Alex Hanks and Sofia Garcia

The 2010s had a spectrum of ups and downs when it comes to fashion. Vintage style was redefined and streetwear integrated itself into the designer community — the end result became a strange clash of vintage styles diluted by modern designs.

As far as men’s fashion is concerned, streetwear solidified itself as the crown jewel of fashion. The term “metrosexual” ceased to exist as men became more invested in sneakers and attire. Rapper A$AP Rocky can be partially credited for these trends, collaborating with up-scale brands like Guess, Dior and Calvin Klein — brands the hip-hop community would rarely be seen wearing.

The decade started off with artist Wiz Khalifa’s iconic group “Taylor Gang” re-establishing the original Chuck Taylor Converse All-Star as a staple in closets across America. At one point, people were tucking socks into the tongues of their shoes to make their pair stick out more. It was a look that lasted for years until skater style took the throne as the go-to for daily outfits.

This decade proved that simplicity is the king of fashion. Minimalistic closets with lots of Earth tones will always have longevity in the fashion world. While brands like Yeezy and Virgil Abloh’s Off-White pushed the envelope to integrate unique labeling, subtle neon colors in their sneakers; the pants and top that can coexist with such loud shoes has blown wide open.

We started the decade building our outfits from the top down. We pick apart various shirts and pants and later pick out a pair of shoes to complement the outfit. Now outfits are built from the bottom up. Our perception of fashion has been altered to be more invested in what is worn on our feet rather than the rest of our body. This dynamic adds a refreshing take but has also damaged the wallets of hypebeasts across America, with certain shoes being sold for thousands of dollars.

Before this past decade, the fashion industry was littered with gender norms that boxed in creativity and self-expression. Over the years, fashion and gender expression began to coexist more beautifully than before. Contrary to popular belief, those aforementioned Earth tones and neutral colors allow today’s individuals to express themselves with more versatility; fashion labels are dismissing the binary narrative. Fluidity emerged from the depths of fashion brands and flowed through major influencers then through their supporters. People who identify as non-binary, or those who are comfortable enough to embrace different expressions, have brought new perspectives to the table and allowed fashion to become a spectrum, like gender itself.

Celebrities like Harry Styles, Brigette Lundy-Paine and Ezra Miller have brought new meaning to gender-neutral fashion by breaking the barriers within gender norms and self-expression. Lil Uzi Vert, a rapper from Philadelphia, has been known to physically embrace his own dimension of femininity and gender neutrality — dismantling the binary guise of fashion.

This generation is unapologetically rendering gender norms incapable of influencing fashion statements, and it is conveyed through many new trends. Whether it is promoting Harry Styles in a pink tutu or Lil Uzi Vert wearing makeup, the fashion industry has been making progress with catering to those who do not identify with repressive social standards. Inclusivity is more prevalent within trends that are emerging. We have seen an open expression of gender neutrality in business fashion, like more people wearing pantsuits more dynamically. Colors are softer and styles are more androgynous, giving more room for those who exist outside of the “boxed in” story.

With the decade wrapping up, fashion inspiration drawn from prior decades has reached the forefront once again — it will be fascinating to see the usage of prior styles blended in cohesively with new trends. An abundance of icons in the industry reinvented the perspective of fashion and significantly reduced gender norms of how people should dress. We live in an era in which we have our foot on the throttle in reference to what we wear. Endless possibilities lay on racks and in our closets. We now have the power to curate our outfit rotations to make us feel more empowered than ever. There is always a beauty to be discovered within us and the ability to express our innermost traits through fashion is a privilege. Although some of the 2010s styles were questionable — wearing these styles established our identities. They gave us room to redefine who we are at any moment in time and that itself is a highlight of the decade.