2010s: A Trend Odyssey
Freya Insoll examines the high’s and low’s of fashion as we approach the end of the decade
The 2010’s have provided us with a wealth of fashion fails and successes; they gave us the man bun, the wedged trainer and the flower crown, while also spawning phenomena such as that Zara dress and those teeny-weeny matrix-esque sunglasses. It’s been a tale of highs and lows and one so influential that I now cannot look at a pair of UGGs and not shudder at the soggy footed memories of 2011. While it’s fair to assume that 70% of the 2010’s wardrobe may be slightly cringe inducing, who’s to say Depop won’t one day be awash with (outrageously overpriced) ‘trendy’ Y2K10?
In the last couple of years style has become much more of a fine-tuned art; thanks to the advent of social media, a world of up-to-date fashion knowhow is now available at the swipe of an Insta
The early 2010’s was a period of beautiful naivety – a time of neon, unforgivably severe dip-dyed hair and wholly unflattering peplums. Many of us were fresh out of primary school and hooked on the teenage delights of New Look and River Island; Cheryl Cole had just released ‘Fight for this Love’ and every self-respecting pre-teen was lusting after her pillar-box red military outfit. Similarly, N-Dubz were at the pinnacle of their fame (Dappy who?) and everyone just wanted to get a pair of those cut-out slat sunglasses – the brighter the colour, the more desirable they were. It was admittedly a dark phase in every British teenagers’ style development, so let’s give thanks that it was solely documented on a (now defunct) Blackberry and never saw the light of social media – if there is no trace, did it ever really occur?
The mid 2010’s were when the true voyage of self-discovery began; teenagers up and down the country were making the hard choice of whether to become faux emo chicks (think velvet creepers, sweepy fringe, eyeliner messages on your hand in your Facebook profile pic), or whether to embrace the boho bonanza aka Coachella on steroids. Flower crowns were a thing, chokers were catching on and who can forget the weird little fake plait headbands? Possibly the most momentous of mid 2010’s influence was the birth of the Hipster, that fabled craft beer drinking, beard growing, man-bun sporting millennial – unusually they’re still around, a beautiful relic of times long gone.
In the last couple of years style has become much more of a fine-tuned art; thanks to the advent of social media, a world of up-to-date fashion knowhow is now available at the swipe of an Insta. The ever-pervading power of influencers has created a culture of fast-fashion and mass-produced trends. You’d be hard pressed to find the same strain of fashion-inept 15-year olds in today’s fashion climate, with a whole generation growing up without the trials and tribulations of an MCR scene kid phase. While they haven’t been quite so cringe inducing, there have been a number of pervasive trends in the late 2010’s.
Flares have made the ultimate comeback – there’s not a uni campus in the country free of a 70’s style flare, a versatile staple available in a universe of patterns and colours. A bit of a style dreamboat really. A less popular but equally widespread trend is the cycling short. Described by my friend Rosie as ‘not even a crime against fashion but a crime against all humanity’, the cycling short seems to have been fairly divisive in fashion circles – either hailed as a night out staple or a piece not to be seen outside the velodrome. It would be impossible to not mention the chunky trainer; a leg lengthening, flattering and versatile pair of shoes, one that can be worn in any situation. Practical for traversing the hills of Exe, but also acceptable on a night out – a true wardrobe staple.
Thus it was a brief dip into the pond that was 2010’s fashion; there were many trends that didn’t make the cut (chinos, loafers, cork heeled wedges) but hopefully this brief selection was suitably nostalgia inspiring. Mercifully, many of the aforementioned trends should never rear their ugly heads again – but if you feel inspired to re-adopt a trend of the decade, who am I to stop you? Just please don’t bring back the neon.