Do you not believe social media has profoundly affected the way we live in the last couple of years? According to Statistics Canada, 9 in 10 Canadians between the ages of 15 and 35 use social media on a regular basis. We consume content that can influence all kinds of things from the way we think, to the way we act, to the way we dress. While this topic can get very heavy and very complicated, today we’re going to keep it light and breezy.
Let’s talk about Summer 2021 fashion trends and how you can prepare for them by keeping an eye out on Tiktok.
First of all, let’s acknowledge what it really means to follow fashion trends. There are a lot of potential issues when it comes to conformity and consumption and it’s important to understand them before indulging too deeply. Overconsumption is a huge problem that younger generations in particular struggle with. It has never been easier to get your hands on a new pair of shoes or a new tube top, and it’s also never been cheaper. Contributing to a waste cycle that exploits workers in order to mass-produce cheap clothing with devastatingly short lifespans are something we should all work towards avoiding. Under most systems around the world, almost no consumption is ethical, but there are still steps you can take this summer and beyond to reduce your waste and make the most of the items you have.
Here are some ways to do that:
- Upcycle clothes you already have
- Thrift for clothing from places like Value Village or Salvation Army
- Buy items that are being resold through platforms like Depop or Poshmark
- Buy/Trade/Borrow clothing from friends or family
- Support small/local businesses
- Purchase items that you can style multiple ways (self-tie tops/dresses, neutral colors, etc)
How to Spot Them
According to a Bigcommerce report, 84% of shoppers review at least one social media site before purchasing. Every day, whether it’s intentional or not, social media users are bombarded with new clothing and companies. This phenomenon is exacerbated on Tiktok especially, because, unlike other social media platform which is more self-directed, Tiktok opens immediately to a consumption landing page. This means that people watch content immediately, easily, and usually, for longer. Tiktok has 689 million active users (and over 2 billion downloads) worldwide, resulting in over a billion videos being watched every single day across every user on the platform. Evidently, this means Tiktok can have a lot to do with trends. Especially because not only can people accumulate huge followings, but a significant number of videos viewed by users are made by creators that they do not already follow.
Accounts also tend to build what’s known as “cult followings”: fan bases with a particular bond and sense of loyalty. The New York Times explains the Tiktok cult phenomenon “lift[s] up unlikely influencers and allow members to feel complicit in their rise.” Because these fans feel such a responsibility to their so-called cult leaders, Tiktok cults have the potential to seriously affect trends in the real world. Bigcommerce also explains that influencers with smaller followings actually also have better engagement rates than larger influencers because of their fanbase’s commitment, averaging about 5.3%.
With that said, so-called mega influencers have huge reach and while they might have lower engagement rates, their content infiltrates hundreds of thousands if not millions of our screens. Generally speaking, the best way to spot these trends is to look to these influencers. More specifically, identifying similarities and overlaps between their styles and pieces. This is because the trends that are the most pervasive will be trends that permeate many fan bases simultaneously.
For example, if Victoria Paris — a popular Tiktok creator with 1M followers — wears a pink miniskirt, some of her followers might also purchase pink mini skirts. However, that doesn’t necessarily constitute a trend. While Paris is a popular social media influencer, her average reach of 200-300k views per video is not significant enough to influence a large number of people. However, if Victoria Paris, Suede Brooks, Natalia Taylor, and Sterling Monett all wore pink mini skirts, they would have a collective reach of 4.75M followers and likely somewhere around 3.5 million collective views.
While some of those followers may overlap, this is still a significant number of potential trend-followers. Plus, large influencers on Tiktok also make frequent appearances on For You pages and have their content showcased to many people that don’t follow them. This is what makes Tiktok in particular such a powerful tool for trendsetting. It is likely that many viewers may begin to notice the pink mini skirt, especially if they follow more than one of these influencers or if it appears in more than one video. If even a small percentage of these followers purchase the skirt in response to these posts, that could be enough to saturate its existence in the digital universe. Since Tiktok capitalizes on the idea that everyone can be a creator (and with the help of the For You page, everyone can become overnight celebrities) it is likely that those followers make their own content showcasing their new skirts. That is exactly how fashion trends disseminate on Tiktok.
The Juicy Part
Okay, without further ado, let’s talk about what I think we’re going to see a lot more of during summer 2021! I spent the last week diving deep into Tiktok and checking specifically:
- My For You Page
- The Following Hashtags:
- The Following Content Creators:
After spending the week investigating, I identified trends and pieces that I saw occur in at least two different instances by at least two different content creators.
Based on my very professional research, here is what I think we can expect to see this summer.
#1 Earth Tones!
Earth Tones are so cute. Warm browns, sage greens, and muted tones make for a perfect outfit that really welcomes summer. I have seen SO MANY earth-toned outfits and I expect to see a lot more this summer.
#2 Baby Hoops
Move over, big hoops. Your time has come and gone. I’ve noticed so many content creators celebrating the tiny hoops and I am here for it! I think this transition from big, skinny hoops into smaller, thicker baby hoops is the 2021 version of skinny jeans to straight legs.
#3 Tie Tops
These. Are. Everywhere. I don’t think I can open Tiktok without seeing a girl either making or buying a tie top — and we’re here for sustainability and upcycling! Tie tops are in right now and whether you are part of the itty bitty committee or you’ve got a little more in the chest department, these tops will do you good.
An oldie, but a goodie. Neutrals are basically always in, but there’s been a recent resurgence in summer fashion. While summer is traditionally a time for lots of bright colors, it seems that people are opting for neutral tones this year.
#5 Backless Tops
This is yet another summer 2021 that I am SO happy about. Backless tops are so fun and can be worn in so many ways. Dress them up, dress them down; tie them one way then tie them another. They’re cute, versatile, and they are perfect for the summer heat.
For more information on hot girl summer, clothes, social media, and more to make sure to check back to Femonomic! See you soon and remember, no matter what you decide to wear this summer, as long as you feel good, it’s the right choice.