Why Trends Are Your Friends

Whenever I start nattering on about the latest trends, there are always a few folks who say, “Eh, I don’t really follow trends.” And I can respect that. Some women prefer to avoid trends because they want to cultivate a unique personal style. Some women prefer to dress in a timeless, classic fashion. Some women would prefer to circumvent the whole “mutton dressed as lamb” thing. All logical, reasonable explanations for eschewing trends.

BUT! (You knew there was gonna be a “but,” didn’t you? Because YOU read the post title.) I believe that even trend-eschewers, trend-avoiders, and avid trend-haters should consider remaining aware of and participating in trends. At least on a limited-investment, low-impact level. And here’s why:

Trends are subject to personal interpretation

Recent trends have included color blocking, 70s influence, long hemlines, minimalism, and bold prints. There are as many ways to interpret these trends as there are women in the world! Each trend in that list encompasses a whole universe of garments, accessories, colors, sizes, cuts, fabrics, and styles. And I’d bet my bottom dollar that every last one of you lovely readers could put your own unique spin on each of those broadly-defined trends.

Trends in dressing are often conflated with trendy garments. If you don’t like drop-crotch pants, fedoras, and flared jeans, then skip ’em. The broader trends, however – the trends that describe varied styles of dressing and types of garments – are worth investigating and exploring. Why?

Awareness and implementation of trends keeps your look current

Did you know that classic pieces age? Think about a basic black blazer, an item that 60 bajillion style experts have blessed as a “must-have.” Say you invested in a gorgeous Donna Karan blazer in 1983. Would you still wear that blazer today, with its long lines, double-breasted construction, and enormous shoulder-pads? Shapes change, construction changes, fabric technology changes. And keeping abreast of those changes will help you make sure that your style and wardrobe don’t appear unintentionally dated.

But limiting your trend interactions to basics like fabric and cut also limits your ability to evolve your style. Playing with the season’s clothing, shoe, accessory, and styling trends is a fabulous way to explore new stylistic options for yourself. And even something as simple as embracing the favored color for the season, or springing for an inexpensive accessory can help keep your look current. Oh, and don’t go thinking that you can’t afford to keep up with the trends. After all …

Trends can be thrifted

Here, let me prove it.

Celebrities spend big bucks on designer versions of trends. The rest of us can do it on a budget. And an environmentally-friendly budget at that!

The big secret: Items that are trendy now are not actually NEW. They’re just “in favor.” And since they’ve been made, loved, and worn before, that means we can nearly always pick them up used. Superscore.

Trends keep you informed

Even if you still don’t give a flying rat’s ankle about exploring and interpreting trends on your own, I recommend cultivating awareness. Just knowing what the trends are may influence you in tiny, unforeseen ways. You may adjust how you style what you already own, you may become inspired to haul out a garment that’s been languishing unworn, you may feel uninterested at first but excited months later. And even if trend knowledge doesn’t impact your dressing practices, it’s not a bad idea to know what’s going on in the world of style so that you can react and comment.

Three resources for those of you in need of trend guidance

  • Style.com’s trend section: Vogue magazine’s website is the go-to spot for all things fashion, and their trend section is incredibly comprehensive.
  • Seasonal lookbooks: I have trouble hunting these down for the spring season, but they always turn up in fall. Vogue and Elle both assemble enormous book-like magazines of the best of the runways, and you can glean the trends for yourself just by looking at these pictorial summaries. They’re pricey – $40 to $50 – but I absolutely adore them. Ask at any bookstore with a newsstand.

Image via Head 2 Heels.

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  • great post again Sally! And I agree with you, trends make it possible to try out new things and sometimes even find things you love that were not trendy before and are now everywhere! For me that was colour – Finnish women don’t traditionally use a lot of colour, and now the stores are FINALLY full of beautiful and colourful pieces! Score!

  • Anat

    I am really not concerned about being the most updated person in the world, but I think the good thing about trends is that they give us something new to play with, for those who enjoy fashion and styling. It would get pretty boring if there were no trends and style remained static, year in and year out.

    Finding ways to incorporate trends into personal styles is challenging, and challenges are good for the mind and the spirit.

  • Excellent post…I think trends keep fashion fun and creative. You are so right …you do not have to go over the top with a trend…it can be subtle…but that is where the creativity comes in.

  • Bubu

    I agree – and would add to the reasons you state that experimenting with trends often opens up cuts or colors that you would not have thought worked on you that actualy do. I’ve often been surprised when I actually try something on from a trend I said “oh that will never work on me!” and found that, in the right iteration it does and expands my wardrobe options.

