The Different Kinds of Trends

This concept has really made think about changes in fashion styles and trends and has made me aware of methods to understand the changes.

Let’s start with what are trends? The term ‘trend’ originated in the 1950s with the meaning ‘run or bend in a certain direction’ and to ‘roll about, turn, revolve.’ A trend can be emotional, intellectual and even spiritual. I personally see a trend as the direction something is moving in which has an impact on culture, society or the industry. I have never really known the difference between a trend, style and movement. I have found out that a style or movement is used to describe these changes or shifts, whereas style is a distinctive manner, aesthetic, method or way of expressing something ‘new’.

Trends can be seasonal, annual, last a decade, epitomise an era. Changes are getting faster and faster so it has become more important to anticipate these shifts and become one step ahead!


These have a global impact and are around for many years. The megatrends of today are said to be the ageing population, globalisation, increasing technological change, increased network speed and just the speed of everyday life, to name a few. A fashion megatrend may be denim jeans for example. Jeans marked culture of the last 140 years. They were first working clothes, then were adopted in films and became symbols of disobedience only then to become fashion items and a staple in the majority of people’s wardrobes.


These are seen as ‘the most powerful’ trends. They encompass shifts that influence a wide range of sectors, markets and demographics. They represent broad simple themes that can be summed up succinctly. This may include the attraction to the outdoors, nostalgia and authenticity. I was thinking what might have caused this trend is largely due to technology invading our lives; people may be trying to move away and have a simpler lifestyle. A macrotrend can massively affect us as consumers. The outdoors trend has an impact on our food choices such as buying more organic produce, on travel as more travel companies are offering retreats to escape from our busy lives, as well as outdoor exploring holidays. This also influences our education; people are becoming more knowledgable about sustainability and understand the importance of mental wellbeing. I believe that Wilderness festival exists as a result of this trend. Their ethos is for people to escape to the Oxfordshire countryside and have created a place where guests can keep reality at arm’s length, where experience is everything.


Mark Penn describes them as ‘small under-the-radar forces that can involve as little as one percent of the population, but which are powerfully shaping our society…the hundreds of tiny shifts in attitude and behaviour that combine to create consumer change’. These could have come from a macrotrend. An example of this may be the popularity of cycling and fixed wheel bikes which may have come from the macrotrend of people reassessing their environment and getting more involved in the outdoors.


This phrase is constantly popping up on my social media feeds! A fad quickly gains popularity and may fade just as quickly. It can be clothing, food, exercise, hairstyles and even languages. Fads are often driven by social media, which was at one time seen as a fad itself. This is why these trends cannot be ignored. Previously a fad has been the Prada fur coat, but now it may be the deconstructed striped shirt.


These are traditional and functional. They are usually developed from men’s clothing, often military and utilitarian and therefore the garments are useful and free from fads and trends. Classics may be the Breton stripe top and the white shirt. The white shirt has been adopted, change and adapted by each era.

These trends can influence so many aspects of our lives and even shape and transform our opinions towards certain topics and issues. Before being introduced to the different kinds of trends, I did not realise how much of an influence mega and macro trends can have; they have global impact. I often find that I am in my own little bubble, so I sometimes do not realise a new trend shift until it has gone global and is being adopting by brands and consumers all over the world. I think I am probably the most aware of fads, however I am for sure going to become more aware of the changes that are happening and even have a go at predicting the next ‘big thing.’


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