Fashion is fickle and what’s considered hot will change in the blink of an eye. Fashion fads are gone before you know it and only a select few remain on the scene long enough to become fashion trends which may last a few seasons or even longer.
Classics are perennial favourites. They never really date. While they may get tweaked and updated slightly over the years, the basic style remains.
So how do you know if it’s a fad or a trend? How do you know which to follow and which to run away from?
Well, if you can clearly remember wearing a certain trend when you were a teenager (how many of us can remember copying Madonna back in the 80’s?) perhaps you shouldn’t try to emulate too much of that same look in your 30’s or 40’s – whether it’s the latest look or not! While you may be able to replicate a small part of a trend (i.e. lace, or boxy jackets) you should generally steer clear of anything that obviously marks you/your outfit into a particular era.
The Three Phases of The Fashion Cycle
1. Fad Becoming Trend – is highly sought after, usually only seen on the runway, red carpet or music video.
2. The Emulation Phase – Everyone wants a piece of it; Seen in fashion mags, papers, internet and TV.
3. Saturation – items become available at very low prices. This is when that “must-have” or “it” designer bag becomes widely available as a knock-off.
Most of us buy somewhere between phase two and three – only the celebs and fashion industry insiders have access fresh off the runway when items aren’t yet available in stores. By the time a fashion fad has made it to “phase three” it’s available to the masses and becomes affordable to most. Once upon a time, it may have taken a few years to make it from red-carpet to mass market but today it happens much faster. Sometimes it can take as little as a few months for the hot trend to make it into the lower priced retail outlets and high-street stores.
The higher the profile (for example fluro 80’s) the more likely it is to look dated by the same time next year. While there’s no hard and fast rule about how long a fashion trend will stick around you can be pretty sure that the more difficult to pull-off looks are fads that will quickly fade. Still have fun buying them, but understand that they won’t be very fresh this time next year, so don’t invest to much $$ on them.
Do’s and Don’ts
DO compliment someone when they look great. DON’T hate them because they look good, or god-forbid, nicer than you?!
DO quietly notice and make a mental note to learn from it, when someone is dressed inappropriately. DON’T act like you are superior to them – we all make mistakes and no one is perfect.
DO share your fashion tips or bargain finds from time to time. DON’T give away ALL your fashion secrets.
DO feel free to ask someone what they’re wearing and where they bought it. DON’T ask them every time you see them.
DO make a fashion statement when you’re feeling in the mood. DON’T have a diva attitude to go with that statement though!
DO politely alert a man if his fly is undone. DON’T laugh and stare.
DO gently guide or teach a man how to dress. DON’T make him feel like a fashion failure – it only makes you a fashion fascist!