Each Spring and Fall, new fashion trends burst onto the scene, and with them come the ever-present “must have” lists in fashion magazines and blogs. Since I am an advocate of expressing our own unique personal style rather than being a slave to fashion trends, you won’t find me endorsing any sartorial absolutes here.
That said, for those of us who love clothes, it can be fun to add new pieces and participate in the fresh fashion offerings that strike our individual fancy. Since the onslaught of trends each season can be overwhelming for many, I will provide some tips for incorporating select new styles into your wardrobe.
Select Just a Few…
The most important key lies in one word in my previous sentence, select. There are far too many trends each season to follow them all. Case in point… I just perused at least ten lists in preparation for this article and found quite a bit of variance regarding the key trends for Fall 2012. I probably read about at least fifty trends just now, and I’m sure I’d find more if I continued my research.
The best way to have fun with the evolution of fashion without over-shopping or overwhelm is to choose wisely in terms of the trends you wish to follow. Consult a trend list or two (a few of the best I found are here, here, and here) and choose 3-5 trends you find appealing. These trends can be colors, styles, silhouettes, or accessories. Just use your intuition and select the ones that resonate the most with your style aesthetic.
Shop Your Closet First
With your list of key trends in hand, it’s time to go shopping. But don’t get in your car or on your computer just yet. Start your shopping in your very own closet! We often forget to consider what we have before running out to buy something new.
It’s highly likely that you can incorporate new trends by using pieces you already own. This is especially true in terms of hot colors and trendy color combinations. As an example, one of the “it” colors for Fall 2012 is burgundy or wine (I often see it referred to as “oxblood,” but I don’t much like that term…). When I went to my closet, I found I had several tops which fit nicely into that color classification. No shopping needed! The same is true for the blue and black color pairing that is big this season. I have plenty of pieces of both, so I just need to put them together. Simple enough to do!
Some trends can easily be incorporated through the use of accessories. Although you might need to buy a few new pieces to participate in a desired “of the moment” trend, you can do this inexpensively through the use of accessories. How about a burgundy scarf or belt to wear with your classic pieces? Or a metallic necklace or bracelet to bring a little of the “sci-fi trend” into your wardrobe?
Shop “Young,” Discount, or Consignment
If you’re looking to add a few trendy items to your closet, you may not want to spend much money on this pursuit. If that’s the case, I encourage you to venture off your beaten path when shopping.
Even if you’re over 40, you can find age appropriate accessories or simple clothing pieces (e.g. t-shirts) in stores like Forever 21, H&M, and Express. Or you might want to try the Brass Plum department at Nordstrom or a similar junior’s section at your favorite department store. While I don’t encourage you to buy all – or even many – of your clothes there, you can find a few fun and trendy accessories in such places for low prices. Similarly, Target is a great place to shop for trendy clothing and accessories, and if you don’t have fussy feet, you can find fun and fashionable shoes at Payless and Famous Footwear.
And don’t forget to scout your local consignment and thrift stores. Many trends cycle in and out every few years, so you can find quality gently used pieces at very reasonable prices if you are willing to hunt around a bit. One recommendation in this regard is to scout out resale shops in upscale neighborhoods, as you will be more likely to find hidden treasures there. eBay is another excellent resource for those who have the patience to navigate through a multitude of options.
When buying trendy pieces, it’s best to keep your purchases to a minimum. Buy a few items and wear them to death while the trend is hot. A little goes a long way! You’ll look current and stylish without breaking the bank or over-stuffing your closet. Then when the next trends roll around, you’ll have money and closet space to sample those offerings and incorporate your favorites once again.
I hope these tips have been helpful to those of you who like to participate in fashion trends but don’t want to go broke or look like a fashion victim. If you have questions about my tips or on particular trends, I’d love to hear (read…) them. Ask away and I’ll do my best to help!