In just the past two weeks, the internet has been flooded with a barrage of rather horrific, startling, disturbing fashion.
Exhibit A: The hairy-chest bathing suit.
Exhibit B: The detachable jeans.
Exhibit C: Lace shorts for men.
Take Exhibit C, for instance. "Lace Shorts For Men Are The Latest Fashion Trend & People Are Confused," Bustle wrote. "The chest hair trend in clothing doesn't stop with this swimsuit," Teen Vogue wrote, egging on further terror by noting that there's a hairy-chest track suit too. (We're not linking out of respect for you, dear reader.)
But we'd like to actually lift this burden off of you for a second and tell you a little something that will hopefully let you sleep easier tonight: You probably won't be seeing lace shorts in an H&M in six months, neither will you see a hairy-chest bathing suit the next time you go to the beach. That's because there is indeed a difference between fashion trends and what we'd call "trending fashion," which is what all the above are.
"Trending fashion" consists of the odd clothing pieces that we feel are purposefully pushed onto the internet to give its producer press and create a flurry of headlines. Take, for example, any number of these jean styles that we ourselves were fed up with:
Like the half-jean, which was described as a Coachella trend.
Or the clear-kneed jean from TopShop, which was described as a "bizarre fashion trend."
These shouldn't be considered "trends" because, well, this isn't how trends are born. Trends aren't born because one item pops up on the internet and is faced with a flurry of disgust and displeasure. Trends are formed either on runways via powerful fashion masterminds (as explained by Miranda Priestly in The Devil Wears Prada) or when, maybe, an innovative piece of clothing pops up on the internet and people have a mass conversation that isn't entirely filled with reactions like: "WTF?" "Uhm?" "This is gross!"
An example of this is the RompHim. The RompHim was faced with a very similar discourse as the pieces above us. People wanted to talk about it, and internet discourse was had on Twitter and Facebook and via news outlets (like this one!).
However, what sets this one apart is that not everyone was completely disgusted. It was more like people were intrigued, even interested. And there's good reason for that. Compared with the other clothing above, the RompHim is not unwearable or simply designed for viral outrage. It's flattering and adaptable, clothing that can work on many different body types, on anyone of any gender.
Despite the fact that the RompHim was indeed "trending fashion," it is a rare outlier of one that has been elevated to fashion trend. We can prove that statement in seeing a brand like Reebok already patenting a male romper design of its own. So, yes, expect this Romper marketed to men to go places. Expect to see it out, especially given that it's been a trend for a while in fashion.
But those clear-kneed jeans? That hairy-chest bathing suit? We doubt those will pop up on a runway or in your local department store. At least we hope not.