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18th October 2022

Personal style vs. following trends – what’s more important?

In an age of such swift social and technological advancements, the fashion options young people are bombarded with are more than plentiful. And thus a battle between what suits their personal style and what is on trend ensues.
Personal style vs. following trends – what’s more important?
Photo: Cleo Vermij @ Unsplash

Students are exceptional for bending the rules: crossing the road at a red light, turning up late to a lecture. The rules for fashion are no exception. Double denim? Go for it. Baggy on baggy? So be it. Yet, even young people are not completely exempt from the rules that make some clothes fashionable, and others completely unstylish.

In much of the 80’s, and well into the 90’s, one of the most fashionably recognised people in the world was Princess Diana. Everybody wanted their own revenge dress and a chunky pearl necklace, and we still see remnants of these past influences today. Similarly, today we see big names of pop culture like Harry Styles and Bella Hadid strutting bell bottoms and Vivienne Westwood couture, identifying these styles as not only  fashionable but as ‘theirs’ in the public eye. Indeed, following these trendsetters and appearing fashionable yourself seems very appealing. But must following trends really be deemed as a loss of personal style?

There is a large misconception that your personal style can’t reflect current trends, because then it isn’t ‘your style’ – just a cut-out copy of somebody else’s image. Although this may sound very outdated, the idea that someone can ‘own’ a style is not as farfetched as it sounds. Take for instance Rihanna and her Fenty brand, there’s no Fenty without Rhianna and vice-versa, she simply is just Fenty. But what this shows us is that ‘style’ has little to do with what clothes you wear. You can put your own spin on a trend through how you put together an outfit, how you wear an outfit and when and where you choose to express it.

According to Naomi Pike in her 2019 Vogue article How To Find Your Personal Style, personal style is ‘the very core of your identity.’ Whatever the hell that means. But the truth is that there are so many aspects that account for your identity. Granted, your identity here in Manchester might be slightly different to your identity back home. That’s natural when you move to a new place. But in a bustling city like Manchester, there is something for everyone. If you want to wear low-rise jeans and carry a tiny purse just for your vape, then do it. If you want to wear converse and baggy trousers and pretend you’re a skater, then do it.

If there is one thing to remember from all of this, it’s that the beauty of fashion is its freedom. Whether it is trendy or not makes little to no difference. Trend, stripped down to its core, is ultimately a marketing pitch, some buy into it and others don’t.

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