Decade In Review: Clothes at the close 

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Photo courtesy of Unsplash

Photo courtesy of Unsplash

As the 2010s are nearing their close, it seems especially fitting to talk about one thing: Their clothes. This past decade has given us a variety of fashion trends. Some have stuck around and some have thankfully already been buried in history, but we’re going to take a look back at all of them.  

The beginning of the decade brought the part of 2010s fashion I’m most keen to forget:  The era of “nerdy chic” culture, most known for its neon colors, mustache necklaces and glittery t-shirts that covered your entire wardrobe in sparkles. These trends hit around the same time as One Direction grew popular and around the time most college-age students were in middle school, which makes this one of the cringier parts of the decade. 

The early 2010s were also characterized by hipster culture. The blocky, large (often fake) glasses, scarves and beanies were huge during this era. If you watch any movie based around 2012-2014, the main nerdy character is probably wearing a grey beanie and a grey cardigan. 

Vests became popular again around 2015, usually worn over simple long-sleeves and paired with leggings and boots, turning girls’ fall outfits into what some dubbed a Han-Solo-inspired look.  

This decade has also brought ’90s fashion back in full-swing. Crop tops have returned with a vengeance and don’t look like they’ll be leaving anytime soon. Chokers, scrunchies and denim jackets have also grown huge in the past few years. Plaid skirts and ribbed anything is back. Essentially, any outfit you remember seeing in the movie “Clueless” could easily be edited a bit to fit modern fashion trends.  

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Skinny jeans and ripped jeans redefined fashion this decade. Bootcut jeans quickly got tossed aside in favor of whatever tight pants anyone could find: Leggings, jeggings, skinny jeans, you name it. Even sweatpants found a way to be tighter with joggers rising to popularity. The ripped aspect is definitely the part that confuses older generations the most, because, yes, we will pay $40 for jeans that come pre-ripped. But I’m not complaining: Bring on the edgy fashion and the punk vibes. 

Currently, e-boy/e-girl fashion and VSCO girl fashion is big, but it represents a further resurgence of 2000s fashion, as it mirrors the emos/preps divide from the mid 2000s. The trend originates from the apps VSCO and TikTok, but it lacks the underlying messages and creative undertones of the trends it draws inspiration from. Emo culture was inspired by its music and political messages, whereas e-boy/e-girl fashion is rooted mostly in gaining internet popularity. 

In addition to ’90s fashion, the ’80s are coming back now, too. Large, circular glasses and colorful sunglasses hit it big this year. With thrifting becoming massively popular, aspects of multiple decades are finding their way back into fashion. Baggy “mom jeans,” any unique, “loud” sweaters and pretty much anything you could label as “vintage” is popular right now. In a similar vein, oversized everything is in right now. Giant sweaters especially have grown popular thanks to Ariana Grande’s influence and the VSCO girl trend, which has also repopularized things like puka shell necklaces.  

All and all, this decade has brought back a lot of trends from the ’ 80s and ’90s, and with thrifting growing even bigger, it’s hard to predict where fashion will lead us next. Will bootcut jeans make a comeback? Or low-rise jeans? Will the ’80s shoulder pads return? Where will the Kardashians lead us next? Another 10 years can only tell.  


Courtney Gavitt is the associate digital editor for The Daily Campus. She can be reached via email at courtney.gavitt@uconn.edu.

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