Ypulse Best And Worst Of 2010: Style Trends

Ed. Note: Today we kick off our Year In Review coverage with Ypulse Youth Advisory Board member Camilla Nord who calls out some of the hits and misses she saw in fashion this year. Look for more of the Best and Worst in youth media and marketing from 2010 along with more in-depth reflections on this past year up through the start of 2011!

Keep in mind, folks, these picks are personal, but readers are welcome to add their own picks for in comments.

Ypulse Best And Worst Of 2010: Style Trends

Fashion in 2010 has soared from the ethereal to the unwearable (except by Gaga). One essential larger theme to mention—encompassing at least three of the best/worst trends—is 2010’s ability to play with gender roles. For some women, this means girls in menswear; for others, it means 30’s-inspired skirts and dresses. In the case of one blogger, her recently-published article in the New York Times lauded certain fashionable outfits as ‘man-repellents’. For her, much of fashion at the moment, in its androgyny or in its geometric extremes, is decidedly asexual, even repellent to men.

The year 2010, with a newfound emphasis on social shopping from haul videos to asking friends to “like” your Levi’s, raised the question for stylish teens as well as their older counterparts, what is fashion for? And for whom should we dress? Likewise, less than a decade ago, the world began to question fashion: Is it applicable to all of us, or is it an inaccessible art form? These days, the explosion of online outlets add new dimensions to that question, giving stylish types of all ages a way to see and be seen wearing the latest “it” look, but the styles themselves keep evolving (and sometimes revolving).  While I may not have loved every trend this year, they share one essential element in common: change.


rachelbilsonBaggier jeans for girls. Let’s start with a personal favorite. Up through this year- - women wearing jeans wore skintight, pencil-cut jeans a la Kate Moss a couple years ago. Now, thanks to an uptake by models and celebrities,  even with the rise of the jegging (yes, that’s jean leggings) you do see more female forms donning baggier, more boy-cut jeans, and it looks amazing. It’s also the first example of gender role switching this year: the tomboy is in, and staying in.

Military, for boys and girls. This is a new take on the 80’s punk-derived pieces that seem to be slithering into everyone’s wardrobes at the moment. Rather than full-on combat boots, we’re seeing slightly more sedate—and often colored—relatives of the old combat boot. On the runways, instead of black military-esque outfits, beige versions arrived, with equally harsh lines but a softer feel from the color. We see this trickling down to junior departments as well with co-designed Material Girl line from Madonna and her daughter Lourdes.

Plus Size Supermodels. Ok, this trend isn’t unique to 2010, it’s been slowly creeping up on us, as severely underweight models get banned and curvier women are in demand on runways and magazine covers. But this year it’s been incredibly noticeable: supermodel Crystal Renn is everywhere you look, major designers have plus size models on the runway and Forever 21 and Target’s plus-sized junior lines hit the market. Despite all the women’s magazine’s with weight loss remedies on the cover, and all the marketing campaigns based on a “healthy” product’s low calories, we actually made some headway this year. Hopefully the world (not just the fashion world) will continue to show progress in this department, but it’s inspiring that a culture heavily criticized for inspiring eating disorders is, in fact, making more headway than some mainstream media outlets.


shoulderpadsShoulder pads. I know, I know, I said I liked that this year was blurring the lines between masculine and feminine, fashionable and unflattering. But shoulder pads are not ready for a comeback. Need I remind you the horrors they caused in the 80’s? I don’t want to blame all the murders in “Heathers” on their outfits, but I think the shoulder pads are co-conspirators at any rate. This year marked the return of the linebacker silhouette, and it was not met with any celebration on my part.

Fur. This year, big furry hats, furry vests, and furry capes are all fashion essentials, and I love this trend when the fur is fake. But I’ve put it in the “worst” category simply because I don’t understand how the fashion world can possibly continue justifying an industry that commercializes brutally killing animals. Whether through PETA’s new concerted effort to reach younger audiences or some other organization/brand/icon who takes up the cause, the continuation of this trend does not seem sustainable for younger, more conscientious shoppers.

This year has been a good one in fashion: it broke new ground in what shapes are considered attractive, whether in clothing or in models and style icons. Next year will, I believe, see a continuation in the menswear-for-women trend; in the past few months, movie premieres have seen young female celebs in tuxes rather than dresses. It will also (hopefully) find a way for the long-and-baggy outfit trend to become chic and attractive, moving this trend from the runway to the sidewalk. I’ll leave you with a picture of Gossip Girl star Leighton Meester in a suit, making all of us want to go out and dress up like a tomboy.

About Camilla

camillaCamilla Nord is in her final year at Oxford University, where she has been studying physiology and psychology since she moved from Washington, D.C. She also grew up partly in Budapest, Hungary, and lived in Kathmandu, Nepal in her very early years. When she’s not writing essays, she is probably painting, practicing Bikram yoga, and thinking about manatees. When she IS writing essays, her favorite part of the brain is the basal ganglia, and her favorite neurotransmitter (those chemicals that shoot around the brain sending signals) is dopamine. The recent involvement of neuroscience techniques in product development and marketing has driven her interest in Ypulse, coupled with a lifelong love of writing—and, of course, a healthy obsession with pop culture.


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