Every era has largely been shaped by specific trends. Timeless best-sellers definitely exist, like turtlenecks and white crew neck tees, but each decade has had its own staples.
When you examine a period of history within the last several hundred years, each generation — their values, interests, and more — can be represented by particular styles. There was the floral print of the flower children of the 70s, the grunge style of the 90s representing anti-conformity, and the rest is history.
These habits and styles of dress seem overarching and definitive.
The same can’t quite be said for modern clothing. Contemporary fashion is widespread, with people consuming more apparel than ever before. As a result of (and fueling) this, countless different trends in modern apparel exist. Plus, without the benefit of hindsight, it can be challenging to pin contemporary aesthetics down.
Here, Paskho will explain the fundamentals behind modern clothing and how to identify it.
Modern and Contemporary Clothing
Modern clothing is, above all else, an expression of personal style that is largely tailored to the individual. Even though most historic clothes have reproductions done for theatre productions, only those widely worn as plainclothes qualify as modern.
Many subcultures have associated clothing — think goth, Western, prep, punk, and more. In addition, different situations and events can bring about wildly different aesthetics.
Bodycon dresses, maxi dresses, and halter tops had their origins at different times, but they all coexist in our closets. Currently, comfort is also key, with wide-leg pants, pleated garments, shirt dresses, and puff sleeves offering improved freedom of movement.
Leisure and Sportswear
Leisure and sportswear apparel make up the largest portion of the modern apparel market. It should come as no surprise that the highest-valued apparel company is sportswear.
Modern apparel isn’t all about the newest contemporary styles, however:
Almost as a pushback against the prevalence of casual apparel is the emergence of modern classic clothing. In fabric and style, this apparel reflects the Golden Age of Hollywood and even further back in time to the Jazz Age. Ruched chiffon, ruffled gowns, and elaborate splashes of sequins call those eras home.
A timeless piece of apparel included here is the little black dress. It was introduced by Coco Chanel in 1920. It was made all the more prominent by Givenchy and Audrey Hepburn decades later. In strapless, sleeveless, halter, and other versions, it is a definitive clothing history item in general.
Streetwear is also a new aspect of modern clothing in particular. It tends to be maximalist and hype-oriented. This style is less about casual staples like cardigans and midi dresses and more about loungewear and activewear.
With streetwear, the brand name attached to streetwear often matters as much, if not more, than the apparel itself. If a major streetwear company puts out a simple tote handbag, it could sell for hundreds of dollars based on the name alone. Some people even go into debt trying to cop the next release from a streetwear brand they follow.
In terms of fashion, the largest trends are in terms of the culture surrounding it rather than specific style trends. Next up, we are going to highlight both of these in full.
Biggest Fashion Trends in Culture
The accessibility of fashion has been one of the most significant changes in recent decades until the world wide web came into the picture. The checkout button online has made it so that brands no longer need widespread brick-and-mortar locations.
Online Shopping Takes the Lead
Though online shopping represents a minority of overall clothing sales, it constitutes a massive quantity of online retail sales. Presently, it makes up roughly 23% of all online transactions.
Couture fashion is no longer the purview of Milan, Paris, New York, and other major cities. If a major brand doesn’t have a nearby store, its wares can be seen online. Easy organization of categories like best sellers, new arrivals, and FAQs, for example, makes shopping online simple. Unfortunately, the availability of clothing has fueled one of the negative aspects of modern fashion.
Recent years have led to an attitude of more when it comes to new purchases; instead of one tank top, customers are encouraged to buy five. Statistics show that one person owns around three different t-shirts and more than 30 different outfits — from sweaters to jumpsuits to everything else. Shoppers are encouraged to have one swimsuit in every color or different blazers for every dress code imaginable.
Consumerism and Fast Fashion
People are purchasing more clothing than ever before in history. Not coincidentally, more clothing is ending up in landfills or filling oceans with microplastics than ever before.
Many of these garments are fast-fashion pieces, with a focus on production quotas rather than quality and longevity. This issue affects men’s and women’s clothing at affordable and mid-range marks.
Another change is the constant deluge of items.
The Influence of “The Drop”
Historically, fashion seasons would occur by mixing spring and summer, and fall and winter collections. Streetwear fashion has introduced the notion of the “drop,” with periodic releases of new clothing outside traditional seasons. This has placed greater pressure on creators to put out more collections.
Not all trends in modern fashion are for the worst. Many are excellent, and they target deep-rooted issues within the industry.
