Microtrend: The Sweater Dress (and how sometimes small things say a lot)

The sweater dress is a simple casual looking jumper or t-shirt dress, with ‘arms’ died around – either to accentuate the waste or loosely in a ‘drop down fashion’, if you happen to be the skinny sort of minny that can pull it off.

A number of different trends have seemed to be combined in this product – which is what makes it such a great no-brainer buy. First is the whole move towards deceptively ‘plain’ clothing (#normcore) and secondly is the trend for dressing down previously ‘formal’ wear (like full-length dresses) with casual shoes and accessories (like runners and baseball caps) and dressing up ‘lux’ sports wear (like a silk pink tracksuit with pointed heels and high-end statement jewellery).

This is great, cause it means buying one will fit in with any manner of looks – day to night, Winter to Summer – for the foreseeable while. So it really is a great ‘investment’ buy [i.e. excuse to spend]. My current fave is this grey one (because of its versatility) – available at Nasty Gal for €77 euro (plus shipping).

But the really interesting question to ask is why has this ‘big switcharoo’ occurred? Why this formal-casual, casual-formal milarky? Well in my mind it’s stemming from two places…

Firstly it comes back to the idea that today’s youth or ‘millenials’ just don’t do fashion in the same way generations before them have in the decades, or even centuries before.

This is because the world of digital allows ideas and concepts spread like, well a computer virus.

This is true for every aspect of their lives but particularly in fashion. Ideas (e.g. Dolce and Gabbana’s medieval floral vibe, the Cronut, the Ice Bucket Challenge) are perceived, interpreted, adopted, edited, tweeted, pinned, liked, shared and changed multiple times in the space of a month, of a week even!So it can be very very hard to be fresh or different for very long.

In a world of online bloggers and vloggers, where every millenial is a brand onto themselves, they have given themselves ‘permission’ to change the rules of fashion and push the boundaries of formal faux pas – like wearing a ball gown with runners or a shell-suit with heels.

Secondly this trend points to the ever-growing influence of the East – where the majority of fashion businesses now have a keenly focused eye. The kool kids of Asia are in a different league of spending from even the European couture lines ‘fondest friends’ (read: ‘buys the whole collection’). These young ladies (and lads) are snapping up $$$$$$ couture dresses and throwing them on with vintage converse for a ‘normal’ day of college. If they where here in Ireland, they’d be pairing Prada with Penney’s and tiaras with tees. An infinite bucket of funds means that the lines of fashion are blurred for these Asian millenials. Money doesn’t make the rules.

The rules have dissolved, it’s all fun, and as long as you’re original about it, it’s all great fashion.

 

 

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