Fashion trends have evolved with the creation of social media influencers, online shopping, the rise of fast fashion, and the role of social media apps. In 2023, some old trends made a comeback, such as pearl jewelry and baggy-style pants! Social media helped fashion brands find new ways to market their products. Instead of relying on traditional advertising strategies like print media and magazines, brands now use social media influencers to promote their products to a wider audience faster.

Influencers are people with large followings online who use their platform to promote products and brands. People’s attention and interests are caught when they constantly see popular creators show off the same products and brands, which leads to them purchasing those products. Influencers play a large role in trending fashion because they persuade consumer behavior and spark trends that people want to copy.

“Social media is running fashion trends. If it is not posted on social media, it won’t become trendy. Influencers play a big role in promoting fashion trends and designs,” Rita Campos Griggs, Palomar’s Fashion Department Chair wrote.
Online shopping is a new tool that has impacted the world quickly, especially in the fashion industry. It is easier to purchase and find clothing than before the Internet because consumers are able to find what they are looking for in just a few clicks. They now have the new advantage of having access to a wider variety of fashion options at a cheaper cost.

“People who look up to celebrities for style inspiration want to dress similar to them,” Palomar fashion student Jonas Neal said. “Then take into account the mass amount of companies all doing the same thing, and it almost forced that style into becoming the latest trend.”

Neal also believes such trends have positive and negative influences on fashion. “I think it has really created a sort of fad and micro trend culture where something can be in and trending and be out of style even quicker,” he said. This has resulted in a lot of new fast fashion brands surfacing. However, Neal believes that on the plus side, more people are becoming aware of this issue and spreading awareness of the situation by informing others of the harmful effects of fast fashion.

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Fast fashion is cheaper quality clothing that is designed to be quickly made and sold at low costs. Recently, it has been a huge part of today’s fashion industry because of the brands’ ability to quickly produce trendy clothing that is affordable for buyers. However, the downside to fast fashion is because it’s made so quickly with cheaper materials, it does not last long. Fast fashion has also been under fire recently because of its negative impact on the environment and the exploitation of workers.

Since the craze of fast fashion has hit the industry, there have been millions of discarded clothing reported. Shein, one of the most popular fast fashion companies, has been a constant brand found in waste.

Shein has been constantly in the media for scandals. Channel 4, a U.K. public broadcasting company, reported that Shien violated China’s Labor Laws with illegal working conditions. Workers in the factory were treated poorly by working long hours without breaks and were being underpaid.

“To be quite honest, I think social media has created a slightly negative impact on fashion, as it heavily promotes fast fashion,” Palomar fashion student Perla Nuñez said.

Platforms like Tiktok, Twitter, and Instagram have become major roles of fashion trends today. They have democratized fashion by including people of different backgrounds to participate in fashion culture and express their individuality through different styles. This has led to a larger variety in fashion choices and boundaries, with people mixing and matching styles from different cultures, time periods, and price points.

Instagram is the most influential social media platform for fashion, with 72% of users saying they have made fashion-related purchases after seeing something promoted on the platform, Retail Dive reported.

“Social Media opens the doors to a variety of contacts not before used that the designers could potentially work with to showcase their designs,” Griggs wrote. She mentioned that social media has a huge role in promoting Palomar’s MODA fashion show.

Hashtags and search engines allow people to find products and brands of their personal style faster. This is called algorithms, where social media apps can recommend content based on users’ interests, likes and behavior. This has led to the rise of subcultures in fashion that would have been difficult to find or promote before social media’s existence.

Animoto’s survey found that social media has a great impact on buyer behavior, with 75% of buyers saying they use social media to influence and make decisions on consuming merchandise.

“Social media is a great way to get exposure. It’s also a great place to gain inspiration,” Nuñez said, who enjoys taking the opportunity to share her fashion projects on social media.

On Tiktok, if someone makes a video about their favorite makeup or clothing brand, it could easily go viral and be shared with millions. “Going viral” means when a video or post gets thousands or millions of views within a short time period. When certain products go viral, it makes them more desirable to people. This leads to people buying products shown, and once it’s gained a lot of attention, everyone else wants to have it too. Some may feel the need to have a viral product to fit in, or some may just be curious about all the buzz and want to see for themselves.

Pinterest is another social media platform that has a part in current fashion trends. The app is commonly used by people to find inspiration for their clothing styles, makeup products, and even home decor ideas. A Google survey mentioned that 60% of buyers said they use social media to find inspiration for their fashion purchases.

The fashion trends changed in a few drastic ways in just a few short years. In the 2010s, skinny jeans were widely popular with the public. However, now in the 2020’s oversized clothing is a fashion trend among teens and young adults—big and baggy pants and jeans are in style. Cargo pants are an example of a widely popular fashion item at the moment. While crop tops and tight-fitted shirts are still in style, many have turned to style their oversized bottoms with oversized and large shirts, graphic tees, blazers, sweaters, hoodies, coats and jackets.

There is a variety of trending fabrics used in today’s clothing, such as lace cut, cotton, silk, satin, sheer and fishnet. While denim has been trendy for many generations, jean on jean has also been seen making another comeback after being a trend in the ’80s and ’90s. Floral and intricate patterns are popular fashion trends as well.

Outfits are often accessorized with popular pearl jewelry. While past fashion trends may have included chunkier jewelry, people now prefer thinner and daintier pieces. Other trendy fashion include mini and bodycon dresses, maxi and mini skirts, and two-piece outfits.

Although heels are still in style, they have been mostly replaced with sneakers and platforms. Air Jordan and Nike’s shoes are a huge craze among the younger generations as some of the prices can reach hundreds of dollars. Doc Martin boots, which were popular in the 1990s, have continued to stay a popular accessory in outfits today.

Nuñez shared that her favorite trends are the ’60s and ’70s styles. “I’ve been an advocate for buying second hand, so 60s/70s vintage trends appeal to me,” she said. One fashion item she must have everyday is her tote bag.

Neal shared that his favorite fashion trend piece is baggy pants. “I try not to focus too hard on what’s trending at the moment, but that’s the one that has an impact on my style right now,” he said. “One fashion Item I must have in my everyday outfit is something I’ve designed.”

Griggs shared that her favorite fashion trend is the oversized blazer jacket, which she described as giving outfits a very classic look. She also announced the upcoming MODA Fashion Show, which will be held at the Student Union on Friday, May 19, 2023, at 7 p.m. The show’s theme is “Lights, Camera, Fashion.” Nine of Palomar’s fashion students will showcase their designs from their latest collections.

For more updates on Palomar’s fashion department, follow them on Instagram @palomarfashionprograms.