In Defense of Trends

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The variety of reasons women do not participate in fashion trends is as wide as there are trends themselves.  Just some of what I’ve heard from friends & acquaintences:  I’m too old, it’s too expensive, fashion is frivolous, no one will take me seriously, I’m too fat (tall, thin, short, buxom, flat chested, hippy, etc), its uncomfortable, and the all encompassing, “I can’t wear that!”

It might help the discussion along if I define trends as I care to see them — to my eye, they are no more than the fluctuation of an aesthetic.  A swinging pendulum of design no different than the trend from fast, easy, convenient salty pre-fab foods to local, organic, slow food.  There are reasons political, economic and arbitrary (boredom!) on the part of designers and the powers that be that drive trends.

In 1947 Christian Dior created The New Look in response to the end of the war. Fabric was widely available again, and as such it became de rigueur to be seen in volumonous yardage.  The slim pencil skirts of the early 40s gave way to dresses with tiny waists and large, full skirts.  Hemlines rise in war time, the grunge look of the early nineties was given way by the Seattle music scene.  And the ever looming, weary-making, “all our customers own wide leg jeans, let’s make them love skinny ones”.

There are two main reasons women stop riding on the trend train.  One theory is the “If it aint broke, don’t fix it” way of thinking.  The thinking goes, if I looked great and was happy in 1987 and was told I was beautiful, then I shall forever remain there.  The other theory is a direct and understandable backlash to the last example I mentioned.  Designers need to make money all year round for many years in a row….no one NEEDS more than a few outfits.  So need is created through trend.

To those nodding and smiling, I offer this:  When you look around your home, does it look like your childhood home?  Are the appliances harvest gold?  Do you have a phone with a rotary dial and a curly cord?  Do you read a newspaper or a tablet?  Do you serve Swanson TV dinners with the warm apple pie goo spilling into the frozen peas?  Do you gather round the family victrola — ok I’ve made my point.

What I will enjoy showing you over time is how to interpret trends, adapt them, perhaps opt out of a few (fur vests?  not on my watch), and dare I say enjoy a few along the way.  I read a stylist that once said that your clothes should make you feel alive and more of you who are.  If t here is a single garment in your closet that doesn’t, then you must donate it.

When you see a woman of style walk into a restaurant, admire her.  Take from her what you love, and ignore the rest.  (None of this “I wish I looked like her” nonsense).  Style comes from within, and is always always always best when it expresses who you are.

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5 thoughts on “In Defense of Trends

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