We’ve heard about fashion as a form of self-expression. We’ve heard it called living art by style icons and critics alike. We’re made to believe that if not the artists, we are certainly the curators of our outfits and our wardrobes. Style has become this pathway to adventure, mystery, and freedom. It’s not that these ideas aren’t true, they are. However, when you see constant Instagram posts from the same stock, and then similar content in Pinterest’s trending boards, when you see the magazines and when you walk into the department stores you feel…limited. In some ways you only have access to the trends, what’s in the stores is in turn what you have the chance to buy. That’s it until the next season.
We’ve all felt these restrictions, even if we didn’t quite realize that’s what they were. Feeling the disappointment of a lack of choices makes self-expression feel more like a chore than an outlet. And that’s a shame. There is opportunity to bring freedom back to your everyday closet. There is an opportunity even within limitations to use your style to express. It’s every fashionista’s right to dress how they want to and make their own mark regardless of what’s trending.
That being said, staying on trend is a vital part of the style world and we won’t pretend to deny this. Often times, trends are a result of creation, it’s not something that can (or will) be removed from the industry. Quite frankly, sometimes you really like a trend. Trends are not a monster to cower from or a scapegoat to sneer at. They can be good and believe it or not, they can be unique. With this in mind we urge you to embrace trends as they come but embrace them as you and integrate them into your personal style seamlessly.
See What’s Out There
The concept of needing to know the current trends is pretty straightforward. It’s crucial to know what’s going on in the fashion world around you, whether you then choose to go with a trend, against it, or meet it halfway, you have to start with the knowledge of what you’re working (or not working) with. This is step one, actually this is pre-step one. This "research" so to speak is as simple as having even a minimal interest in style, half the work is done by that alone. This acquisition of knowledge of the fashion now provides you with insight into how everyone else is wearing a look and in return, how you can make it your own. This is also a perfect time to search for inspiration in general. Nothing is quite so motivating as seeing someone else’s to-die-for look and getting a spark of idea for your next outfit. Some places to look for fashion trends include social media (make use of those trending tags), serious fashion publications, fashion bloggers (they’re the best!), and of course real-life people! Soak it all up and treat the world like your muse, because it kind of is.
Understand What You Like
If self-expression is one of the major goals of fashion, self-awareness is one of the major tools to get there. How can you look like the incredible human you are, if you don’t know what to highlight about yourself? That’s not to say know your body types, your color palette etc. (although you might as well know that too), this is more in-line with knowing who you are and how clothing can both show off your amazing self. For example, maybe you’re the brazen girl, you’ve been called a formidable woman multiple times (even if it was by you, it counts) in which case you probably know without batting an eye that your style is about power and risk- but as it’s who you are, the risks, like tartan bombers, work. Alternatively perhaps you’re a keen observer drawn to softness and sweetness which leads you to the most decadent neutral colors. Whatever it is, it’s you and you know it.
Trends Are A Single Moment in Time
Sometimes this is exactly what makes them so fun! The key here is, because trends aren’t forever it’s crucial not to take them too seriously. If something really just isn’t your scene, that’s okay, it’ll pass. If a trend appears and you’re head-over-heels for it, know that everyone else will stop wearing it at some point but if you want to incorporate it into your everyday closet, girl, go for it. Embrace the fleeting moments, take them for a spin but don’t live by them for the sake of being fashionable for a second. What’s more important is that you find the capability to develop style for life and keep the trends as merely a snapshot in your portfolio.
Restriction is Inspiration
Mimic the artists, it’s okay. Copy the artists, the writers, the designers, anyone creative and use limitation as a tool, as an opportunity. Some of the best outfits can come from limitations- whether it’s ignored laundry forcing you to work with what’s clean and then walking out in a rocking combination you’ve never thought of or buying only what is offered as is often the case when a trend hits it big- you can make it work and more importantly you can make it work for you.
Refusing a Trend is Okay
We said it before- if you don’t like it, you don’t like it. Yes, restrictions and challenges in fashion can be stimulating and inspiration sparking but when it comes down to it, no look is worth sacrificing your taste or yourself. The trend will pass and, in the meantime, you’ll still look dazzling.
The questions becomes not whether or not a singular trend is worth it, but rather how you’ll roll with it as it plays it course. This might include making a cutesy trend like corduroy dresses more edgy by roughing up the rest of your look if that’s you, or more sophisticated by adding a polished blouse underneath if that’s you. The best way to stay true to yourself while wearing a trend is to always define your style as your style, something that’s uniquely you.