When Trends Die

By Gabrielle.

How long do you hold on to a trend? Are you quick to move on and let go, or more of a hanger-on for dear life? I have to admit I still love the Keep Calm and Carry On slogan; I never get tired of it, no matter how many different iterations it undergoes! It’s a crisp design, a tireless font, and just plain positive message.

But I get it when people scream a little when it transgresses into Keep Calm and Grow A Moustache or Keep Calm and Be A Unicorn. One who eats macarons and dances Gangnam Style, perhaps!

Tell me what slogan or trend is wearing you out, which ones you’ll never give up, and what you think is the next big idea. (I hope it’s a sweet one!)

89 thoughts on “When Trends Die”

  1. If you like it, keep it…doesn’t matter if it’s a trend or not. From an interior design point of view though – if I see it at a local McDonald’s Cafe then it’s off for me ;) (Staked stone fireplaces are an example – I like them, but now I see them at all the McD’s and I wouldn’t want it anymore)

    1. I’ve never heard of using McDonald’s as a trend gauge, but I’ll bet it’s accurate! That reminds me, I keep meaning to write a post about McDonalds in France…

    2. Noooo!! Your words slay me! We just put a stone fireplace (which I love) but I totally get it. I saw the SAME stone on a Burger King commerical in the background and about died!
      I will say, as much as I love Ikat, I wouldn’t go any further than pillows with that pattern. Not. Going. To. Last.

  2. I’m a hanger oner. I usually hang on and love a trend until one day someone says something that makes me see it in a new light and bingo it seems silly. The last one that went that way was the bird trend and someone posted about the “put a bird on it” trend and it all seemed silly.

    As for the next trends – I think paper flowers are a rising trend, but that’s about all I can think of.

      1. Same here! I love them, and if I’m a head of a trend, then I’ll be happy.

        I’m not much in to trends. I prefer things a little more classic. But, if there’s a trend that I want to follow, but it’s been awhile, I usually don’t bother because I don’t want to be late to the bandwagon and have to change it quickly.

        1. I remember carefully avoiding trends in my teens and even into my twenties, but something happened in my thirties and I started getting a kick out of trends. Mysterious!

    1. We bought mustache erasers at a museum shop in the U.S. last summer. I was sort of surprised my kids picked them out. But they thought their French friends would get a kick out of them — I don’t think the mustache trend has played itself out here yet.

  3. I hate all iterations of Keep Calm and ____!!!!!!!! I think it’s way overused and has lost its meaning. Blech.

  4. Chevron…if a large number have it in their house, then it’s not something I want in mine. Too cliché.

      1. Hmm, either red or navy. With a weathered wooden frame. Wouldn’t that be cool? I once saw an article about Anya Hindmarch’s home and she had a big poster of it in her living room. I’ve always thought, “if it’s good enough for Anya…” :)

  5. I’d think that for that most part I don’t buy into trends. Chevrons, taxidermy, top knot hair do’s, skinny jeans — I’m not interested. If I like something – great. If I don’t — it doesn’t matter how on trend it is.

    One trend that I DID buy into and have never let go of is overalls. Remember when those were cool? WAAAY back when? Well in my book they still are. :) I have two pairs of baggy, cropped, faded overalls from The Gap that I still sport. Love them!

      1. I’ve been re-watching Buffy the Vampire Slayer (completely obsessed, as always) on Netflix, and SMG is so adorable in a pair of overalls. Overall shorts are so cute, too. I’m glad they’re back, Gabrielle!

      1. I hear you. It took a long time for me to warm up to skinny jeans. When I moved to this very rainy place, and started wearing a lot of boots and wellies, suddenly they made more sense. : )

        1. I love skinny jeans for this very reason!! I live in Texas, but I hate walking around with the bottoms of my jeans all wet!

          I do wish they would sell jeans other than skinny jeans…I hate that it is the only option in a lot of places.

    1. Agreed! I clicked to say that chevron and faux taxidermy are the two greatest offenders right now. Both scream circa 2011 to present. I love chevron – I just wish it weren’t everywhere!

      But who am I to judge – skinny jeans and hair top-knots are two of my favs, and seem like classics to me. I will ALWAYS have skinny jeans in rotation! :) Someone in retail told me once that women should wear the most fitted jeans possible, no matter how big or small they are, so the leg doesn’t have extra fabric to add bulk. It’s a formula that works for me!

      Can words be too trendy? Yes – the word “slay.” As in, “his little face slays me.” Still cute, but veering into cliche.

