What’s Trending? (And No, I’m Not Talking About Twitter)


“Just like any girl, I wore leggings with a jean skirt and a plain black tank top.”

This is how Anya Kostenko ’13 describes the outfit she wore on her first day of school as a freshman at Staples. Take a look around. Chances are, you don’t see anyone wearing this outfit.

Trends such as Kostenko’s first day of school outfit are short-lived, particularly in high school, and don’t exactly excel in longevity.

When most senior girls look back on the outfits they wore on their first day in 2009, the memories of those who can recall so far back like Kostenko are flooded with recollections of uncomfortably tight Sugar Lips, colorful gauzy scarves, and strappy gladiator sandals.

Fast-forward to 2010 and images of colorful crop tops and Ombre hair may ring a bell for some. Come 2011, military-inspired black and brown leather combat boots and boho styles like sheer, flowy tops, silver and turquoise jewelry and stacked bracelets made appearances. Finally in 2012, girly peplums spiced up the hems of tops and wedge sneakers gave many a boost in not only height, but style as well.

Most could also identify 2012 as the year of the infamous LF sweater: a loose-fitting knit that came in an array of colors (although most girls wore the olive green) with slashed cutouts on the sleeves was seen on almost half of the female student body.

Kostenko was not one of them.

“I think the LF sweaters are ridiculous. [It looks like] all the girls who wear them…got attacked by a wild animal the day after the LF sale. I just see it more as being funny rather than a fashion statement,” she said.

Not only did just specific articles of clothing like the LF sweater gain popularity over the past four years, their color mattered just as much, if not more, than their construction. Neon fabrics returned in 2010 with vengeance, lighting up everything from fuchsia headbands at J. Crew to lime green Havaianas flip-flops at Wishlist.

Annika Skjoldborg ’13 enjoyed neon clothing for a bit, but believes that you can definitely have too much of a good thing.  “I think the right amount of neon clothing can be really cool, if worn right. However it’s often styled poorly and then it easily looks trashy. The only neon thing I own is a pair of high-top Vans that I love to use to add a splash of color to an outfit,” she said.

High school fashion is an ever-changing phenomenon that many can attest to is more often than not filled with questionable trends. For example, during both 2009 and 2010, Uggs took hallways all over the country by storm when cold weather rolled in and were even more prevalent on the checked linoleum floors Staples, a fact that Alexis Teixeira ’13 remembers well.

“They were comfy, but I wouldn’t say [that they were] very fashionable,” she recalled of the clunky fur-lined boots.

Teixeira is not alone in doubting the shoes’ attractiveness. Jackie Appell ’13 shared the same sentiment. “I was never into Uggs and never thought they were a good idea, although I did wear a short pink pair one day sophomore year; I wish I could tell you why. It was a big mistake,” she said.

When fabrics like fur and lace blew up in 2011, so did hair trends. Feather extensions and dip-dyed tips could be seen adorning the locks of Staples’ female students as they fashionably flipped their hair. Skjoldborg reflected on the popularity of the fast-spreading accessory.

“I thought hair feathers were very cool when they were a boho-girl kind of thing. However, I lost interest in them quickly as they spread to the hair of every Staples girl,” she said.

Although some of the fads formerly popularized by hallway style queens have faded (R.I.P. plaid everything, Juicy Couture velvet sweat suits, and straw fedoras) one from over two years ago still prevails: pants in pink, green, or even orange are seen in the halls, but blue is out when it comes to jeans.

Devine summed up the popularity of the trend. “I did not wear tribal pants, Toms, or gladiator sandals, but I do love colored jeans,” she said.

However, the popularity that characterizes trends such as colored jeans is not so stylish for Skjoldborg. “Something is really cool until everyone all of a sudden has it. Then it goes back to the forgotten uncool pile and then ends up coming back as a trend years later,” she said.