It’s a new year. In the fashion world that translates to “trend evolution” or “time to re-edit your wardrobe.” If you’re like me, that means almost getting crushed by an avalanche of clothes and marveling at mountains of outfits that have amassed behind your closet doors. Or it may mean discovering hidden treasures (like that velvet slip dress you forgot you owned) and finding that bralette you were convinced some creep stole off your washing line.
Either way, you must decide what to keep and what to donate to Salvos. Because time is not the enemy: space is, or lack thereof.
So, after all the obvious, washing-machine shrunken, wine-stained, “looked better in those low-light change room” rejects you are left with the questions, “Should I ditch those retro heels?” “Will that vintage teddy sweater ever be acceptable to wear in public again?” and “Is it finally time to let go of grandmother’s silk scarf?”
But, before you chuck out that lilac corduroy jacket, wait!
Fashion may be fickle. But like history, fashion repeats itself. Although no one would be thrilled to see another Global Financial Crisis, for fashion, repetition can be a fabulous thing. Trends may arise and expire faster than your FedEx arrives— but only to come back again. Fashion cycles necessitate recycling. Fashion, like other art forms, appropriates ideas and requires inspiration. It’s only natural for designers and fashionistas to reinvent, tweak and put their own twists on trends from bygone eras. How many times has your “it” get-up provoked your mother to remark, “I wore those! They were so popular when I was young!” or “Jumpsuits are back in? I’m sure I still have some from my disco days.”
Today, fashion is heavily influenced by Instagram celebrities, not catwalk models, it’s all about getting the Look not the Label, hence recycled trends can be a blessing and your best friend.
To prove this, let’s examine some ‘new’ trends this year, the ones that actually stepped out of the time machine; recycled, revamped and reinvented.
Trends That Re-emerged in 2017
We saw them on Kate Moss. We saw them on Kendall Jenner. Suddenly, fishnet stockings inundated Instagram, hijacked Hollywood and covered the catwalk. But where did this fashion craze truly originate from? These diamond-designs date back to the 1900s and were primarily a sexual signifier worn by flamboyant flapper girls of the 20s and burlesque dancers strutting their stuff on the Moulin Rouge’s stage. In the 1950s they found a comfortable place in mainstream fashion, when seen casually on the pins of Marilyn Monroe and Bettie Page. Madonna, the pop queen and fashion icon of the 1980s brought them back and since then they resurfaced many times throughout history. Their curve-accentuating quality made them symbolise female sexuality. When these sexy stockings re-emerged in 2017, we were wearing them with a ‘whole’ lot more. They were coupled with knee-length fur coats, under distressed denim jeans, and with shorts and leather skirts (a nod to rock and roll and ‘70s punk culture). I thanked my reluctance (and hoarding tendencies) to decide not to discard the pair I bought for a Halloween party the previous year. Talk about fashion coming back to haunt you.
Flared Jeans (or Bell-Bottoms)
I’m not sure whether this trend reappeared in rebellion to the varicose vein-inducing skinny jeans or out of sheer desire to experience the freedom of this iconic hippie trend from the 70s. In saying that, I believe some trends resurrect because to our generation they are enticingly unfamiliar and how we wished we lived in such glamorous and exciting eras. Nevertheless, 2017 brought the revival of flare; I can’t say I jumped on the band-wagon for this one- flare just isn’t flattering on short legs.
I think jeans are the most unpredictable fashion trend of them all. What was once shamed as something “only mothers would wear” became the hottest must-have denim trend in recent seasons. ‘Mom jeans’ first materialised on the market in 1980s and the novel style was popular among middle-aged mums wanting comfort and…. that’s about it. These loose-fitting jeans with elastic high-waist bands flattened the butt to non-existence and did the female physique no favours! If you’re a Friends fans (like me!) these were the jeans that Monica seemed to wear in Every, Single, Episode of the first season. In 2017 ‘Mom jeans’ were reborn and in vogue, as designer brands like Topshop reintroduced denim except this time distressed and all-cotton. Models Gigi Hadid and Emily Ratakowski made them modern by revamping them with pointed-toe heels and tight crops tops. Looks like we might be at the end of the Epoch of skinny leg jeans.
The bare shoulder trend has been making waves since 2016. But there’s nothing new about this trend which was made all the rage from the world’s Brigitte Bardot obsession that at one point in time hailed it as “The Bardot”. But the history of the style is not as innocent as meets the eye. As Jade Papa identified shoulder seams arose during the pre-feminist Victorian era to reinforce women’s domesticity. Ever questioned the trends paralysing restrictiveness and impracticability? Well that was very the purpose – confinement with the exception of sewing or stiffly sipping tea. This was in polar opposition to the revolutionary shoulder padded ‘power-suits’ woman entering the workforce in 1980s began wearing as a feminist statement. Maybe it’s time to give this restrictive style a cold shoulder.
‘Resurrected’ Fashion Trends We’ll Be Wearing in 2018!
Did someone say trѐs chic? The fashion goddesses predict berets will be making a comeback – Blair Waldorf style! The humble little beret has quite a history for one hat. Traditionally worn by peasants, the beret at one time or another was worn by the military, artists, revolutionaries and fashionistas alike! From Ernest Hemingway to Edith Piaf; the beret embodies intellectuals and individuals. We have Coco Chanel to be grateful for adapting the conventionally male Beret into a chic fashion statement in 1930s that has resurfaced numerous times. Although, the classic French beret look is so iconic, it is almost timeless. According to the fashion goddess’s we’ll all by donning berets by May, like sophisticated petites Parisians. Fingers crossed baguettes and croissants are included.
Scrunchies are cool again. “Ah like when were they ever not?” (guess I missed the memo to stop wearing my lucky scrunchy). But seriously you can kiss your hair-pulling, eye-watering basic bitch elastic hair ties goodbye; scrunchies are the next hot thing, Vogue said so. The loyal scrunchie was patented in 1986 by Rommy Revson and since its inception it has been worn by style icons from Madonna to Diane Kruger. At one point in time they were re-dubbed as the “Bunch Bangle” and re-purposed as a wrist accessory (tragic, I know). So, rummage your bathroom drawers, the scrunchie is catching fire! Bonus points if you make your own!
Since Kendall Jenner was spotted sporting a “Bumbag,” Cosmopolitan predicts this hands-free fashion trend will be on the rise. But I’m convinced KJ just took extra safety precautions before visiting a bad neighborhood (following Kim’s warnings). Call them what you want but it’s still deeply unclear if fanny packs will ever really come back. I’ve spotted some people wearing them ironically at music festivals, but as a legitimate fashion choice, honestly, I’m struggling to remember when these were ever popular with anyone who wasn’t a middle-aged American man on holiday.
By no means am I suggesting you keep all your clothes and feature on the next episode of the world’s worst hoarders. Some trends deserve to stay in the style graveyard or be thrown in the Bermuda Triangle (like low-rise hipster jeans). While other trends never fully fall out of fashion and timeless looks are so iconic they are recycled regularly. So maybe hold on to those authentic cowboy boots you love. You never know when they’ll be back to kick your butt.
I hope all your favourite ‘old’ clothes come back in style in 2018 and we can all feel a little less guilty about being hoarders.