Fashion trends are inherently cyclical. Whether it’s the 90s or the 2000s that are back in style at the moment, they’ll always come and go. The clothing that students wear at Berkeley High School on a daily basis has endless inspiration from past decades. Sometimes people’s style will directly correlate to a specific decade, but other times it’s a collage of different trends from a combination of eras.
BHS senior Juliette Chung’s dad graduated in the class of ‘71 at BHS, when fashion trends were drastically different.
“According to my dad, there were lots of paisley shirts, bell bottoms that were striped and purple, lots of headbands like Jimi Hendrix style, Army Surplus combat boots, and khaki jackets,” Chung said. “Everyone had long hair, guys and girls. (People wore) loud colors and thick leather belts. Girls wore mini dresses, short skirts, and high boots.”
While the majority of clothing from the 60s and 70s vary from what is commonly trending today, there are still some similarities. Mini dresses never went out of style, and recently there have been more mini skirts with high boots, as a winter fashion look. In addition to those, chunky belts and rhinestone belts have made a comeback.
For BHS senior Raphaella Laurence, “A lot of (trends) have been inspired by the 70s and 60s, but also 90s. Not so much 80s. I’d say 2000s too, for some people. But it definitely has a modern twist.”
There is a pattern of modernizing trends from older decades, and that happens because of the newer production of old styles, like baggy jeans or puff sleeves. Decades ago, the clothing that people wore was authentic to its time and created to last. Now that old clothing trends are resurfacing, fast fashion and modern brands have started to produce new clothing using old fashion trends. But instead of being high quality vintage, it has an attempted vintage look, and is often low quality.
“Today’s fashion is moving so much faster than (earlier decades) because we have access to thrift stores and fast fashion brands like Shein. A lot of online shopping is happening, so I feel like we cycle through our clothes so much faster,” said Chung.
The problem with fashion trends moving on so quickly is that it brings down the quality of the clothing. We get rid of more clothes, which means new clothes have to be produced faster. The fast fashion brands that hop onto every trend use cheap materials that aren’t meant to last. “We’re getting more used to paying less and less for lower quality,” Chung said.
Everyone develops their own style over time, but there’s no doubt that trends have a significant influence on what people wear. A few years ago, people likely wouldn’t have even considered wearing low waisted jeans, and now you can’t walk around school without seeing students wearing them. The jean cycle never ends; skinny jeans to baggy jeans, high waisted jeans to low rise jeans, straight legged to flare jeans, and so much more.
“(Trends) are definitely influenced by the media, obviously. Like, the artists that are the most popular. Right now, for example, Lana Del Rey is super trendy and everyone has that, like, ‘coquette’ look,” said Laurence. The “coquette” look being referred to includes lipstick, bows, and dark red and pink. Lana Del Ray has claimed this look, and now most of the trend is attributed to her. When a celebrity has a particular style, fans are often easily influenced, and will adopt that same aesthetic.
Trends have gone all over the place, but they will cycle back again in a few years. “It’s the 2000s coming back,” said BHS freshman Nina Garling-Rai. “Everything just keeps coming back.”