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.