Everything you’re wearing right now is fine.
It isn’t "in," it isn’t "out," and while your collection of chokers may be a testament to the way the Kardashians can up the ante on previously forgotten accessories, your look is simply what you want it to be. Your look is your own.
Because trends are dead now.
Which is a dramatic way to start, I know — but so is the way we’re approaching style.
While Marc Jacobs’ fall/winter 2016 collection was defined by the dark, dramatic and Tim Burton-esque, McQueen celebrated Victorian opulence (which offset the minimalist nature of Calvin Klein). Meanwhile, Rodarte used velvet and beading to create fairytale feels, and that contrasted Saint Laurent’s use of sequins, fur and leather pants.
I mean, sure, certain fabrics made their way into several collections, but few designers used it the same way. Mainly, crossovers do not exactly make a trend. Because trends are boring and we’re over them.
Our ease into DIY and do-what-we-want fashion has been a long time coming, especially since all trends filter upwards (as we know, thanks to designers like Marc Jacobs, who capitalized on the grunge scene almost two years after it originated in the Pacific Northwest).
But as social media made street style less niche and more mainstream, the need to blend and fit in became a stigma, not the standard. And while individuality has always been celebrated (at least in big cities and in the arts), it became especially essential to asserting one’s self as a person — particularly, as a human with something to say.
"Trends are boring and we're over them."
And it’s easy to use your clothes to speak. We know clothes can allude to favourite bands, movies, characters, books, subcultures, hobbies, or political ideologies. Clothes are a form of expression (but can also be a mask). Clothes are a way to cloak one’s self in confidence, or to express vulnerability. They are as unique as the person who wears them. Which is why our fixation on hot/not ideology limited us and created a climate in which we prioritized sameness over being one’s self.
Not to mention: trends are tailored to the elite. Anybody can buy a trend. And they did, in droves.
Which was even easier to do when you think of the cheaper trends which were not only meant to be consumed quickly (think: Uggs, cotton leggings, etc.), but were disposed of just as fast. And that’s a move of privilege, considering the majority of us can’t just toss our clothes at a whim and are usually stuck with boots, pants, or particular jackets for more than just a season.
Meaning that the rejection of trends over personal expression wasn’t just a means of gaining fashion clout, but of living reasonably. We amalgamate the old with the new, not just to show off our flair for aesthetic experimentation, but because it’s affordable. Mom jeans may be "in," but you can also score a second-hand pair for less than the price of a fancy coffee. So hello.
"Trends are tailored to the elite. Anybody can buy a trend. And they did, in droves."
Plus, we’re desperate for our own identities and under our own terms. Trends may offer the illusion of a uniform (and a sense of community), but with the race to wear them first, that ideal is shattered when not everybody can. So, we’ve begun to rebel by embracing what we love and opting out of what we don’t.
I mean, sure, you may like the gothic vibes dictating a few fall/winter 2016 collections, but the next day you can live your best prep life by donning Gigi Hadid’s collection for Tommy Hilfiger (and anybody who judges you can GTFO). Now more than ever, the fashion landscape is vast, allowing us to dress how we want for particular moods or particular days instead of trying to stuff ourselves into norms we may not necessarily connect with.
And that’s important when it comes to style. We know that it doesn’t take money to dress well. We know that style is connected to feelings and ideals and what you want the world to see. We know that what we wear depends on how we feel about our bodies and what we feel comfortable in and whether we want to be seen. So why would we continue to operate under a trend-based system that ignores all those things?
"Now more than ever, the fashion landscape is vast, allowing us to dress how we want for particular moods or particular days instead of trying to stuff ourselves into norms we may not necessarily connect with."
So sure, you may see pieces pop up again and again and worn the same way (shout-out to leather baseball hats and Stan Smiths), but the onus to conform is disappearing quickly. Which is exactly how it should be: fashion is boring when it’s draped in similarities. It’s time to finally stand out.