Because the decade was filled with both sartorial highs and lows, we've chosen to focus on what was good.
As the saying goes, 'hindsight is always 20/20', but boy, did the years between 2010 and 2019 bring a tidal wave of change. Whether you consider yourself interested in fashion or not, looking back on the trends from the past few years will dig up emotions that range from warm, cosy nostalgia to some seriously questionable style choices. (Wedged trainers, you remember those?)
While many of 2010s' most memorable trends have their roots in previous decades (the '90s were revisited once or ten times too many if you ask us), others reshaped the landscape of fashion so much, that it's almost difficult to remember a time before them.
With its sights always trained on the next season, fashion isn’t really one to dwell on the past, but as we enter into this new decade, we thought we’d take a minute to acknowledge four trends that have gone beyond cult-level and become entrenched elements of how we dress each day, despite being near-unimaginable a decade ago.
These are the 2010's trends that changed fashion forever... and for the better.
Born early in the decade, around 2013, normcore defined a movement against the stereotypical extravagance of fashion and towards embracing the mundane, nondescript and anonymous. Arguably more a social attitude than a trend, it was about looking 'normal' but in a faintly stylised, self-aware kind of way. Cue an array of 'fits any outdoorsy tourist or dad in the 90s would be proud of: Patagonia or North Face fleeces, basic tees and polo-necks, relaxed straight-leg jeans, sports socks and of course, normcore's two iconic shoe choices, the Stan Smith sneaker and the Birkenstock sandal.
Easily one of the most pervasive trends of the 2010s, athleisure marked the ultimate breaking down of barriers and expectation. When once, people might have had day clothes, work clothes evening clothes and exercise clothes, all of a sudden athletic attire suddenly became all day, everyday wear — and never quite left. What began with women wearing yoga pants and legging to both the gym and to get groceries, quickly transcended gender and blurred the lines between sportswear and lifestyle for all.
Trainers with everything
Perhaps piggybacking on the all-encompassing athleisure trend, the humble (or not-so-humble) trainer became the most iconic accessory of the 2010s. So total was the shoe's domination that it overlapped dress codes from front-row to red carpets and weddings, worn by every age and demographic you could dream up. While the decade saw countless iterations of non-gym trainers, the more recent years gave rise to the birth of 'ugly' trainers, which, love them or hate them, fashion folk continue to pair with everything from fur coats, to cocktail dresses and oversized tailoring.
fashion With A conscious
Slightly less visibly obvious, but no less present, the last decade saw fashion get 'woke', with huge industry-wide developments across major areas such as sustainability, politics and inclusivity. Politically-charged fashion was perhaps the first to gain traction, with numerous artists and designers – quite literally – wearing their heart on their sleeves, chests and pant-legs during shows. Next, sustainable messaging took the floor and brands – both high-end and high street – made it their business to up all eco-friendly efforts. In the latter part of the decade, rally cries for more diversity and inclusivity in fashion have been amplified by heightened brand visibility and awareness via social media, with 'cancel culture' hot on the tails of those who make mistakes. But overall, it's been a move in the right direction, spawning a generation of consumers that is now much more conscious of how they consume, as well as greater inclusion of individuals that until the 2010s have been truly under-represented.
Here's hoping that this time ten years, there'll be even more positive, stubborn trends to add to the discussion.
Main image: @tommyton