Yes, fashion trends repeat. Those who think that because the standard pencil is more avant-garde and considered au courant, that means fashion is not repeating couldn’t be more wrong. It is estimated that the average amount of time it takes for a certain style to come back into fashion is around 20-30 years.

Every era has its unique offering and becomes a phenomenon that stays for long, only to vanish the scene suddenly and make a comeback sooner or later. We saw the winged liner and Chokers which have now been ditched again.

Which Trends are back?

Popular styles include crop tops, denim, flannel shirts tied around the waist, mom jeans, overalls, converse shoes, platform shoes, circle skirts, bucket hats, bike shorts, mini backpacks, scrunchies, peter pan collars, bell bottoms, and “stretch pants” coming back as leggings. And Who remembers the SLIM FIT worn by the Indian Kings and The Rulers, that came back in the trends.

Most men’s fashion trends however don’t seem to be cycled. For the most part, men no longer wear frock coats, capes, Inverness coats, breeches, poufy shorts, and cod-pieces over colorful tights.

Each time a fashion trend re-appears, it comes back as a new, updated version of the old-style. This is due to Technical breakthrough like spandex/stretch fabrics, computer knitting, dyeing techniques; The most successful designers do a good job interpreting these elements into interesting and innovative outfits.

Different fashion trends remain popular for different lengths of time. A fashion fad will only last 3 to 12 months, a trend will last 1 to 5 years and a classic will be around for 5 to 10 years. Then if you wait around 20 years the trend will hit the scene again. There are five stages of the Fashion Cycle; the introduction, the rise, the peak, the decline, and outdated.

The cycle

Fashion trends repeat
llustration from:

This shows how fashion trends repeat. The introduction is where a designer takes a look back in history and pulls out a little morsel of what used to be popular and make it big again. Celebrities alongside what we now call influencers also bring back a trend by rocking them and others follow suit. Then followed by its rise where people rock the style and the buzz is high. When everyone jumps on the style, then the style has reached its peak. The decline occurs when people begin to get bored or feel the style is no longer stylish in a sense. The final stage is the decline where no one cares for the style anymore. Wearing it, makes one feels out of place.

Though some trends can run for a longer period of time, social media seems to be speeding up how quickly trends last. The fashion cycle can be very short for some trends.

Theories why fashion trends repeat

The hemline index theory

One of the factors to influence the cycle of fashion is the state of the global economy. You heard that right. This trend was developed by the economist George Taylor in the 1920s. It links the economy with the length of women’s skirts, the “hemline”.

The theory suggests that the better the economy, the higher the hemline, as women dressed up in shorter skirts to show off the fancy stockings and pricey ornaments they were wearing. Similarly, when the times were hard, the hemlines went down, ain essence allowing them to hide the fact that they couldn’t afford expensive silk stockings.

The 20-Year Rule:

Every 20 years, old fashion trends resurface. This is popularly named “The 20-Year Rule.” What may seem old-fashioned will grasp the attention mainly of the latest generation after 20-30 years.

Jame Lavier’s 50 Year Theory:

James Laver, a fashion theorist, and historian introduced a law to describe the fashion trend life cycle. This was backed up by Stanley Marcus, who used his law to stock his store in the late 1960s. According to this theory, the trend that is in fashion is ‘smart,’ one year before this, it is ‘daring.’ 20 years later, it becomes ‘ridiculous.’ And it takes a particular trend around 50 years to recapture the market.

Trickle-down theory

Fashion trends repeat

Before movie stars introduced the trends, however, it was royalty and the nobility. This is a concept called a trickle-down theory, originally created by Thorstein Veblen in 1899. The trickle-down theory states that lower classes will try and mimic the wealthy and influential by adapting their styles. These styles notably, are originally introduced at higher prices than the masses can afford. With time become available to the general public


Clothing has always served a purpose. It’s been functional, it’s been designed to beautify and seduce and to separate one’s status from another’s; it’s been a sign of the times as reflective of our morals and mores. That said, when it comes to clothing, there’s only so much one can do which hasn’t been done already.

Which trend wouldn’t you jump on if it came back?



Founder & Editor

My name is Queen. This blog is a back love platform showcasing African fashion, beauty, art, lifestyle, opportunities, and Mental Health. I like to call it Africa through my eyes. These as well topics around the globe.

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