  • I can’t imagine monitoring trends as “style homework”. That seems kind of intense. BUT, I do sort of peripherally notice trends (especially color trends). Since I’ve been outfit blogging I have made an effort to try out color trends and see if they work for me. I have bought coral and orange and yellow items this year, which is way out of my usual, and I have also acquired a pair of white-ish pants and a cream skirt so I can play along with the white-out crowd (and because it’s officially hot as frack here and I need to learn to get out of dark colors in the summer). But that’s about as far as I go with trends.

  • Anne

    Sally this was a great and informative post. I always strive to keep my look “Current” but there seems to be a fine line between current and trendy. I try to update my look through accessories mostly. Two other areas where I indulge are nail polish (I save the wild and bright stuff for my toes generally) and tee-shirts. Tees are affordable, you can always find them in the color of the moment and they often incorporate trendy details such as ruching, ruffles or exposed zippers. When I am tired of them I just donate them with out much guilt.

  • Agree, agree, agree! It’s like the scene from “The Devil Wears Prada” the fashion industry, as well as movies and celebrities, have influenced the public for decades right down to the lapis color belt you choose from the bargain basement. Your most important tip, in my opinion, is all about how you wear the trends or choose to weed trends out that don’t work for you or your body. I like how simply put and insightful your posts are.

  • I don’t blindly follow the trends or buy the “it” shoe, but I totally incorporate them in my own way. So many of them are vague anyway (brights! um, it would be impossible for me to avoid this “trend”). It’s fun to see what’s new and experiment to see if it suits me and my wardrobe!

  • Cel

    I tend to less pay attention to trends, than to notice them once they become overwhelming and I see them everywhere hah. That’s how I realized florals, lace, flared jeans and the 70’s were in this year. I’m still a fashion noob though, so that probably has something to do with it. I like seeing trends, but most often I’m not into them – although that’s different for once this year – and I’m probably going to make an effort to pay a little more attention now that trends can be something I actually like.

  • Kate K

    “Playing with the season’s clothing, shoe, accessory, and styling trends is a fabulous way to explore new stylistic options for yourself.”

    This! Exploring fashion trends has helped me evolve my personal style: both in what looks good on me and what appeals to me. If you had told me five years ago that current me would be wearing maxi dresses and leggings and stripes and color blocking, I would have told you to get out of town. But I am and I’ve never felt more put together and more comfortable and more beautiful in my life.

    • Kate K

      To continue with the thought, I think trends can be scary for some because they take you out of your comfort zone and they might make people look at you. And for some people, being noticed is a terrifying thought. (Beyond that, I think that can also be the reasoning behind the statement “I don’t care about fashion/clothes/style.”)

  • I think the best reason is that trends keep your look current. Even if you don’t think you care about wearing up-to-date clothes, ask yourself this: do you care if you look old and frumpy? Wearing a current style of a classic piece can change that. I’m not suggesting anyone get a new black blazer every other year just to be on trend, but Sal’s example is perfect for explaining why “classic” pieces need to be updated.

    As for me, I try to be aware of trends, but use my own clothes to interpret them. I like getting new-to-me clothes, but do my best to wear out my clothes before I buy others, so I may go a whole year without buying anything other than jeans. I definitely don’t dress at the height of fashion, but I do try to be current.

    One comment I frequently hear to support ignoring trends is that they are uncomfortable. I think the real reason is that trends may be different from what one is used to wearing and therefore take time to become acclimatized to. Sometimes they also require different skills to wear properly (e.g. low vs. high waisted pants need shirts worn in different ways) What do you think?

  • And even if you don’t pay close attention to the trends or the runways, they will trickle down to what’s available for purchase in the mass market stores, anyway. So it can’t hurt to have some idea of what they are and why they’re there.

    It reminds me of the classic “cerulean” scene from “The Devil Wears Prada” đŸ™‚

    http://www.metacafe.com/watch/hl-6170462/the_devil_wears_prada_cerulean_sweater/

  • Weathering

    I confess that I remain unconvinced — at least about the “should” part. I am convinced that paying attention to trends, and remaining open to the idea of interpreting them for ones own use, is a potential source of inspiration and interest. You’ve convinced me that trends shouldn’t be eschewed just because they’re trendy.

