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Recession Core Fashion

Updated: Nov 15, 2023

By Olivia Madrid


Bare necks and beige have taken over. What started out as a possible indie sleaze revival in late 2022 has now been remarked as recession core, which is where consumers are opting for quality and timeless pieces in response to the economic struggles many are facing. As the loud colorful Y2K style rebranded itself in the early 2020s, muted minimalism has rapidly replaced these flashy trends. And with a huge social and economic shift happening, it is reflected in the fashion trends that are gaining ground with consumers.

“Mini skirts, baggy pants, plain bags, minimalist makeup, and platform shoes are indicators that fashion is experiencing a recession,” said Forbes in a 2014 article. After the Great Recession of 2008, such trends became very popular. Grunge, punk rock styles are making their way back as the mainstream look. This seemingly steps away from the Euphoria-inspired bold outfits that had a chokehold on Gen-Z, as well as the chunky, neon-colored rings and loud colors that brought a sense of happiness during COVID-19.


Since the pandemic, the economy hasn’t recovered and economists have predicted a recession is coming sooner than later. In spite of this, the rich have seemed to become wealthier. Social media users have noticed more muted looks on red carpets. Particularly, the absence of statement jewels (which are a huge indicator of wealth.) This all may be to avoid any criticism for appearing “out of touch,” despite such millionaires having plenty of cash in the bank. Ultimately those naked necks could be yet another signal that a recession is apparent.


Runways have also been less dazzled. Givenchy’s Summer 2023 Mens Collection, which usually has an abundance of plain colors and simplistic patterns, opted out of the logo-mania trend that they have used in the past. In addition, Dior’s Fall 2023 Menswear collection is saturated with nude colors, as is Saint Laurent’s gender-fluid collection. Unisex clothing is easily accessible to all, and staple basics appeal to the majority.

This makes room for practical and durable clothing articles, as consumers are now searching for economically conscious and crafty ways to dress up. Fashionistas alike share their ways of repurposing and re-wearing clothes, whether it is through a thrift-haul or a get-ready-with-me type of video. It has sparked new creativity amongst a new generation of shoppers, allowing them to express themselves more freely. Though it is inspired by previous years of fashion, it shows a new individualistic and inventive approach to past trends. But just as the cycle begins, we can be comforted that the nasty part of this will eventually come to an end.

 

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