I was a teenager back in the 90’s. In the 90’s the trends were very 70’s inspired. Wide leg, bell bottom jeans, cropped tops, and platform shoes. Does this sound familiar? It is what is currently happening in 2022 trends. The 90’s and Y2K fashion have come back in a big way. Tons of younger people (and young at heart) are wearing MTV tees, low rise denim, wide legged pants, and obscenely high platforms all in the name of being on trend. Wide leg pants (or bell bottoms) are what’s current…but 90’s…but that was borrowed from the 70’s…which were also popular in the 60’s…but Coco Chanel had bell bottoms as a part of her collection in the 1920’s…and, of course, this was an influence from it’s US. Naval origins in 1813. So, really our current on trend moment, goes back to the mid-19th century from a Naval Uniform. There were also a whole bunch of other time periods where a version of this pant has popped up.
2019 wearing a wide leg bottom pant
It’s true that each time something comes back into fashion, it’s slightly changed. It’s not an exact replica. Trends in fashion, along with music, movies, and pop culture, define an era. If I was to say to you, 1980’s, you would instantly have a vivid image in your head of shoulder pads, big hair, leg warmers, aerobics spandex outfits, blue eyeshadow, and preppy popped collars in pastels (think Miami Vice…if you’re old enough to know that reference). Fashion and trends are unavoidable. The flood in year after year, season after season. Fast fashion had kicked trends into warp speed with micro-trends being introduced all the time. Those of us working towards more sustainable wardrobes will often give the advice to “avoid trends” or “just wear what you want”. But, what if what you want is to look current and on trend? Can that still be sustainable?
Current trends are vast. Vast! I have been watching YouTube videos, watching the fashion show highlight reels, and reading about trends in prep of this post. What did I learn? Wearing what you want actually is the current trend. Brands and designers are trying their best to show us what’s in style, but there is no direction at all. Take this list:
- cowboy boots
- saturated colour
- platform shoes
- wide leg pants / jeans
- dark denim
- sheer clothing
- sparkling silver
- kid core
- mini skirts
- maxi skirts
- dresses over pants
- pearl core
2015 wearing a bell bottom style jean
I don’t know if there has ever been a time where there have been more trends to choose from. There are dozens, and so much of the information out there is conflicting. So, how do we navigate trends while being more sustainable?
- Assess your current wardrobe and shop your closet. Determine what you feel good in and gravitate to. Which silhouettes are you feeling right now? What seems like it may be missing? A button up shirt? Some good fitting jeans? A cool duster? Colour?
- Don’t do all the things. Personally, I’m loving seeing all the colour available this year. Bright, happy hues that has been dubbed as dopamine dressing. I already have some lovely colourful pieces in my closet, so I plan on leaning to those pieces even more. I have also managed to pick up a couple of new-to-me secondhand items, that will add some pop to my wardrobe.
- Stay true to your own style. Trends can be fun, but are often fleeting. If you don’t think you will wear a mesh crop top 30+ times, it’s probably not a sustainable option. If you decide to add in some bright colours to your wardrobe with items in your favourite silhouettes, there is a bigger chance these items will be worn over and over and for years to come.
Me in yet another wide leg. This time in a jumpsuit circa 2018.
So, since trends aren’t really new, I’ll leave you with this advice. Get to know your personal style and embrace it. You can lean into a trend or two, most likely, with items you already own. Secondhand shops are a great way to find a trendy piece to incorporate into your existing wardrobe. And, if trends really aren’t your thing, leave them! Trends are a marketing tool. A way for us to be coaxed into buying more. If you don’t need anything, just leave it. I believe our individual, personal style is far more interesting than any trend that may come our way.
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