By Mireya Ruiz | Multimedia Journalist
While trends cycle in and out of the mainstream fashion realm, they have influenced the style of students. Some believe the influence is detrimental to their individuality, while others believe they have a positive impact.
This past decade faced a mass fluctuation in mainstream fashion from popular trends derived from social media. Students dressed in a mix of styles ranging from preppy, hipster, scene, hip-hop, sporty and retro — throughout the last 10 years.
As a Baylor alumna turned lecturer in apparel studies, Andie J. Day witnessed the shift in different trends sported by Baylor students over the last decade.
“I would say there’s a vintage revival,” Day said. “I was a kid in the ’90s, and stuff teenagers wore when I was a kid is what students are wearing now.”
Day said the pieces of clothing like tube tops and high-waisted jeans made a comeback this decade.
“When I was in college, low-rise jeans were popular, and now high-rise jeans have finally become popular,” Day stated.
During her college experience, Day said mainstream fashion shifted from preppy and fitted clothing, such as button-up polos and khakis, to oversized and relaxed clothing.
“I feel like clothes have gotten more and more oversized over time,” Day said.
Waco senior Jacob Sloan said he also believes students have shifted toward a retro style of clothing. After discovering a demand for thrifted clothes among students on campus, Sloan began a small business through Instagram called Bop Town.
Last summer, Sloan collected random and unique pieces of clothing during his free time at local thrift stores in the Waco area. Being an entrepreneurship and estate sales major, he saw the opportunity to resell the clothes, which led to the creation of his business.
On a college budget, Sloan said there is a major bonus to this retro and thrifted style of clothing becoming trendy.
“There’s nothing in my closet that I pay more than 20 bucks for,” Sloan said.
Burlington, N.C., freshman Courtney Britt said she also believes retro style clothing has gained major popularity within this decade. Britt majors in apparel design and product development.
“I think retro trends are coming back just because I think the fashion cycle works in a big circle, and this trend is wrapping back through,” Britt said.
Sloan said fashion allows individuals to express themselves, and he is drawn to dress as carelessly as possible because he wants to separate himself from dressing like the majority of people do.
“Naturally we have the tendency to be drawn to people that are interested in the same things,” Sloan said. “But when we start to become more like each other, I think that’s dangerous.”
Instagram was created in 2010. Day said she remembers when she was in college that Instagram did not have the influence it now has on fashion.
“It obviously has grown significantly, but [Instagram] was brand new when I was in school, so it wasn’t yet used as a way for people to talk about fashion,” Day said.
Today, Day said she notices the influence of social media on her students’ sense of fashion, especially on students such as Sloan, who believe students are becoming too alike because of rapidly spreading trends on the internet.
As college students shift to a more independent lifestyle, they are also trying to figure out who they are. Day said she believes this makes them more susceptible to trying new styles and being more vulnerable to the influences around them, as well as on their screens.
Day said she looks back and questions her style from when she was a student. Now w Day is the owner of a woman’s apparel brand, Mary Claret.
“I remember wearing clothing that I look back and go like, ‘Why was wearing that? That’s not who I am,’” Day said.
Britt, however, said the trends that spread across social media have a positive impact on society. As the current trends continue to rise, Britt said it cultivates an “enlivening and cheery” energy.
“Clothing has so much power, and utilizing it in a positive way can impact the world,” Britt said. “I think that these bright colors [from the VSCO girl trend] are actually putting a positive spin onto people’s personalities — like the bright hydro flasks, stickers and big scrunchies.”
As this decade comes to an end, students can reflect on past trends and anticipate what will become fashionable in the future as the new decade approaches right around the corner.