TikTok is known for a lot of things: viral dancing, comedy, and activism. But the social media app has also made a name for itself as a fashion incubator, where trendsetters are born and trends are revived, like 1960s fashion and the now popular but controversial hipster jeans. .
Agus Panzoni, a fashion trends researcher who runs @thealgorythm, a TikTok fashion trend, says the platform has influenced both mainstream fashion and helped bring back the popularity of subcultures – and the big brands are taking note.
“The TikTok algorithm is particularly good at introducing us to new things, analyzing what we resonate with and giving us more of it,” said Panzoni. “By segmenting us based on what we like, the TikTok algorithm has brought subcultures to life.”
The comeback of the year 2000 and low rise jeans
The latest trend on “For You” pages and the streets? Fashion trends of the early 2000s. Gen Z bloggers are now obsessed with everything the decade has to offer, like hipster jeans, baby pastel cropped t-shirts, bustier tops and small baguette bags.
Menswear also saw a 2000s influence, with Y2K’s square suit jacket look being combined with modern silhouettes and old-fashioned flat-brimmed snapbacks.
TikTok users, like teens before them, helped popularize the Y2K aesthetic, but its rapidly shortening trend cycle means expected styles appear in the mix much earlier and with different trends. . Panzoni also says that young fashion enthusiasts are much more likely to wear different fashion subcultures at the same time.
Cottagecore: a fashion inspiration and a state of being
Along with the resurgence of old fashion trends, TikTok is tasked with amplifying the appeal of new trends like cottagecore, an aesthetic that emphasizes the simplicity and beauty of nature.
Cottagecore is particularly easy to spot: long, flowing dresses with floral prints. A more androgynous version imagines soft knit sweaters and cable sweaters tucked freely in soft pants. Most clothes have little to no structure and perform best in the wind in a large open field, which is probably where the teens in the cottagecore wish they could be.
The move was first made popular by gay teens on TikTok, who romanticized a simple life focused on life on earth, especially during the COVID-19 pandemic.
For those in lockdown or quarantine, cottagecore styles have taken off for their calming, romanticized aesthetic vision that life in nature is better. Even as the states begin to reopen, the cottagecore vibe has been used as a way to celebrate being in nature and enjoying life outside.
The 60s: Flowers everywhere
TikTok users are also bringing back the fashion trends of the 60s, tagging videos with sparkling songs. Women’s trends include outfits with big white galore books, oversized pastel eyeliner, chunky headbands, wide collars, and shirts and dresses with acidic floral patterns.
For menswear, the trend is even more psychedelic, relying on unbuttoned shirts, loose pants and an excess of on-trend jewelry. Many are inspired by pop star Harry Styles, who frequently wears 60s-inspired clothing.
“Many influences have accelerated the cycle of trends, the Internet, globalization, social media, fashion media, fast fashion companies, the introduction of ‘drop’ as a business model,” said Panzoni. “Unlike the subcultures of decades past, today’s youth don’t feel as attached to the aesthetics of a subculture. It is not uncommon to see Generation Z dress one day in cottagecore, a new age bimbo the next and mix or match.
Sustainable development: activism in the selection of your clothes
Some creators of TikTok encourage followers to tackle the negative impacts of the fashion cycle on the environment. Lily Fang, who runs the @imperfectidealist TikTok account, shines a light on sustainable fashion brands and teaches her followers realistic advice on how to make clothing shopping more sustainable.
Some common ways to be a more sustainable consumer: Buy from brands with environmental commitments or recycled textiles, repair your clothes instead of buying replacement clothes, and buy from thrift and consignment stores, Fang said. .
She said there is a perception that sustainable fashion means spending more money on brands with ethical business practices, but that’s not always the case. “There is this idea that you have to buy from these expensive brands to participate in sustainable fashion, when in fact a lot of low income people in BIPOC have been involved in sustainable fashion all this time – often out of necessity. “she said.
“Maybe they can’t afford the sustainable brands, but they buy less, they mend their clothes, they give and receive gifts.”
Emo, goth mall or pop-punk: what will be the next revival?
Panzoni predicts that 2022 and beyond will see blurred lines in fashion and revivals for the pop-punk, mall goth and emo aesthetic, as seen and popularized by celebrities like Willow Smith and Machine Gun Kelly.
Many garments take the loose silhouettes and dark colors of the emo aesthetic and elevate them to high fashion, pairing dark makeup looks with bright, tailored monochrome looks.
She hopes fashion enthusiasts can have meaningful conversations about how to both be trendy and get away from excessive waste.
“My goal is to highlight small businesses and second-hand businesses and eventually change the narrative of trends to something more sustainable,” said Panzoni. “If we focus on the ‘why’ instead of the ‘what’, we can change the way we view trends and have more lasting relationships with them. “