The fashion and style world has been evolving in significant ways, and our new normals have recently accelerated these changes. They have also solidified my own thoughts on what great style, fashion savvy, and fabulous dress sense is really all about.
The fickle fashion world has historically thrived with fast changing fashion trends. The idea was that you will look more fabulous if you wear the newest, trendiest, and in some cases more fringe and exclusive silhouettes and combinations. If you don’t, you won’t be as stylish, special and attractive as you could be. If you wear items that are considered dated, then you aren’t as stylish.
Thankfully, we have reached a turning point. We can throw this type of thinking out the window because there is no one way to be stylish. Fashion is less fickle than it used to be. It has become a melting pot of sartorial choices. Increasing diversity in fashion with each passing year means that there is something for everyone. Trends are no longer seasonal — some lasting decades — and fads no longer exist. Trends are becoming harder to define, and at some point they will be irrelevant.
I dutifully report on fashion trends in great detail twice a year because it’s been part of my job for 27 years. It’s a hard habit to break, and an important part of how I keep my pulse on where fashion and style is going. On the other hand, as I wade through countless fashion shows to piece together new emerging trends, I think to myself how unimportant it has become. Fashion has repeated most of our previous fashion eras in some small or large way, and adapted the silhouettes, combinations, and fabrics to suit modern life. That’s why very general themes like Sustainability and Ethics, Do Your Own Thing, Practical Comfort, and Celebrating the Classics keep on coming through, and are so much more meaningful than which bag or shoe is “it” for the season.
I’m finding it hard to think of a dated wardrobe item these days because the defining bench marks are gone, or at least very blurred. We’ve reached the point where there is no “in” or “out”. Every silhouette and proportional mix can look stylish if it’s worn with conviction, confidence, ease, and is a good fit. Wearing decades old items from thrift and consignment stores is on the rise because of its sustainable integrity, and is as popular as buying something trendy and brand new. It is time to say that calling items dated is a somewhat dated concept itself.
Fashion trends are not yet completely irrelevant. They are still fun to ponder and discuss with like-minded fashion folk. I enjoy researching seasonal trends, putting my posts together and sharing them. I also like adding what I think is a more “hot-off-the-press and new” fashion look to my own style from time to time because I’m a fashion professional. It’s not wrong to wear trendy items. If it gives you pleasure, why not! Especially since now they have much more longevity, which makes them more sustainable. I do think it’s important to remember that trends are losing their place as an essential component of one’s personal style. Fashion is fun, but style is not dependent on trends.
We hold the power. An item is only dated when we feel it no longer fits into our style or feels authentic. Whether we’re decked out in trendy items or non-trendy items, we can look fabulously stylish, because, now more than ever, great style is a celebration of individuality. It is also subjective, built from the inside out, and the sum of many parts. If you can wear a wardrobe item, any item, in a way that makes you feel confident, good, empowered, happy, and attractive — go for it.