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OPINION: 2024 fashion faves or flops

OPINION%3A+2024+fashion+faves+or+flops
Rian Hughes

These days, fashion trends seem to circulate throughout society more rapidly than they have in previous years. With popular social media apps like TikTok and Instagram’s user bases expanding exponentially by the day, it is no surprise that areas of self-expression like fashion have developed a wide variety of niche communities, which contribute to the speed increase in trend cycles. Trends are constantly evolving and often look very different from year to year, and 2024 is no exception to these fluctuations, for better and for worse.

This year has already seen numerous patterns in everyday fashion through specific items and styles — some revivals of past popularity and some entirely new — but not all necessarily good. Some trends should stick around long enough to see future years, while others will hopefully see the end of their time much sooner. The following are some of 2024’s more memorable fashion trends so far. Are they fads, or are they flops?

Upcycling one’s own clothing has always been a preferred plan of action as opposed to disposing of old items no longer worn, and with off-the-shoulder looks coming back into fashion in recent years, people have begun to get creative. The rise of the raw-neckline has taken t-shirt owners everywhere by storm in 2024 and with luck, it is here to stay. Open necklines are extremely flattering and can be experimented with by being angled to fall off the shoulder if cut right. A slouchy, wide neckline can be achieved in just a few minutes with a pair of scissors, and the raw edge that results from this DIY applies an effortlessly casual touch to an otherwise uninteresting top. Sometimes the stiff, ribbed collars on shirts and sweaters can feel confining. By trimming a few inches off of your old shirts, you can free those collar bones while simultaneously keeping up with fashion trends and practicing sustainability. Wins all around. Try not to get too scissor happy though. Some things should probably be spared. 

The same, perhaps, cannot be said for a pairing circulating throughout certain style niches in recent months. One should always be a proponent of bold fashion configurations, but dresses and skirts should never find themselves draped over a pair of jeans — ever. It did not catch on when Ashley Tisdale tried it back in the 2000s, and society should still strive to perpetuate that fact today. Jeans and dresses are fantastic pieces independently, but the moment the two touch, all previous credibility goes out the window. Denim is a classic and distinct material — stiff and imposing — and dresses are characteristically delicate and substantial in length. They compete for one another’s attention and never quite seem to work together when part of the same outfit. While layering textures and colors, not conventionally coupled, to create dynamic outfits is never a style technique to be sneezed at, there are certainly ways in which it can be taken too far. If this pairing is your jam, then more power to you, but generally, try and isolate this choice to the Disney Channel Original Movies.

That is not to say all trends from the 2000s era should be denounced, though. The decade had some seriously memorable fashion flops, but a few gems of the time have made valiant comebacks; namely, low-rise pants. These pants have been quite controversial amongst fashion communities since the decline of their early 21st-century popularity, but one should not be too quick to criticize their return. Some argue the iconic garment’s distinct lack of fabric is impractical and uncomfortable — a valid argument — but they work fluently with longer shirts without bunching up against ascending waistlines and tend to be more flattering with tighter tops, given their more revealing nature. In the latter years of the century so far, high-waisted pants have dominated fashion preferences, but it appears as though people are on the search for a change in waist height once again. Both styles can and should be appreciated in their own right without being pitted against each other. There is no right or wrong when it comes to which length you prefer — unless you like mid-rise — but that is another story entirely. 

A similarly controversial yet increasingly prolific name-brand item that can frequently be seen out and about are fur-lined Crocs. These slip-ons have been staples on shoe store shelves for years now; however, in 2024 they seem to be experiencing an acute increase in popularity. Appearing in online style articles since late 2023, fuzzy Crocs have undergone a considerable return in casual fashion, but many argue the cozy clogs need to be put to rest, and they might be right. Crocs are traditionally lightweight rubber shoes, ideal for warmer temperatures and summertime activity. A popular choice for beach-goers and children, all logical reasoning for the shoe’s existence is stripped away when altered to suit wintertime conditions. Fur-lined Crocs are absent from their iconic holes, save for the ones on the face of the clog which are purely decorative. The fur makes them difficult to clean and because part of the allure of fur-lined Crocs is to wear them independent of socks as one does with traditional slippers, they do not quite deliver the warmth they appear to at face value. They are entirely impractical and arguably tacky. Let’s keep these plastic clogs free from their furry counterparts and enjoy the classic Crocs for what they are.

Whether you wear fuzzy Crocs or dresses with jeans, keep in mind expression is limitless and entirely up to the individual. Fashion fads and flops of 2024 should ultimately be exercised within the bounds of acceptance, and one should always be conscious of how perceptions are affected by the limitations of conventionality. The most wonderful aspect of fashion is the immense amount of choice diversity we can explore within it. Dress in a way that makes your heart happy.

 

 

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About the Contributors
Allison Lehan
Allison Lehan, Opinion Writer
Allison Lehan (she/her) is a freshman graphic design and creative writing double major. This is her first year with The Appalachian.
Graham Ryan
Graham Ryan, Multimedia Reporter
Graham Ryan (he/him) is a junior Journalism major at Appalachian State University. This is his first year with The Appalachian.
Rian Hughes
Rian Hughes, Associate Graphics Editor
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