Staying on trend with the latest fashion can be daunting – and when style guides from publications like GQ and Teen Vogue say spring 2022 is all about statements like bold patterns and see-through fabric, it can be extra intimidating.
But for those in Bellingham who love to express themselves through their style, current trends often come second to individuality.
Kate Barton, store manager at consignment shop Buffalo Exchange, said Bellingham showcases a wide range of styles.
“It’s definitely eclectic,” she said. “There’s the goth customer who wants chunky shoes, or the Western-style customer who wants cowboy boots or a yoked, embroidered blouse.”
Barton said spring 2022 trends catching on in Bellingham are reminiscent of the 1960s and 1970s – loud colors, flowers, groovy, psychedelic prints and geometric cut-outs.
She said there is still a huge market for the “throwback” looks of the 1990s and 2000s.
“We have a customer who comes in to sell once a month, and her husband used to go to car shows,” she said. “We get a huge collection of his car show T-shirts from the early 2000s, and they always fly off the shelf.”
The Front asked people in Bellingham about their self-expression, current trends and where they like to shop.
Davis mainly shops vintage through Depop. He said some modern brands are doing retro well, like Urban Outfitters exploring textures like corduroy and terry cloth and Bode crafting unique sets and patchwork.
To gain confidence while wearing something new, Davis said to take it one step at a time.
“Start with one piece, something small, and then work your way up,” he said. “Wear it at home. If it feels good to wear at home, wear it out.”
“Ignoring where the clothes came from, whose hands made them, what they're going through and what that company is doing in order to get those people doesn't feel right,” she said.
Schmid said her style ranges from artsy-all-black to cottage core to bubbly pink pastels. A 2022 trend she is loving is matching sets, whether they be fancy with heels or a pair of sweats.
Schmid is not happy to see low-rise jeans coming back into the mainstream. She said the trend portrays a certain body type as the “it girl” of the season and certain 1990s-2000s trends may hurt more than they contribute.
“We cannot go back to what that was like for so long,” she said. “We are finally getting to a place where we are comfortable in our bodies.”
Artist and Simmons University online student Justice Walker wears 1960s-1970s looks inspired by her nana’s wardrobe. Her current fashion icons are Harry Styles for breaking gender norms and fashion blogger Lydia Okello for modeling body positivity.
“I definitely stand out in Bellingham because I like to experiment with my clothes,” she said. “People are like, ‘Oh my gosh, you're so dressed up.’ It's just what I wear. I've never wanted to be or look like most people.”
When Iverson sported a purse-like bag that defied gender norms at the time, Kutrovski got himself one. When wide-leg Lee Pipes were trending, he was on it. Hip-Hop culture led him to brands like Fear of God and Yeezy.
Kutrovski said friends in Bellingham have challenged him in new ways, like adding workwear Carhartt WIP to a look. He said style bloggers like Stevie Salle and Gallucks further inspire his streetwear aesthetic.
“I love the way street fashion allows you to express yourself freely without being fully runway,” he said. “It’s a merging of styles.”
“Something as simple as a newly discovered insect or a trade disagreement between countries has an impact on the industry in some capacity along the supply chain,” she said.
Bang left Seattle to pursue her dreams in London and graduated with a master’s in fashion critical studies. She has always loved fashion, and reading the Teen Vogue Handbook at a young age taught her there are many different jobs in the industry to explore.
Bang loves 1960s-1970s looks. She said she gets her clothes second hand from places like Vestiaire Collective, The Real Real, through consignment or vintage shops. She is inspired by designers like Alexander McQueen, Comme des Garcons and Rudi Gernreich.
Bang said the new Miu Miu micro-cropped mini skirt is an example of a trend that can launch the world into another obsession with unhealthy bodies, but it could also give us a modern perspective and appreciation of how many body types can make the same clothing look different.
“[Fashion] reflects how society is feeling, how cultures have progressed and how tradition is upheld,” she said.
For those in Bellingham who want to explore their personal style but don’t know where to start, Walker said to start with favorite colors.
“And,” she said, “you can never go wrong with a good coat.”
Sydney Jackson (she/her) (email@example.com) is a news reporter for The Front and WWU journalism major with a political science focus. Her research and reporting interests include politics, health sciences, social issues and the arts. She enjoys fashion, music, film, reading and creative writing.