Every so often you may look around you; either in shops or on people on the street and think ‘this season is ME’. Regardless of the fact that it is ‘ME’ to thousands of others, you know that you have captured the zeitgeist. With this comes the double-edged trickle of ‘I’m on trend’, which can be said with real satisfaction or hesitation and fear, probably one after the other repeatedly.
When your personal taste aligns with a trend it can be exciting, finally those pieces you have been looking for are so much more accessible. Yet there can be a part of you that wants to let everyone know, and reassure yourself, that this is truly who you are; this was how you presented yourself before and it will be for as long as you see fit.
Lady Melbourne raised the very interesting question, ‘Would you wear something ugly simply because it’s ‘on trend’?’. A question such as this gets right down to what we ‘use’ fashion for. It could be said that the older we get the more comfortable we are at ‘opting out’ of things that don’t suit us. With experience (and practice) we have refined shapes, colours, textures and ‘styles’.
However, today I want to look at the original question from a different angle and ask, have you ever avoided wearing something because it is ‘on trend’?
There are a myriad of quotes throughout time which now circle the internet which highlight the difference between personal style and fashion, one of the most prominent being ‘Fashion fades, style is eternal’ by the legendary Yves Saint Laurent The other which springs to mind is ‘Fashion says ‘me too’, Style says ‘only me’. These two quotes highlight the key idea that personal style far outweighs a trend. With the saturation of anything we can often find clarity, zoning in on what suits us and what we wish to participate in. Fashion as communication has been discussed here before, in the article ‘On Getting Dressed’, whilst all of its sentiments won’t be repeated, the idea that we subconsciously ask ourselves who we want to be as we get dressed is still prominent.
It seems that the answer to ‘sort through’ the myriad of options we are now presented with is to build a foundation wardrobe with the classics. Pieces which have been confirmed, praised and reworked over and over again. Whilst this exercise works to ensure we avoid fashion faux pas of being caught in the latest trend and cringing out our outfits in retrospect, it doesn’t lend itself much to the individual. French women are the poster girl/cliché of this style of dressing, and for good reason. There is an air of confidence with which certain people carry themselves which equalises evening wear and denim. Perhaps this is the key? If an item, era or collection truly resonates with you, you wear it as if you are wearing pyjamas, with a real sense of ‘What of it?’
It also seems that true style comes with a level of certainty and security that negates the need to tell everyone and anyone that you have been wearing Birkenstocks for a very long time.
So, back to the original question, you ever avoided wearing something because it’s ‘on trend’?