Recently, there’s been more and more discussion on fast fashion, body positivity, and trend cycles in the mainstream media.
While we all know that fast fashion well deserves it’s criticism, I think we’reoverlooking the heart of the issue.
Fast fashion exists largely because of fashion trend cycles, they accelerate the trend cycles and push a narrative of certain clothing items being ‘good’ or ‘bad.
I think that Fashion trend cycles are harmful in general. I don’t think they add anything to society, and I think that they enforce negative body images.
I am admittedly bias on this topic, mostly because low-rise jeans are becoming a thing again, and as a longtorso’ed individual, it does make me want to resort to violence.
People should feel empowered to wear whatever they want to (including lowrise jeans) .I think that, with the way fast fashion and trend cycles take over, they reinforce body negativity.
How many times have you seen a new trend come in, and everyone start raving about how wonderful it is, how it looks good on everyone, how it’s perfect for every occasion, just to find out that you don’t think it suit’s you?
Overall, I think that fashion trends as they currently stand, have a lot more to do with our social lives than clothing itself.
Fashion trends are almost always influenced by celebrities, movies, TV, and social media. The main draw of the newest trends seems to have a lot more to do with belonging to a group than an item of clothing actually looking good.
When you look like everyone else, you feel like you ‘fit-in’ with everyone else, so of course we want to lean into it, we want to be accepted, loved, and safe.
Everybody is different, and every body is different. Me and my long torso will take our high-waisted jeans to the grave, but my sister swears by low-rise, that’s okay.
You weren’t meant to look like anybody else, but when everyone is obsessed with something that you don’t feel empowered in, it’s easy to forget that you’re not supposed to fit clothing: clothing is supposed to fit you.
You should be able to find different cuts of clothing that suit you, no matter the current trend.
When I was in elementary school, literally all of the children’s pants anywhere were low-rise, and most of the adults too, I spent elementary school in tunic shirts or my brothers pants because my pants would not cover my butt.
Having a variety of good-quality clothing available may mean a brand sells less clothing, but it also means you can make higher-quality products, sell them more consistently, and not have mountains of wasted products when v-neck shirts go out of style in a month.
Fashion trends and cycles are pushed by bigger brands to sell more product, and that leads to lower quality products being produced, and so much more waste.
Yes, styles changed through history, but when you look at historical fashion pieces, it’s easy to see how one thing could be altered into another.
You didn’t go out and bu a whole new dress, you raised the hem on the one you owned, you added a different trim to the collar, or you changed the fit of the sleeves.
Things happened gradually, and a bigger emphasis was on things fitting their wearers properly and being durable and practical than having a certain cut.
How many times have you walked into a store, looked at an vastly over-priced shirt, and found that the seam is already coming apart?
The more we allow fashion trends to take hold and accelerate, the worse quality the garments will be.
On top of this, the fashion industry profit’s off of over-worked, under-paid, and generally abused workers.
The person who made your $40 sweater was probably paid 3 cents for it during an 13 hour shift.
As consumers, it’s up to us to put pressure on brands to make a change. Invest in higher-quality items that you like, despite what the trends might be. Ask yourself “Will I still like this in a year or two?” Before you purchase something.
Take good care of the clothing you have to make it last, and shop second hand or sustainable before going to fast-fashion retailers.
I think it’s also important to ask yourself why you like something. Do you like it because it suit’s you, reflects your personality, and make’s you feel more confident as a person, or do you like it because your favorite celebrity wore it?
Wardrobe staples are staples for a reason, embrace them. I understand that it’s fun to change things up every now and again, so try a 80/20 rule, or a 90/10, where 80-90% of your wardrobe is staple items, that you feel good in, and 10-20% is ‘trendy’.
Accessories are a great way to change up an outfit, and up-cycling is a great way to try and transform something if you really want to.
At the end of the day, wear what you like, wear what you want to, and wear what you feel good in.
There’s nothing wrong with not following a trend, and you shouldn’t feel pressured to, but if you like the current trend for all the right reasons, go wild. Just make sure you like it because you actually like it, not because you were told to.