Do Trends Make You a Fashion Victim?
There is a certain psychology behind them and they're everywhere. Just go on Instagram or TikTok and it won't take you longer than two minutes to see a at least a couple of people wearing similar styles. Why?
Is it comfort or convenience? Trends are simplistic in nature-they're easy to follow and are guaranteed to make us stylish because then we're considered 'up to date' in fashion. Just buy what everyone else is wearing and you're good to go. This is where comfort comes in to play- we don't stick out from the crowd. We look like everyone else around us therefore why would anyone point fingers? We're 'normal'. Trends are the opposite of individualism because they don't exist to suit an individual, they exist to suit the zeitgeist. The zeitgeist is spirit of the moment; it takes into consideration economics, sociology and psychology of the society at the given moment. The zeitgeist creates convenience for the consumers. That way we don't have to go out of our way to look for our own style, we just look around us for inspiration. Trends infiltrate into fast fashion so that way they become cheaper than unique pieces from vintage stores or high-fashion. They just become stupidly easy to follow and consume, it seems almost impossible not to.
Speaking from an evolution stand point, as humans we are 'programmed' to fit in with our tribe to survive; we would adapt the way others of our kind talk, behave and dress just not to be the odd one out since protection was crucial. Billions of years later and we're still pretty much the same whether we realise it or not. The way we adapt to our surroundings is different from the past- it's definitely more materialistic as we want the same things as others to have something to share in common. Even if we try to be different, we still somehow find ourselves wearing similar things as others even if we're trying to fit in with a sub-culture.
Each one of us has their own complex personality and life story, no two people are the same and that's the root of the problem with trends as they do not reflect us as individuals at all. We wear the same things as everyone else not taking into account our own taste, experiences, personality and body. Contrary to popular belief I don't think there is any one thing that suits absolutely everyone. As an example, black is said to suit everyone and it might on the surface, but if you are a soft-spoken individual with a sensitive personality it will just overwhelm you. Trends are the very reason we look back on our photos and cringe as the first thing that pops into our mind is usually 'what was I wearing?!'
The biggest influence today has got to be social media. We are at the age where celebrities are more accessible than ever and normal people can turn into them overnight. The most interesting thing is that the biggest 'trend setters' are not the likes of people like Rihanna or Beyonce but rather reality TV stars. Whether you watch them or not, the Kardashians' influence on the fashion industry has been monumental. Kim Kardashian once wore a pink mini-dress designed by her husband Kanye West and the next day Fashion Nova had an exact replica on their website for a fragment of the real price and a month after that everyone was posing in it on their Instagram. The most interesting thing is that it was not the first time this happened and was not the last. With the rise of influencers, trends have been flourishing like never before. When it comes to influencers, they are not exactly celebrities- on the surface they're 'normal' people which makes them somewhat more likeable than real celebrities as they are easier to relate to which is why brands adore them.
I have always wondered how to become an individual in a world like ours- so easily influenced by everything and everyone. A world that has possibly seen everything there is. Nothing seems fresh, nothing seems new. For me, that question has helped to start an existential crisis veiled in an indecisiveness about fashion. After months of endless pondering and thinking, I have realised that the only way to become an 'individual' is to follow our own taste despite what everyone else is saying or wearing. Thats not to say that you can never absolutely follow trends, follow them if you want to but follow them because you genuinely like them rather than to fit in. Find your own taste, buy some classics and integrate a few trendy pieces into your wardrobe and voila! Fashion victim no more.