A Copycat Culture: How Vintage is All the Rage


Emily Ito

An image taken of the home page of the popular clothing store, Urban Outfitters. The clothing displayed is very reminiscent of some 80s and 90s styles.

Emily Ito, Section Editor

It is confirmed, originality has gone out of style and nostalgic trends are all the rage. Nearly every show you watch, every song you listen to, every clothing item you purchase is reflective of a different time. From the 80s style television show, “Stranger Things,” to the increasingly popular clothing item, “Mom Jeans,” every aspect of today’s culture pays tribute to a past trend.

Society has always been a big fan of recycling the past, children taking inspiration from the childhoods of their moms and dads. The lines between different eras are blurred as music, movies, and fashion trends are always ready to make a comeback. Sequels and spinoffs from old films and television shows are constantly in the works. The Star Wars films that premiered in the 70s have been revived, choker necklaces from the 90s are displayed on thousands of teenage girls, and songs from decades ago are being covered by people across the world. Students love old trends and “like wearing stuff like denim jackets and watching shows from the 90s.”(Jayden Hawley 11) The past is clearly represented in pop culture and the media, remaining popular amongst all generations. Everything is reflective of a different time and trends can not stop paying homage to their predecessors.

Elements of the past become increasingly important and relevant during times of hardship and turmoil, with people desperately clinging on to the periods of time when life was simple and carefree. Nostalgia is a feeling that society craves because people want nothing more than to forget their troubles of today and selectively reminisce on the best parts of their past. During the polarizing 2016 presidential election, the series, “Stranger Things”(2016), premiered on the popular streaming service, Netflix. It combined an 80s soundtrack with the stylistic influence of movies such as “Stand By Me”(1986) and “The Goonies”(1985). The show provided the much needed escape from reality and a chance to fondly look back on some technicolored memories (New York Times). People like to feel nostalgic therefore trends are constantly coming back as a reminder of years before.

Yet, society has slowly evolved from taking inspiration from the past to pure replication of old material. With the improvement of technology and methods of transferring information, “the line between past and present, creation and curation, has never been thinner” (New York Times). At the click of a button, a person can perfectly mimic an outfit worn during the 70s. While it may be described as a copycat culture, innovative minds are taking the old material and improving upon it. Integration of various decades has enhanced the experience of today. One can eat Dunkaroos from the 90s as he or she watches the 1985 film“The Breakfast Club,” and listening to ABBA while wearing a tie dye shirt and flower crown. Copying yet improving is invaluable to the betterment of society(Huffington Post). Today the world may be considered a “copycat culture,” but it is undeniable that the new generation is improving upon every aspect of the lives of those that came before.