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Discover why fashion trends go in and out of style. Learn how to build a sustainable wardrobe while navigating today's ever-changing trends.

Where Fashion Trends Come From

Fashion is ever-changing. Like the world-renowned German American supermodel and entrepreneur, Heidi Klum famously says, “In fashion, one day you’re in. And the next, you’re out.” But why do fashion trends exist? And who determines what becomes popular?

The idea of something being “trendy” happens when a collective percentage of a population deems an idea, color, shape, or aesthetic desirable. And the origin of fashion trends isn’t as complicated as you may think.

Here are the top four factors that influence and determine style trends:

1. Fashion Runway Shows

From haute couture brands like Chanel and Dior to affordable lifestyle brands like Nike and Lululemon, most fashion and design companies hold annual runway shows. In fact, many of these brands host several shows throughout the year to advertise their various seasonal collections. Through them, designers work hard to craft what they believe should be the next “it” style.

And through fashion shows, these brands have a highly publicized platform to parade their work. Print media and social media outlets like Vogue and Cosmopolitan often send representatives to watch and review the fashion in these shows.

On top of fashion editors judging the looks, these runway shows are often star-studded events. It’s not uncommon to see a celebrity front row at a fashion show. And because of this relationship between celebrities and fashion brands, we start to understand why certain trends catch on.

2. Celebrities

People love celebrities. They want to know what celebrities do, how they live their lives, and most importantly, what they wear. So if a celebrity is photographed rocking a particular style or designer, it’s not uncommon for people to mimic this style. With this context, it’s easy to see the style pipeline from runway show to celebrities to the average consumer.

For example, a fashion designer may style a collection that is highly Y2K inspired. Then celebrities who were invited to their runway show may see garments on stage they want to purchase and wear. Once enough celebrities are wearing these outfits, a particular style starts getting more publicity and suddenly people are labeling it as a trend.

3. Fashion & Lifestyle Influencers 

Style and trends often have a trickle-down effect. At the top we have fashion brands designing the styles. And then celebrities elect to wear fashion they enjoy. But just because a celebrity is wearing something, doesn’t mean that style is going to become a trend. Style doesn’t become a trend until someone declares it one.

Remember those fashion magazines we talked about earlier? They’re at fashion shows to report on the clothes being presented, but they’re also there to report on the clothes the celebrities attending are wearing. People look towards these media outlets to catalog what styles celebrities are favoring and tell us what’s going to become a trend.

And thanks to social media, we don’t always need official media outlets anymore. Just go on Tik Tok or Instagram and you’ll find content creators dedicated to researching and identifying upcoming trends. It’s through this influence that people learn about and adopt new styles.

 4. Pop Culture Television, Films & Current Events

Once a trend is declared by influencers, it needs some form of documentation to cement its status. This often comes in the form of Instagram posts and Tik Tok videos from average consumers. But it also comes in the form of representation on screen in big-budget movies and popular television shows.

Why do past decades like the 80s and 90s have such a recognizable style? Because fashion and aesthetic trends of those decades were captured so clearly on mediums like film and television. And once a trend is featured in popular media, it now has the power to reach even more people, further cementing its status in the zeitgeist.

So how can you keep up with current trends?

Keeping up with trends isn’t easy. They change often and continually buying new clothes isn’t easy for your wallet, or the environment—especially if you’re buying from fast fashion retailers. But here’s a secret: trends always come back around. What was trendy 10 years ago, will probably become trendy again. Think about the recent resurgence of Y2K fashion.

And if you try to stay on top of the trends you’ll always feel behind, because you’ll always feel stuck in an endless cycle of buying and re-buying the same styles.

So instead of chasing trends, embrace your personal style and focus on buying staple pieces that you can wear for years to come. The best place to build a solid sustainable and highly personal wardrobe is at the thrift store. Because you won’t just find what is trendy now, but instead shop from generations of trends until you find a personal style that fits you.

But remember, no matter what you wear, the trendiest thing you can rock is confidence.


Spring into Savings
As the flowers bloom, so do our deals! Step into spring with style, savings, and fresh new finds at our thrift store.
Spring into Savings
As the flowers bloom, so do our deals! Step into spring with style, savings, and fresh new finds at our thrift store.