Today I was browsing through some industry articles and I came upon an article stating that the fashion trend itself is going out. I was pretty schocked by this declaration as I am daily coming across statements decreeing that x is so in, while y is so last year.
The article from the Wall Street Journal cites these causes of the change to the “no-trend”:
- choosing flattering clothes rather than trends
- dressing to each profession
- the dilution of trends from referencing past trends
- fast fashion from stores like H&M and Forever 21 that rip looks off the runway before the designer can put them into production
While these are all valid points, I think figure flattery with the frugality introduced by the recession is a major reason for a lessened interest in purchasing trendy fashion. Personally, I am willing to spend a lot of money on an item that is basic, well constructed, and a good fit. As mentioned in the article, the trench coat trend is not really a trend at all but an investment item that will last a lifetime. Other examples of investment items are a great pair of jeans (hello designer jean revolution), the perfect black winter coat, and the LBD that flatters your figure just so.
However, where the WSJ article gets it wrong is the analysis of the fashion at retailers like Zara, H&M and Forever 21. The author believes that this is a case of too much too fast where consumers are confused; however, this is not correct. I believe consumers pick and choose trends that strike them, while F21 may be offering every trend in the book, consumers know what they are looking for. You can definitely spot trends as they come and pass in these stores. For fast, trendy fashion, consumers don’t want to spend a lot. I think this actually propels trends because everyday shoppers can get in on them. Also, it leads to more personal interpretations of the trends.
What about shoes!? Well, in my mind, I think of shoes the exact same way. There are basic shoes that every woman needs in her closet: a classic black pump, versatile and comfortable flats, metallic heeled sandals, nice black high heeled boots, flat casual boots, flat sandals, and some excercise shoes. For these types of shoes I believe the more you spend the better.
For trendier shoes, standards aren’t so high and I’m willing to sacrifice some comfort for a pair that won’t be worn very often. But with designers like Steve Madden and Paris Hilton offering up immediate interpretations of runway shoes, regular people can add a bit more fashion into their lives.
Overall, I think consumers in general have less to spend and therefore want to put their dollars in things that will last rather than items that will only get worn a few times. But the death of the trend itself? I don’t think so.