You may have noticed the increase in brands making rugged-casual items and of course, people wearing them. Whilst the (intentional) rustic look has been around for a long time – there has definitely been a rise in the amount of fashionistas desiring this look.
We’ve taken a look across the current fashion industry and put together this quick guide to help you make some sense of this rising trend, as well as advice on how to achieve the perfect rugged look!
Firstly, what actually makes clothing rugged?
We’ve all seen that guy walking down the street wearing his $300 pair of distressed jeans, only they don’t actually look distressed. Often, these artificially distressed clothing items have very clear and unnatural markings, rips and patterns – which totally goes against the rugged vibe.
In our opinion and from our research, we think the rugged look works best when the items are naturally lending to the style, look for over built and highly functional clothing. This is also the case for footwear, look for some chunky, premium boots that will stand the test of time. That way, natural marks, scratches and the general exposure to the elements over multiple years will create the organic rugged look. It’s also far more sustainable to wear higher quality items so that you don’t have to keep replacing them with cheaper alternatives.
We absolutely love Blundstone boots, they are probably the first thing to pick-up when putting together a rustic outfit, as they go with absolutely everything.
Functionality and practicality is just cool
Gone are the days of dangerous heels, slippery soles and uncomfortable dresses. As technical wear took the stage in Western fashion thanks to pop influence, the benefits of this are here to stay (at least for a while). Now that the new generations have had a taste of comfortable and useful clothing – mainstream brands will need to keep producing this type of clothing if they want people to wear it. A good example of this is womens jeans FINALLY starting to have actual pockets and not just pretend ones!
The fact is that consumers want practical clothing, outdoor based brands are making waves in the fashion industry like never before, people appreciate well made and durable clothes as we wake up to the negatives of fast fashion.
Environmental influence on fashion
As the west is waking up to the devastating effects of climate change and impending issues as a result of this, the environment is a topic that is on everyone’s lips. Celebrities and influencers are no exception to this and are being very vocal about the climate in recent years. Where there is discussion, there is influence in every direction – in music, food, just in culture and of course that means in fashion too.
As people look for more sustainable options compared to high-street fast fashion brands, consumers have shown willingness to part with a slightly higher amount of cash in order to acquire higher quality goods – as its now becoming more commonly understood that this is actually cheaper in the long term, as they’ll last longer. This is of course great news if you’re into the rustic look. Having a faithful pair of boots for many years is a great feeling – especially when that means you don’t need to visit crowded malls as often.
Rustic is a truly timeless look
Another massive reason why the rustic fashion trend is seeing a huge increase, is because people are getting sick of fashion trends coming and going so quickly. As we’ve all become settled with using social media every 5 minutes, there has been a whirlwind of constant trends coming and going. Quite frankly this barrage of “you must have this” is exhausting and it’s just not sustainable for normal people. Instead, people are realising that an old pair of jeans, band shirt and cool pair of boots is just more down to earth. A much more chilled and genuine look compared to the latest boujee viral trend.
Feminism and the influence on fashion
Feminists have been paving the way for womens rights and with this comes a rejection of traditional and restrictive fashion items. This normalisation of women being able to wear what they want, how they want is amazing and it’s caused brands to sit up and pay attention to give consumers what they want to actually wear. As a result, there has been a huge decrease in the demand for “girly” clothing items which were often not practical. Women should of course, feel proud and able to wear whatever comfortable clothes and shoes they want – without the need to please anyone but themselves.
Adventure and the fashion industry
The corona lockdowns meant that many of us had to stay at home, holidays were canceled and travel plans were abandoned – interestingly, during this time a lot of people had more free time and this meant they were reevaluating their ambitions. Being reminded that free time and the outdoors is something to be cherished caused a lot of people to develop stronger interest in traveling the world and getting more active. We all get so caught up with working and in social media… It’s almost like we needed to hit the reset button on society and take a moment to appreciate the beauty of the Earth again.
Outdoor brands that promote this type of adventurous lifestyle have seen huge increases in sales and interest as a result of this. It’s no surprise then that you’re seeing more and more people wearing these rustic and outdoorsy clothes then.
Conclusion – the rustic vibe is here to stay
All things considered, rustic and functional fashion is firmly established in today’s society. There have certainly been worse fashion trends that have come and gone in the past and we are huge fans of the rustic look for its practical advantages, but also just because it looks super cool. Trying too hard has always been a bad look when it comes to outfits, so chill out and throw on your old boots before you go out the door to look effortlessly cool. We’re off to the woods for a hike, catch you next time!