By Andrea Nagy | Edited by Aretha Uamai
If you’re reading this article, you’re likely a fashion enthusiast to some degree. If there is one thing a fashion enthusiast has ever experienced, it’s the inner conflict of choosing a more Trendy or Timeless fashion inspiration. When you are finding your own personal style you may ponder between the two, scrolling through Pinterest, wondering what way to curate your wardrobe. Which out of the two makes you more fashionable? Which will turn heads and which will have your style rivals frothing at the mouth? r
In this feature, we’re tackling the timeless debate on a deeper level rather than just looking at it on a superficial level.
Let’s start by breaking down what the two really mean and our subconscious perceptions of the two.
Trends are certain styles, designs, and aesthetics that gain popularity among the common folk for a certain period of time, whereas timeless fashion refers to garments, designs and styles that remain chic despite the ever evolving fashion cycle. Trends consistently come and go.imTimeless pieces always stay.
Are the two mutually exclusive? I simply don’t believe so. Black loafers, for example, were trending two years ago but that does not take away from the fact that the item itself classifies as a timeless piece that can be easily styled with anything.
Trends are often associated with poor quality clothes that are mass produced, and to a large extent, that cannot be denied. Brands like SHEIN rose to popularity during COVID lockdowns when people wanted to invest in their personal styles, and many were looking for a quick and cheap ‘glow up’ for when they would be out and back in society. One of the main reasons behind SHEIN’s rise in fame was due to the fact that they could take one new popular design and mass produce it quickly. In that way everyone could become ‘trendy’ and ‘fashionable’. It reached the point where SHEIN fashion was a trend in itself. But as fast as those SHEIN clothes were made, they deteriorated just as quickly.
Furthermore, trends are also often associated with consumerism. We are told, mostly indirectly through tactics such as new arrivals, by these massive companies that if we want to be fashionable, we must always keep on top of trends, and the best way to do that is to buy more! Trends come and go, after all. Think about the Mermaidcore and Barbiecore that took 2023 by storm with the release of both the Little Mermaid (2023) and Barbie (2023) movies last summer. How long did you think frilly fabrics and pink glittery tops would last until people eventually got sick of them, or better yet dropped these items for the next best thing? By no means am I saying that certain items or designs birthed from trends don’t stick, they certainly do, however, we must be honest with ourselves; most of us want to be different. We want to seem unique, and by the time everyone has hopped on a trend, most of us are already done with it.
So what makes timeless fashion different?
Timeless fashion is seen as almost superior to trend-based fashion. It is no wonder why as it has that air of elegance and sophistication about it. Typically, it’s seen as more expensive as well. Could there be a link between timeless fashion and classism? Maybe, but that’s not what the article today is about. Iti could even be argued that Timeless fashion is becoming a trend in itself at the current moment, especially with people like Sofia Richie’s recent inspiration and rise to fashion icon status.
However, I digress.
A timeless wardrobe sometimes becomes synonymous with a capsule wardrobe. Like a capsule wardrobe, timeless pieces always look good, and can easily be transitioned to day or night. They serve as wardrobe staples that can be effortlessly styled in myriad ways. Timeless pieces usually have a neutral colour palette as you’re less likely to get bored of wearing a black t-shirt than a gaudy orange one. And lastly, but not least, these garments are often better quality than new, trendy garments. For example, pieces like tailored blazers, a white button up shirt, a little black dress – you get it. Timeless fashion is supposed to get you out of the ‘I have nothing to wear!’ rut. But is that really the case?
My so very (not) professional opinion is no. If I had only the same neutral pieces to wear all the time, I would literally decompose and have a Regina George type of meltdown. I think the best type of wardrobe is a wardrobe that incorporates the two aesthetics or styles. Trends are undoubtedly fun. Who doesn’t want to look like a mermaid? And timeless pieces work great as well for different types of styling and layering. Having a mix of the two will always make sure that you have an outfit for every type of occasion – from going out to the club looking like Drunk Barbie to sitting nice and proper like Sofia Richie in your tailored brown pants when meeting your boyfriend’s parents. I think that is the only real way of curing our ‘nothing to wear’ meltdowns.
Essentially, when it comes to trend based fashion or style, we need to make sure that we don’t fall into the pit of consumerism -not only for our poor bank accounts but also the environment. There’s enough clothes in landfills. Get trendy pieces by all means, but do your best to find good quality ones that can be restyled with a variety of pieces long after the trend itself is gone.
At the end of the day and despite all of my points, Trendy or Timeless, whichever it may be, remains should be influenced by your own personal style. Just because something is trending does not mean that you should buy it, and if timeless pieces are not your vibe, don’t force yourself into it. Fashion is supposed to be fun and about self expression. Dress in what you like and what make you feel and look good. If you like skinny jeans and you think it makes your ass look good, wear the damn skinny jeans.