In a thriving environment, fashion trends made up for what we were missing in 2020

We can all agree that 2020 was the worst year for all aspects of society’s health—physically, mentally, but also fashionably. COVID-19, as we know, was a large-scale pandemic that kept everyone home from education centers, workplaces, and recreational events; this all means everyone was wearing sweatpants and old t-shirts every single day. While I love to wear comfortable clothing every once in a while, it can become monotonous when worn daily—it can feel like you’ve lost your art of expression.

When we were arguably our least creative due to the lockdown, there were some fashion trends that still managed to escape. Any accessories or pieces coming from 2020, in my mind, are instantly dispelled from the best trends of all time. Yet, “The Trend Spotter,” an online newspaper, somehow managed an attempt at ranking the top ten coolest fashion trends in that year. 

While opening the article I was skeptical to see what I would find, and sure enough, everything that Ally Feiam claimed to be iconic was the exact opposite. 

Almost everything, from strappy heels buckled around long pant legs all the way to matching printed tops and stockings, was absolutely repulsive. While I can agree with some trends, such as chunky boots with feminine dresses, I couldn’t get past the little things, like square toed heels.  

So, when I decided to look at this year’s list, I was expecting very little from this journalist. But, I found a pleasant surprise within this article; instead of agreeing with a few things, I agreed with the majority. 

The first trend that gave me a glimmer of hope was oversized, shoulder-pad boyfriend jackets. While not normally worn outside of events such as New York Fashion Week, this was an uplifting change from the hot mess the year prior. 

These jackets can make any look go from business casual to a younger, more fun take on business formal. While still sophisticated, you can dress these outfits up or down—it’s completely your choice. Again, they’re most likely not to be seen on the everyday person in West Michigan, but it’s a beautiful piece to appreciate for its indistinct variety waiting to be unlocked.

However, on the complete other end of familiarity, the newly found craze around black face masks was discussed in the article early on. Not only are they protecting yourself and those around you, they’re also elegant in a way I never thought I would be addressing.

I can recall fashion icons on social media beginning to wear masks as a statement at the start of 2020, pre-pandemic. I had thought of them as interesting but something that not everyone could pull off; little did I know, months later, we would have the lower half of our faces concealed. 

I’ve always believed that black is one of the easiest colors to compliment, and personally through this entire pandemic, I’ve been wearing this color face mask. It’s easy to match with, but also it hides itself in a way that printed face masks can’t. While difficult to put into words, it’s easily unnoticed, but it can also be a tasteful add-on.

In the same category as masks, the less required accessory, head scarves, have come back completely due to the social media platform, TikTok. Some of the videos that I remember from earlier in the year were actually the very same that revamped this trend. In the 1960’s, a lot of actresses were directly correlated with them and a pair of sunglasses to go about their lives without the paparazzi on their trail.

Now, young women use this style as a way to live out some of their favorite movie scenes and fantasize about their lives as someone they aren’t. Just the way they used to play dress-up, teen girls can be found driving with the tops off their cars, living out their wildest dreams. 

Another trend that reminds me of summer are pops of color in various different aesthetics. Specifically highlighted in this article are yellow bags, blue accessories, and sorbet, pastel tones. While I feel positive and passionately about the accents, the overall head-to-toe compilation of pale hues, used as examples for this claim, can be described as being overwhelming. The perfect balance isn’t in your face with intense shades, these colorful add-ons should be individually drawing your eye to one specific piece at a time.

Another trend that was hard for me to be in accord with was fringe on handheld purses. While I may be biased for always being against this specific style of hemming, these bags seemed clunky and difficult to carry. I would prefer something more sleek and in a tinier package such as mini top-handle bags or even miniature totes. Some people like flashy handbags, but I will always go for simplicity.

While there are still more on the list, something that caught my eye was a bold title, near the end of the article, stating yellow and camel color outfits to be number eight. Feiam claimed these neutral looks to be a reincarnation of the 70s, and her examples couldn’t be more accurate to this. I truly believe that natural colors make for the best monotone outfits because of how easy they are to appear sleek and put together. While tans and burnt oranges might cause people to jump outside of their comfort zones, this leap of faith is worth taking. There are so many opportunities when it comes to working around one specific color palette, as long as you choose the right one. As I said before, I disagree with head-to-toe pastels, but colors on the warmer side of the color wheel make for a calming set.

While Feiam made dozens of intriguing claims, such as folk-inspired coats being able to keep any outfit hot, there was a lot more to agree with in this article compared to the last. Maybe it was her improvement in writing, but it could also be chalked up to society’s refocus on fashion. With more face-to-face connection between people, I truly believe that, this year, trends grew exponentially in a thriving environment that led to more creativity and greatness.