Fashion Trends We’re Leaving in 2021

It’s always been difficult to keep up with trends, but in 2021, it was nearly impossible. One minute, argyle sweater vests were in, the next, they were basic. If I had to wager, platform, calf-hugging boots are next on the chopping block. While trends aren’t inherently bad, not developing personal style and overconsuming fast fashion in order to keep up is not ideal. Here are five trends and habits we are leaving behind in order to cultivate healthy relationships with our closets.

I’ll admit, when I first heard the definition of cheugy, my inner Holden Caulfield rejoiced. Finally, a disparaging word for the aesthetic of the girls that bullied me in middle school! But like all things on the internet, from so-called life hacks to yassification, cheugy usage spiraled out of control. I’m not just saying this as a bottle blonde that took offense at recent claims that blonde hair is cheugy. Did you know that dogs are cheugy? The moon? Charcuterie boards? And now, due to the nature of the word, saying things are cheugy is cheugy.

Not Finishing Skin-care Products

This is more of a personal resolution than a trend, but I am particularly prone to believing I am just one product away from perfect skin—and therefore, a perfect life. When I see a skin-care routine video, I immediately begin to justify a potential purchase: I have a salicylic acid toner but not a glycolic acid toner, after all. My bathroom is full of three-fourths empty products. So, going into 2022, I vow to finish every bit of my the Ordinary Niacinimide bottle, no matter how badly I want to try out the Glow Recipe Watermelon Glow Niacinamide Dew Drops.

The Millennial vs Gen Z Feud

With the ever-increasing cadence of trend cycles, the side part/skinny jeans generational feud has already been rendered outdated. According to forecasters like Mandy Lee, we are at the dawn of the re-emergence of ‘indie sleaze’—think the Cobra snake-style flash photography, early American Apparel, Tumblr, and dancing yourself clean to LCD sound systems. In other words, the golden age skin-tight denim. I am not necessarily advocating for the return of the skinny jean (I, for one, do not miss the seam impressions on my legs), but I do think this makes a strong case for the abolition of generational fashion feuds. Eventually, Gen Z is going to do a new and improved version of every style era—innovators and their source material should simply coexist.

One of the more horrifying trends on TikTok is the 50-piece haul video. Now, I love seeing what people purchase and how they would style certain pieces, and I do believe that the blame for fast fashion overproduction rests primarily on the shoulders of the producer, not the consumer. However, not to be dramatic, but seeing the search results for ‘Shein Haul’ on social media gives me the same sense of panic as looking at pictures of the Great Pacific Garbage Patch or the disappearing Aral Sea—nearly gone because of conventional cotton production.

How many of us were personally victimized by a certain avant-basic green dress? I went to brunch in Williamsburg in June and saw three different girls wearing it and thanked my lucky stars I wasn’t the fourth that day. The key (at least what I’m telling myself) to avoid making such a purchase in the future is to pinpoint what exactly you like about an overexposed influencer item, then find those aspects in another garment. There are plenty of green, mid-length dresses with a fun print that would make you look breezy as an afternoon in Tuscany—and they aren’t on thousands of Instagram grids.