A Trend-Filled Year: Looking Back at the of Fashion 2021

Archive, School Year 2021-22, Teen Topics

By: Audrey Weiss

After over a year online, the start of the 2021-2022 school year brought the return to in-person learning and thus a return to dressing for school.

A conflict of comfort vs. style arose after the time spent in comfortable clothes during quarantine, which led to the need for readjustment into styling daily outfits for school, as many speculated before the start of the school year. 

“There will be a reckoning with comfort, but I think that people will be excited to dress up and show off,” stated Raissa Bretaña for the LA Times, a fashion historian and professor at the Fashion Institute of Technology in New York. 

Reflecting on 2021 and the return to the building, it can be said that people were ready and filled the past year with a diverse assortment of fashion.

Not surprisingly, Baltimore School for the Arts students are known for their style. Not only is BSA an art school, but the loose dress codes and lack of uniform in comparison to the rest of city schools give students more freedom when it comes to expression by way of clothing.

In 2021, many items and aesthetics have cycled through the interest of high school students and the world as a whole. Inspiration was picked up from the 70s, 80s, 90s, and 2000s, giving plenty of options.

Revivals of trends, as well as taking old styles and infusing them with individual creativity lay the foundation for many trends and aesthetics that could be seen in the hallways of 2021.

Sweater vests, corset tops, wide denim, unique knits, flared leggings, and platform boots are a few items that had at one point or another, risen to popularity in the past year. 

Specific pieces that were big in 2021 often got associated with styles or aesthetics either associated with a past decade or a generalized branch of clothing. As reported by NYLON magazine, indie, academia, cottagecore, Y2K, and kidcore were some of the most popular aesthetics of 2021.

Whether items or styles were simply worn for a few weeks during the peak of a trend cycle, or had been introduced into someone’s weekly clothing rotation, fashion trends from 2021 covered a lot of bases.

In fact, the timing of trend cycles has changed a lot within the past few years, and last year, many people started to take notice.

Social media is a key factor for this, with the promotion of micro-trends driving young people to phase through a multitude of styles and invest in new products for each one.

“The issue with TikTok influencing the fashion space is that now, micro-trends no longer live for three to five years—instead, they die out in a matter of months,” said Bianca Borissova for Screenshot Media in a piece about social media’s use in teen manipulation.

The number of trends that came up within only a year was astounding and expensive, so as far as the source for many of the past year’s clothing, online stores, and thrift stores were very popular because of their accessibility and affordability. 

The fashion worn at BSA in 2021 demonstrated many of the popular trends and reflected some of the most creative of fashion, but anyone walking down the hallway could notice the great amount of fashion diversity worn by the students.

One good thing to come of fashion in 2021 is that individuals were able to express themselves again with their appearance and develop their style in a setting with an audience. Despite concerns about the evolution of trends and how clothing is being marketed to the younger generation, the fashion of 2021 was unique and allowed a creative space to make up for the lost time.

To contact this writer, email Muse Newspaper at musebsa@bsfa.org.