There are some trends that just need to die. Whether these patterns in fashion were picked up by the masses through social circles or style magazines, they have been long since abandoned by the fashion elite. That khaki-colored Longchamp Le Pliage bag you’re holding? Dead. Your normcore outfit that resembles an asexual Jerry Seinfeld get-up? Dead. Your slip “casually” thrown over a t-shirt that you think makes you look like Alicia Silverstone? Dead.
As we make our way into the second month of 2017, it isn’t difficult to see what trends, along with the aforementioned, are ready to hit the chopping block. But the fade-out period seems to last forever. This is due in part to that fact that people desperately cling to their “new” look and insist it still has stylistic value. Usually, it’s because they caught the trend late and have just made their fatal purchases. Either way, there is always an expiration date for a trend.
For example, some may see the guillotining of the Adidas Superstar and suede thigh-high boots looming over the horizon while banker-striped apparel (a la Spring 2017 New York Fashion Week) is just making a resurgence. The trouble with determining a trend’s death sentence is due to the fact that trends come in waves. When a trend may seem to be fading out, it can come back even stronger right before it disappears. So, just as all seems safe and you buy your new monster-faced Fendi bag, you notice the extreme price markdown and the severe scowl and eyebrow raise from those with the new Balenciaga shopper tote.
In that way, fashion is a perpetual cycle of do’s and don’ts, axing the old and reviving the new—all of which eventually come back full circle. This cycle is usually dictated by a fashionable hierarchy—whether they be the editor-in-chiefs of magazines or the group of girls at your school that seem to know every trend months before you do. Granted, there are some sacred, eternal pieces: a good pair of blue jeans, a Burberry trench coat, a basic white t-shirt, etc. These pieces are timeless and will never go out of style.
But what happens if you defy the unspoken trend mandates? Well, nothing really. That’s the true beauty of style and fashion. While women have generally not worn boot cut jeans since 2008, if you happened to pick a pair of wide-legged Levis and called them retro, no one would stop you.
While attaining validation from your fashionable peers is exhilarating, personal expression is the most important component of style. So trends must die and always will, but your love for one does not have to. You will not be praised for your perseverance. You will not be admired for your originality because the mourning period is not over yet.
Just as many viewed Steve Jobs’ 2013 biopic too hasty in its creation, released just two years after his death, wearing your mom jeans a couple months or years after they’re pronounced dead will not win you any brownie points. No one will stop you. No one will heckle you. But you will not be unique or original. You will be behind.
“It’s always about timing,” British-American journalist and current editor-in-chief of Vogue, Anna Wintour once said. “If it’s soon, no one understands. If it’s too late, everyone’s forgotten.”
This concept of well-timed action and effort can be applied to other aspects of life as well. Life itself is full of opportunities and moments in which good timing is required, if not absolutely necessary. Familial experiences, job opportunities, picking your class schedule on UIS—you name it—requires a level of self-awareness as well as external vigilance in order to best reach your goals.
Fashion must be viewed in this way as well. For those who relish in what each year’s seasonal fashion will bring and monitor which brand is producing what, the timing of joining a new trend is important. It is just as important as knowing when to move on from that trend and embrace the new ones to come.
Featured Image By Vogue Magazine