A reader writes to ask, “I always see articles about the latest trends for this season or that season but they never seem like they apply to me. At the same time, I’m working on improving my personal style. Do I have to pay attention to fashion trends?
Ah, the perennial debate of trends vs. style. It can be bewildering, which is probably why it gets written about so frequently. (Look, here are two I posts I wrote, one serious, and one a little less so.)
While I advocate developing your own sense of style independent of following fashion’s whims, there’s a reason I write about the major Spring and Fall trends every year: they guide the shape and color of the clothes and accessories that are available in the stores.
So unless you plan to never shop again (the horror!), to be an informed shopper it helps to be aware of these trends so you can make the best choices as you build your wardrobe.
Being aware of trends, however, is not necessarily the same thing as following them. (We all know the stereotype of the overly devoted “slave to fashion,” right?)
Once you know what the seasonal trends are, you can then incorporate them into your wardrobe by picking and choosing whichever aspects fit best with your style, your taste and your body: it could be a color, a pattern or an entire garment’s shape.
Ultimately, it’s up to you. If, after years of wide legs, denim swings toward the pencil-legged and skinny in silhouette, but you would never feel comfortable wearing such form-fitting pants, then by all means keep wearing your bootleg jeans.
It’s the difference between being ignorant of trends and deliberately choosing not to wear them.
- Do you pay attention to fashion trends each season? (Why or why not?)
- How do you incorporate trends into your own style?
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