Flicking through a recent copy of a popular fashion mag I was flabbergasted to see a combo being sold to us as “Left Bank Cool” (the outfit in question is not the one pictured. This was just another example of a trend combo gone wrong). They were implying that if we buy these pieces we too will be suitably Paris chic, trendy and oh-so-stylish. I wouldn’t have combined the items for a fancy dress outfit let alone a photo-shoot passing them off as the latest season’s stylish must haves! Scary (just as the outfit pictured left is).
The danger that lurks behind all the fashion mags is that what is being presented to us as “inspiration” becomes “gospel” for many budding fashionistas. And many combine the items they see combined instead of picking out only the pieces they should. Runway styles are designed to shock. To get noticed. To make a statement and highlight a designer’s take on the new season’s trend. They should not be taken in literal translation on the high-street, but sadly many do not get this fashion fact. In mags, when separate items are grouped together for a spread readers interpret that the items should all be worn together. Sometimes this is the case, (i.e when set out as they would be on a model, but without the manequin). But often, this is not the case. Would you normally consider putting a nautical red-striped, boatneck, 3/4 sleeve tee with leopard print leggings? I didn’t think so… But still, it had to be said. And the mag in question was selling this outfit to us as “in”! I would however, have put their tee with simple cropped pants or jeans and ballet flats, but to put leopard print leggings anywhere near their nautical striped top was downright dangerous.
The same can be said for other trends that we’re seeing a lot of : extra large/extra-angular padded shoulders; sky-high, leg-breaking platform shoes; printed through to wet-look shiny black rock-chic leggings; over the knee boots and up to the elbow gloves! Just because these are considered “in” does it really mean we should all be “in them”? And all at once? I think not. Please tread carefully with your trends girls! For more tips on classic must-haves that always stand the test of time, click here…
Invest Wisely. Guys…the same applies to you.
From military-style coats through to preppy blazers, bomber jackets and checked shirts through to cardies and puffer jackets, make sure you don’t invest too much on a trend that is unlikely to stand the test of time. For guys these items tend to be investment pieces which should last a number of seasons if bought well and with attention to classic detailing and quality finishes. Jackets are generally not cheap, here-today/thrown-out next season items, so beware how much you invest on any latest trend. Make sure it’s really “you” first. If you’re quiet and conservative by nature, perhaps a cardigan or preppy blazer would be more in keeping with your style personality. A guy with multiple piercings and a few visible tats just may not quite suit this look though! Perhaps he’s better to choose the bomber jacket, leather rocker-jacket or checked shirts (not all together of course! – sorry, just had to be said, just in case you took me “literally”!).
My tips for navigating this season’s fads
- “They” will tell you these are “trends” but it takes a few seasons before these fads turn into trends – so again, watch out! Unless you have the disposable income (and taste) of Paris Hilton, you don’t want to invest too heavily in every fad!
- Know yourself well. Know whether you’re instinctively classic or alternative and out-there.
- Choose only elements of new-season’s key looks to give your classic wardrobe staples an update.
- Avoid top to toe combinations of any one trend. Break it up a little to avoid the fashion-victim look (never a good look on anyone).
- Try things on! Don’t be lazy! What looks good on the rack often looks like crap on your body. And what looks ordinary on the rack could very well look extraordinary on you!
- Don’t clone your friends – imitation may be the most sincere form of flattery but unless your friend is the same size, body shape, colouring and personality as you, you need to be sure it really will flatter you.