It’s funny how the big wheel of fashion turns. Throughout the 90s and 00s we always tried to prevent our jeans from fading. Block denim colours were in, and faded jeans were a big faux pas. Then something happened and we rediscovered our love for all things stonewashed.
Just take a quick look through any fashion magazine this year and you’ll notice everyone (and we mean everyone) is wearing faded or stonewash denim.
The faded look was last big in the 80s, so in a way it makes perfect sense that it should come back into fashion around now. In the 90s, it was the turn of the 60s to be reinvented.
When kids found their parents old stash of records and 60s clothes in the back of the cupboard there was a move towards reinvention. In the 00s, the 70s were back with flares making a big comeback (although this one was mostly for the girls).
So, it is perfect timing for the younger generation to rediscover faded and stonewashed jeans. Despite people often professing a desire to get away from their parents ideas, style and music, there is an influence underlying it that is hard to escape.
You’re instinctively drawn to things you see in old family albums. Seeing pictures of your parents as young people in faded jeans puts this image into your head – and it stays there. You might outwardly profess that they look stupid but inside you can’t help feeling that actually they look pretty cool.
That’s why the fashion wheel often turns in 30 year or generational cycles. It’s also why faded jeans are back now. Take a look elsewhere at the culture that’s going on.
In music, 80s electro pop is back in a big way. Everywhere you look there are neon colours which couldn’t be more 80s if it tried. In films, Superman is back on the big screen trying to recreate his 80s heyday. It’s quite literally everywhere.
It’s just a theory but it does seem to explain a lot. It’s why faded jeans are back and why you should be wearing them this summer. The 80s may have seemed like they were gone forever but if you look closely you’ll see them coming back. Soon you might realise that those guys from the 80s were actually pretty cool, and that might even include your folks. Just don’t tell them we said so.
Jim Rowland is a freelance stylist based in Melbourne, Australia who enjoys the latest in men's fashion. When he is not busy with photoshoots and events, he loves to frequent his local cafe for a good cup of coffee.