The Four Trends We All Thought Would Die Out In 2014…But Didn’t


If the 1980s taught us anything, it’s that trends come and go. With the ubiquity of the Internet, we are better equipped than ever to observe and comment on passing fads, and it seems that crazes pass faster than ever now that so many loud opinions fill the air.

However, through the miasma of commentary, only a small handful of concepts survived and thrived in 2014, and we can honestly say we didn’t expect it to be some of these. Here are all the trends that surprised us by sticking around to ring in the New Year.

1. Google Glass

Google Glass is a few years old now, but in 2014 Google opened up their Explorer program to more people, so there are more Glass users than ever before. Plus, Google released more than 15 different styles of Glass, so users don’t have to suffer the generic prescription-less frames of yore. But let’s face it: Google Glass still is a little awkward. Try as they might to make Glass look stylish and blend seamlessly with fashionable outfits, but the little piece of Lego attached to your lenses is geeky at best and alienating at worst.

Still, Google Glass has proven its usefulness tenfold. The modern world just keeps getting busier, and people no longer have the time to pull out their smartphones or computers and navigate to the information they need. It seems Google Glass is here to stay, not because it is fashionable but because it is never-endingly practical.


2. E-cigarettes

To be quite honest, smoking will always look unquestionably cool. Still, there is no argument that it is good that more and more smokers quit the addictive and unhealthy habit every year. Even for non-smokers, watching someone take a drag on a cigarette and release a cloud of smoke just has some innate sophistication coupled with nonchalant charm. That’s likely all thanks to film.

So, the quick popularity of electronic cigarettes — these plastic or metal tubes that deliver nicotine without tobacco or harmful smoke — kind of threw the world for a loop. The devices at first looked goofy and ungainly, unlike the classic cigarette, but have now become quite cool on their own and come in myriad shapes and colors, so it seems no two are alike. Yet, the possible health benefits and lower expense of vaping instead of smoking tobacco products have made the devices ubiquitous, and somehow, smokers even look cool when they aren’t exactly smoking,

3. Tablet Computers

At first, like most technology, tablets were a fun novelty. Despite the immediate popularity of the Apple iPad, most tablet users saw the devices as high-tech entertainment without much purpose in the long run. While many people bought and used tablet computers, almost all continued to maintain more serious devices — laptops and desktops — to accomplish actual tasks, like work and school. For a long time, no one considered using tablet computers in the workplace, as the tech was only good for games, movies, books, and other media.

Still, tablet makers persevered, making myriad versions of the devices in ever-increasing complexity. Now, tablets are so popular that they have completely ousted their main competition around the world: netbooks. As more and more offices implemented BYOD (bring your own device) policies, the slim and lightweight tablet computer has become the top choice for almost all forms of mobile computing.


4. Fitness Fab

We’ve known it for decades now: America is fat. The average American waistline is increasing in sync with the average American resting heart rate. However, seemingly in response to this terrifying news, Americans around the country have developed an unanticipated new craze: fitness chic.

In direct conflict with increasing obesity, exercise clothes became the pinnacle of style in 2014, with designers like Nike and Lululemon selling out of expensive and trendy gear throughout the year. Yet, it seems that the fitness frenzy hasn’t translated to eagerness for exercise; instead, workout clothes are simply worn everywhere else — from the grocery store to the clubs.

Additionally, accessories that align themselves with the fitness fad have caught on like wildfire. Activity-monitoring bracelets, like the increasingly popular Fitbit, adorn wrists in offices and restaurants as though they are expensive jewelry.

If fitness fab ever actually influences people to hit the gym (or at least use the stairs instead of the elevator) it might be a worthwhile trend. For now, however, the continued existence of yoga pants outside studios feels inappropriate.

Not all fads with unexpected longevity are necessarily bad; in fact, we look forward to seeing exactly how they develop in the New Year. Yet, the greatest thing you’ll ever learn is that trends will always turn.


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