The saying “everything old is new again” is never so true as to when it comes to fashion. Okay, so not every fashion trend throughout history is destined to return to the runways anytime soon — at least, we certainly hope history’s seen the last of lead-based face makeup, arsenic-dyed clothes, and the mercury-laden headgear that caused all those mad hatters to do the Victorian equivalent of going postal.
When it comes to any look that was prevalent over the past few decades, though, yes, we’re bound to see numerous more cycles of the Jackie Kennedy pillbox hat, bouffant ‘dos, and people paying big bucks for other people to put holes in their pants. Which of these old-then-new trends, though, is something that women are actually looking forward to wearing the next time it cycles ’round again? In order to find out what’s hot and what’s not, The List conducted a survey of 574 women around the country about six different fashion trends, all of which debuted in the bottom half of the 20th century: bell bottoms, grunge, tie dye, baggy jeans, shoulder pads, and platform flip-flops. The surprising winner? It seems fully 27 percent of women would like to see return of bell-bottoms, those baggy-below-the-knee pants favored by both hippies and sailors.
How the other fashion trends rate
The number two trend was something that’s never really gone away, at least not if you’re an afficionado of jam bands or rave culture: good old trippy tie-dye. This favorite DIY project of progressive kindergartens got 22.5 percent of the vote, which was quite a wide lead over third place’s hip-hop-inspired baggy jeans, with 15 percent.
In fourth place was another ’90s trend: grunge, which we seem to recall meant a lot of plaid shirts and knit beanies. Hmm, seems like that style never went away, either, it just got repackaged under the hipster label instead. In last place came platform flip-flops, perhaps the most recent trend on the list, as Bustle dates these back no earlier than 1996. Despite these shoes having been born in the millennial era, less than eight percent of women actually want to have to deal with this funky footwear again (though perhaps our poll being conducted in winter might have lost them a vote or two).
Some had their own ideas
Six-and-a-half percent of the women we polled preferred to make their own suggestions rather than go with one of our picks. Some of the fashion trends they wanted to see revived date back even further than we’d dared to venture. One suggested “1920s flapper, 1940s dresses,” while another wanted “’40s and ’50s style dresses for women,” and a third voted for “1950s housewife style.” A vote for saddle shoes also harks back to the 1940s and ’50s, although Atom Retro Clothing says the first pair was designed in 1906. The 1980s were another popular era, with votes for big hair, the glam rock style, and even parachute pants. Some voters would like to time-travel back to the ’80s (in a flying DeLorean, no doubt), a time when shoulder pads made every woman look like Joan Collins in Dynasty.
Quite a few, however, wanted us to know they weren’t interested in following such silly fads, but several of those we polled had some very definite views about what people should (or should not) be wearing. One person simply stated “modesty” as a trend they’d like to see return, while another was more explicit in declaring, “We need more clothing that covers skin that certain people should not be showing.” While skin-flaunting’s not likely to be such a problem in winter, these respondents may be disappointed to know that we don’t see any full coverage Edwardian-era bathing costumes in the summer fashion forecast.
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