    But I think you meant “can benefit from” when you said: “…even trend-eschewers, trend-avoiders, and avid trend-haters should remain aware of and participate in trends.” Because for any individual, there might be lots of reasons not to follow trends in the way you describe. I personally find even in the relatively “low-impact” ways you list (Style.com, Vogue magazine) to be high-impact, emotionally draining ways of thinking about clothes and fashion, and so I get all my fashion news from a small range of body-positive style blogs.

    And yet I would count myself as someone who is relatively open to trying new trends, and trying to incorporate them into my personal style. If another person made another choice, and committed their emotional energy somewhere more important to them (say, exercise, an area I devote almost no energy to), I wouldn’t want to say that they “should” pay attention to and follow trends.

    Sorry Sal, I know you probably don’t mean “should” in the way I’m reacting to — it’s just that society has a lot of “shoulds”, fashion-awareness-wise, for women, and it’s actually blogs like yours that have helped me find a way to embrace style for myself independent of the toxic (for me) standards and guidelines of “normal” fashion awareness.

    • Sal

      Good point. I generally avoid shoulds (and shouldn’ts, for that matter) and do mean “can benefit from.” In this case, I’m comfortable pushing for the stronger meaning because I think there is SO much resistance to the idea of trends as meaningless, wasteful, and boring and I want to nudge with force. But, as always, I’m not attempting to judge anyone who rejects my advice or recommendations. Take what works for you, leave the rest. (More on that here: http://www.alreadypretty.com/2010/06/whats-it-all-about.html)

  • Marsha Calhoun

    I’ll let you do the trend awareness thing, and share what you will on this site – that’s as far as I’ll go, since yes, I would wear that black blazer if I thought it looked good on me (as a matter of fact, I do – no shoulder pads, though, because I didn’t fall for that trend at the time). I can’t seem to kick the feeling that I’m being manipulated to spend, spend, spend by clothing manufacturers who know that they can get rich by making women feel inadequate every few months because last season’s clothes make them look, in another poster’s words, “old and frumpy.” I am old (not ashamed of it, either), and if my clothes didn’t look frumpy when I bought them and are still in good shape, why are they now frumpy and not retro?

    • Sal

      You are being manipulated. Absolutely. The entire fashion industry exists to wring money out of you! But as I’ve said here, there are ways to learn about and wear trends that don’t cost a dime, and even more that can be done on the cheap.

      As for the line between frumpy and retro, that is a tough one. I’ll have to give it some thought! Anyone else care to weigh in?

      • Susan

        I once read something to this effect. If a style is 10 years old, it looks hopelessly out of date. If a style is 20 years old, it looks appealingly retro. My opinion is that there is much truth in this.

        • Marsha Calhoun

          Ah, good; it’s nice to have some guidance here.

        • Sal

          A good place to start, for sure, but definitely should be taken on a case-by-case basis. Check out Wendy’s post today: http://wendybrandes.com/blog/2011/06/what-wendy-wore-plus-thoughts-on-bill-cunningham/ The first suit that she herself deems frumpy is less than 10 years old, but the suit she ended up wearing is about the same age.

          I think it has as much to do with proportions and current silhouettes as actual age, and those two things are harder to generalize.

          • I particularly didn’t like the length of the jacket in suit #1. I also thought the shape of the jacket was kind of blocky. I considered altering that but the length was still a problem.

            We should remember there are also trends in men’s clothes, including the width of lapels and ties! Those things can also look retro in a good way or hopelessly outdated, depending on how they are worn and by whom.

      • Eleanorjane

        I think if you’re weighing up whether it’s frumpy or retro, then it’s frumpy.

        Full on retro is pretty hard to pull off, in my humble opinion. Basically, a rule of thumb I use, is if I would have worn a very similar or identical outfit decades earlier, then I won’t wear it again. Today’s teenagers can get away with very obvious 80’s and 90’s retro. I don’t think I can.

        I have some things that are vaguely 80’s influenced i.e. loose apricot coloured top, cream lace patterned tights… but I wear them strategically so that they look current, not costumey. I grew up thinking 70’s clothes were the epitome of ugly, so I haven’t really gotten past that. However, I love influences from earlier decades – 1920’s to 60’s!

        • Marsha Calhoun

          I’m glad for your advice, as well – it jibes with my own experience that even though I may have loved it in the eighties, I don’t look quite the same now, and it might not look as good on today’s me as it did on yesterday’s me. If it was suitable for a twenty-year-old, it had better be pretty damn classic if it’s going to be suitable for me now, and I couldn’t afford classic stuff when I was young. If I’m doubting whether it’s retro, it probably isn’t – and my body/myself is all too current!

