From clothing, to hair, to cosmetic procedures. A deep dive into changing trends
I am officially at an age where I have been around long enough to have watched certain things go into and out of style. When first watching things go out of style, it can definitely feel like this was a collective and permanent decision society had taken. Sometime in the 2010s the judge ruled that baggy jeans were out – and henceforth, we go forward with skinny jeans. Sometime in the early 2000s the collective said bum bags were for unfashionable dads on holiday, and going forward, that was a rule. But getting older and watching things rotate back into style, you quickly realise that trends have been jumping in and out of style for many, many years. Be it your jeans, trainer choice, bag choice; how you do you hair, your makeup, your nails; even down to your body and what type of body is seen as “desirable” at any one time. Let’s dive in a little deeper…
- Skinny vs. baggy jeans: Can you start off a list of trends without tackling the most talked about one of them all? I remember when I was a teenager and baggy jeans fell out of style, so deeply that anyone in baggy jeans would get laughed at. In the past 2-3 years, skinny jeans have started to suffer the same fate. I must say, I was a big fan of skinny jeans and did not initially like that they were reverting to being “uncool”, however I’ve come around to baggier jeans as they are just so much more comfortable. Anyways, give it another 10 years – skinny jeans will most likely rotate back into popularity
- Bum bags: Bum bags have been back in style for around 3 years too. Growing up, these were considered seriously uncool, you really could only get away with them as a dad (on holiday, holding everybody’s passports). They reached the height of popularity again maybe around 2019, and whilst they are not as popular as they were 3 years ago, I’d say they haven’t yet fallen back into obscurity
- Honourable mentions: Multiple trends had a burst of popularity for a short while before quickly falling off the list. Thus – an honourable mention to ponchos of the early 2000s; and of the 2010s, a minute of silence for: peplum skirts and tops, platform boots, studded jackets and tops, peter pan collars, chokers, skull prints, graphic tees and disco pants
Then: Skinny jeans, peplum and disco pants were some of the trends of 2010s
Now: Clothes are baggier, jeans are lower, bags are smaller
Makeup and aesthetic trends
- Fillers: The filler trend spread far and wide over the course of the 2010s. That said, in very recent years, we have started to see many famous folks dissolve their fillers in favour of a more natural look
- Veneers: I remember the period of multiple YouTubers flying out to Turkey to get veneers done. It always shocked me to see the extent to which their original teeth were shaved down to fit on the veneers. More recently, many that have done this procedure have come out to talk about the permanence of it. They require expensive replacement every 10 years or so, and of course if you have shaved down your natural teeth, that is a decision you can never reverse. These days, options such as Invisalign (and/or teeth whitening) are seen as the more favourable and sustainable options
- BBLs: The Brazilian butt lift – i.e. taking fat out of your stomach and injecting it into your bum. Fitting in with the “flat stomach, fat ass” trend. This was always a very dangerous one that many influencers would get done in Turkey; however recently, celebrities who’ve had BBLs (e.g. the Kardashians), have been getting these dissolved in favour of a more natural look. If you don’t have access to or money for high quality surgeons like the Kardashians, this, like veneers, is another near “permanent” change that ultimately became just another trend
- “Clean girl” make up aesthetic: When I was in my teens and first discovering beauty guru YouTube, make-up wasn’t used to look natural. It was all about the contour, the smoky eye, the baking powder. Very recently, a new trend has been emerging called the “clean girl” aesthetic – it’s all about have a glowing base, and lightening up on the heavy handed make-up. This is a trend that is just about starting to gain some steam on social media
A shift to a more natural look
“Cool” and “uncool” brands
- Coach: I didn’t know a much about designers growing up, but once I did start to dip my toes into the world of more expensive/luxury items as an adult, Coach was initially seen as a tired brand from 10+ years ago. This was until Selena Gomez became the face of coach in late 2017, which coincides with Coach’s entire rebrand. These days, Coach is a popular “affordable luxury” brand
- Michael Kors: When I was in school and in university, Michael Kors was probably the coolest brand out there. I bought a fake Michael Kors purse during a holiday to turkey in 2013, and I whenever I’d walk by a Michael Kors store, I’d tell myself it was the first place I was going to visit when I graduated, had a stable job and got my first pay check. By the time that day arrived, Michael Kors had suffered the fate of being overexposed. Despite spending 3 years lusting over Michael Kors during university, ’til today, I have never bought myself an item from Michael Kors
- Emporio Armani: Emporio Armani suffered a similar fate as MK, however it was a fate I think the brand actively chose – and this was “overexposure”. I remember when they started to stock their tracksuits in JD and they were all the rage – how often could you get a designer brand for the £100 mark in a store as local as JD? That said, after everyone and their dads started to wear the tracksuits, they quickly lost popularity. There are multiple different brands for Armani e.g. “Armani Jeans” and “Armani Exchange”, so I think the choice to stock “Emporio Armani” in JD was done knowing that is could gain the scarlet letter of being “overexposed”
Some of the “cooler” brands of the moment include Jacquemus, Telfar and Balenciaga
In this section, I am focussing on black hair trends in the UK.
- Wigs, weave, natural, relaxed: From the time I started wearing weaves (ca. 2013), I always went for leave out. Whilst I’d consider myself skilled with make-up, I can put my hands up and say that I am not skilled with hair and tend to go for the simplest options again and again. Back then, everybody did leave out. Eventually the closure and wig train arrived, and I must have missed the memo. After being the last one at the leave out club (and it started to damage my hair), I eventually boarded the closure train, but never convinced myself to hop onto the wig one (my hairdresser said – “if it’s not broke (what you’re doing now – at this point, closures), don’t fix it!”) I remember whenever any girl would come onto Love Island with leave out (e.g. Samira in 2018), they’d be met with so much ridicule on Twitter – it was considered the most impractical and backwards decision. That said, this year, things have started to change. More “natural” looks are being praised more, like ponytails and “invisible” wefts. Many black girls on Love Island this year haven’t come in with wigs, and haven’t been met with Twitter-ridicule as per Samira ca. 2018. Not to say that wigs are out of style, but they’re not seen as the only choice now
- Braids: Once a hairstyle our mums all put us in when we were young, braids (box braids, knotless braids, whatever you want) have been back in style since I was in university and “#braidgang” gained popularity
A shift to a more natural look
Having lived through trend cycles, I’m not going to sit here and say never follow trends (I mean, I eventually did begrudgingly fold my skinny jeans away), but what I’ve learned is to not necessarily take them too seriously and ultimately, to do what you want.
There’s nothing wrong with joining in with some fun trends and switching things up. But, most importantly, consider the permanence of the trends you are following. A lot of people were risking their lives getting BBLs in Turkey, a couple influencer folk shaved down their natural teeth for veneers that will cost £10k to replace every 10 years. When it comes down to it – the celebrities that perpetuate many of these more permanent trends, can more easily go away with tons of cash and get proper treatments to reverse them (excl. veneers), but that is not practical for everyone. So before anyone hops on a certain trend, and with the knowledge that things inevitably rotate into and out of style, it’s always important to take some time to consider that choice twice.