Fashion trends are always evolving, but there are a few staples that seem to always hang on or regularly re-emerge. The following trends are a few significant examples of fashion trends that have burst back on the scene and show no signs of slowing down any time soon.
While wide-legged pants have a long and varied history in American culture in the form of items like palazzo pants and zoot suits, baggy jeans, in particular, are a relatively new phenomenon. Baggy jeans are a 90s trend that is seeing a dramatic comeback.
This revival is also going hand-in-hand with the reemergence of high-waisted cuts, which were popular in the 60s, 70s, and 80s. The unstructured silhouette of today’s baggy jeans is often paired with something that accentuates your form, such as a crop top.
The last heyday of the crop top was the 80s and 90s, when crop tops were popular among men and women due in large part to media influences such as Johnny Depp’s iconic appearance in Nightmare on Elm Street. The crop top was first introduced to the American mainstream through the 1893 Chicago World’s Fair, where belly dancers wearing the garments entertained visitors.
The crop top appears to be a tool for challenging perceptions of modesty with every revival. Additionally, while crop tops could be seen as a demonstration of masculinity for sports players of the 80s, many male crop top wearers of the modern-day are using the item to challenge traditional views of masculinity, as it is now often viewed as women’s attire.
For a long time, denim-on-denim was considered a regrettable legacy of the 90s and early 2000s, with the most notorious example being the denim ensembles sported by Britney Spears and Justin Timberlake at the 2001 American Music Awards.
While many thought this to be the nail in the coffin for the denim-on-denim trend, Lupita Nyong'o sported a bold denim-on-denim look for the 2021 Met gala, to the general approval of the public. Bold denim looks seem to continue to define American fashion as a reflection of the history of our working culture.
Fringe is yet another trend that seems to enjoy regular reincarnation in American culture. Some notable examples are the flapper dresses of the 1920s, and the popularity of fringe accents among the flower children of the 60s and 70s, the latter of which were inspired by indigenous American cultures and popularized by Cher.
The resurging trend seems to be informed by both sources, with the flowy detailing being sported on denim jackets and formal dresses alike. Fringes offer not only an additional flair to clothing items, but changes the actual movement of the piece, which is a unique feature that sets it apart in the fashion world.
Hats are perhaps the most evergreen entry on this list, as hats, in general, don’t seem to go in and out of fashion, so much as different types of hats get to have their own time in the spotlight. While popular hats of the past such as the bowler, pillbox hats, and Gainsborough hats aren’t enjoying the attention they once did, more functional options such as dad hats, bucket hats, trucker hats, and baseball caps have solidly maintained their popularity over the past few decades. However, some classic options such as the newsboy cap and the fedora have seen a significant revival over recent years.
Baggy jeans aren’t the only type of oversized clothing that is enjoying a revival. Oversized t-shirts are another item that never really goes out of style, although its last height of popularity was during the 90s grunge movement. Oversized t-shirts are not only comfortable, but can also convey a sense of fashionable ease. They also seem to act as a counterpoint and countercultural statement to more chic, clean-cut styles prevalent in the fashion industry.
Platform shoes are a particularly long-lived entry, with their origins being traced back to sixteenth-century Venice, when they were used to keep the wearer off of the wet ground. In modern times, platform shoes saw their most significant spike in popularity during the 1960s to the 1980s, when the look was associated with the disco era. This ancient trend seems to once again be on the rise, with the dramatic silhouette they provide being very in keeping with other bold styles such as oversized clothing and adventurous prints.
Like many fashion trends, shoulder pads were originally developed for a very functional purpose, having been created in the late nineteenth century as protective gear for football players. The item was then repurposed for women’s fashion in the 1930s as a consequence of the surrealist art movement.
After this, shoulder pads regularly fell in and out of fashion with their most recent resurgence being during the 1980s when they were sported by icons like Madonna and Michael Jackson. Like many other entries in this list, shoulder pads are a dramatic statement piece, and they have been used as such in every iteration of their popularity.
While these trends may very well fade once again, it’s unlikely that they will stay gone for long.