  • I kind of have an opposite problem. I feel like I can’t avoid trends no matter how much I try. My philosophy is that as long as I’m never particularly in style, I won’t really go out of style, either. Plus, I like to be different. I keep an eye on trends mostly through some style blogs and paying attention to what I see other people wear. I sew my own clothes and don’t shop ready-to-wear clothing. I don’t read fashion magazines or websites because they tend to make me feel icky about myself.

    I’ll be inspired by something (like I want a Tim Burton-meets- business casual outfit) and I’ll design it and sew it up using fabric I’ve had for a few years. Then I wear it to work and there’s a woman who does follow fashion and does shop retail wearing almost the same thing! It’s like there’s some sort of collective style hive mind that you can’t break away from. Whatever feels fun or fresh or compelling to me seems to be what’s inspiring everyone else, too.

    • Sal

      You need to secure work as a trend forecaster, Ann!

  • I’ve gotten to the point where I never think about trends anymore. But that is not to say that I don’t participate in them, unconsciously. For example, I bought a knit dress at Target this spring. It has stripes. In the past few months I have seen stripes everywhere, so I assume that this is a big trend. I have a scarf that I bought at a boutique on vacation several years ago. It is edged in lace. I have seen many women wearing lace this spring, so I imagine that when I wear my scarf, I am participating in this trend. I sat the skinny jean thing out (I physically cannot get them over my legs) and therefore have always worn boot-cut jeans to complement my calves. Most cute, trendy tops are an absolute “no way” since they will pull like crazy over my DD chest.

    What I am trying to say is that I see nothing wrong with participating in trends. But the only acceptable way I have found to dress my own body in trends is to ignore them completely and only buy what I absolutely love and what fits, regardless of its age or trend value. I’ve spent too many hours in dressing rooms on the verge of tears because the on trend clothes just don’t fit my body.

    Honestly, I’ve found some of the clothes that make me happiest in the clearance section of big box stores. But then again, I know the big box stores make trend knock-offs and that is why I am not denying my participation in trends: it is inevitable.

  • rb

    I am not sure you can avoid trends even if you are a ‘classic’ dresser, which is what I try to be. A good friend of mine invested in an expensive pair of “classic” black boots several few winters ago, but when she pulled them out this winter, they were all wrong. The toes were too square. The heels were too clunky. They were just obviously out of date. Even if we think we don’t follow trends, our minds consciously or subconsciously absorb what is current, and then our pieces we thought were timeless and classic look dated and dowdy.

  • T.

    Great post! I’m interested in trends, but I only “adapt” them if I really like them and think they suit me and my style.

  • I don’t mind trends, but the older I get, the less “right” they seem to look on my body. I’m an average size and used to have a relatively easy time finding clothes to fit. Nowadays, both trendy and classic looks seem to suddenly be wrong on me. My waistline has moved up and my usual fallback style of full skirts with fitted t-shirts looks too young. It’s one of the reasons why I’m learning to sew. Trends just aggravate me because they remind me of what I can’t find anymore — decent, well-fitting clothes. Thrift shops here are picked over so that’s not an option.

  • Moni

    Great post! I follow trends, in the sense that I am aware of them, not in the sense that I immediately go out and buy them. Once I know what the major trends are for a season, I decide which ones I like and how I will incorporate them into my wardrobe. It may be as simple as buying a new lipstick (like the coral one I bought last month b/c I loved the color and it was reminiscent of the “honeysuckle” color of the moment) or reworking clothes I already have. The great thing about following trends is that you know what will be readily available in stores and it’s an easy way to update your wardrobe.

  • Eliza

    I also think that awareness of trends can help narrow down where to shop and what to look for. When everything in the stores was ’80s styled, I mostly shopped at thrift stores. The seventies trend suits my personal style better, so I’m more likely to find something I like in retail stores this summer. When the trends are something I like, I shore up my seasonal budget and prepare to stock up on interesting, fun clothing. When trends move away from my style, I only shop for basic pieces from classic brands. I think of knowing the trends as similar to listening to the weather report: whether the news is good or bad, it helps to be prepared.

  • pope suburban

    I like changing things up and I know I’d never think of things to try on my own, so I definitely see the value in trends. What bugs me about it is when I find myself forced toward buying clothes that don’t fit right or look good, because there are no non-trend options. For example, I’ve been keeping an eye out for nice, dark-wash jeans for work, since that’s the dress code. I can only seem to find skinny jeans, though. They look ridiculous on me without tall boots, and they just don’t come across as professional on me no matter how I might style them. They’re all that’s out there, though! When trends cross over to absolutes, I get frustrated. It keeps me away from things I know will work, and makes experimenting with new styles into something forced rather than something fun. I wish the trend/classic thing was a little more evenly balanced, because being backed into a corner really saps all the fun out of trying something new.

