The Theory of Trends

The Theory of Trends

There is the theory of trends behind fashion trends, or any trends for that matter. You can think of trends as something that becomes popular out of nowhere. Most of the time, these trends are merely a repeating trend. Meaning, it is a cycle that constantly happens in just about any industry.

However, what about the theory of trends?

Macro and Micro Trends

According to the theory of trends, trends consist of two types; macro and micro trends. First of all, macro trends refer to a long lasting trend, especially in fashion. Usually, it lasts for 5-10 years. Macro-trends are the styles we tend to associate with the different decades. For instance, shoulder pads of the eighties, drop-waist dresses in the twenties, and bell-bottom jeans in the seventies

Micro trend, on the other hand, is one that quickly rises in popularity and falls even faster. The cycle of a micro trend usually only lasts for 3-5 years. These days, micro trends are becoming more and more common thanks to platforms such as TikTok and Instagram. Social media’s ever changing algorithm essentially pushes for new trends every now and then relentlessly.

Stages of Trends

After discussing the different scale of trends, let’s move on to the stages of trends. In theory, every trend goes through five stages: introduction, rise, peak, decline and obsolescence.

During the introduction stage, early adopters start to see a pattern from the visual elements that’s being commonly used by changemakers. This could happen in fashion week runways, big name designers’ postings on social media, etc. 

Next, followers and watchers will promote these visual elements as the new trend. Before long, this trend will become widespread to the public. 

At the peak stage, a trend basically reaches its momentum. You can observe retailers and brands have items related to this trend in their stores. Then, the general population will happily consume this “viral” trend. 

After some time, the trend becomes oversaturated and simultaneously the early adaptors might already move on. This is the stage of obsolescence or when something becomes ‘out of fashion’. 

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