My obsession with fashion is by no means a recent development. I have been enthralled with fabrics, colors and the way they make me look since the womb. It is no surprise, therefore, that when I was 7, my older sister’s patterned leggings were a veritable sin. We were in the 2000’s. People wore jeans and and any fluffy hair accessory Lizzie McGuire wore. We were no longer in the age when it was socially acceptable to wear spandex out in public. I wanted my sister to be on-trend. I would constantly berate her for donning such outdated atrocities, but to no avail. She insisted that this heinous garb was ‘comfortable’, and would firmly refuse to wear denim. At some point she grew annoyed with her baby sister yelling at her for her stylistic choices, so she gave the trendier option of jeans a try, and has never looked back.
The thing about trends though is, they change. Leggings, and other non-jean pants are back with a vengeance, and as an adherent to what is in vogue, I have as well. My sister remains incredibly attached to her jeans, finding dresses and skirts to be the only acceptable alternative. And, in true lemming fashion, I’ve been encouraging her to at least try her old legging-wearing ways. Because, what to 7-year-old me was unthinkable, became commonplace again, and I molded my ways accordingly.
I realize this is entirely because my tastes changed based on what was and wasn’t trendy. Back then, when I saw pants with any type of pattern, I saw ‘ugly’, but now I see ‘cool’ and ‘interesting’. Yet, somehow, I saw every micromini and knee-high boot combo put together by Buffy and the same thoughts came to mind (though admittedly everything Buffy did will forever and always be ‘cool’).
I wore my plastic, stretchy choker with such conviction, but I now laugh at my 3rd grade school picture. Realistically, in 10 years I will look back on my current wardrobe and find my harem-pants moments to be entirely question-able. The pants that are fun, cool and interesting to my 20-year old self, my 30-year old eyes will probably find ridiculous, and the fact that sneaker wedges made me feel like the coolest kid on the planet downright laughable. It’s certainly more than conscious trend following though, though. The actual aesthetics of what we do and don’t find attractive entirely change as time changes.
As a person interested in fashion, there is always a drive to remain current. We are bombarded with images of people around us wearing certain shapes, and this can serve to entirely change our own aesthetic. I will forever be a veritable slave to the trends, and I do find myself constantly questioning this aspect of the industry. Someone else is dictating the way I think about what I decide to put on my body. It’s one of the most apparent examples of societal construct, and sometimes I hate that I allow myself to fall victim. However, the fact is that trends keep it fresh. Fashion would hold no allure if it didn’t constantly churn out things that were different from what we have already been wearing. I know I would not care about clothing if all I had to choose from were different iterations of jeans until I grew too old to wear anything but sweatpants. I know that’s exactly what the industry wants, I know I’m falling right into their little trap, and continuing to consume. It gets me to buy more and more, but the fact is, that I have fun prancing around in that trap wearing different types of pants.
And now, a gallery of pictures that 7-year-old me would hate, and 30 year old me will be embarrassed by!
PhotoCred: Calli Obern
Top: Random stall in Korea (thanks to my sister), leggings BCBG, boots: Promod, watch: Michael Kors
Top: Thrift store: Leggings: Zara, shoes: Promod, watch: Micael Kors