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5 modern trends with a classic past

Repeatedly the fashion industry will tell the story of how trends come in and out of fashion.

The perpetual crashing waves of trends that hit consumers and sky-rocket the value of different products. So often, when a trend crashes upon us all again we forget the past. We forget where the look originated from and just how long it has been around. However, as someone who adores history in all forms, obsessing over the past of these summer trends came easily to me. 


September fashion week’s trends for spring proclaimed many maximalist looks to be particularly chic, but the most relaxed looks that were coming to us were the ones steeped in the ultimate amount history.

image cred: GETTY IMAGES

From trench coats to plaids the runways weren’t just filled with our new favorite looks but also our history from long ago. 

Here’s a rundown of a few of the most modern trends with an iconic classic past.

#1 Trench coats

There is little room to doubt that trench coats have a classic past, from the name itself to the iconic use of them by Hollywood starlet, the ease and sophistication of the coat can never be disputed.

The upcoming spring trend of deconstructed trench coats has hit a particular high with Thebe Magugu and Balenciaga taking the lead and creating a new chapter to the history of the trench coat. 

Image cred: VOGUE

With ties often traced back to classic English brands of Burberry and Aquascutum in the early 1900s (just before the first world war that truly allowed trench coats to break into their own) the coat is often seen as a tangible piece of the past.

The story, however, is much more fascinating with a Scottish inventor and British inventor (Charles Macintosh and Thomas Hancock) inventing the original waterproof material of the coat in the 1820s.

image cred: GETTY IMAGES

The coat eventually did become highly popular during the first world war as it became both a sign of patriotism and status for the British Army officers that were able to afford the extra layer. Later it would transfer to a simple elegance with Grace Kelly and Audrey Hepburn often wearing the minimal and sophisticated coat. So while a more punk aspect of the coat is more popular this season than a classic trench, if you happen to own this stylish basic you will certainly have a 2022 spring look to be excited about. 

image cred @jacquiealexander

#2 Loafers

Loafers have been the ultimate non-gendered shoe since the start of their creation.

Created in 1936 as a men’s shoe at Bass Weejun, the clean-cut shoe, clearly born from oxfords, didn’t stay within the designer’s gender roles as many women began snatching up the shoes as well. A few years later a female version was created and the shoe became a staple for both the prep look and relaxed style with suits. By 1953 the Gucci family decided it was time to introduce their own loafer look with the Gucci Loafer. Immediately taking off the high-end shoe reached a cult classic status. With even the then Canadian Prime Minister coming under fire for purchasing too many pairs of the designer loafers.


Today many designers and design off-shoots have their own take on loafers. Most popularly, it seems that heeled loafers are the main look for spring/summer 2022. 

#3 Preppy plaid

Primarily noted as a Scottish clan’s crest, each style of plaid tells its own history. Balmoral plaid, for instance, was designed in 1853 by Prince Albert. Royal Stewart, the plaid most often recognized during the London grunge era of the 1990s, was the plaid that is tied to the house of Stewart (a royal family) and dates back to the 1300s. The twisting history of many different plaids proves that it simply isn’t just a cross-hatching weave of colors on a soft fabric but rather a historical record that ties generations long-forgotten together.

Image cred: VINTAGE INN

image cred: FASHION GUM

So as plaids of all styles come together in the spring and summer collections for this coming year, researching the exact type of plaid might be a fun little project for a lazy Sunday afternoon. 

#4 Academic apparel

Mainly the style now has come in the form of uniform styles from brands such as Miu Miu, Dior, Lacoste, and Raf Simons but the stylish look isn’t new. 

Image cred WHO WHAT WEAR

image cred CR FASHION BOOK

Academic style originally started in the 1910s, but only gained popularity in the ‘40s with the rise of ‘Ivy Style’. This look often was created with loafers, tweed suits, and tennis skirts. As the ‘60s rolled in many aesthetics took hold of the masses (mainly mod and ‘flower power’ looks) beatnik poetry and philosophers also had a heavy influence on fashion. 

With them, black became the only necessary color, turtle necks mandatory, and anti-fashion a true force in the industry. 

School-chic fashion had a few years of rest after this era and only had a minor bump in popularity during 1992 when Donna Tartt published The Secret History, a novel that is now a cult classic for all people who adore dark academia. However, the aesthetic- and in turn fashion- grew to be more popular during 2014 and 2015 with Tumblr.

image cred MIU MIU RUNWAY

This subculture has ebbed and flowed in interest over the last few years but with TikTok, it’s definitely on the rise and is now reaching runways once more. 

#5 Fringe

If I had to pick the history of any fashion trend for this upcoming season it would be fringe.

The fine tassels have been seen on statues in Mesopotamia (present-day Iraq) that date back to 3000 B.C, Native Americans often used leathers and suede to create fringe on their garments and in the 1920s the extra flair became synonymous with flappers. 

Today the look is often used for brands that seek the bohemian style look, however it wasn’t always seen as a detail that was best suited for the free-seeking flower child.

Image cred COVETEUR

During the Golden Age of Fringe (otherwise known as the 1920s) the addition of flying fringe noted a trendy, fun-loving woman. In the ‘50s fringe was a fashion trend for those that were rebellious, letting the leather fly behind them on their motorcycles. So while it comes in and out of fashion and may not be entirely minimalistic, it certainly is fun. 

Interesting to see just how much fashion has changed… and how much it hasn’t. Isn’t it?


Written by Sydney Yeager, published by Day in My Dreams
Check out more of her musings on her fashion blog Dressed Codes

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