I recently read an article by Samatha Sutton about trends from 2011 that are coming back in new ways. Now as much as I would like to block my 2011 fashion sense out of my memory as I’m sure we all would, it got me thinking about how quickly trends come and go. You open up your Instagram and see everyone wearing the new must-have “it” item and then in just a few weeks that “it” item is out and we’re on to the next big thing. This is what is called the trend cycle. 

Trends, while they may appear to emerge from thin air, are always predicted. Believe it or not, there are people who make good money forecasting trends. And with trends, like most things in life, what goes around always comes back around. In 2015 it was all about 90’s fashion. From 2019-2020 the ’70s were in. and now it seems like if you are dawning low rise jeans, modernized juicy couture tracksuits, and all the rest of the bubblegum fashions of the Y2k era you’re living under a rock (you can’t lie Y2K was iconic). What was once in fashion will always return; it’s a cycle. Low-rise jeans are back. Color blocking is back. Heck, even capris are making a comeback and that’s just a stone’s throw away from the return of culottes and if that doesn’t scare you then I don’t know what will.

But now with the help of social media, the trend cycle is spiraling at an alarming rate. During my daily dose of aimless tik tok scrolling, I came across a particularly interesting video on the rapid acceleration of the trend cycle. Coining the term “microtrends” the TikToker, @oldloserinbrooklyn, went on to discuss how the many popularized trends that we see on social media rise in popularity just as quickly as they fall. The urge to always stay on trend especially in the age of social media where clothing hauls and what trends to wear this season videos are at an all-time high has largely contributed to the shortening of the trend cycle which could have major effects on fashion as a whole both positively and negatively.

Now don’t get me wrong trends aren’t all bad and neither are the people who promote them, hell I’ve written an article or two on trends. Pairing trends with wardrobe staples is a fun way to dress up any outfit and is a big part of what makes fashion so enjoyable. But we must also examine the ways in which it can lead to things such as overconsumption and waste. And while only shopping from sustainable or slow fashion brands may seem ideal you also can’t ignore the fact that this is not an option that is readily available to all people. So, while sustainable shopping and fashion has been a major way to combat unethical fashion practices, we must also evaluate how we shop in order to avoid the other perils that come with increased trend turn over. Here are a few ways to get started on the road to becoming a more conscious consumer. 

1. Stop Impulse Buying

Trend cylce

Now, in my day I have garnered quite the reputation of being a shopaholic. I would shop when I was bored. I would shop when I was sad. Heck, I would shop because I woke up that morning. But that is the biggest problem I had when it came to fashion. I would end up spending so much money on things that I may only wear once or not at all. STOP DOING THIS! If you catch yourself developing this habit, a good thing to remember is that every time you’re about to buy some new trendy piece, think of at least three different occasions to wear it to or outfits you can wear with it. From accessories to shoes, think of everything. If you can’t then don’t buy it.

2. Develop your personal style

I know we’d all love to believe that buying the newest trend or even buying a lot of clothes means that we cracked the style code. Hate to break it to you but it doesn’t. All style icons that are on the cutting edge are there because their style is unique to them. This isn’t to say that you must scrap your fun and trendy items for a closet full of neutral colored blazers NO! Trends can be an amazing addition to your wardrobe but the best way to incorporate trends is to do so in a way that doesn’t compromise your personal style. To do that try identifying the latest trends and seeing how you can take that trend and turn it into something unique to you and your style. Once you are able to identify your personal style you will be able to stop overspending on items that you inevitably won’t wear often and start acquiring pieces that you could end up having for years.

3. Shop Your Closet

Trend cycle

This is where things get exciting. Shopping your closet can be one of the most inspiring ways to experiment with fashion. Go through your wardrobe and get creative with how you put outfits together with clothes you already own. Heck blast some music and make a whole fashion show out of it. This is something I do often. You may end up finding old clothes you’ve discarded and falling in love with them again or putting together an outfit that you never even thought of before.

4. Remember that it’s okay to repeat an outfit

I won’t lie typing this little piece of advice stung a little bit. I used to be that person who wouldn’t want to be caught dead in an outfit twice, especially if I posted it on Instagram. But luckily we grow and we learn. Fashion and clothes are meant to be meaningful; they are meant to evoke emotion from the person wearing it. To make you feel fabulous and powerful in what you wear. So if this is the case then wearing an outfit more than once should not be so taboo. Think of it this way we spend so much money on clothes why wouldn’t we want to be seen in them? Don’t limit yourself to only wearing an item once. Give your clothes some love!

Featured Photo by Girl with red hat

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