You know you’re getting older when you realize you’re seeing certain fashion trends again.
It can feel like a deja vu moment until you realize, “Oh, I remember - we wore those in junior high!”
Funny how passing a rack of jeans at our local Bargain Hunt demanded a double take recently at the pinstripes and acid washes, transporting me back to 9th grade.
Speaking of denim trends, I’m loving the return of the high-waisted “mom jeans.”
This time around, I sure appreciate the support.
Also returning from the 70’s, we see plenty of wide legs and flares. Of course, if those are too extreme for your liking, a good ole bootcut will always do. And tucking a skinny jean into knee-high or over-the-knee boots keeps them on trend.
When pantsuits and rompers reappeared on the style scene a few years ago, I just smiled and thought, “been there, done that,” recognizing that was one trend I wouldn’t be repeating at this stage of my life.
No matter how cute, I don’t need anything to slow me down when nature calls!
But funny enough, my stylish mother-in-law showed up to a recent dinner wearing a black jumpsuit. I had no idea it was a jumpsuit until she returned to our table after a long disappearance to the ladies’ room.
When she explained the delay, I laughed silently, comparing it to childbirth and how we tend to forget the pain.
Fashion and history repeats are interesting. I read in a style blog that a fashion fad will only last 3 to 12 months, a trend will last 1 to 5 years, and a classic will be around for 5 to 10 years. Then if you wait around 20 years, the trend will hit the scene again.
The 20-year rule is a commonly referenced concept in the fashion industry. And inspiration often strikes in mom’s closet.
I’ve seen this with my sister-in-law and mother-in-law. Because my mother-in-law has remained pretty much the same size through the years and because she has plenty of storage space, she hasn’t gotten rid of much (unlike my mom).
So my sister-in-law and niece have enjoyed choosing from the smorgasbord of fashion history in her closets.
Fashion historian James Laver had another theory about the fashion trend lifecycle.
Stanley Marcus, of American luxury chain Neiman Marcus, agreed and used Laver’s Law to stock clothes for his store in the late 60s.
According to this law, when a trend is in fashion, it is “smart.”
One year before this, it is “daring.” 20 years later, it becomes “ridiculous.” 50 years, Laver said, was how long it took for a trend to begin to creep back into style.
Furthermore, Laver said this law was applicable to all creative mediums like art, architecture, design and music.
Although fashion trends cycle, Laver pointed out there has to be a purpose for its return, otherwise it’s just a costume. Think shoulder pads.
Inspired by men’s football padding, designer Elsa Schiaparelli made the look trendy in the 30’s. Women embraced it during World War II when one in four married women were allowed to work outside home. It became a power-dressing essential in the 80s when women were shattering the glass ceiling.
And with a resurgence of women’s movements, such as #MeToo, and the largest percentage of women in U.S. Congress, it’s back.
An article titled “Fashion Trends and Theory: History Repeating,” explained that the typical fashion cycle goes through five stages.
“First, designers introduce a style, and that style is often worn by chosen ‘fashion leaders,’ such as high-profile celebrities. When a celebrity wears a new style it gets attention from fans and the media. The hype translates into mass production of the style.
“The public’s interest develops the style into a popular trend, as more people adapt the look. Eventually, the excitement dies down as the market becomes saturated and people become bored.
“From there, a style is replaced by something new and more exciting, typically introduced by the same famous people and designers.”
Yet another factor to influence the fashion cycle is the state of the global economy, according to this observation found online in Elite Daily:
“During an economic downturn, fashion is an indulgence that gets nipped – people look less at trends and more to ‘investment pieces’ or classics, like your trusty little black dress or men’s classic white button-downs.
“It wasn’t a random influencer with a theory, but an economist who first noticed the correlation between fashion and the economy.
“George Taylor developed the Hemline Theory to describe his findings. In the 1920’s, he noticed women were wearing shorter skirts to show off their silk stockings.
“When the market crashed, the hemlines dropped and the skirts only got longer. The correlation was evident – longer skirts allowed women to hide that they weren’t wearing (and couldn’t afford) stockings.
“During periods of economic growth, flashy styles like fur, leather, sequins and glitter take center stage with consumers wanting to show off their wealth. The more razzle-dazzle and less practical the trends, the higher the probability that money is flowing freely.”
History is interesting and can teach us many lessons. We are wise to note the pain and learn from our experiences, as well as from those who’ve gone before us. One thing I’ve learned is no matter how cute the shoes, if they’re not comfortable, I’m not buying them!
We’ve all heard, “Everything old is new again.” Do we really think we’re the first to do anything?
Solomon, in all his wisdom, said, “What has been will be again, what has been done will be done again; there is nothing new under the sun.”
So why does history repeat itself? Thankfully God does not bring up the past to condemn but rather to redeem. Yes, thankfully, God is a redeemer!
And, by the way, thankfulness is always in fashion!
Gina Moore, a news-editorial journalism major, has operated Marketplace Consignment Sale for 26 years and has worked part-time at Treasures. She also enjoys country cooking, reading and writing about motherhood, life on the farm and how God’s love and lessons surround residents.