Katie’s Couture: Social Media’s Effect on Fashion Trends

Kathleen Troger, Staff Writer

Welcome to this year’s first edition of Katie’s Couture! This column focuses on fashion trends, as well as deep dives into fashion itself. This article will cover the effect social media has on fashion trends.

Social media has sent the progression of fashion into hyper-drive, creating new trends and discarding old ones almost daily. Anyone can make a post saying they dislike a certain trend, and thousands of people will see it and wonder if they aren’t dressing well enough. It’s a vicious cycle that encourages people to waste money on clothes they don’t truly like in order to maintain a certain image of themselves. People seek validation via social media and fear they won’t get it if they aren’t up to date on the newest trends.

Social media has created fashion ‘categories’, and pushes the narrative that anyone who doesn’t fit into aforementioned categories is ‘basic’. People strive to force themselves into one of the categories and are judged if they don’t. However, fashion is supposed to allow people to be unique and feel confident. 

The stigmatization of anyone who strays from the social norm actually has greater effects than you might think. Social media has augmented the production of fast fashion greatly. Fast fashion is inexpensive clothing produced in large quantities. Its purpose is to get the newest clothing trends out to consumers before they become passé. People want instant gratification, and fast fashion provides that to them. Fast fashion generates absurd amounts of waste, since the clothes are inevitably discarded as soon as they are no longer trending. This waste contributes to global warming. On top of that, the factories in which fast fashion items are produced have inhumane conditions. Workers are paid less than the bare minimum, and buying into fast fashion only worsens the situation.

A good way to break away from this unhealthy consumption of media is to limit your time online. Scrolling through pictures of people who are considered to be ‘more fashionable’ than you can take a toll on you. Focusing on yourself and what makes you feel happy and confident is the best way to start dressing for yourself.