When I first became aware of fashion trends, they were irritatingly fleeting. Back then, you needed to identify a trend, procure the item in question, wear it for the appropriate amount of time (anywhere from a couple of weeks to a few months), and then discard it. The discarding step was essential to sanctioned fashion trend participation. If you continued to wear a trendy item beyond its trend window, you became the subject of much behind-the-hand snickering.
Oh, how times have changed.
And for the better! Trends still cycle in and out, but they do so on a much longer timeline. Style mavens, celebs, and fashionistas can be seen wearing trendy items years after they were introduced and marketed. Trends stick around longer, can be interpreted in many ways, and encompass a huge variety of items and styles.
But many women still avoid them. They’ve been badly burned by the quick-turn cycles of yesteryear and hesitate to participate in the current batch of trends. And you might be among them. Pondering peplums, sheer fabrics, and midriff-baring cropped shirts may cause you to break out in hives. But you might still consider heeding color trends because they are the most universally appealing and the easiest to wear. Here’s why:
You can wear them regardless of age, size, or build
Many trends skew young, while others require a certain physique. But color can work for everyone because it can be applied to any number of garments and styles. Emerald green and flame orange are both huge for the spring and summer seasons. Blouses, skirts, dresses, shoes, scarves, pants, and sweaters can ALL be found in both shades at every price point. You’ll see them in plus, petite, tall, and standard sizes in styles both youthful and conservative. Color trends do not discriminate based on age, weight, or body shape.
You can implement them using accessories
Do pastels wash you out? Go for lilac shoes or a butter yellow handbag. Hate what orange does to your complexion? Opt for a bold belt instead. Even if the colors in question do nasty things to your skin tone, you can hop on the trend train by nabbing a few key accessories.
You can afford them
Trendy garments can cost a fortune. But trendy colors? They’re everywhere from Marshalls to Barneys. Hell, you might even have a few of them lurking in your closet right now. Colors are the cheapest trends around.
You can interpret them in a million different ways
Ruffles are big for spring, and they’ve been shown in a variety of ways. But no matter how they’re presented, ruffles are still stylized, fussy, and a bit challenging to wear. Mint green, on the other hand, can be worn as nail polish, skinny jeans, or sky-high pumps. Mint green can be worn in huge swaths or as tiny accents. Mint green can be worn as an of-the-moment pleated maxi or a classic clutch. Color trends are infinitely interpretable.
You can wear them indefinitely
Trends are sticking around longer, it’s true. But trendy items have shorter cycles than trends in dressing. It may take years, but flatforms and trapeze bags will eventually fall out of favor. That poppy red cardigan you sprung for, however, will just be another color in your palette once the trend has passed.
Trendy garments can be difficult to wear, but trendy colors are a snap. Will you be partaking of this season’s color trends? (If you’re looking for a reference, check out Pantone’s seasonal color report.)
Images courtesy Banana Republic
(This post first appeared on The Huffington Post)