When it first started, Instagram was the place to inexpertly filter your selfies and make your travel photos look just that little bit better. Nowadays, however, it’s also become an excellent way to spot emerging fashion and beauty trends.
From make-up brushes to t-shirts, there’s a hashtag for everything and time and time again, it’s proven invaluable in spotting which high-street items have captured the imaginations of fashionistas around the world. So, to help you plan your shopping trip this weekend, we had a little scout around the social media site to see which item bloggers are raving about at the moment – and it seems as if they’re all falling in love with something a little more… well, a little more controversial than usual.
We are referring to Topshop’s ‘Feminist’ slogan top.
It shouldn’t be all that surprising: ever since the election of renowned misogynist President Donald Trump, feminist mantras have crept into our wardrobes like never before, with more and more women proudly declaring their support to the cause via their clothing choices.
Yet we say controversial because the concept of political fashion is still a divisive one.
A number of critics and leading feminist thinkers have argued that it’s yet another example of the shallow commodification of feminism. On the flipside, others believe it has an important role to play in the 21st century, and that it’s never a bad thing to wear your feminist credentials front and centre regardless of the company behind it.
As stylist.co.uk’s own Moya Crockett points out in her round-up of feminist gifts: “[Political fashion] can be a celebration, a protest, an identifier and a mission statement all at once.
“Move through the world wearing a t-shirt bearing a feminist slogan, and you’re sending a message to every misogynist who glances your way: we’re here, taking up space, and we’re not going anywhere.”
Her words ring true, especially when you see the sheer number of women using the hashtags #feminist and #feminism on their Instagram feeds at the moment.
This, coupled with photos of people posing proudly in their slogans, sends a clear message to all scrolling through social media: many women are no longer content to know that they themselves are feminists, they want everyone else to know that they support the cause, too.
The £18 Topshop t-shirt – designed by Tee & Cake – has proven particularly popular with women looking to make a “bold statement”.
Other than the not-so-subtle slogan, it’s a simple, classic white design that can be styled several different ways.
You can knot it up into a fitted crop top:
You can tuck it into a pair of blue denim jeans:
You can team it with a skirt:
You can wear it with a pair of coloured capris:
If you’d prefer to shop for a feminist top from a company that’s a) not on the high street, b) supports its workers, and c) guaranteed to do some good for the women’s rights movement, we recommend you check out the “Matriarch” t-shirt from independent US designer Maddy Nye
50% of sales from this not-for-profit top, priced at $30 (£23), goes to women’s rights and LGBTQ non-profits – something which Nye is incredibly passionate about.
“I think this activism zeitgeist just overlapped with a renewed interest in graphic tees as a medium for artists and designers,” she says.
“Of course it’s only a t-shirt, but it’s contributing to a larger paradigm shift in awareness and action.”
Images: iStock / Topshop