It is not uncommon to look back at pictures of ourselves in our younger years and, upon studying our sartorial choices, wonder aloud “What was I thinking?” Although the 80s are a notoriously bad decade for style, recent years have seen the widespread adoption of jeggings, pedal pushers, platform trainers, hotpants, Crocs and Uggs amongst other eyesores. When considering this, the question comes to mind – how do these appalling trends catch on in the first place and how do people find themselves sucked into them?
The problem with such styles, however, is that once these faddy fashions have outstayed their welcome – once celebrities have ditched the styles to be given whatever designers want to push for the new season – the trends are rendered practically useless, unwanted even by charity shops. The Spice Girl’s popularised Platform Sneakers in the 1990s but once this cartoony trend quickly reached the end of its shelf life, the fact that the shoes were too impractical to wear for sports and too ugly, and gimmicky, to be worn as part of any outfit post 1996 (except fancy dress), meant they disappeared from popular view as quickly as they arrived.
Victoria Beckham hated platform sneakers that the Spice Girls all wore during the height of their fame in the 90s. Maybe that was the reason why they didn’t wear them at the London Olympics closing ceremony?
Using the term “infest” to state how individuals can catch the “fashion bug” and find themselves open to these ludicrous trends acts as a metaphor for how fashion itself works. Like a virus, fashion is always trying to adapt to its environment and will constantly change throughout the years to stop its self from becoming extinct – if fashion ever reached a point where the “perfect” clothes were invented for men and women, designers would be rendered obsolete as we would find ourselves wearing the exact same outfits from generation to generation. In this analogy, consumers are hosts for the virus who will offer a home for these new strains until we gain immunity to these latest trends and throw them away forever. In the same way that we can only get chickenpox once, it is scarcely likely that we will accept and embrace jeggings as a trend more than once in a lifetime.
Keith is a fashion blogger who writes on a regular basis for Barratts. He suggests trying out their autumn ladies shoes.