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The Future of Fashion

What will people be wearing a hundred years from now?
Polina Tankilevitch
Photo by Polina Tankilevitch:

Due to new technologies and the rise of fast-fashion, clothing trends are changing more rapidly than ever before. People are able to obtain all sorts of attire for much cheaper than the days of custom clothing, which means the cycle of fashion has sped up. Of course, a trend that’s fallen out of the mainstream doesn’t disappear forever. In fact, many trends get recycled over time and make comebacks in modern fashion. In 2023, the ‘80’s style of large, high-waisted jeans has made another appearance in popular culture.

But what will fashion look like a century into the future? This article discusses some predictions on the trends of the future based both on conjecture and previous trends. First, to get an idea of how much fashion will change, looking at what was on trend a century ago may be a good place to start.

The 1920s came directly after the first world war, and so many of the fashions of the time were influenced by the state of the world. Many fashions were simplified from their previous iterations, and in womenswear the standard figure became boxier. The 1920s, however, were also when the flapper dresses were popular, which were characterized by their more revealing structure. Though not the cause of the general societal trend towards less modest clothing, the flapper dresses of the 1920s were certainly an example of the changing times.

Can it be said, then, that the future will follow the trend of more revealing clothing? I wouldn’t be so sure.

Although more revealing clothing has certainly become less stigmatized, our climate has been getting warmer and warmer with time. This could result in people flocking to styles with less layers in order to avoid overheating, yes, but with more exposure to the sun comes more risk of things like sunburn and skin-cancer. So, it is equally possible that people in the future will be wearing clothing that entirely covers their bodies.

If we take, for example, modern societies of people who live near the equator or in desert areas, we can see the general trend of more modest clothing designed to protect the body from sun damage. This generally takes the form of thin, loose garments that don’t trap body heat and allow the wind to blow through it and cool people down. Maybe it will be this style of dress that overtakes the global community a century from now.

It is equally possible, however, that the world of fashion will instead be taken over by modest clothing with embedded cooling systems. Maybe instead of wearing winter coats with handwarmers and chargeable heaters, the people of the future will be wearing summer coats with coolers instead.

It’s impossible to say for certain how trends will pan out in the future, but maybe these possibilities will present themselves in some small way.

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About the Contributor
Jones Walther
Jones Walther, Editor in Chief
Jones Walther is one of the founders of Bellingham High School's student run newspaper, the Bayhawk Bearer. She and Skyla Otto began planning for the paper in 2021 during their Sophomore year, and when it took off in their Junior year, both of them took up the mantle of Co-Editor in Chief. Jones is an avid cat lover and hopes to pet many cats before she reaches old age.