They say that ‘what goes around, comes around’, and I say that nowhere is this truer than in the world of fashion. It’s a well-known fact that popular fashion trends will always crop back up again in future generations, and it seems to me like the time between periods of popularity is getting shorter and shorter these days. Spikes in trends often correlate to changing societal norms and shifts in perspective related to what’s happening in the world. Here I’m going to look at some of my favourite 2018 trends and where they’ve previously appeared in the great fashion timeline.
Power dressing for women is definitely the ‘in thing’ at the moment. As a woman who enjoys wearing floral patterns, feminine shapes and muted pastel colours, even I have found myself gravitating towards a stronger look. Women’s power suits and subsequent outfits can be dated back to the 1980s when women were infiltrating the world of work in previously-unheard-of numbers. And they wanted to be taken seriously whilst they did it!
The ubiquitous businessman’s suit was re-tailored to fit the female shape, accentuating a nipped-in waist, wide (padded) shoulders and an elongated leg. Women were feeling powerful and wanted to show this in what they were wearing. Today’s climate is populated by women going freelance, creating their own independent business ventures from scratch and pursuing their dreams. It’s also seeing an increase in female leaders and women in positions of power. Perhaps this is why at least part of the fourth wave of feminism comes dressed in bright colours and a stylish trouser suit.
Another current trend that I have been loving lately is luxe sportswear. In my eyes, a relaxed fit, bold prints and a sporty silhouette is the perfect combination. Remaining comfortable helps you to feel more relaxed during a demanding schedule, and a recognisable label shows that you’re still up to date and on brand. However, it can also hide the calculating thoughts of a sharp mind and a shrewd professional.
One arena where this proves particularly useful is that of the professional poker player. The original popularity of the sports jersey in pro playing circles coincided with the poker boom that happened between 2003 and 2006. Wearing such casual clothing highlighted the new wave of players who brought a more relaxed, youthful energy to the table. Whereas in recent years the trend has been heading towards a smarter look (including smart casual wear and suits), with the growing prevalence of sportswear on the catwalk and the red carpet, we may see the sports jersey start to return amongst younger players. Acting as a symbol of youth, prosperity and integrity, it’s the perfect workwear for any serious player (and I bet it’s super comfortable, too!).
With the recent resurgence of serious environmentalism and move towards conscious consumerism, we’re also seeing a rise in natural fabrics, long hair and nods towards Eastern cultures. This look was first popularised in the 1960s with the first hippy movement, then picked back up again by the new hippies of the 90s. As with all returning fashion trends, it’s the youth who lead the way and look to previous generations for ways in which to visually express their individuality. I may not be part of that idealised youthful movement anymore, but I still enjoy seeing the changing face of fashion as it reacts to the world around it. I hope that you’ve enjoyed this trip down Memory Lane with me and feel inspired to return to those forgotten wardrobe favourites next time you ‘have nothing to wear!’