When a notable model, singer or movie star begins wearing a new fashion trend, it can be easy to want to jump on the bandwagon. For me, the secret to looking good is knowing how to mix trendy items with your everyday wardrobe in a way that maximizes your own unique personality and fashion sense.
Basics — Building blocks to fashion bliss
With a closet full of easy-to-assemble basics, getting dressed truly is a no brainer. If you like to follow trends a bit, but are not a sucker for every skinny jean that comes down the pike, you can easily stay up to date without breaking your budget or looking like a fashion victim. Here are some examples of wardrobe basics that never go out of style:
- Flat front dress pants (pleats can tend to give the illusion of added weight, so I advise against them) in neutral colors such as black, khaki or tan, navy blue and gray. Express makes affordable dress pants in many flattering cuts to fit all body types.
- T-shirts in crew, scoop and v-neck styles, French-cuff blouses. Victoria’s Secret sells all these, in great colors at reasonable prices;
- Skirts, including denim, in flattering styles such as tulip, pencil or A-line designs. Neutral colors work well here, too.
- Dresses. Wrap dresses are great for every figure. A great black, sleeveless one is a fashion gold mine as you can wear it alone in the warmer months or with a cardigan over it when it’s chilly. Boots or open toed sandals — dresses love either one. One or two patterned dresses are fun and versatile. Again you can always wear a turtleneck under a sleeveless style or put a fuzzy sweater on top if the temperature calls for layers.
- Cardigan sweaters. No, not the ones from the 50s, silly! Updated cardigans can be sleek or sexy if you know how to wear them. A v-neck cardigan is great over a camisole. Leave a few buttons undone at the bottom. A crew neck cardigan (I have a short-sleeved black one that I adore) can be worn over a tank top or even over an untucked button front blouse and can look very modern with a belt or a few long necklaces.
- Jeans. When you find a brand and style that fits well, buy several pairs. Rit dye is a great trick for jeans. If you find a brand/style you like but you want black jeans and they don’t make them or don’t have your size, dye them in your washing machine. Jeans can go classy or casual and are acceptable just about anywhere. For a nicer occasion where you want to wear jeans, I suggest dark jeans and heels, with upscale jewelry and accessories.
If this sounds boring or bland, it is only because you have not put your own unique stamp on it yet! Accessories like shoes, jewelry and belts can totally change the vibe of any out fit. The bottom line is that these basic pieces can anchor any fashion trends that may arrive on the scene and they can still stand alone beautifully if called upon to do so.
Trends — Treat them like a fashion side dish
There is nothing wrong with the “it” item of the moment, as it provides jobs and photo opportunities for many people, but when a trend shows up, you really owe it to yourself to scrutinize whether it is right for you. Leggings are the rage with a certain sector of the population right now. I would never wear them as I have been there and done that, in a different era of my life. A popular Hollywood stylist recently said if you’ve lived through a trend, you could easily skip it the second time around. If you are curious about a trend, do try it on and see how you feel in it. If you aren’t sure if it’s flattering, ask for a second opinion. Don’t spend a lot of money on trendy pieces; go for the bargain brand when a style has a seemingly quickly approaching expiration date. The oversized sunglasses have had a healthy run, but you’ll notice Brad and Angelina are rocking the aviators these days. If a fashion trend does fit your style, set a budget for yourself and stick to it. Remember, the next fashion trend you might want to buy into is right around the corner. There is always going to be a new hot shoe, purse, and jewelry item or dress style. Fashion trends can be fun and they can certainly punch up your daily “uniform.” My advice is to use trends sparingly. Fashion trends are like garlic. A little goes a long way.
Keep it uniquely you
Having your own style means knowing what is right for you and integrating fashion trends into your style instead of having them dictate it. And I have to say, there is a certain quiet confidence that comes with skipping certain style trends all together. Take the time to learn what works, yet be open-minded if a fashion trend piques your interest. Wear the new with the old and the subtle with the bold. Start your own fashion trends. Confidence and comfort are timeless and are a fashion trend you will always wear well.