Fashion Trends: To Follow or Not To Follow?


Ren Park, Culture Editor

Clothes cycle in and out of style faster than the machine that washes them–especially because of social media micro trends. It’s more complex than ever to figure out your style. One of the biggest style decisions is whether you should follow the flock or shepherd yourself.


The answer depends on what matters to you. 


Fitting in? Standing out? Looking flawless no matter where you are? Saving money? Saving the planet?


Following fashion trends has always been the most convenient thing to do because on-trend clothes are all that you can find in almost any clothing store selling new clothes. Sure, it takes effort to find and put together an outfit that looks like it’s straight out of GQ, but it just seems lazy to me. You’d rather go along with what everyone else is doing than put in the time and thought to develop your own style? 


Other than the monotony of looking like everyone else, following trends can also be harmful to the planet. We all know that fast fashion is ruining the quality of clothing manufacturing. These brands follow supply and demand, and when the demand is high, so is the amount of low-quality clothing that they’re churning out. The devil wears Shein, right?


I recommend buying sustainable clothing as much as you can, but I also understand that it’s not always accessible. 


To me, it just seems like a waste to buy a bunch of clothes that you’ll wear for a few months until your favorite influencer decides that too many regular people have hopped on the bandwagon and they must stop wearing it immediately to avoid being associated with the underlings.


The best thing you can do is develop your own personal style. It doesn’t necessarily have to look like you just walked off the runway, it can be anything you like. It doesn’t even have to be consistent. I’ve been known to dress like Shawn from “Boy Meets World” one day–baggy jeans and a baggier button-up shirt, a less cool Kurt Cobain the next day–my own version of 90s grunge, and a funeral attendee another day–dressed up in all-black. It doesn’t make any sense, but I like it, so that’s what I do. 


Vogue isn’t your religious text. You don’t have to do something just because everyone else is doing it. It’s like when your mom says, “If your friend jumped off a bridge, would you?” except the bridge is flared leggings, and wearing them is jumping off. 


Of course, if a certain look is trending–like flared leggings–and you actually happen to like it (for yourself, not just because you think it looks cool on someone else), more power to you. Just be conscious of what and how much you’re consuming. Are you going to get rid of those low-rise jeans in the next few months? Are you going to be able to do something else with them once you don’t want to wear them anymore? Do you really want to buy into consumerism? What would the punk rock brigade think of that?


Wear what you want. Wear what suits you. Don’t exclusively wear what other people like–what suits them. Not everything is for everybody, and that’s okay. Don’t let yourself get possessed by FOMO.