Whether we admit to it or not, one day we will look back on 2015, with its lobs, smokey eyes and high-waisted everything, and think, “Dear god, why?” This type of shame-ridden regret has already permeated through most of us in one form or another. When I think back to my childhood, flared, patched denim and all, I wonder why I ever thought anything I wore was cool. Then I remind myself that I was in fact, a child, and that’s reason enough to justify my sartorial missteps.

What surprises me the most is that I can also think back to much more recent years, to trends that still hold some level of relevance, and roll my eyes and think “that looks so dated.” (see: long, wavy hair with a center part à la 2012 Kim Kardashian.) People are already discussing the looming exit of the skinny jean, an idea that I want to reject now, but will probably succumb to within months. Lest I forget how I scoffed at the idea of skinny jeans years ago, thinking that pants which served no other purpose than to cut off your circulation altogether would never catch on. I was obviously a little off-base — she types, unable to feel her legs at all.

This all begs the question*, why bother with trends if we’re only going to look back on them in horror/embarrassment? For one, we could start by not looking back on them in horror/embarrassment. Would I wear a bubble shirt, the itchy, one-size-fits-all top that reached its peak around the same time “Lizzie McGuire” did, in 2015? No, because I’m not an insane person. But I do hold a lot of respect for eight-year-old Erika, who pestered her way into one after months of eyeing it in a Limited Too catalogue. It itched so good — until nine-year-old Erika subconsciously dubbed it passé.

All of us have fallen prey to trends. Whenever I stumble upon pictures from the ’90s of my style-ignorant father I consistently find myself thinking, “It takes one bold color to somehow combine the subtlety of a pastel and the abrasiveness of neon.” There’s no way he cared about clothes enough to think that he was making some original or progressive statement with what he was wearing. I can almost guarantee that he saw it on a rack with dozens of others and thought, “I need a shirt and this seems normal enough.” And by the standards then, it probably was. We look back, and we laugh, and we ask ourselves how we possibly could have worn that, but that’s what life is, adjusting to change like some sort of vestiary Stockholm syndrome. It only took a few months of being surrounded by skinny jeans for me to throw up my hands and say, “I guess this is what’s covering my butt for the next 10 years.”

Whether we find ourselves to be fashion visionaries or claim to be a person who only buys clothes when they absolutely need to, none of us can escape the feeling of trend regret, but that’s exactly why we should embrace our current options. If you want to model your wardrobe after fall 2015 Givenchy, facial piercings and all, now’s the time. Or if you’d rather dig through piles of vintage to discover your ideal baby-doll dress, have at it. Trends are a fleeting pipeline to genuinely enjoying fashion and being able to discover and experiment with style. There will always be the potential of minute embarrassment years down the road — but if you’re going to regret something, it might as well have been inspired by Riccardo Tisci.

*I’ve recently been informed that this is the wrong use of “begs the question” but I’m 22 years old, and frankly, it’s too late to be telling me these things.

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