Is The Rise of Comfort In Fashion A Good Thing?
How comfort became key
Sarah Ben Romdane
With genderless and anti-fashion movements growing, rules are undeniably being broken across the industry. While the world of fashion has often been seen as inaccessible; it seems as though we could be witnessing its democratization. And this means scrapping those spindly stilettos and stuffy tailoring in favour of comfort and wearability.
Over the last year, bum bags (or fanny packs) have become a staple item. The item, which has long-been associated with dad’s on holiday has become a coveted fashion item. Chanel made of them a best seller. But it’s not just fanny packs – where the upper classes used to mock tracksuits and sneakers – we’re now seeing hoards of private schoolgirls in Kappa tracksuits with the Air Max becoming the sneaker du jour. Pool slides have had a huge fashionable makeover. Crocs have made it to the runways at Balenciaga and Christopher Kane. And now in 2018, cycling shorts have become the epitome of cool.
For a long time, clothing was used as a mirror to represent where you belonged socially. But now the lines have blurred thanks to the rise of streetwear in fashion.
What this trend reveals about contemporary culture is that people are seeking authenticity and realness. This generation is emancipating itself from the social and cultural constructions that dictated behaviours over the last few centuries. For instance, both men and women now feel bold enough to wear trainers at work and not be accused of looking ‘scruffy’ or going through a midlife crisis. This also reveals how much flexibility has impacted the essence of work: young professionals freelance and share co-working spaces. Basically, comfort translates to freedom.
But does comfort reveal more than that? Probably. The reason why people ultimately need to feel good in their clothes is also because everyday life is so stressful. Young professionals might work in casual environments; most of them are subjected to long commutes because of gentrification pricing them out of convenient neighbourhoods.
Comfort shouldn’t be taken for granted – it is a lens through which societies and its social transformations can be observed. And what I see isn’t that comfortable.