June 20, 2024


Business Woman

Fashion forward…or backward?

As spring wades into summer, the retail industry again buzzes with new collections and styles. Trendy stores like Abercrombie and Pacsun display their latest arrivals, hoping to catch the eye of Gen Z and young Millennial shoppers revamping their closets for the warmer months. Despite the crickets in my bank account, it’s still fun to window shop and internet browse. 

Last Thursday afternoon, I decided to camp out at the dining room table with my laptop and an abundance of free time that traditionally comes with the return of hometown boredom. As I surfed through Urban Outfitters’s trendiest summer pieces, my mother, in true mom fashion, drifted over my shoulder for a “subtle” glance at my computer screen. At the time, my cursor hovered over a low-waisted, army-green pair of camouflage cargo pants. The pants were a unique item, and though I haven’t shown interest in such a style before, I felt drawn to the piece. Intrigued, I turned around and asked my mom what she thought. Without saying a word, my mom reached for her phone and pulled up a photo of me from 2005, wearing almost identical pants. We laughed about how my 3-year-old self rocked a clothing item now meant for teenagers in 2022. The pants are just one example of how fashion from the early 2000s is experiencing a spirited revival among young adults today. 

From low-waisted jeans to cargo pants to babydoll tees, decades-old styles are sprinkled throughout this year’s summer collections. I wouldn’t be surprised if a piece at Hollister appeared in an old Disney Channel rerun of “Hannah Montana.” Carolyn Mair, London College of Fashion professor and cognitive psychologist, offers an explanation as to why the resurgence of these styles is taking over the young adult clothing market in her book, “The Psychology of Fashion.”