Fashion + Mental Health 2020

Under pressure: Keeping up with fashion trends

E-Girls with chains, plaid skirts and oversized band t-shirts. Instagram baddies flexing in bodysuits and high waist skinny jeans. And VSCO girl scrunchies, Kånken backpacks and overpriced water bottles – are we feeling under pressure to keep up with fashion trends?

Fashion as a sport

Each of these fashion trends have come and gone within the last couple of months, with popular app TikTok facilitating many of them. No matter what your feed looks like, who you follow or interact with you’re sure to have come across one or two of these fashion trends in your daily social media habits. Whether you have friends who have suddenly started listening to the music of Nirvana or Iron Maiden and wearing their merchandise. Or people have suddenly started editing their pictures on the VSCO app – these fashion trends have had a massive impact on fashion and the industry itself. Keeping up with them all almost feels like a sport, and sometimes not everybody can or wants to play.

‘That’s so last season’

So, what if you don’t keep up, what happens then? What if you don’t have enough money to buy a £30 flask? Or if you don’t listen to the bands that are featured on trendy t-shirts from Urban Outfitters? What if you don’t necessarily care about fashion or whatever is trending – what happens then?

This is when fashion can turn nasty, it can become something which begins to impact your mental health and overall wellbeing. It starts to feel like you’re on the outside looking in. Feeling left out in fashion is a serious problem that effects more people than we think, especially those from a working class background. Not everyone can afford to keep buying a new wardrobe every time a new fashion trend comes along. It can cause you to decline outings because you feel like you won’t fit in. It can make you want to hide yourself more, wearing oversized hoodies and jackets, scared that your plain white t-shirt doesn’t fit the bill.

This feeling allows your head to be filled with thoughts and fears about what the people around you, strangers on the street, will think and say about you. 

Express yourself

Fashion is supposed to be a way to express yourself. Wearing what you want and what you like can make you feel good, it can make you feel like yourself. Fashion shouldn’t make you feel anxious or feel the need to conform to a certain group and those expectations. It is all about individuality and there is no better way of showing that off than the way you dress.

Style is whatever you make of it, not something a group of people or a fashion house can dictate. The trend may exist but that is all it has to do and you can choose whether to take part or ignore it completely. There may even be some parts of these trends that are enjoyable – like the e-girl blush over the nose, the cute VSCO girl scrunchies or the resurgence of ’90s style hair clips used in high fashion. This brings me to the main point – fashion is ever evolving.

Fashion is forever

Trends are just that. A trend. A fad. Do you still see e-girls walking around or have we moved on? Fashion is always changing and is never something new. Styles come around, go and then are back again – it happens all the time. Remember flares? Now they’re back with full vengeance. You say goodbye to tie-dye only to see it come back a couple of years down the line. Fashion isn’t forever. Truth be told, nothing is really ‘in style’ because style is never constant so wear whatever you want because you’ll always be stylish.

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