They often say that life changes at the speed of light, and in my opinion, fashion changes faster than that. Something that is au courant today will be au revoir tomorrow. It would therefore seem that you would need to spend your whole life devoted to the constant flow of fashion information to decipher what’s hot and what’s not- but there are some quick and easy ways to always make sure you stay up to date without spending your life studying the development of trends.
My easiest, best and most reliable way to stay up to date with the latest trends is simple: track down a friend whose style you adore and see what they do. You’d be surprised: some of my most stylish friends rely solely on Fashion on the Street blogs like the Sartorialist, while others subscribe to trend forecasts with hefty user fees. It’s generally easier to find someone’s tried and true source than it is to locate one on your own- and then tweak it to make it your own. It is never good to copy someone’s entire look, ever. Even if they’re the Duchess of Cambridge. Just figure out what works so well for your muse, why you love it and then figure out how to make it work for you.
My other favorite way is to watch the couture collections. Yes, I know that the vast majority of it is not something that you would ever wear, but watch for subtle clues as to what the industry is leaning towards. You may notice that the really avant-garde shows are showing more blues than you recall in the past- which would be a subtle clue for you to clue in and start working more blues into your wardrobe. I love to watch the fashion shows online, at sites like style.com, which allow absolutely incredible access to shows. You can also read interviews with designers for clues as to what might be coming in their upcoming collections. Have they just taken a month long trip to India? Watch for bright and vibrant colors in their coming collections. It’s all about staying in front of the trend. You don’t want to be the girl buying the Ugg (Or as I like to call it the Ugh Boot) boot circa 2008 when it was all over in 2006.
And perhaps the best advice is the easiest: don’t be the sucker who completely falls for a trend without a second thought. There’s two ways you can fall down this slippery slope: either overdoing a trend or following a trend that really doesn’t work for you. Overdoing it is perhaps worse- I remember seeing a lady awhile ago who was all over the animal print trend- so much so that she incorporated zebra, leopard and cheetah all into one shameful safari outfit. I’d bet that if she had been thrown into a zoo, no one would have had even had a second thought.
There’s also keeping in mind that being up to date with trends doesn’t mean that you have to go hog wild (That safari outfit profoundly influenced my animal references, sorry) and jump on board every single trend train that leaves the station. I didn’t board the Leggings Express and can’t say that my calves were sorry. If the trend doesn’t work with your body, it won’t look good, doesn’t matter if Anna Wintour herself walks into your closet and tells you that you need to have one, everyone has one, and that you’ll be a fashion outcast if you don’t have one. (If you can get Anna Wintour into your closet, though, please e-mail me and tell me how you accomplished this)
Keeping up to date with fashion is a must if you want to look stylish and fresh- but keeping up to date needs to be balanced with the inclusion of trends into your wardrobe. Love the leopard print but don’t want to buy into the whole outfit (Halleluiah)? Why not look at getting a pair of print shoes, a scarf or a belt? Don’t also be the poor soul buying leopard when that was so last season- keep an eye out for what’s coming and buy in before everyone else. That’s what defines the truly stylish and the trendsetters, stepping up to the plate before everyone else.