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Trendy or Timeless Dichotomy

As a fan of Emma Chamberlain, I am always excited when she comes out with another “Trendy or Timeless'' episode on her podcast Anything Goes. In my opinion, Chamberlain has undergone a pretty extreme fashion evolution in the last several years: From popularizing the teddy coat in 2017 to being our generation’s fashion ‘it girl’. I find she takes a similar stance to myself, in that she asserts these trend cycles are becoming increasingly hard to keep up with and as a result people will have to shift away from them altogether. TikTok plays a huge role in how these trends play out. We’ve all fallen victim to buying a new blush or lip color even though we have plenty of perfectly good ones all because we saw some gorgeous girl using them in a get ready with me. This is further exacerbated by the creation of Tiktok shop, where you can now more impulsively purchase these items directly from the video. News flash, buying that blush will not make you look like that girl. Just like buying a clothing piece that looks cool on your favorite creator will look totally different if it’s not actually your vibe or you don’t know how to style it. Now, I’m not saying you shouldn’t get inspiration from creators at all or that you should never partake in trends. In my point of view, there are a few key roles that trends play.

For one, it gives people with no real sense of style a mold that they can copy to pass off as fashionable. These are the people that bought the green House of Sunny dress and probably saw at least 3 other people wearing it each time they decided to go out in the summer of 2020. And this is absolutely no shade to those people. I also thought that dress was super cute!! But then again, have we seen anyone rocking it since then? When I was a tween I distinctly remember cold shoulder tops were all the rage. They basically took any normal shirt, cut out the shoulders, and called it fashion. Yeah… it wasn’t cute. But at the time I had no fashion sense and wearing these tops gave me some sense of belonging. Following the trends served an essential function for me. And, it is undeniable that clothing stores follow trends to try to maximize their profits. Back in that time it was even hard to find a normal shirt without the shoulder cutouts (this is my recollection of it... I was only a little bean then). Of course, the obvious downside to this approach is that you’re constantly replacing your wardrobe, and, unless you’re some kind of nepotism baby, that is unrealistic for most of us. Additionally, you will spend your whole life essentially being the most basic bitch around. Sorry, but someone had to say it. Basic is not always bad! It’s just, is that really who you want to be?

A more upscale approach to trends is observing them from a distance to see what you ultimately would like to adopt into your evolving wardrobe long-term. Not every trend is for everyone. But also, just because it’s trendy it doesn’t mean we have to be cynical about it and assume it sucks. This is where I have qualms with the idea of trendy and timeless being mutually exclusive. Chamberlain tends to take the stance that certain pieces can be timeless only when they have a real function. For example, she says cowboy boots will always be timeless for cowboys, but not for the masses in the way we are wearing them now. I agree with her point to some extent, however, I also feel that if I like cowboy boots it doesn’t really matter if other people think they’re cool right now. If there's one thing I’ve learned the more I experiment with fashion, it’s that nobody's opinion matters as long as I think I’m wearing a dope fit. If you don’t like my outfit, that’s fine. Odds are that I wouldn’t wear yours either.

Because of how fast paced these micro trends cycle in and out, I urge you to wait before making impulsive purchases. Wait for all the trigger happy rich bitches to buy and test it out first. If you still think you like it, then go ahead and add that piece to your collection. If not, then you just saved yourself the money to spend on something that truly sparks joy in you. They say if you are part-taking in a trend, it is almost like you are already behind. The goal is to set the trend, even if that is within your own small bubble. Do not follow out of fear, make it a conscious choice and your wallet and wardrobe will thank you.

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