Fashion is the self-expression of clothing during a particular time and place in history. Much like all history, there are theories or ideas intended to explain fashion. These theories often explain how different fashion styles came to be. Today’s topic is all about fashion fads. Where did they come from, what are they, who wears them, and where do they go when they ultimately leave the mainstream attention? Let’s find out together.
Fads are fashion trends that are widely popular solely based on the enthusiasm around the type of clothing. It seems that practicality, quality, and other factors are rarely considered when a fad arises. Fads reach their peak and then die pretty quickly after.
Fashion and fad are terms that are connected. Although they are often used interchangeably, they are different. Fashion is always changing and adapting to society, events, and industries. Fashion is always present and up to date. A fad is a type of fashion, but it is short-lived. Fads don’t change or evolve; They rise, fall, then disappear. When one fad fades, another shortly emerges, and so the cycle continues.
I find fads particularly interesting because not everyone is interested in fashion, but fads often reach the general masses. A fashion fad becomes wildly popular, reaching people who want to be a part of something that is followed collectively.
Both fashion and fads have an impact on society. Hippies started as a fad to rebel against the norms of society and then became an influence in fashion, music, and political policy that shaped society, before fading away as fads must do. While a fad is a short-lived fashion trend, it’s uniqueness lies in its ability to still make an impact on society, despite being relevant for such a short time before the next fad surfaces.
Some trends become staples that live in our wardrobes indefinitely, and others are only there for a split moment. Why is that? It is rumored that trends started in the 14th century when high society would display their wealth by changing their wardrobe every few months. Those that could afford the next designs proved that they had a wealth of money, while the other classes followed suit trying to prove that they could also follow the latest trends. We follow the same principles today. We look up to others, like fashion influencers on Instagram or celebrities, trying to mimic their looks, often for less. That seems to be a cycle that we never quite got out of.
Fads are often hard to identify until some time has passed, and the trend has already fizzled. They take us by surprise and then disappear. Taking a deeper dive into fashion and fads and how they are connected helps to understand the role that fashion fads play in society. What started as a way to flaunt wealth and status has evolved, while also still standing true today.