Today, my friends, we’re going to talk about trendy fashion. You may be saying, Yuck, I hate trends. I’m not a trendy person.
I say, Groovy. You don’t have to be. But that doesn’t mean trends don’t already live in your closet.
Trends are our friends
I love when fashion isolates a few colors, prints, silhouettes, and themes and says, “Hey Everyone, let’s focus on these fashion trend flavors this season.” There’s something about engaging in trends—even just a little bit—that makes getting dressed a new adventure, something to look forward to, a way to connect with people and be part of this very moment in time. It presses refresh on the way we express ourselves. It gives us new toys to play with as we get dressed.
I always make a point to know what the current trends are so I can inform my clients. I reinforce trend information by wearing the ones that look good on me. I want to be an example of how to stay current.
I don’t have any clients who choose to be on the cutting edge of fashion. But they love to hear what’s “in” and they especially love it when I look into their closet, spot on-trend pieces and pull them out. I’ll say, “Let’s get you into current trends by refreshing how you’ll wear this (fill-in-the-blank) this year.”
On-trend items I might pull out this season would be lace, fur, red, violet, leopard print, zebra print, shades of green, velvet, brocade, leather, denim, satin, plaid, ruffles, polka dots, patchwork, pleated skirts, suits, sweater dresses, moto jackets, cowboy boots—you get the picture. Without giving you the full list, you can see that odds are great that everyone’s got current trends residing in their closets.
Which leads me to this: Let’s shop your closet first for trends!
Why shop your closet first?
It makes simple dollars and sense. I love the idea of using the shopping speed bump that is shopping your closet before spending money. I call this Slow Shopping. Your fashion senses get stimulated by catalogs, magazines, store windows, displays or emails directly from retailers telling you to buy this, and this, and this! It’s so easy to go to your nearest device, find those items online and press “add to cart.” It’s instant gratification.
Now, if you shop your closet first, it looks like this: You pause before pressing purchase and say, ‘What a minute! Do I own a version of that already?’ It means leaving the search bar on the computer, going to your closet and searching for it there first.
Shopping my clients’ closets
I’m always shopping my clients’ closets. Let’s use leopard print as an example of a current trend. When I see runway images of a leopard jacket, I think about the leopard print jacket that’s in M.’s closet. I say to myself, ‘When I see her this week, I want to pull that out and create five new outfits using it.’
I see a leopard print skirt and think of D.’s closet. I don’t remember making recent outfits out of the leopard print skirt we bought together twelve years ago at Neiman Marcus in San Francisco. I know it still fits her. I want to make at least three new outfits with that skirt. Maybe I’ll use boots for one outfit, black tights and a heeled bootie for another one, and I think I’ll try mixing leopard print in the same outfit. I know she has those leopard print suede ankle wrap shoes that we bought together two years ago. I bet they’ll go together!
I look at thin leopard print belts and I can picture a wider version wrapped up in a coil in a plastic bin of belts one of my clients has. I can’t wait to get my hands on that when I see her next week. Maybe it would be cute with her chiffon skirt, her black Tippi sweater, and her dark denim jacket. She loves when I mix fancy with casual. It’s perfect for her Mill Valley lifestyle.
Last year I suggested V. retire her Tippi leopard print sweater. (What you should know about Tippi sweaters here.) Well, we didn’t actually retire it. We just dropped it down the fashion food chain. Now she wears it around the house. However, leopard print looks so good on her that in this case, I’m going to suggest we purchase a fresh one so we can make outside-the-house outfits with it. She has red hair like this model does and leopard print looks incredible on her.
I can think of clients who don’t wear leopard print in clothes but they love it in accessories. A little bit adds a lot of flavor. I’ll look through their scarf drawer for leopard print and pull it out.
I have a client who has a vintage leopard print clutch that I lust for. I like to tease her about it. I’ve always told her right where to look if it goes missing one day. Wink-wink. It’s time to bring that bag out and play with it some more.
I’m working the leopard print this year too
Do you want to see something funny? I took this picture yesterday of an outfit I’ve styled this year with my “trendy” leopard print pleated skirt. I’m wearing black fishnets and my AGL patent leather flats with velvet bows.
Do you see the top I’m wearing? Okay, that’s a Coldwater Creek crossover top with three-quarter sleeves.
It’s the same top I’m wearing with the same Carlisle silk leopard print skirt ten years ago. I may have had both pieces for longer than ten years; I just can’t remember. I do remember teaching in this outfit. I taught an all-day course for other image consultants ten years ago in London. Unforgettable.
Take a look at the patent leather shoes I was wearing back then with the skirt. I LOVED those shoes. Unfortunately, they hurt like you know what!
Both times I’m wearing fishnet stockings—nude in London, black here in Sonoma. I’m wearing finer, more delicate jewelry this time, which I enjoy very much. I’m wearing my bee necklace and you know how crazy I am about wearing the bee symbol!
The outrageous trends are worth ignoring. With those out of the picture, there are very few truly new trends out there. They just call them new and we get all excited about them. I’m happy to play along. It’s fun to focus on specific elements of fashion for a bit. But it doesn’t mean you have to shopping all the time. You may already own pieces that are just right.
Are you a closet shopper? Can you imagine shopping your closet for trend pieces? Do you have some ideas already? Ooh, can’t wait to hear all about it!