off my chest, because I feel like fashion trends are often dismissed as being entirely frivolous and because of that people who are interested in fashion trends, like me, tend to be dismissed as being vapid or superficial.

But fashion trends are really important in my opinion, for a number of reasons.

1. They represent values of the culture at the time, and they paint a picture of what was important when those clothes were trending.

If you’re not familiar with how certain fashion trends come to be, or the overall cyclical nature of fashion trends, then they may seem entirely spontaneous and chaotic to you, but fashion trends often have deeper meanings to them, and they’re influenced by the trends that have shown up beforehand.

For example, the trend in the 1960s in western culture was one of short skirts, and more androgynous silhouettes compared to the 1950s. This trend came about as a counter to the reserved, traditionally feminine, and modest style of dress women were expected to wear in the 1950s. And the 1950s style was a reflection of how women were expected to behave and function within society.

Fashion trends are cyclical because each trend is a response to the trend that came before it, creating this push and pull between each fashion trend, everything being a response to a response to a response. And that’s not even getting into fashion trends within subcultures.

2. Fashion trends also allow for new style experiments, can introduce people to styling techniques they never thought they’d like, and can introduce people to types of clothing that they otherwise wouldn’t have experimented with

This is a personal example, but I used to never tuck my tops in before I started looking at fashion trends and realized that that was something other people do.

Before then, if I wanted to highlight my waistline, I would opt for a waist cinching belt, which was bulky, slightly uncomfortable, and didn’t quite line up with what my personal style was, but I would wear one anyways. Then when I saw people wearing high-waisted skirts or pants and tucking their tops in? I was blown away by how polished and beautiful it was.

Now I love tucking in my tops so much that I feel weird when I don’t have my top tucked in.

Sometimes I’ll experiment with fashion trends to spice things up or improve my mood. I enjoy experimenting, so when I see something I haven’t tried before I’ll try to thrift or borrow a similar item so that I can experiment with it myself, and see how it looks on my body.

3. Trends are in everything

Trends can be found in other artistic mediums as well (and yes, I think clothing can be an artistic medium as well as a medium for self expression). I’ve seen many trends come and go in the digital art community ever since I first became interested in digital art when I was 11. Some of these art trends were about style, others were art challenges, or types of collaborations.

So why is it that trends in fashion are looked down upon so much? And for the wrong reason?

Why do people look down on fashion trends as something frivolous or superficial? Why do that when you could look down upon the exploitation of workers that fashion companies so blatantly do? Or you could look down upon the body shaming or discrimination that happens in the fashion industry?

But no, instead people choose the shallowest of reasons to look down upon fashion trends.

Fashion trends aren’t handled well by the industry, especially fast fashion brands, but fashion trends also have their importance to history and to individuals.

Anyways, I just needed to get those thoughts about fashion trends out of my brain. Thanks for reading, and feel free to leave a comment with your thoughts on the matter!

4 thoughts on “The Importance of Fashion Trends

  1. What I find the worst part of this is that people not only assume that fashion trends are frivolous, but also that being into fashion must mean you’re dumb. Yeah, fashion might seem more frivolous an interest than philosophy, but who says you can’t like both New York Fashion Week and Plato’s Republic?

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Great post, Rebekah! For the thing about trends being a reaction to the fashion that came before it, how would you say that 2020 trends are a response to the 2010s?

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks for asking, Natalie!

      From what I’ve noticed a lot of the trends from the 2010s were about bright colors, body con, and just seeing how far things can be pushed. When I think of 2010 I think about the neon colors and flashy clothes of Instagram influencers, the extravagant makeup looks of beauty gurus, and the incredibly body hugging and sometimes provocative clothing that was popularized by people like the Kardashians. A lot of glamour, sex appeal, and seeing just how far things can be taken.

      But for the past year or so I’ve noticed some push back to these types of trends. With the rise of styles like cottagecore, we’re seeing more loose and soft elements coming back into style, such as pastel colors, puffed sleeves, softer knits. In general I’ve also noticed that baggier or looser pants have been gaining popularity, probably because of the amount of comfort they offer, and the makeup looks I’ve seen have been more minimal and have a soft glow to them, I think as a contrast to the incredibly matte and incredibly sparkly makeup looks we’ve seen in the 2010s.

      So that’s just what I’ve noticed, but I can’t say what the 2020s will hold in terms of fashion. I just hope that body positivity and acceptance is popularized more. ❤


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