By Jenn Schleich / Published on Bustle.com
I just bought a skort; don’t judge me. Try and suppress your inner tween, who is screaming in protest. Skorts are back as a re-emerging trend (and not just for athletes) and they’re popping up in one way or another across the broad swath of standard retail stores like H&M, American Eagle, Free People, Forever 21, Lilly Pulitzer, etcetera. You can’t stop a fashion train from running you over, so it’s best to just get out of the way fast or jump on board.
In case you somehow skipped the ’90s, let’s clarify: A skort is a cross between a skirt and short or, as Urban Dictionary so wonderfully defines it, “a mullet for your butt.” This all sounds so appealing; you might be wondering why we would ever want this strange style to return. It might have something to do with the general re-emergence of ’90s fashion, of course.
Just like the average Joe, the fashion industry is often struck unsuspectingly by waves of nostalgia. Our sentiment for the past is usually quite rosey and idealized. No matter how much we look upon platform heels and tie-dye with disdain, fashion’s by-gone styles also conjure up happy memories. As such, we generally take delight in looking back upon our fashion past to reminisce about the crazy styles of yesteryear.
I’m prone to impulse shopping and I purchased my skort on a wild whim. I only began researching the skort and fashion nostalgia after my shopping buzz began to subside and I spiraled down into nail-biting anxiety; was I shortly going to be regretting my purchase? I started to wonder if nostalgia-inspired fashion can ever have any lasting longevity or if it must always be a trend. I think we can say with almost certainty the former is true and longevity is possible — just look at skinny jeans. For a nostalgic style to gain a firm foothold it must be re-imagined to suit contemporary social attitudes and it must also pair well with contemporary fashion. For example, what good is it to have trucker hats return to the mainstream if it’s difficult to pair them with anything?
I personally enjoy how Nadia Buick, who thinks our culture is currently experiencing an over-arching longing for the past, puts it: “Fashion is a paradoxical design form that is both driven by a desire for the new, and a love of nostalgia… but such ‘new’ ideas are more often than not old ideas brought back to life by way of a strange cultural nostalgia. Fashion seems to cannibalize itself at a much faster and more complex rate than any other design or art form.” The gist is the old must be brought back to life in new ways for it to actually be considered change. The good news is the skort has been reimagined in a new way….