Positive Changes in Fashion Ethics
The most recognizable change in fashion ethics is the widespread acceptance of varied creators and consumers. This applies to sizes, with more plus-size fashion lines and models receiving attention. Such movements have led brands to consider all people when creating clothes, not just the slenderest.
Emphasis on Ethical Fashion
There is a greater acceptance of historically marginalized designs and clothing designs. Queer and trans-friendly brands are now easy to find, and designs are created by and marketed to people of color. This is a stark change from the privileged appearance and identities of mainstream designers from the 19th and 20th centuries.
Ann Lowe was famed as the designer of Jacqueline Kennedy’s initial wedding dress, but she never achieved great financial success. It is little coincidence that she was one of the first well-known African-American fashion designers.
Today, initiatives to ensure that designers and workers alike make equitable wages for work are commonplace. Consumers are more aware of the ethics behind the businesses they support.
Sustainability, Transparency, and Accountability
There is a greater awareness of the fundamental cost of fashion. All the clothing that is manufactured takes a toll on the land through harvesting and emissions. It takes a toll on workers, who in many countries are exposed to inhumane working conditions. Internationally, the uproar has led to partial upheaval in the industry, which continues to this day.
Complacency and lack of transparency have given the fashion industry's inner workings a dirty name. However, many contemporary businesses are attempting to change this for the better. This leads to the essential goals behind sustainable fashion.
In order to discuss ethical, sustainable fashion, we would like to discuss our own contribution. Next, we will detail what Paskho sees as the future of modern apparel.
Paskho’s Vision of Modern Apparel
Sustainability and ethicality in the fashion industry affect every aspect, from supply chain to consumer delivery.
Sustainable practices begin with the manufacturing of textiles. Natural fibers like cotton and wool call into question farming practices and the harvesting of goods. For synthetic fibers, this relates to the chemical processing done to extrude and manufacture them. Neither process is inherently beneficial, and it is possible to perform both in unsustainable ways.
Ethical practices in natural fibers must be done with sustainable farming practices and cruelty-free animal fiber harvesting. Ethically-harvested cotton, sometimes called organic cotton, is grown without the use of pesticides and uses practices to reduce soil degradation. Wool and animal products must be harvested with cruelty-free methods that allow the animal to live and flourish happily.
Synthetic fibers are often made with elaborate chemics to achieve saturated hues along the color block or other details. Sustainable synthetic production removes many of these chemicals to reduce emissions as much as possible.
Sustainable, Long-Lasting, Minimalist
Also important in the ethicality of fashion design is longevity. Fast fashion highlights mass-produced short sleeves and hoodies designed to last a season. Sustainable fashion takes these elements and enhances them to last longer. At the heart of its goal, the purpose is to reduce the clothing we need.
This can be done by turning towards a minimalist style of fashion. Bold designs can be difficult to pair, resulting in rarely used clothing. Paskho’s designs are instead designed to be easily worn in a variety of contexts. We lean towards travel apparel, imbuing the style of semi-formal wear with the versatility of casual clothing.
Sustainable fashion practices can reduce the global impact the fashion industry has. It can result in better-designed clothing for everyone.
The Future of Fashion
Anticipating the next stylistic trend in fashion can be challenging. Some come and go, while others, like minimalist accents and retro fashions, stay for extended periods of time. However, one thing that’s certain is that people are waking up to how their wardrobes affect the world.
In the future, people are going to be expecting more from their brands, in terms of ethics and transparency. What’s more important is that infrastructures will pop up to better support this. In the end, these sorts of sustainable practices are the only way to combat the negative sides of the fashion industry.
However, the only way to ensure these practices become the norm is for everything to speak their ethics with action. Buying from ethical brands sends a message that what goes into a design matters as much as what comes out.
For Paskho, modern style clothing means clothing that is as versatile as you are. In a day, we transition from sedentary activity to work to relaxed but active recreation. This lifestyle demands apparel that can keep up with such a multifaceted daily life.
This is why we have Paskho travel apparel. Performance fabrics and effortless style come together to prove how amazing modern style clothing is.
Statistics & Facts on the U.S. Apparel Industry | Statista
U.S.: E-retail Apparel & Accessories Sales Share | Statista
History Of The Little Black Dress From Coco Chanel To Audrey Hepburn | Marie Claire
T-Shirts - United States | Statista Market Forecast
The Real Cost of Your Shopping Habits | Forbes