  • Katharine

    I notice the trends going by, but really tend to notice them when it’s something that I myself love. (Drop-crotch trousers! Neon lime green! Cobalt blue! Stripes! Long skirts!) The other thing about trends is that they can be great times to pick up otherwise-rare items that are part of YOUR personal deck of happiness. Provided they don’t blow up and wind up in every shop on the block (I have yet to see, for instance, a pair of drop-crotch trousers anywhere in town, or on anyone but me — I mean trousers, not those huge gathered sarouel diaper things, which did get hot, unfortunately in their knee-length shorts jersey form…) you can then keep wearing said trendy item long after it’s vanished from stores, it and all of its similarly flatteringly coloured brethren.

    I question, these days, however, whether the stylebooks or Harper’s B are really that on point as trend guides. It seems to me, after some years of browsing fashion blogs and sites, that in fact the biggest trends are going UP from the streets to designers, and then back down to the mass market. A great deal of what walked the runway last year (I mean … next year? This year? Whatever….) walked through lookbook a couple years ago, and I bet was on the hot and happening hipsters of larger urban areas than mine before that. I have a kind of feeling that the papermags are engaged in a possibly-losing battle to keep current with, let alone ahead of, real trends, or what’s truly going on in the marketplace.

    • Sal

      Indeed! The Industry is no longer the sole dictator of trends, and many now originate on the street and are then processed into the system. BUT! Mags still do a fabulous job of summarizing seasonal trends. For me, that’s valuable. I don’t want to look at dozens of varied sources and try to boil down what the next big thing will be. I’d rather have someone else do that work. I’m lazy like that. đŸ˜‰

  • I used to be highly against trend following. Now I think of them like I do everything else – a source of inspiration. I’ve always loved wide leg pants, even when they went out of “style”.. and I probably would have never thought I could wear a 70s like outfit, but taking inspiration I can build many different types of outfits out of things I already own.

    We can benefit from trends, if only as sources of remix inspiration.

  • Trends are a lot of fun for me. I think they get a bad wrap sometimes because they’re also associated with the idea of disposable fast fashion. But if you get something that you love and that looks flattering on you, and it just so happens to be trendy, you’ll probably hang on to it and wear it even after the trend cycles out.

    • Sal

      For sure. Especially if it falls into one of the broader trend categories like color or pattern.

  • Jen

    This is a great post. I thrift often & love it! Also wanted to add… flying rat’s ankle made me laugh! :o)

  • I think there’s a big difference between people who observe the trends and adopt the elements that they like, and those who slavishly follow every fad even if it looks ridiculous. It’s important to me to keep my style looking current, and even though I may use individual items that are several seasons old or even vintage, I try to style them in a way that looks fresh. Wearing outdated clothing ages a person, just as never changing your hairstyle does.

  • Love your title. I heard “Trends are your friends” a lot in the stock market. Great post!

  • i’m just sad that it’s finally the year of the high waisted jeans/skirts, but i’m much too pregnant to wear any of them! i have been anticipating this new trend forever, and had just bought some new pieces when i came down with a case of the preggies…sigh! oh well, i’m sure it will last more than one year.

  • I look at trends for inspiration, although I pick and choose those which work for my body and colouring. When I feel I am in a bit of a rut (like I was this past winter) viewing the trends in magazines and on-line gives me new ideas to try. I acquire most of my wardrobe by thrifting, and being aware of what is current gives me something to look for that I may not have thought about. I am currently on the hunt for animal prints, as they work with my ‘autumn’ palette. I am not really a high-waist, bell-bottom or wide-leg jeans person (short torso, long legs, love dark-wash jeans tucked into tall boots), so thrift-shopping for jeans is not very successful (they are always too short, and too faded), but tops, cropped jackets/blazers, sweaters, etc. I always look for at my favourite thrift shops.

  • Kath

    I’m… not sure I’m convinced.

    Why should wearing that blazer from the 80s be a questionable choice? Don’t cause people to cast more doubt on their fashion choices. We all already worry uneccesarily about this. I think going down the road of paying attention to what the fashion industry feels we should have goes against the message of this blog as I’d previously interpereted it.