  6. This post made me smile. Keep Calm spoke to me back when I first saw it and I still like it too. I’m not a fan of all the iterations, but sometime I get a chuckle out of them. Perhaps it will become cliche, go out of favor and in a decade someone will see my Keep Calm poster and think it’s really clever. You just have to go with what you like. It’s too much trouble to worry about what everyone else thinks!

  7. I was a little sad the Harlem Shake trend went out so quickly. Those videos made me laugh so hard! No one can accuse me of being trendy with fashion, LOL. I’m a strictly jeans and T-shirt girl these days. But I think if you really love something, then it becomes part of your personal style and you shouldn’t have to give it up just because some fashion magazine says it’s “out.”

  8. I like the original “Keep Calm” posters. The alternate incarnations can be funny, but I could do without them. Other trends I can’t let go of are usually food-related. Why do people keep wanting to say that cupcakes are over? A cupcake will always be delicious!

  9. I am happy the silly bands trend has died and gone, although despite my efforts to eradicate, I still find the things popping up in random places – could be the bottom of a drawer or a garden flower bed! I know with all their themes they made great little favors to be handed out just about everywhere, but they also made their way into little mouths, into the drain, and there seemed no way to control the silly band population. I had a friend that called them “stupid bands” – that always makes me chuckle!

  10. I’ve always been a bit anti-trend, but not intentionally. I just feel like when I wear a trend (chevron, maxi-dresses) or design with a trend that I’m trying too hard to be cool and up to date. There’s nothing wrong with that, but I always have and always will prefer a timeless look (like Kate Middleton) in what I wear and design with. And it can still be fresh and up to date. For example, I’ve always loved blue & white ginger jars, plates, etc. I just decorate with a more contemporary jars. I’ve never worn a messy bun and I still haven’t tried skinny jeans. However, my hip 20-something sister (I’m just a few years older) told me I need to buy my first pair of skinny jeans because they’re the new norm. I tend to agree with her so I need to go get myself a pair of skinny jeans!

  11. I’ve always liked the Keep Calm stuff. Classic. And I LOVE chevrons. I’ve been trying to figure out how to get just a little chevron in my house. I might get some wallpaper for our downstairs washroom. We’ll see. I confess I’m growing a little weary of all the chalkboard stuff. Even though I’d totally put one in my house! And the whole pallet stuff is tired to me. Meh. BUT, I say if you love it, then love it and forget what everyone else thinks!
    Something I’ve seen alot that makes me cringe is people getting frustrated and putting FML on things (F*** my life) I think it’s just awful and I hate it when I see it. Anytime a friend or family member writes that I always lecture them!!

  12. Speaking of words that are on my tired list, the word “curate” has reached saturation IMHO. Let’s send it back to museums, where it belongs!

      1. When I was in art school I swore after I graduated I’d never use the word “juxtaposition” again!! To this day, I cringe every time I see it!!

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    1. I know what you mean. Sometimes I wonder if the trends ARE actually everywhere, or if it just FEELS like they are because of seeing images get passed around on Pinterest…

  14. I will be happy if I never hear the phrase “think outside the box” again. Simply by using the phrase a person is proving that they aren’t!

  15. how funny. I just saw balloons at the super market that said ‘keep calm and move on’ for like graduates of whatever. I thought….oh. this trend is officially DEAD if it wasn’t already when a clever saying is printed on a balloon!

  16. -Mason jars are an item I wish hadn’t become “trendy”, because they’re actually timeless and practical. I’ve been using them since I was married in 1983 (gasp) – before they were “cool”. They are all over Pinterest and seem to have lost their fresh look.
    -It’s true about certain animals having their design moment. Way back when, some Vermont artist popularized cow silhouettes. Then it was crows and chickens and now birds and bird nests. The trend seems to last for about a decade (from uber-trend to the Walmart knock-off overstock bin). I wonder what’s next from the barnyard!
    -The F-word. Watch any annual awards show (Oscars, etc) and gorgeously dressed actresses will, in an attempt to seem edgy and cool, utter profanities that derail their outward beauty. I am sorry but poor language from women is beneath all of us. I really hope we can find more impressive ways to express our thoughts.
    -This may upset some people, but I suspect tattooes will eventually go away, at least for women anyway. I know they’re really strong now, but there’s something to be said for a clean, totally natural, pure landscape of skin without looking like we did in 6th grade when we wrote silly things on our hands in blue pen. I just think it looks a bit un-classy – especially when I seem them on supposedly mature women. Again, this is only my personal opinion and it has much to do with my associations with tats.
    -Lastly, my dream trend will be a return to beautiful handwriting. E- communication makes handwriting less necessary, butI hopehopehope there might be an upswing towards crafting a beautifully-written note , a surge of interest in cursive handwriting or good calligraphic work.
    -This is rather abstract, but I also wish for a real return to privacy. Again, the availability of camera phones and tweeting and all that online expression has sort of taken the mystery and privacy out of our lives. Actually, we’ve given it all away, really. This is a huge topic, and one that others have written about more comprehensively, but the need to constantly reveal and ‘share’ (though it always seems superficial and temporal) strikes me as undignified.

