Written by Hannah Merrifield. 

It is not a mystery that as the times change so does fashion, but the question is, why?

When a typical college student is picking out clothes for a day of class or a date, what is it that has them reaching for jeans instead of Hammer pants?

Fashion is a popular way of dressing during a particular time or among a particular group of people, according to Merriam Webster dictionary.

Based on this definition, it can be concluded that, because time does not stop moving forward and groups of people are in a constant state of change, so is fashion.

In today’s society, there are a lot of followers of what is referred to as the “hipster” or “grunge” look.

Sarah Clark, a freshman studying biology, said people dress like thrift shoppers because for her it is hip to be cool and forget the preppy, try-hard looks.

“People want to look like they just rolled out of bed because it’s cool to look like you just don’t care what you look like, whether it’s true or not,” Clark said.

A flashback to the 1800s and the heavy, structured dresses with corsets and hoop skirts would starkly contrast with today’s clothing, according to the Vintage Fashion Guild.

It was not so long ago that it was unacceptable for women to show their legs. In 1910, women wore hobble skirts, which got their name from being so narrow that women could only “hobble” along while wearing them, according to Local Histories.   

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Mikayla Low, a freshman majoring in general studies, said that just in her lifetime, she has seen the standards of dress become more casual and immodest, especially because of recent celebrity trends.

Low said that today it is not only acceptable for a woman to show her legs, but it is also acceptable for her to dress provocatively.

Low said celebrities like Miley Cyrus and the Kardashians have inspired many of her friends to change their dress and grooming standards.

“People wear less clothes now overall,” Low said. “It is very scandalous.”

Celebrities have been known for setting fashion trends for centuries.

In 1790, Josephine Bonaparte, the French Emperor Napoleon’s wife, made empire waist dresses all the rage when she started wearing them, according to Shmoop.

In 2015, celebrities like Julianne Hough began the ink hair trend when she traded her signature blonde locks for a pastel pink, according to Julianne Hough’s website.

Social media also helps increase the fashion trends’ rate of change. It is easy to follow a live tweeting of a New York fashion show or scan Pinterest for style tips, according to Wojdylo Social Media, a fashion website detailing ways to stay up with the latest trends.

Joshua Jensen, a sophomore studying music, said men’s fashions have changed significantly just since he was in high school.

“It used to be that guys wore more baggy jeans, and now a slimmer fit is what guys seem to be wearing,” Jensen said.

Mariah Moss, a freshman studying music education, said a large part of why society changes their fashion styles is due to the changes of gender equality over time.

“Thank goodness women can wear pants now,” Moss said. “I love pants.”