    I think what I’m saying is that we can encourage people to be creative and aware of what’s available, without letting the tiring world of trends get ahold of us again.

    Personally I find trends to be restrictive. Stores stock so many of the same things that if you don’t like what’s in, you can’t buy clothes for an entire season. I’m low on knitwear because the trends as represented in affordable high street establishments have been hideous for a while now.

    • Sal

      The point is not to generate worry or feelings of oppression. The point is to say that trends can be interpreted in a million different, highly personal ways, and that there is a difference between trendy items and trends in wearing. I believe we should all wear clothing that we love and that makes us feel fabulous. This post was just a reminder that style trends – which get a bad rep as manufactured BS designed to make us all feel inferior and make us buy new stuff – can be reworked to enliven and enhance any woman’s personal style. No purchase necessary, put your own spin on everything.

      Nothing in this post or any post on this blog contains the message, “Enslave yourself to trends and what the fashion industry dictates.” Nothing here says to abandon what you wear and love in favor of what’s “hot,” or buy a bunch of expensive new duds. This is about staying informed, interpreting, keeping your look current. There’s no judgment here, just a recommended practice. None of my advice posts should be considered gospel, including this one, and I fully expect you to read them with a grain of salt. Take what applies to you, discard the rest, and assume positive intent.

  • yeah, I love trends.I research trends, cull the internets for roundups at the end of spring and fall fashion weeks. I do this for a number of reasons: 1.) I bore easily, and fashion is fun for me. So I want to be sparked, inspired, see things that will make me reenvision my own style, see new possibilities, consider new colours, cuts, silhouettes, etc. 2.) I’m an academic. The urge to research is strong and I enjoy seeing the various designers’ interpretations, and also I enjoy reading across the photographed collections and seeing if I can pick out the “trends” myself – it’s like a game: name-that-gestalt! 3.) I’m cheap. I want to know what “thrums” me now, and get a sense of what might “thrum” me later (because honestly, I can hate something the first time I see it, but love it later after more exposure) so that I can keep an eye out for cheap vintage versions at thrift stores and/or fabric and patterns to make my own. Eg: three years ago, I wanted a black maxi skirt. I was so frustrated by the lack of maxi-lengths out there that two years ago I bought a long skirt on ebay and added a long knit waistband to MAKE a maxi skirt out of it. It cost me maybe 20 or 30 dollars, all told, and it is a lightweight knit merino, very versatile for Seattle’s cool marine weather, and I’ve worn it a ton. Knowing your trends in advance gives you time to find a version that not only suits you, it suits your budget.

    another example: I am also loving the midi-length skirts and just scored a lambswool and angora pleated sweater skirt for $2.50 at goodwill. It’s in beautiful condition and its pale lilac colour is going to be fun to play with, come fall. IT wasn’t the summery pleated linen or cotton midi that I was hoping to find, but I like to use trends to shop multiple seasons at once.

  • I don’t see how people can’t be aware of trends, at least a little bit. Even if you don’t read fashion mags (I usually don’t) or pore over style.com (ditto) you still presumably see people around you, in your workplace or your community, wearing whatever they are wearing. Unless you live in an Antarctic base with 5 other people in uniform, how can you not be aware of what trends are happening in your community? I guess here I am thinking mostly of bottom-up “street style” trends and trends pushed by inexpensive stores, rather than particular fashion designers’ high-style takes on things, but they are connected in the end. Sure, some people have more interest in these things and thus pay attention more, but I don’t see how you can avoid them entirely. Choosing to participate in them, well, that’s another thing entirely, but I agree with a previous poster than most of us end up doing it without really intentionally meaning to, just because that’s what’s available and everyone’s eye adjusts to the current proportions and tends to prefer them.

  • I enjoy trends because it costs nothing to try- and experimenting a little helps me make discoveries I might never have realised. For example, as a dedicated flares-or-palazzo 70s fan, I dipped my toe into skinny jeans a couple of years back. I discovered that with a luxe tunic, I looked nothing like a 15 year old hipster but that it did look OK. Voila- a new, age-and-job-appropriate twist on my usual look. A million miles from cramming into too-tight jeans and having muffin tops, but without the trend being there I would never have tried.

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  • Ana

    This was a great post. I must admit I am one of those women who like to fancy themselves “classic” and uninterested in trends (I know, I know). Nevertheless, I completely agree with you on staying “current” and I find that one must at the very least update their shoes, jeans, and hairstyles – the three things that can instantly age someone.

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