    I know I sound like an old biddy but I wish for a return to elegance and intrigue. (Can you imagine Sophia Loren, Grace Kelly or Jackie Kennedy tweeting banalities…?
    Just sayin’..)

    1. Eight third-grade classes at my son’s school, and only one of them taught cursive. Amazingly, he has beautiful cursive writing. He can’t print legibly without effort, but his cursive is perfect.

      I was sad to hear it was not being taught as a standard anymore.

    2. I believe hand lettering, cursive and calligraphy already are making a comeback. Cutesy hand-lettered signs seem to be Pinterest darlings of the moment, although I’m guilty of loving (and making) them as well. I have always prided myself in my handwriting and will be teaching my kids cursive even if they don’t learn it in school.

    1. Neon is hot for sure right now! I really like it in small doses and as accents. But I know it’s not universally loved. I was in 5th grade the last time it was cool. : )

  17. I still love the Keep Calm and…almost anything. I am surprised that bright neon 80’s era clothing is still trendy (at least 5 years running!), but hey, it was fun in the 80’s so why not?

    1. I’ve been surprised too. I bought a few pieces with neon before we moved to France, and I thought the trend would be over right away, but it’s still going strong!

  18. The reemergence of 80s fashion makes me feel so old. I can’t embrace them because I already have the regret photos of me rocking those styles, I clearly don’t need a second round. I finally get why my mom disliked when all the 70s styles came back when I was in high school (flares, anyone?).

    The most annoying part about trends is that everyone wants to claim that they were totally the inventor of said trend and the rest of the world is a mindless copy cat. ‘I liked chevron back when we just called it zig zags.’

    1. That reminds me of when you’re a kid and you think your big sister or your dad is the original creator of jokes like Why’d the Chicken Cross the Road…

    2. DUDE! Yes. The 80’s can stay gone. When my girls want to buy things that looks way too much like something I wear, I find reasons why they can’t have it. Am evil like that. However? I shudder every time I see a photo of me in some day glow leggings.

  19. The word ‘super’. Everything is super cute, super easy, not super hard, we’re super busy but not super impressed, and even those cunning advertisers have cottoned on because last night while online shopping at a major clothing retailer for baby pyjamas I couldn’t help but notice that they were all described as super handy or super fluffy. I hope nobody is super offended because I know we’re all overusing it super often!
    On the other hand, I’ve been half heartedly looking for the perfect classic loafer for years, and now that they’ve come back for their moment in the spotlight I’m thrilled to be spoiled for choice, and will be sporting them decades after the trend has died off again.

      1. I super agree with you, Hailey, about that word; and I think über, overused in the same way, is über-annoying!

  20. I’m on a budget and have a cheaply-framed “Keep Calm and Carry On” poster in my house. It doesn’t look amazing, but I swear it works wonders on my mood during a hectic day.

  21. A few months ago, my mom called me to tell me that she had found the “best sign for me.” It turned out to be the original “Keep Calm” message, and she thought I might need it in my house-ful of ten people.

    Unexpectedly, she passed away shortly thereafter. Consequently, I will always have a soft spot in my hear for “Keep Calm.” I even bought a poster (from her) for myself for Christmas. The bold red – her favorite color – and white letters always make me happy.

    I wish I could be more trendy, but I feel too much like the popular guy’s annoying little sister when I try. Wouldn’t mind seeing high-waisted pants again, though, Or how about harvest gold? Then the bathroom in our house will be back in style and I won’t have to replace the tub.

  22. Anyone else really tired of “Live Laugh Love”? Or, “Just Breathe”? Do we really have to be reminded of those? I think all slogan artwork should go away!

      1. DITTO! It was a house listing and I thought to myself “I will never buy that house just because of that!”

  23. I wonder if most people even know the origin of the “keep calm” phrase. Fascinating http://www.oprah.com/blogs/Keep-Calm-and-Read-This-Blog

    As for me, I am very tired of the trendy subway art posters with random words going in different directions. It has just never struck me as beautiful or artful. A bit lacking in inspiration. But if you love it, by all means, hang it!!

    1. Thank you so much for sharing that link. I loved the video! Brings a whole new meaning on the phrase “Keep Calm and Carry On” doesn’t it?

