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Does Being Fashion-Forward Mean Going Backward?

This article is written by a student writer from the Her Campus at FSU chapter.

Over the past couple of decades, it’s no secret that fashion trends have changed drastically. We went from poodle skirts and full coverage in the ’60s to unitards in the ’80s, and now hoodies and sweatshirts in the 21st century. However, even with today’s current fashion trends, there are many homages and aspects of fashion that come from the trends of the past. They all seem to be coming back in a cycle. This has started to become a noticeable trend of things being retro or vintage, but I have a prediction they are going to be modern pieces before we know it.

Fashion is one of the main ways people express themselves and how they feel. Fashion is individual to each person. Clothes can make a person feel happy, confident, or sexy. It’s so important to love what you wear and to wear it with confidence! Throughout time, the options for what to wear change. These fashion trends tend to become popular through social media, magazines, celebrities, or even through large environments like universities or workplaces.

Trends are always changing, but one constant change that has been noticed throughout time is the repetition and reappearance of some older fashion trends. These older fashion trends are the equivalent of what our parents would say they wore, liked, or did as a kid. Sometimes these trends go as far back as the ’50s. It’s not just with clothes, but with makeup and hair as well.

It’s interesting to think about because a lot of people claim that influencers and big-time fashion companies are fashion-forward, but in reality, they are using the past to get to the future. It’s sometimes hard to notice because it can blend so well with recent trends.

An example of an influencer who is known for her “retro” fashion sense is Emma Chamberlain. She started to blow up for her vlogs on YouTube but quickly became a fashion icon. She has been a red carpet host at the MET Gala, been to Paris Fashion Week multiple times, and attended many other notable fashion events. A lot of people think that she’s wearing recent trends, and yes that may be the case. But going back to our point of old fashion trends making a reappearance, Chamberlain takes old ideas and styles and makes them her own. She creates a more modern take on a past trend. For example, in the Instagram post above, Chamberlain looks like she’s wearing a ’90s-inspired outfit.

Another influential fashion trend of today is the recent fad of thrifting. When thrifting, you’re naturally going to find older clothing pieces from decades or years ago. This heavily influences fashion, as many celebrities also thrift and find valuable items that were popular in other decades. Thrifting has become even more popular than shopping at the mall, allowing older trends to flourish.

But what is our infatuation with older trends? Why don’t we make new ones? It’s all a big cycle building off of each other. The saying “History repeats itself” could never be truer. A lot of fashion designers also use older trends that were successful as inspiration. I mean, after all, we are a part of the same human race and have more similarities than we all think, including similarities in fashion! Overall, it’s very interesting to see what else will become popular over time. There are so many different trends from decades like the ’60s, ’70s, and ’80s that we haven’t even seen yet! Embracing the past has never looked so good!

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My name is Ella Freiser and I am a second year here at Florida State University. I am a BA Theatre major double majoring in International Affairs and I couldn't be more excited to be a part of Her Campus! I am a part of some other organizations here at school including Seminole Tap Troupe, and DW Magazine. I always love getting involved and I encourage everyone to find that one special thing on campus that makes them love FSU even more! I love writing as I am a very creative person. I dance, sing, and act. I think it's important to use words to express how you feel. I love to read as well. I think it is important to expand your knowledge and interests as we are always growing! That is why I love FSU! There are so many opportunities to try new things, meet new people, and even start your own clubs. Some of my favorite things to do in my spare time would be running, going to the beach, watching TV and movies, listening to music, having dance parties, driving, and going to dinner! I love my family and friends as I would not be where I am without them. I also love making new friends, so if you ever see me on campus say HI! You can normally find me in the Fine Arts Building, Stroizer, the Union, or tanning/hammocking on Landis. I look forward to writing for Her Campus this year and can’t wait to share all my experiences with everyone!