OPINION | ‘It Girls’ and bad trend predictions are out for 2024

I have beef with the “It Girl” title.  

It started with the nonstop encouragement of consumerism online, as self-proclaimed “It Girls” brandish their newest “must have” products. While I find this irritating, it’s easy enough to ignore. However, in the last week of 2023 and the first weeks of 2024, the same crowd of content creators began posting their trend predictions for the new year. 

The trend predictions that I came across were confusing. So many accounts listed vests, the “preppy aesthetic,” bows and low-rise bottoms as items that are going to be in high demand in the new year, all of which were trending in the last two years and are more than likely to be on the downward slope. 

Among these predictions, I also saw mentions of “in” items that don’t seem to be connected to anything. My best guess for random inclusions like these is that people simply think they look cool and want them to become popular. This isn’t necessarily problematic, but you don’t need something to be “in” to be allowed to wear it.  

Trend forecasting involves analyzing enormous amounts of data and the social and economic climate. Many fashion students spend years studying how trend cycles work and how to anticipate future demand among buyers. Those working in the industry look far beyond what will happen in the next weeks or months and predict years in advance. The armchair forecasters that are proclaiming bows are “about to be hot” are pretty late to the party. 

I want to make it clear that I definitely don’t have the skills to be a trend forecaster either, and I love the spirit of predicting what the future holds. The problem is creating waste through consumption habits that make your clothing “unwearable” after it goes out of style in the blink of an eye. 

Being an “It Girl” used to mean being effortlessly cool, chic without trying. The title now reflects that in order to be “It,” you need to have the products that everybody else is using and wear what everyone else is wearing.  

What if instead, the “It factor” meant that you were impervious to being out of trend, because you were never following it? I will always advocate for developing your own personal style rather than following the masses to trends that will inevitably become outdated.  

None of this is to say that you can never take part in something that’s popular, and I think it’s fine to like what everybody else likes! Personal style will require dedication to finding your own niche and collecting more timeless items, but will leave you more satisfied in the end. The “It Girl” crowd doesn’t need to dictate what you wear.  

This new year, it’s time to let go of relying on trends to dictate your choices — if you want something to be in style, make it your own!

Photo from unsplash.com.