Everything Old is New Again: A Fashion Life Cycle

We're on to you, fashion! We buy something you tell us is cool--a jacket with shoulder pads, distressed jeans, wingtip Oxfords--and then, suddenly, it becomes uncool again. We hold on to it for a while, waiting for it to come back around again, and then finally unburden ourselves in a fit of closet cleaning to make room for The Next Cool Thing. Six months later, that thing we just threw out is The Next Cool Thing and we have to figure out if we're going to buy another version of that item we just dropped off at Goodwill ...

... and around and around we go.


One of the most enduring trends in fashion is the leather jacket. Sleek, cropped "moto" jackets have dominated the trends list in recent seasons, but another piece of leather outwear is making an appearance: The Bomber Jacket.

Some of us were in middle school the last time this look was popular. Oversized, dark brown, Tom Cruise-in-Top Gun-style bomber jackets have re-emerged on trends lists this fall. It's like the '80s (and some of the 90210-era '90s) are coming right back.

And if this article from the Anchorage Daily News is any indication, bomber jackets are also a hot accessory for Chihuahuas this year.

1990s Grunge

Speaking of the '90s, the grunge look is back in a big way. Lots of layers--including at least one in plaid--are required; unwashed hair optional.

Those of us who tossed our ripped jeans, oversized plaid button-downs, and baby doll dresses are pretty bummed out. Hopefully you have at least a pair of dirty, smelly Chuck Taylors upon which you can build your "new" grunge wardrobe.

Classic Patterns

We've already gone over this, but it bears repeating: It's kind of shady to make "classic" patterns a trend. When were people not wearing houndstooth, or windowpane plaid? When were pinstripes "out"? When was the last time you pointed and laughed at a guy wearing a checked shirt? Or a girl in a paisley scarf?

That said, it might be time to raid the grandparents' closet--their 50-year-old clothes might be the hottest thing you could wear right now. (With a little tailoring.)


Glamour says "knit beanies" are in, and to pair them with cocktail attire because "the contrast is part of what makes it look so chic." First of all, movie criminals and longshoremen have been wearing watch caps forever, and while it's true that pairing one with a cocktail dress looks edgy on your way to the party, how does your hair look after you arrive and remove a close-fitting cap? "Amazing" is unlikely.


Somehow, some way, the turtleneck has sneaked onto the trends lists. In spite of the fact that a turtleneck adds bulk, cuts off the head from the body, and generally makes anyone wearing one look six inches shorter, the turtleneck is BACK, baby. (Glamour contends that turtlenecks do not, in fact, add bulk; this may be true for 5'10 fashion models, but how about the rest of us?)

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Christina Uticone