There has long been a rule in fashion that declares all popular styles must go from being trendy to outdated to trendy again over the course of 20 years. The so-called “20-year rule” controlled the trend cycle for decades — until TikTok took over.
Since the COVID-19 pandemic began and TikTok usage increased 180% among 15- to 25-year-olds, we’ve seen fashion from the 60s, the 70s, the 80s, the 90s, Y2K and the 2010s “Tumblr era” come back in style. Those are a lot of trends to cram into a measly two-year period.
On TikTok, all it takes is one or two viral posts flaunting a certain aesthetic for the style to become a “microtrend,” or an intensely popular clothing item that people feel they must have. Microtrends only last a few weeks or months before going out of style again.