The Trouble with Trends

While it can be tempting to keep up with the latest fashion trends, the practice hurts both your wallet and the environment.


photo by Kara Mihm

In the long run, trying to keep up with every fashion trend is not worth it.

Kara Mihm, Staff Writer

Falling victim to the glory of Pinterest, I often find myself wanting to buy a new wardrobe at least once a month. Rash decisions with my money usually end up with a specific piece of clothing hanging in my closet forever after only one wear. 

With trends constantly changing and evolving, popular pieces of clothing recently adored are now relegated out of style. Remember the obsession with VSCO girls who wore oversized t-shirts, puka shell necklaces, and a line of scrunchies up their arms? And the craze around overdressing as an E-Girl or E-Boy with striped undershirts and alternative makeup? These are just a few examples of how quickly a fashion fad can go from hit to miss.

The reason for the sudden distaste in specific clothing pieces is not only because there is a new trend that is taking over the scene, but also because everyone in public and on social media is seen wearing it.

Brightly colored patchwork pants were greatly trending in the fall and winter of 2020, until the popularity slowly died down and neutrally-toned patchwork took over again.

Certain clothing pieces are not sought after anymore because they have become too basic, resulting in these pieces ending up in second-hand stores or landfills.

I am not saying to remove every piece of clothing that is currently in your Urban Outfitters or Shein shopping cart but to simply weigh out the reasons for the purchase before actually buying. It expensive to keep up with the constant trend change, and it makes you blend in with the other masses of people that are dressing the exact same. 

Sticking to only a small variety of trending clothing brands takes away the personalization of one’s own outfits. From someone who also struggles to restrain themselves from buying popular items, trust me when I say that there is something disappointing about passing five other people wearing the same pants as you in the hallway.

Instead, try buying classic clothing items or even pieces that have never been in style. That way, you never risk your fashion choices going out of style. This would force a buyer to think out their purchases before hitting the “confirm purchase” button, and it also start them on the road towards their own fashion identity.

Additionally, people can expand their shopping borders by looking into purchasing from small businesses and unfamiliar brands. Fashion is in the eye of the beholder, so do not be afraid of rocking bold prints or crazy colors that are not commonly seen.

House of Sunny’s popular “Hockney Dress” is a trending summer statement piece that might be losing its flare soon due to the easy access of cheap dupes.

However, if unique pieces are not your thing, sticking to basics ensures that a closet is well worn.

A recent study reveals that about 80% of the clothes in our closets are worn 20% of the time. That means that only a few pieces are being worn again and again. If the same items are constantly used, why not just buy similar pieces that will also be given just as much appreciation?

By eliminating or slowing down the constant purchase of trending clothing, saving up for a few high-quality pieces that fit your own style gets so much easier. This means that you can collect pieces that fit your style and will be properly loved.

However, for people like myself who enjoy jumping on fashion bandwagons to shamelessly purchase a few trendy pieces, try to find on-sale or inexpensive items. You can still have a unique style while saving money.

It’s also important that your own style grows into what makes you most confident. Once an aesthetic has been curated, time, energy, and money can be put towards building up your own closet with all of the necessary pieces.

Whether your established style fits with what is popular now, or if it has seen its days of glory in the past, express yourself with whatever makes you feel the best. There is no issue with occasionally falling prey to the latest fashion trend, but it is helpful to think about what’s in your cart before you buy it. After all, isn’t that what you’re always supposed to do?