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The Badger Herald

Independent Student Newspaper Since 1969

The Badger Herald

Independent Student Newspaper Since 1969

The Badger Herald


From bows to punk pirate: Unexpected guide to spring fashion

This spring, trends are out, exploring personal style is in
Jacob Duran

As our outfits are no longer hidden by our coats and snow doesn’t inhibit us from wearing the same pair of reliable shoes, here are some fresh styles to look out for. From metallics to bows to gingham, there are overarching themes to the clothes we wear — but in the age of technology, the idea of a trend is wildly different from specific pieces of clothing.

At the University of Wisconsin, The Vault, a Registered Student Organization that studies the overlap of fashion with other industries, is changing the conversation around fashion.

While The Vault does focus on fashion, it focuses less on trends because it can often feel like they come and go before they can be understood.


“We haven’t done a workshop on [trends] or anything really,” The Vault President and Co-Founder Melina Zarboulas said. “It’s because we’re so mindful of the fact that they come and go so fast that we can’t even grasp them or understand how important they are if they’re dangerous or controversial.”

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Historically, trends were created by big corporations years before the season, displayed on runways and later sold in stores. Magazines like Vogue also had a big impact on how we understand clothes.

But that’s changed.

“Corporations have always been kind of looking to the youth and collecting their ideas, mining their ideas for new fashion stuff,” The Vault Art Director Veronica Mingle said. “But now instead of them being in charge, they’re chasing everything they can on TikTok.”

The internet has proved to shape fashion trends for a variety of users, with what’s on the runway having less of an impact on what we can expect to see on the streets. It popularizes eras, aesthetics or cores, which people choose to adhere to.

These different “trends” can be exhausting and hard to keep track of. Mingle quoted an 2022 article titled “Trends are dead” from VOX to explain this phenomenon.

“The author Terry Nguyen explains it like — trends enforce binary thinking where it’s, is it irrelevant or relevant, is it cool or uncool?” Mingle said. “The problem is we’re told that we must evolve to keep up or our digital personas will become irrelevant as our style grows stale.”

Most recently TikTok saw the rise of the mob wife aesthetic. She’s not afraid of being dramatic with fur coats, big jewelry and all black — she’s the complete opposite of the clean girl aesthetic that dominated social media a few months ago.

For Mingle, a trend like this is less about the clothes and more about the character one gets to portray.

“To me, that feels like theater,” Mingle said. “It’s just like you have a character. It’s like, ‘what do I want to play today?’ And I think that element of play is really important and I feel like it can be overlooked especially like high fashion stuff.”

One trend that will be big this spring is gingham. This has classically been a popular pattern for spring as it’s very picnic-esque. But, gingham has also been a popular pattern post-Barbie movie as her first outfit is a pink and white gingham dress.

Another trend that can be expected is Renaissance-inspired clothing.

“So velvet, deep jewel tones, kind of like dark floral maximalism a lot of like religious motifs, ethereal makeup, like soft round shapes, lots of blending,” Mingle said.

An increase in metallics can also be expected that could look like anything from futuristic to oil spill, goth look to more ethereal pearl color metallics.

Punk pirate is also a trend that will make its way into everyday clothing.

“My number one personal favorite that was mentioned is the idea of punk pirate, because I feel like pirates are like the perfect embodiment of gender fluidity,” Mingle said. “Costume fashion, where it’s a little casual. But also there’s a lot of fun ways to go with it.”

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Bows have also been a trend that’s been growing for a while now.

The trend of bows also relates to a larger theme of DYI-ing or upcycling your clothing.

“What’s different is that bows are a DIY that’s like at a very entry-level,” Mingle said. “Anyone can add a bow to something and it’s a lot cheaper to add than buying a new purse.”

With the theme of bows also come more nautical trends and knot tying, which relate to the pirate look and the coastal grandma look that was popular on the internet.

All these trends are not meant to have someone create an entirely new look but rather encourage people to play around and have fun with their personal style.

“I remember people used to have one definition of a style that they would fit under, but now it’s everyone’s trying new things and it changes by the day,” Zarboulas said. “Everyone’s just branching out in terms of what they wear.”

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