Dad sneakers, scrunchies among styles being recycled for today’s fashion

Posted March 13, 2019

Windbreakers, hair scrunchies and dad sneakers are just some of the fashions from the late 1990s and early 2000s coming back into popularity, if magazines, social media, clothing stores and even street style are any guide.

The cycle of fashion trends and fads can be described by a bell-shaped curve, said Anupama Pasricha, department chair and associate professor of fashion merchandising at St. Catherine University in St. Paul.

“Fashion is a cyclical phenomenon… Each style goes through the cycle and comes back. Fashion thrives on change and the fashion cycle basically explains that each new style goes through phases on introduction, growth, acceleration, saturation and decline,” she said.

Because of these recurring trends, Pasricha said that we can almost determine what will come into style in the next few years simply by looking at what was in style using the standard rule of 20 years. What was in style about two decades ago would most likely resurface, which is why the trends that we see nowadays will more than likely be back by the time the next generation comes along.

The styling and modernizing of these recycled fashions, Pasricha added, depends on outside influences like what’s going on in the world, pop culture and economics.

When it comes to figuring out how to buy new trends in stores, Melissa Parkos said that it is easy to find classic and trendy pieces for her boutique, Jori & June, located in downtown Stillwater, Minnesota.

Fashion fads come to the Midwest slower than to international fashion hubs, Parkos said.

“I saw it (fashion trends) in Shanghai first and then it would take a couple years,” she said, “and it would be Europe and then it would come to the United States but then when it comes here, it comes out of New York, or California… It’s much slower into the Midwest.”

Parkos said she wants her customers to buy and invest in items that will last a long time, as well as have a constant classic and comfortable look. That’s why her store is based on not only extremely trendy pieces but on clothes that her customers can wear to multiple events.

“So when you think about some of these trends — like neon is back in — I think that it’s fun to dabble into that and bring those pieces in just to kind of feed into that, but in a more subtle way,” Parkos added.

Fashion enthusiasts such as UW-River Falls junior Alexis Mulcahy enjoy the many different trends that are coming back into style. She said that fashion trends bring back memories from when she was growing up.

“It’s really cool seeing how many different ways clothing lines are bringing ’90s fashion back and reinventing them to things we can wear today,” Mulcahy said. But not every fashion trend should resurface. “I think that one of the many trends we never want to see coming back,” she said, “are low-rise jeans.”