Thank The 2010s For These Fashion Trends And Events

Fashion has always been a clear reflection of where a society is culturally. For instance, in the 1960s, there were many progressive social movements and trends. The decade saw women liberating themselves by burning their bras, and hippies wore outrageous clothing as a show of rebellion. Gender roles went out the window, and people were free to be themselves. Here, we show you the fashion trends and events that shaped the last decade. As we move into the next decade, you will see just how fashion in the 2010s reflected society’s continued cultural shifts.

Embracing Natural Body Shapes And Sizes

Ashley Graham walks the runway at the Dolce & Gabbana show
Jacopo Raule/Getty Images
Jacopo Raule/Getty Images

Society in America, and indeed around the world, is constantly weight-obsessed. There is a decades-old, billion-dollar diet industry that has preyed on people’s weight insecurities. Now, however, the tide is turning.

While obesity is definitely a public health crisis, there’s also a crisis of discrimination in everything from the airline industry to the medical profession. Heavy-set people are now pushing back, and there are entire stores that are devoted to fashion for plus-sized individuals, specifically women. Torrid and Lane Bryant do a roaring trade these days, and “fat” people are wearing the same (or better!) fashions as those with more “typical” body size.

Catherine Middleton’s Wedding Dress

kate middleton wedding dress
ODD ANDERSEN/AFP via Getty Images
ODD ANDERSEN/AFP via Getty Images

When Prince William and Catherine Middleton announced their engagement in 2010, there was much talk about what the soon-to-be Duchess of Cambridge would wear. Would she follow in the late and revered Princess Diana’s footsteps for her wedding dress? What kind of tiara or crown, if any, would she wear? Catherine did not disappoint.

She wore a one-of-a-kind gown that came courtesy of designer Sarah Burton at the Alexander McQueen fashion house. According to a statement put out by the Palace, “Miss Middleton wished for her dress to combine tradition and modernity with the artistic vision that characterizes Alexander McQueen’s work. “

Beyoncé’s Pregnant Grammys Performance

beyonce pregnant grammys
VALERIE MACON/AFP via Getty Images
VALERIE MACON/AFP via Getty Images

Probably one of the most talked-about performances of the 2017 Grammy Awards was presented by Beyoncé. She was pregnant with twins, and her husband Jay-Z and daughter Blue Ivy were in attendance.

Beyonce rocked a gold outfit with her pregnant belly on full display, and she truly looked like a Nubian princess. The performance included a stunt where Beyoncé was tilted back in a chair by a troupe of dancers. Just because she was pregnant did not mean that the performance was not show-stopping. Further, it signaled the end of the era of pregnant women being out of commission for nine months. What a great message to send.

The Hipster Evolves

hipster
Pinterest/boldtv
Pinterest/boldtv

Like the 1960s hippie, the hipster has evolved into a broad category of people who wear skinny jeans, hang out in coffee houses, and line city blocks with long hair, beanies, Converse sneakers and the like.

The hipster has evolved from a more emo look to the modern-day hippie. ‘Hipster’ is also a lifestyle. Many are vegetarians or vegans, concerned about the environment, and passionate about social justice. Hipsters are likely to be found in urban centers in America. Portland, Oregon is a great example of an epicenter of hipster culture.

The Resurgence Of Grunge

Hennessy Carolina and Michelle Nell attend Dirty Pineapple front row during New York Fashion Week
John Lamparski/Getty Images
John Lamparski/Getty Images

In the 1990s, grunge was all the rage. One could say that the grungy teenage look of the Green Day and Nirvana-worshiping masses of the ’90s would foreshadow the emergence of the hipster later on. Grunge made a comeback circa 2010 or so, after falling out of fashion in the 2000s.

Like with hipsters, grunge is also a culture. The look is deliberately slightly unkempt, with JNCO jeans, ripped denim, concert tees from alternative, counter-culture influencing grunge bands, and the rebellious lifestyle to go with it. Want to hear grunge culture defined in music? Listen to Green Day’s Dookie album.

Platform Sneakers

A guest (L) wears a white skirt with red birds design, a green Kenzo bag, black strappy sandals ; A guest (R) wears Kenzo blue pants with red birds design, a red Kenzo bag, white platform sneakers
Edward Berthelot/Getty Images
Edward Berthelot/Getty Images

This is a trend that has gone in and out of fashion for years. It seems to completely contradict the point of sneakers to turn something that is supposed to be comfortable into platform shoes, but here we are. It’s not an especially controversial fashion trend, it just seems odd and a little pointless.

