By: Janelle Sessoms
Fashion trends are an interesting concept because the trends of today already happened in the past. Trends come and go so fast that it’s easy to lose track of where certain styles fall in the trend cycle. But we rarely ever pay attention to the styles that didn’t quite make the cut for trends. Or maybe it did but it didn’t reach its full potential.
With thousands of years of documented fashion, many styles had the potential to become well-known trends but clearly missed the mark. While there is no way to create a comprehensive list of all these missed fashion opportunities, we have compiled a list of 5 trends that should have been but never were.
It’s an accessory that had so much potential. Brooches first came into the spotlight in the late 17th century with European fashion. They were originally created from precious metals and gemstones and were treated as fine jewelry that was only worn by those with a wealthy status. Fast forward to modern times, brooches are still present but mainly worn as a decorative accessory. Brooches have such intricate designs, and the fashion industry had a great opportunity to embrace brooches to really elevate an outfit.
Unfortunately, instead of becoming the next big trend, brooches only stayed as an accessory that symbolizes power. They are still beautiful to have but don’t count on them hitting the runways anytime soon.
Heels for Men
Believe it or not, high heels were originally designed for men. The footwear is best associated with the French Revolution, where King Louis XIV deemed heels as symbols of power and wealth. As the French Revolution came to an end, high heels started to look too “feminine” and slowly gained the reputation of women’s footwear, which we still wear to this day. As we begin to question gender norms around clothing, having high heels for men as a major fashion trend could have avoided a major setback in the conversation.
Thankfully, society is more open to gender-fluid fashion, so heels for men may be a trend in the foreseeable future.
Skorts are one of the most practical pieces of clothing the fashion industry ever created, yet missed the mark in becoming a major trend. Skorts came onto the scene in the early 2000s and were the perfect mix of sporty, preppy, and feminine. While this could have been a major fashion moment, skorts ended up being overshadowed by other Y2K fashion of the time. Instead of embracing skorts, it was low-rise jeans and miniskirts that stole the spotlight. All hope isn’t lost, however.
The comfort and practicality of skorts have been recognized by Gen Z and Millennials, and skorts may finally be given the attention they deserved all along.
Suspenders could have been so much more than a trend but a statement piece. They were originally designed in the 18th century as nothing more than a piece to help hold up men’s pants. It was expected for men to wear a coat over their suspenders and was considered inappropriate to show them in public. Moving forward to the mid to late 1900s, suspenders became less of a necessity and more of an accessory. Still, even with society more open to wearing suspenders in public, it never fully emerged as a huge trend in fashion.
It’s hard to say if suspenders will ever be established as a major trend, but they have certainly made an impact. It’s hard to see them disappearing from our closets completely.
At first glance, bowler hats not becoming a huge fashion trend makes sense. The hat design isn’t exactly the best fit for every individual, and it’s certainly not a hat that can go with every outfit. However, it does have a lot of potentials. It managed to become an iconic trend in UK fashion and specifically emerged in menswear. Since it was so successful in the UK, there was a great opportunity for the same success in American fashion that was completely missed.
The bowler hat brings an element of class and professionalism to an outfit, which is not an easy thing to do in headwear. While bowler hats are not on any recent trend trajectory, there is still a good chance that somewhere down the line Americans will welcome bowler hats as a new hat style to try.