Alison Toohy asks if it's time to go back to dressing with joy in mind.
In the past few years we have seen a rise in the business casual, neutral, “clean girl aesthetic” as seen on popular influencers like Matilda Djerf. We have also all become victims of wearing blazers to the club thanks to Hailey Bieber.
Although there is nothing wrong with dressing like you’re on your way to a corporate job while you’re standing in a nightclub smoking area, I can’t help but feel as though we’re all taking ourselves a bit too seriously. Is it now time for these trends to take a back seat to statement jewellery and bold colours? If the recent Moschino show is anything to go by then I would say yes. With the models wearing fun colours with loud accessories, including pool floats as garments, I feel like this is a step towards saying goodbye to basics and hello to letting loose and having a bit more fun when it comes to fashion.
The same can be said for AVAVAV’s recent runway show. The models can be seen wearing dollar signs on their chests, fluffy boots and dramatic silhouettes as they trip and fall down the runway. It seems as though Karlsson was trying to poke fun at the seriousness of the fashion industry with this line. Karlsson mentioned that they were “trying to take the bits and parts of the fashion system we like,” so we see familiar styles reminiscent of the “clean girl aesthetic” such as baseball caps and pinstripe but reimagined to be more fun and experimental paired with oversized sunglasses and exaggerated proportions. This line shows us that we can keep things we love from past trends and elevate them into something new and fresh.
The bottom line is we need to stop taking ourselves so seriously when it comes to what we’re wearing. There is just something a bit off about 20-something year olds wearing business casual to the club.
If we take these two shows into account we can see designers are trying to move away from the dull, monotonous aesthetic we have been so used to seeing recently, and towards a more light-hearted, fun approach to clothes. To me, this is a breath of fresh air and I am so ready to take a leap back from dressing in neutrals and basics and focus on a more fun and playful approach to fashion.
This is where the term “dopamine dressing” comes into play. It seems as though it’s time we all wear clothes for the sole purpose of making ourselves feel good. It’s time to replace those beige blazers and suit trousers for some more colour and exciting silhouettes. The bottom line is we need to stop taking ourselves so seriously when it comes to what we’re wearing. There is just something a bit off about 20-something year olds wearing business casual to the club.
Even if you look at the likes of Kim Kardashian, who, whether you like it or not, has a massive influence on what people are wearing, she has been drifting away from her usual neutral basics, and experimenting with different colours and prints. If you told me six months ago that Kim would be wearing a pink camouflage mini dress I probably wouldn't have believed you, but here we are. Kim is dressed pretty much exclusively by Belenciaga, although recently has collaborated with Dolce & Gabbana. Both brands have taken a more fun approach to Kim’s looks and I, for one, am on board. She has definitely been playing around with different textures and styles than we are used to seeing from her. Balenciaga have been experimenting with colour and print while Dolce & Gabbana have been putting Kim in fun sequins and very feminine silhouettes.
That’s the great thing about “dopamine dressing”, it means whatever you want it to mean. It means giving yourself the freedom to not look so put together and to wear clothes just because they make you happy.
I’m not telling you you need to throw out your Djerf Avenue blazer but it might be something to think about to style it in a more fun way that gives off a more youthful look rather than the 9-5 realness we’ve been seeing for so long. There's more colours out there than beige and I think we can all benefit from experimenting with new prints and styles.
So what does this change when we think of our everyday style? That’s the great thing about “dopamine dressing”, it means whatever you want it to mean. It means giving yourself the freedom to not look so put together and to wear clothes just because they make you happy. That’s a trend I think we should all get behind. What is fashion if not self expression? I think maximalism can bring out more of people's personal style because there is so much more room to play around with textures, accessories and different silhouettes. We didn’t have this room for expression whilst obsessing over clean lines, neutral palettes and structured fits.
There is a lot we can take away from Moschino and AVAVAV, primarily to not take fashion so seriously. They both poke fun at the seriousness of recent trends to remind us that there truly aren’t any rules when it comes to fashion, and it is time to let loose and steer away from the minimalist aesthetic we have all gotten drawn into. I still think there’s room for this clean-cut style, but we need more balance between being put together and wearing clothes to feel good. Maybe it’s time to call minimalism what it really is, a little bit boring. Have fun, wear a pool float on your head.