I agree with the other posts that suggest that this trend is only temporary. Many fashions of the past reemerge over time, but few of them stick around for good.
While fads (and trends) come and go, it is interesting that so many of our current trends are derivative of previous ones. It wasn't that long ago that we had a 60s revival, and "retro" or "throwback" sports uniforms are commonplace. Some may see it as a lack of originality, but to me it is indicative of our need for some sort of a reference point for our tastes.
Such style, such panache--the clothing of the 1940s. So many parts of the styles have recurred, especially with the women's shoes. There is something very fashionable and yet timeless about them as well as the ladies' suits of that time. The style of the forties recur from time to time.
I would agree that for the most part things come and go as fads, but some elements of 40's fashion, like any decade or era are fashion that will be somewhat timeless while others will pop up now and again only to fade away for a while.
I have to agree with pohnpei. Trends are exactly that--trends. They are not something that tends to stay around for a long time. For example, the fashion world would pretty much end if one style stuck and stayed (think the fashion week extravaganzas which are popular all over the world).
There is a definite point, especially in fashion, that "everything old is new again" and the current 40's styling is just that. The width of the pants, the fullness of skirts, and the length of tops are all variable in fashion, making the basic pieces of a wardrobe fresh in a new season.
Post #2 hit it - as with many industries, the fashion world counts on "planned obsolescence" in order to keep customers buying. If the "experts" can convince the public that 40s styling is "in" at the moment, sales will benefit as consumers go out and buy items featuring the "in" styles.
Plans are already being made within the fashion industry for whatever will be presented as the next "in" style so it will be ready to replace the 40s styling and drive the next round of priming the purchasing power of consumers.
I certainly don't think it's a trend that's here to stay for good. I don't think that there is any sort of fashion trend that is permanent. Lately, it seems as if trends/fads come and go rather quickly and I see no reason that this should be any different. I don't think there's anything intrinsic to these stylings that would make them have more staying power.
Although in popular parlance, sometimes people use "fad" to indicate a popular fashion they dislike and "trend" to refer to a fashion they like, in business the two are distinguished not by judgments of quality or taste but by statistical patterning. In other words, a fad shows a very steep increase in buying volume followed by an equally rapid drop-off, and a trend shows a somewhat more gradual curve. Both are characterized, like all fashions, by being ephemeral, rather than genuine needs or "classics" or "traditions" or "staples" or "habits" that persist over a long period.
Whether trend or fad, most of fashion relies on planned obsolescence, i.e. the notion that something is worn for a brief period and discarded with no regard to functionality. The entire concept of "fashion", therefore is one of the reasons for the huge ecological footprint of rich nations, and is based on a sort of class insecurity and conspicuous consumption detailed by Thorstein Veblen's seminal work, Theory of the Leisure Class.