The Case For Trends:
Some people have an anti-trend philosophy. This is the fashion equivalent of only reading historical nonfiction instead of the newspaper. Trends move in consistent enough cycles to deserve part of your clothing budget. I thought I was just being sentimental by keeping a hippie-licious pair of dark green leather and wood clogs (with brass stud details) that I bought at Goodie Two Shoes (1111 South Congress Avenue) when I was 14 or 15 years old. What can I tell you? I listened to a lot of Led Zeppelin and made things out of hemp back then. But it paid off: this spring you can open any fashion magazine and you’ll be saying “WTF clogs…?”
And “throw-away fashion” is fun, despite its alleged environmental implications (I’d worry more about the underpaid factory worker implications). There’s instant gratification from cheaply purchasing the H&M version of whatever ephemeral, enticingly batty thing that high-end designers send down the runway. You can pawn it off to a resale shop if you get prematurely tired of it, or donate it to Goodwill when the style’s reign is over.
Just remember the higher status of investment pieces. Spend as much as you want if you find the perfect black pumps, multipurpose cocktail dress, dark skinny jeans, job interview pencil skirt, live-in leather jacket, boy-trap denim shorts…you get the picture. But good heavens, don’t drop triple digits on something absurd, like purple acid-wash jeans or a fringed vest. Just get ’em cheap if you feel compelled. I absolutely endorse wearing things that are borderline ridiculous.
Another thing: why strive for a classic look all the time? You’ll simply blend into the background by wearing the most “normal” clothes instead of blending into the masses (albeit smaller, more interested/informed masses…) wearing the same trend of the moment. Let yourself be identifiable as part of your own generation [This statement doubles as my only argument against wearing vintage all the time, though I love me some used threads]. When I’m an old woman, I want to look back at pictures of myself and laugh fondly. With fashion, it’s here today, funny tomorrow. Participate in the times you’re living in.
Here’s the thing: you can’t even distinguish yourself very well by dressing exclusively in black, or only in athletic wear, etc. It pins you tighter to a group. The only truly original dresser I’ve met lately is a strange and possibly brilliant architecture student who wears tie-dye tee shirts every day. Every. Day. There’s something awesome about this guy likely feeling way uncomfortable in anything but tie-dye.
Coincidentally, guess what’s totally in right now?
Tie-dye tank dress: Proenza Schouler, Spring 2010 (nymag.com)