In fashion, you want to look different, and to stand out from the crowd with your own unique style. Rejecting mainstream fashion and “basic” style trends is often a complex that afflicts the fashion-forward. 

Formerly known as musical.ly, TikTok has evolved into a completely unique platform of lifestyle, comedy, fashion, music, and many other genres of videos, tailored just for you by an eerily accurate algorithm on their explore feature, called the For You page (FYP). 

If you scroll even for just five minutes on TikTok, you’re likely to stumble across a fashion video, whether it be a clothing haul, review or styling tip clip. 

You might even be surprised to find yourself actually liking the styles shown, because of the diverse range of trends that influencers experiment with on the app. 

Here’s the question: is TikTok style basic? Or do we all just want to hate it, because TikTok is the app we all love to hate and hate to love? 

The 90’s and early 2000s are making a huge comeback in the fashion world, partially thanks to the social media platform, as we welcome back low-rise jeans, butterfly clips and oversized silhouettes. 

TikTok has undeniably started some pretty cool trends in the last few years. Thrifting is at an all time high, which is bad for your own personal shopping motives at the Goodwill bins, but great for the environment. According to thriftworld.com, secondhand clothing reduces approximately 26 billion pounds of textile waste that ends up in landfills each year, and gives clothing a second life. 

You’re also likely to find vintage pieces at a thrift or consignment shop that are on-trend at the moment for a fraction of the price of new clothing, and even cheaper than fast fashion go-tos like SHEIN or Forever 21 (which come with their own ethical conundrums). 

TikTok has also showcased men’s fashion in a volume which hasn’t been seen before on any other platform. 

Whether you love or hate TikTok, the inclusivity and representation on the app matters and has encouraged personal style expression for Gen Z in a revolutionary way. 

Fashion magazines have been and still are dominated by female models, women’s clothing, and are built to serve a mostly female audience. But TikTok has popularized more androgynous styles of dressing for all and provided men with more styling options beyond t-shirts, jeans, and sneakers. 

Quarantine TikTok gave us all the athleisure trends our hearts could desire, as we sat in our rooms already wearing our athleisure and scrolling through set after set of matching hoodies and sweatpants, biker shorts (hey Princess Di), cropped crewnecks, bra tops and sneakers. 

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Looking good and feeling good while stuck in the house inspired many people to get more into fashion and styling, moving away from ‘basic’ styles of skinny jeans and plain t-shirts – the things of everyday dress. Because we were all at home and on our phones, thrifting, athleisure and other 90s and 2000s nostalgia trends became the new mainstream.

TikTok, love it or hate it, has become a compass for trends and a stylebook for everyone who wants to spice up their wardrobe. It encourages millions of people to experiment with their self expression and allows users to be a part of the fashion world in a completely new and interactive way. 

monsonma@miamioh.edu