How Long Do Fashion Trends Last? Distinguish Between Fads, Trends And Classics

How Long Do Fashion Trends Last? Distinguish Between Fads, Trends And Classics

Fashion is a continually changing business, with new trends appearing daily. Fashionistas are constantly on the hunt for that one item that will take their style to the next level and make it stand out from the crowd. 

When you discover something spectacular, do you know how long it will last before it becomes outdated?

This blog post will cover how fashion trends work and their possible duration depending on different factors. Ready? Let’s get started.

The stages of a fashion trend

We can distinguish five different stages for most fashion trends:

  1. Introduction. When the early adopters start wearing it, the item is in its introduction phase.
  2. Rise. When more individuals join in, usually the younger market from fashion-forward retailers, the product is rising.
  3. Peak. At its peak, the item is worn by the majority of the population and is available at all mass-market outlets.
  4. Decline. The younger consumers have moved on, and you’ll find the product at fashion businesses catering to the older-generation market.
  5. Obsolescence. When the item is out of date and shops substantially discount it to clear off their stock.

It’s worth mentioning that many of today’s fashion trends may have only three phases: the introduction, the rise, and the obsolescence due to the advent of fast fashion. Trends that become outdated so fast are called fads.

What’s challenging is predicting the duration of any specific fashion trend. Whether a fashion trend becomes a classic or remains a fad is decided by customers and their willingness to embrace the style and how much they enjoy it.

How long do trends last?


Fads come and go rapidly, sometimes within a season and occasionally in a matter of weeks. There might be several reasons for specific designs to have this behavior. It could be that the pieces are difficult to wear and combine, they require a particular body type for the perfect look, or the colors and designs are too eccentric and not flattering to everyone.

The growth of social media and influencers is one of the primary causes of fleeting fads, which has resulted in a rise in the number of trends and reduced their longevity, with numerous negative consequences.

Before the rise of social media, people used to look to movies, celebrities, and fashion magazines to establish trends. This group of individuals was tiny, and people’s access to them was carefully selected, limiting the exposure to possible new trends and slowing fashion cycles. However, the development of YouTube bloggers, and more lately, Instagram and TikTok makers, has given nearly anybody the capacity to influence the masses in the last 15 years or so. Now, hundreds of thousands of potential trendsetters can reach millions of people fast and effortlessly.


In the fashion world, a trend is described as a broad direction in which something is evolving or changing and thus indicates the popularity of a particular sort of style or item of clothing. A micro-fashion trend’s cycle typically lasts 3-5 years, but macro-trends often last 5-10 years. Macro-trends are the styles that we connect with specific decades, such as shoulder pads in the 1980s, drop-waist skirts in the 1920s, and bell-bottom jeans in the 1970s. 

There are socio-cultural trends that raise questions about how society is developing, and then there are megatrends like individualization or urbanization. These trends are related somehow, but the megatrends are the most long-lasting, lasting between 30 and 50 years.

RELATED POST: Fashion Trends: Why Some Designs Become So Popular & The Role Of Social Media

Trendy items become mainstays in most wardrobes and are nearly all that can be purchased in shops. Trends also apply to the lengths of clothing items such as skirts and dresses (knee-length, midi length, maxi, mini, etc.), the form of jeans (bootcut, slim, flared, etc.), shirt styles (fitted, cold shoulder, oversize, etc.), jacket shapes (bomber, moto, blazer, etc.). They stick around for a while because they are generally flattering, and people feel good in them and like wearing them.


Classic fashion is defined as items that can withstand the test of time and look well on practically everyone, regardless of age, decade, or current trend. 

The trench coat, button-up shirt, knee-length straight skirt, crew-neck cardigan, leather jacket, and patterns such as a leopard print are all fashion classics that have been around for a long time and in many incarnations. They change a little with each decade, but they are instantly recognizable and can generally be found in mass-market and department shops.

Classic items of jewelry include diamonds, colorful gemstones, and pearls. They are typically handed down through generations and become heirlooms.

Final thoughts

When it comes to fashion, some trends vanish in a matter of weeks, while others have a long-term staying power. Understanding how long trends last might help you make better selections about which things are worth purchasing and which ones are a waste of money.

With this new learning, make sure you get something you can wear for a long time when shopping! It will help your wardrobe and the environment.