  24. Did someone say high-waisted jeans are coming back? I’d love to know where to find them! I could care less about most trends…yet I’m starting to worry that I might have that look that screams ‘ stuck-in-a-rut’ ! Which reminds me…
    My brother and sister-in-law are coming to visit next week and I dread it, shamefully, because they are so San Francisco hip…it’s a real drag.
    Lastly, the city valley girl talk is AWFUL! Can we stop talking that way? please.

  25. I’ve been over “Keep Calm and Carry On” (or every version of that) for well over a year… and they keep coming! I can’t stand the word “bespoke” which many websites/people use. Drives me bonkers. With the internet, the trends just spread so quickly!

  26. I just have to say that I love the “keep calm and grab the seam ripper” version. I don’t think there is anything else that describes my experience sewing better. Someday I will get to printing it out and putting it by my sewing machine.

  27. I’m making an ombré baby blanket right now (white blanket dip-dyed raspberry to baby pink) to sell on-line as a fundraiser, and every time I see something ombré being touted as still-super-stylish. I breath a huge sigh of relief. Give me one more month, ombré!!! That’s all I ask.

  28. I will be so sad if the chevron pattern goes away. I LOVE it in skirts. Then again, at 33 years old I don’t care enough if I’m cool or not, so I’ll keep buying all the chevron skirts. :)

    I tend to go with the, if my 11 year old thinks it’s the best thing ever…it’s probably on it’s way out. ha. Although the older she gets the less this is true. However the mustash thing has gotten over the top in my girls world.

  29. I am so glad summer is here because I was so tired of seeing the skinny jean rider boot look everywhere! I wanted a pair of riding boots last Fall…but when I saw every woman in my town sporting her new boots in black, grey, brown…you name it- coupled with skinny jeans…I thought “no not me.” To me, the boots have to be fabulous to really look great and now every store carries boots so everybody wears these…and not everyone can pull off the look.

  30. I am totally tired of the LOL trend. I find it annoying when I see it written in people’s text of writing. Can’t they come up with something more original like I am laughing my pants off or this it so hilarious.

  31. There are some great ones in these comments, I agree with most. One thing that drives me cuckoo is the ubiquitous Instagrammed photo of a latte next to a beautiful, trendy magazine. Each time I see it, I’m sort of stunned that we’re still doing that! No offense to anyone, I hope! :)

  32. I’ve been feeling sheepish for still having my Keep Calm poster up in my house because it seems so overdone right now. Just yesterday I instagrammed a picture of my poster because on Valentine’s Day our house was broken into and the when the thiefs kicked the door in, they broke the glass on the frame to my keep calm poster. So now it’s a big frame with a big poster, with broken glass, and it won’t hang straight (still waiting on insurance money to replace) and I love what it says when I look at it: the poster still grandly proclaims to keep calm and carry on, even if the glass is broken and the picture won’t hang straight. So the trend might be overdone, but I’m keeping my reminder that even in the midst of hard and scary things, we’re carrying on just fine.

    1. Situations like this are the whole reason for the poster. Don’t let the bad guys win, Emily. Carry on!

  33. i’m a huge fan of aqua/turquoise/teal, and was a little worried when it became a trend. it’s a huge color in my home and i was worried i’d look like a johnny-come-lately or like i was stuck in a trend once another color is the hot, new thing. my husband reminded me that it doesn’t matter what anyone else thinks about our home, which completely took the pressure off! it’s true! our home only has to appeal to us!! let’s not care so much if people are over chevron stripes or grey and pastels together. if you love it, who cares what anyone else says!!! wear your low-slung hip-huggers, your high-waisted, pleated, suspender-ed pants, your overalls!! our differences make use unique. it comes down to whose opinion is important to you. i like to keep that list as short as possible. <3

  34. The next big thing: Cronuts!

    Here in NYC, we are all mad for them. They’re made by Dominique Ansel Bakery in SoHo, and there’s even a not-so-sinister black market for them on Craigslist. It’s a cross between a croissant and a donut, and I haven’t had one yet, but they sound amazing.

  35. This was a such a fun thread to read! I don’t get tired of quotes that are encouraging like the Keep Calm one, so if it is uplifting I am a “hanger oner.” But as an artist, I do get tired of visual trends EASILY. Having said that, I do think you can bring trends to your own aesthetic and keep them current if they are truly you so, Robin…Hooray that you found a color you love! Go turquoise!!

    I personally love the gold trend now. Never thought I would since I was such a “Silver” girl. As far as trends that I am not crazy about…honestly flip flops (especially if they are not leather) for dress wear!! Or for anything other than the pool or beach. I have succumbed on occasion but am uncomfortable. Just like a handwritten note is the right thing to do, dressing all the way down to our feet is as well. Sounding pretty old fashioned, aren’t I?

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