my checklist for trying out trends

by Krystal Bick
February 21, 2018

OUTFIT DETAILS: Kenneth Cole jacket and Kenneth Cole skirt (not available, but similar style here)(both c/o) // Zara turtleneck (similar style here) // & Other Stories boots // Chanel 2.55 bag // Celine sunglasses

To try a trend or not to try a trend?

It’s certainly not a serious question and one that shouldn’t keep us up at night, but in the world of fast fashion and even shorter attention spans, it’s easy to get caught up in a never ending consumer cycle. And trust me, yours truly is certainly guilty of indulging in a few trends (or many) that she perhaps should have thought long and hard about instead, many times for the sake of this blog. But again, this isn’t a serious matter here — and fashion is meant to be fun, a way of exploring and defining ourselves and how we present that definition to the world. So if a little vinyl leather gets involved, it’s nothing to get fussed about, right?

Let me back up a bit. The other night my guy and I were watching Pretty Woman (I told you that movie makes me happy!), when Julia Roberts’ character, Vivienne struts out of the hotel lobby in her patent leather thigh high boots, soliciting more than her fair share of stares along the way.

“Oh, I want those boots!” I remarked, thinking of all of the chic vinyl leather and patent leather looks I had just seen during Fashion Week.

“You DO?” my guy replied back, his voice now thick with suspicion that perhaps I, too, like Vivienne, had a moonlighting gig I hadn’t told him about.

Undoubtedly, vinyl leather calls to mind a lot of things, usually ranging from PVC sex shop leather to The Matrix. And up until this season, it wasn’t necessarily a staple I was looking to add to my closet anytime soon, even with several other of my favorite blogging ladies hopping on board with their own takes on the trend. That all changed when I saw this street style image. I’m not entirely sure who she is (a celebrity? an editor?), but she managed to take what I had previously thought an outlandish trend (like vinyl leather) and made it CHIC. A statement trench with a little black dress and Chanel captoe heels? Where do I sign?

 

Naturally, this got me thinking about today’s very post, a checklist “Choose Your Own Adventure” if you will, when it comes to trends, because, if we’re being honest, not all trends are created equal and not all trends should elicit the same amount of money from your wallet (or any at all, for that matter). So let’s kick this off, shall we?

1. If the trend is a color or a pattern? For Spring alone, we have lots of YELLOW cropping up, in addition to a whole slew of PASTELS and CHECKS. I find color and pattern trends the easiest to pull off, both from a sartorial commitment and a financial standpoint. More often than not, I’ll generally have most of the said colors or patterns in my closet, waiting to be styled a bit more prominently, and if I don’t, I like experimenting with a nod to the trend — perhaps picking up a sweater or simple t-shirt or two to layer underneath light jackets or with dresses. If the color is outside my immediate color wheel (like yellow), I tend to hold off unless I can find the right shade at a price point that I don’t feel guilty about, if I decide to donate it later.

Speaking of donations, thrift and vintage stores are your best friend when it comes to color and pattern trends — they’re usually the first place I look when I want to dabble in a trend I’m not certain about.

2. If the trend is a material? Vinyl is a great example here. If it’s a material, I’ll generally go small. An accessory. A pair of shoes from Aldo perhaps. Now, I know these photos say otherwise, because, well I’m wearing a RED VINYL TWO PIECE. There’s nothing subtle or small about it. This is where I’ll be very up front with you. I was gifted these pieces from Kenneth Cole and in the spirit of Fashion Week, I decided to go big with it — that being wearing both together for a more editorial look. What I do love about this set though, is that both pieces are great worn separately — the skirt looks amazing with with a slouchy black sweater and kitten heels. The jacket is a fun piece to wear with skinny jeans and an oversized gray turtleneck. Plus, both are on sale right now.

The hard thing about material trends, in my opinion, is making sure you find the right price point for a material quality that doesn’t scream CHEAP, so I would avoid ordering online if you can, so you can actually see and feel the material in person. Vinyl leather is one of those especially tricky materials that can veer sex shop really quickly if you’re not careful. Again, vintage stores and the occasional Zara/Mango/Topshop run will do.

 

3. If the trend is a silhouette? Among all the trends, silhouettes are probably the trickiest, as they depend on a larger list of other factors: material, drape and fit. If the trend is something more timeless, like kitten heels (MY FAVORITE at the moment), chances are, I’ll pony up a bit more for it. If the trend is something a bit more fleeting, like say sequined slouchy boots, I’ll generally pass. Of course, there’s a lot of gray area between these two, but if I find myself thinking, “Do I even have more than three outfits to wear this with?” then I generally pass.

4. Is the trend a styling trick? I call these gateway trends — they’re usually easy to dabble in and require little to no investment. Socks with heels anyone? Why not? Try it for a day, see how you feel. With the right outfit, it can feel fun and fresh. If you don’t 100% feel like yourself, well those socks can go right back to the drawer they came from. Sometimes, it’s an easy accessory switch — like wearing two different statement earrings together (Bauble Bar has plenty of earrings at great price points) or opting to sport your shorter strapped shoulder bags as a cross body (or if you want to get really inventive, as a waist belt bag, if the strap allows). Generally speaking, styling tricks are a fun way to make what’s already in your closet feel new again by wearing it slightly differently (even if that’s just wearing a cardigan backwards), so I say, indulge liberally, if you feel like it!

And that’s my mental checklist when it comes to trends — anything you guys want to add?

Photos by Nora Varcho

21 thoughts on “my checklist for trying out trends

  1. Oh my goodness. You look AMAZING in the red! Bold and beautiful! Thanks for your post. I think women today can rock just about any trend if they are daring enough to “stand out” in the crowd. It’s all about truly owning it, and that doesn’t just happen the moment you put it on. Confidence must complete the outfit. πŸ˜‰

  2. kathryn hannum says:

    Krystal,
    I love the mention of using thrift and consignment stores for adding trendy pieces. I almost exclusively shop at consignment stores these days. not only does it allow for financially stress-free experimentation, but I also feel much better about my carbon footprint/wasteful consumption/perpetuation of human exploitation that the fashion industry is quite guilty of. I think you should consider doing a whole post dedicated to shopping at online consignment stores from the low end like thredup, ebay, poshmark, to the high end like therealreal (which I know you have worked with before, love), and farfetch.
    Great Post!

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