The platform or wedge sneaker has been going in and out of fashion for a very long time, in different forms. Plenty of celebrities have rocked them, which is usually the general public’s cue to hop on board. Who knows? Maybe they’ll make another turn down some runway come 2020.

Athleisure Took Over

Ashley Greene is seen shopping at Bristol Farms
Bauer-Griffin/GC Images
Bauer-Griffin/GC Images

It’s no longer taboo to go out in public in your yoga pants and tee, looking as if you just left the gym or, worse, rolled out of bed. No, one of the biggest fashion trends of the 2010s is for one’s outfit of the day to be what would usually be reserved for the gym.

And you don’t have to be a person who works out to wear workout clothes like a regular outfit, either — hence the title “athleisure” for the trend. Everyone from the most avid gym bunnies to the biggest couch potatoes can rock this trend. Thanks to its inherent comfort, it’s probably not going anyplace anytime soon.

Labels, Labels, Labels

Milena Karl wearing Dior saddle bag, Etro belt, LeGer coat, Topshop vinyl pants, Celine sunglasses and Zara shirt
Jeremy Moeller/Getty Images
Jeremy Moeller/Getty Images

Coach. Michael Kors. Dolce & Gabbana. Guess. The 2010s were all about displaying expensive brand names. Whether it’s a tee, a sweatshirt, a handbag, whatever – everyone wants the world to know what their favorite brands are.

The decade saw an uptick in people wearing and carrying logos everywhere. There are even logoed boots. While it might seem like a pretentious trend, it has been a great way to show off classic brand name merchandise from timeless designers. Perhaps the best part is that there are certain brands that are so cemented in the fashion world that they will never go out of style.

Leggings Seem Here To Stay

black Prada shoes, Worst Behavior varnish pants, red Chanel bag, brown Edited coat, grey Falke turtleneck Zara beanie
Christian Vierig/Getty Images
Christian Vierig/Getty Images

Leggings were all the rage during the 2010s. Some looks are of the more traditional variety, such as wearing a pair of plain black leggings under a trendy sweater dress to keep warm. Others, however, have emerged as a substitute for regular pants. They come in every print and material imaginable — from the good, to the bad, to the ugly.

Patterns that emerged during the leggings craze include everything from stars and moons to pizza slices to teddy bears. There are dressy leggings, athletic leggings, and leggings to sleep in. This super comfy trend is sure to be missed when it finally fades away (if it ever does).

Flower Crowns

Flower crown
TSM/Bauer-Griffin/GC Images
TSM/Bauer-Griffin/GC Images

This is another baffling trend. Women and girls everywhere were adorning their heads with crowns made of flowers, both artificial and real. The look was usually completed by wearing long, flowy tops and dresses, to give one an innocent, almost magical look.

Now, if a person is into looking like a fantastical wood nymph, this is the accessory to go with. However, it seems childish and over-the-top otherwise. One can get away with it as a child or adolescent, but otherwise… not so much. There is a reason this fashion trend faded fast.

High-Low Dresses

high-low hem
LOIC VENANCE/AFP via Getty Images
LOIC VENANCE/AFP via Getty Images

This is a funky trend that should have longevity, but likely will not. The high-low dress is a look that has the front of the dress at mini skirt (or higher!) length, but with a long, flowing back piece. Almost any dress trend can be made into a high-low dress for an impeccably stylish look.

This dress style has been seen on runways around the world in almost every style, color, shape, and pattern. Sometimes, the front length is so short that it is necessary to wear leggings or pants underneath, though the original high-low dress has a front piece that is long enough that no such accessories are necessary.

Teeny-Tiny Sunglasses

rhinestone embellished sunglasses
Edward Berthelot/Getty Images
Edward Berthelot/Getty Images

Tiny sunglasses were all the rage during the late 2010s. They come in many colors and styles, but all have one thing in common: They barely cover one’s eyes, so they likely are not all that great at doing what sunglasses are supposed to do, which is to protect the wearer’s eyes from harsh sunlight.

Chic and affordable, though, this trend is not likely to go anywhere. All the major fashion brands seem to have a version of this look, and it is exploding on the fashion scene and on catwalks around the world. Their functionality might leave something to be desired, but there seem to be no complaints.

Crop Tops

crop top
Pinterest/beginnertuts
Pinterest/beginnertuts

This is a look that never really goes out of style. After all, there’s nothing cuter on a hot summer’s day than a crop top paired with trendy shorts or a mini skirt and sandals. Of course, they also tend to be quite comfy and they keep you cool as well.

