To Be Trendy or Not To Be Trendy?

With the overwhelming realm of social media, we are constantly bombarded with images of what some Instagram star believes to be "trendy." Kait Kelly argues against such a movement and explains why we need to embrace what we really love rather than being dictated to by someone we have never met. 

The function of fashion has changed. While it used to stand as an outlet for creativity, a means through which the masses were able to gain inspiration from bright-minded designers and adapt such ideas into their own wardrobes, it now often seems overly commercialised. The forcefulness of being ‘on trend’ is overwhelming. Fashion has become disposable, and not in a good way.

Living in a world so dominated by social-media means that ‘trends’ come and go at a ridiculous pace. While on Monday we may see thigh-high boots being championed by the next up-and-coming Instagram idol, by Friday a new brand of piece is being endorsed as the hottest item available to us – not only are we expected to pick Friday’s trend up, but we are even sometimes expected to quickly drop Monday’s.

High street shops display the same manner of picking up and throwing away trends depending on what those at the very height of society are wearing: every time I stroll into an every-day outlet I see the very same items I saw on Instagram that morning sitting proudly at the front of the store. Upon my return, I know these items will have changed depending on what is ‘in’ that month on social media.

It’s taken my first semester at university for me to realise how prevalent and damaging this issue of commercialised, disposable fashion is. Not only is it financially difficult for the younger generation (who are more immersed within the world of social-media style than ever) to keep up with the waves of new items thrown at us, but also it is damaging to our individuality. While trends have been and will continue to be prevalent over the years, the need to match, obtain and emulate such trends has never been so strong. What is the consequence of not snapping up these new items? We are, god-forbid, stamped as ‘un-trendy’.

But being un-trendy can be a good thing. While it is true that trends can help us progress through different mediums of fashion and decide what looks good on us, having a sense of individuality within our style is integral – it helps us express, without the need for words or justification, little chunks of our personalities.

For me, I can show through my clothing choices that I am a bit of an old-soul who adores taking the 40s, 50s and 60s and translating them into modern outfits of my own composition. I can also show that I am quite a sensitive, soft person through the sheer, pastel fabrics I usually gravitate towards.

While my friend may enjoy wearing black in order to express edginess inspired by her favourite book ‘Divergent’, I enjoy wearing black to emulate classic chic; both are beautiful, interesting and deeply unique to us as people. Both outfit choices display little shards of our personalities through silent, artistic means. In this sense, the outfits we create as individuals are not only interesting but also meaningful, for clothing allows us to morph and mould ourselves into an exact outward image of whom we wish to be that morning. If fashion is looked at in this sense, it is what I believe it is intended to be: a form of self-declaration.

The demands of high-paced, social-media inspired fashion poses a risk to this unique form of expression and self-love – it is warping our view of fashion into one that is based on our ability to be relative or current as opposed to feeling confident in an outfit. While being relative or on-trend is fun, it is important to re-discover our sense of self outside the world of Instagram. Being on-trend can be rewarding, but over the cost of my individuality? No thanks – I’ll take my vintage-inspired blouses and stupidly sparkly jewellery any day.