emily cooney headshot [temporary]

We all learned a lot over the last year as students of online classes. Many of our priorities shifted as we found ourselves with entirely different routines than we’re used to. One thing we no longer had to worry about was putting outfits together every day to go to campus as we only had to dress from our shoulders up for Zoom. However, the thought of being back on campus for in-person learning can create some concern among students to keep up with all the latest fashion trends that have developed since the pandemic started.

Additionally, the word “cheugy” has developed into Gen Z lingo over the last few months. The idea behind the word is to describe something or someone who is completely off trend or behind on the times of current fashion. While the use of this word can be funny as we look back on the interesting early-2010 core fashion trends, it can also make students feel like they have to redo their entire closet or get rid of any piece from more than five years ago — which is absurd. 

Fashion trends are constantly coming back in and out of popularity, so there’s no sense in trying to keep your wardrobe up to date at all times. It is evident that almost every mainstream trend goes through the fashion cycle — introduction, increase, peak, decline and obsolescence when it's finally deemed outdated until it may eventually come back into style. 

There are so many clear examples of the fashion cycle in practice as we look at fashion trends throughout the decades. The evolution of jean waistline preferences is the perfect representation of this cycle. High-waisted jeans were widely popular in the 1970s, early 1980s, 2010s, as well as today. Meanwhile, low-rise jeans experienced peaks in the 1960s, late 1990s, early 2000s and have also reentered today's fashion. 

Thankfully jean trends seem to last longer than many other facets of fashion. However, we should realize that the concept of a trend that has been around for five years straight ending overnight is insane. Especially if the majority of your wardrobe consists of a newly outdated trend, it is unfair to expect people to spend hundreds of dollars to continuously update their style. 

Certainly as we grow older, our personal fashion taste evolves. It is normal to grow out of trends and move on to new ones, but doing so purely out of concern for others opinions is not productive or a healthy mindset. 

This doesn’t mean you have to become an evolutionary fashion icon with your own signature style that no one else wears. It simply means that we should not be concerned with others deeming you as cheugy if you perhaps chose to wear skinny jeans only months after they were determined to be out of style. The reality is, style is subjective to each person’s idea of what they find to be pleasing to the eye, which is why no one can ever be perfectly fashionable. 

It can also be fun to take part in trends, especially if you're interested in fashion. However, much like music, fashion trends are like artists that are popular among the general public and others who eventually become less popular. No one can stop you from still listening to their music, just like no one can stop you from wearing what you want. 

If you’re into the resurgence of 1990s fashion or New Yorker fashion, as I am, then go ahead and invest in clothes that you genuinely like from those realms of fashion. If not, don’t simply partake in those styles and wear outfits you like and feel comfortable in. As we return to campus, remember there is no need to hold ourselves to an unattainable fashion standard that is ever evolving. Wear what you want and only prioritize your own opinion because it really is the only one that matters.

I am a third year studying Communication with a concentration in Media and Spanish. I started writing for Technician this summer of 2020 as a correspondent.