This trend made a huge, hot comeback in the late to mid-2010s and is still going strong. Of course, the average person isn’t going to be wearing a crop top in the dead of winter, but we are sure to see more of this fashion trend come summer 2020.

The Undercut

Pink undercut
Frazer Harrison/Getty Images
Frazer Harrison/Getty Images

Not just for alternative lifestyle bloggers and queer girls anymore, the undercut went mainstream in the 2010s. What is an undercut, you might ask? Well, it’s when you leave the top and/or one side of the hair longer, while shaving underneath.

This used to be a look that was almost exclusive to queer culture and hipsters, punk rockers, and emo types. Now, it is a trendy, mainstream haircut that people from all walks of life are rocking. It’s great for a non-binary, gender-bending look, or for anyone who wants to give it a try. A perk is there is less hair to style, and therefore less time getting ready in the mornings!

Strategically Ripped Jeans

French Montana attends Dan Bilzerian's Halloween Party
Randall Michelson/Getty Images for Ignite International, Ltd., Alister, and BlitzBet
Randall Michelson/Getty Images for Ignite International, Ltd., Alister, and BlitzBet

Like the crop top, ripped jeans never really go out of fashion. They have been a staple in the world of rebellious, edgy teenagers since at least the 1960s, in some form or another. In the 2010s, they went mainstream in the world of high fashion. No longer just the garb of those who wish to stand out, ripped jeans are as fashionable as ever.

Today’s ripped jeans can be found in the lines of all major and not so major designers, or in any thrift store. No matter where you buy your jeans, you’re sure to find some version of the ripped variety there nowadays. This is a trend that seems to be staying put for now.

Intentionally Gray Hair

silver hair
Mike Coppola/Getty Images for NYFW: The Shows
Mike Coppola/Getty Images for NYFW: The Shows

It used to be that going gray was something to avoid at all costs. The second that first tell-tale patch was spotted, we were headed to the nearest salon to rectify the problem. This is not the case anymore. In the 2010s, we saw people actually dying their hair various stylish shades of silver and gray — and rocking it so hard!

Far from making people look older, this trend is young, fresh, and hip. However, old habits die hard, so when it comes to people naturally going gray, the impulse to color it back to one’s natural color — or another, new color — is still very much in vogue.

Tops And Dresses With The Shoulders Cut Out

Shanghai Fashion Week
Matthew Sperzel/Getty Images
Matthew Sperzel/Getty Images

The “cold-shoulder” look — meaning tops and dresses that were not actually sleeveless but still bare the shoulders — is a 2010s trend that is still going strong. Great for a casual or dressier look depending on shoes and accessories, this is a chic style that is sure to remain in vogue for the time being.

An interesting look that gives the illusion of body-baring clothing while still offering a bit of cover, the cold-shoulder style is one that almost anyone can rock hard. We’re sure to see more variations of this trend on 2020’s spring runways.

Another Royal Event: Prince Harry And Meghan Markle’s Wedding

meghan and harry
Jane Barlow/PA Images via Getty Images
Jane Barlow/PA Images via Getty Images

It is fitting to add this event to this list, as the high fashion at royal weddings is not to be rivaled. On May 19, 2018, Prince Harry and American actress Meghan Markle wed. Not to be outdone by his older brother, Prince Harry and Meghan Markle’s wedding was one of the biggest fashion events of the 2010s.

Markle rocked a wedding dress designed by none other than Claire Waight Keller, who is the artistic director of the Givenchy fashion house, as she became the Duchess of Sussex. If that isn’t high style, we don’t know what is.

Using Fashion As A Statement

T-Shirt reading Go Vegan Save the Earth.
Alexander Pohl/NurPhoto via Getty Images
Alexander Pohl/NurPhoto via Getty Images

Graphic tees showing one’s views became increasingly popular in the 2010s. Every cause or belief under the sun can now be quickly emblazoned on t-shirts and other items of clothing.

With no shortage of movements to get behind, this is a trend that will likely continue into the next decade and beyond. And why not? Everyone should be able to express themselves in a way that feels right to them.

Smartwatches For Everything

smartwatch-884613042
David Livingston/Getty Images
David Livingston/Getty Images

For those people who get separation anxiety after spending 20 minutes away from their phone, smartwatches stepped in to save the day. Within a matter of years, these watches were everywhere. In 2018 alone, smartwatch sales increased by 61%.

The most popular brands include Apple, Rolex, Fitbit, Patek Philippe, and Samsung, allowing users to answer phone calls, track how many miles they run, and even how well they sleep at night. By the end of the 2010s, if your watch wasn’t a smartwatch, you were living in the past.