How to Follow Trends Without Losing Your Personal Style
Photography by Ami Ford.
The content of this week's blog post is primarily style-based, which is a little bit unusual for me. However it seems very apt as I've been ridiculously excited about autumn/winter fashion recently and it's all I can think about/spend my money on. Even now I'm excited at the thought of getting dressed today so I can wear my new Topshop midi skirt. Anyway, we're one paragraph in and I'm off on a tangent. Lets get back to the point of this post, following trends without losing your personal style.
I wouldn't really say that I've got my personal style down to a tee and if you asked me to summarise it, I wouldn't know how. But I know when I'm wearing something that feels like 'me' and I know when I'm wearing something that doesn't. I think that's essentially what personal style is. But something that can get in the way of your personal style is trend pieces, especially the ones that everyone on Instagram is going crazy for. Sometimes, when seeing a piece on your favourite blogger, it's difficult to tell whether it's the piece they're wearing that you like or if it's how it looks on them that draws you to it. I've wasted a fair amount of money in the past on trend pieces that just weren't for me and didn't align with my style, mostly because of the reason above and also because sometimes seeing something so much can actually make you think you like it.
Anyway, I styled this outfit based on some of this season's current trends while still maintaining a sense of my personal style. So, based on this outfit, I'm going to provide some tips on, in my opinion, the best ways to follow and style trends.
1. Style Your Trend Pieces with Your Staple Pieces
I think one way that people's personal style can become lost by trend pieces is when their entire outfit is made up from them. This is why I struggle to get on board with co-ords sometimes, such as leopard print co-ords or the matching flared pants and crop tops, because I feel like by wearing them I could lose my personal style. But if you pair your trend pieces with your staple pieces, there's always going to be an element of 'you' within your outfit. Here I've paired 3 trend items, the cargo pants, leopard print shoes and hair clips, with 3 staple items, a simple black cami, a simple gold necklace and a classic croc print shoulder bag. Part of this tip is also ensuring you have those staple pieces in your wardrobe (mine would probably be a white t-shirt, a pair of straight leg jeans, my Vans and a leather jacket) because they are always going to make your style feel like 'you'.
2. Think About It and Experiment
This tip relates back to my earlier point about seeing a trend piece on someone who's style you like and thinking you want it for yourself. Before following a direct link to buy the item, think about how it would fit into your wardrobe. Come up with at least 3 ways you would wear the item. If you can't do this, you shouldn't really be buying it in my opinion as it's inevitably going to be one of the items that sits in the back of your wardrobe. I wasn't sure how the hair clip trend was going to fit in with my personal style, as I tend to really enjoy wearing my hair loose and a little bit messy. But I thought about it for a couple of months and tried some different types of hair clips on in store before finally deciding to give it a go. I'm quite confident wearing hair clips now as I thought a lot about how I would wear them (and even dedicated a Pinterest board to them) before buying some. But I feel as though if I would have bought them as soon as seeing them on someone whose style I admire, this confidence wouldn't have been there.
FYI: I don't think there's anything necessarily wrong with not liking a trend at first and eventually allowing it to grow on you, as long as this isn't just because you've seen it on so many people. Your style might have slightly changed from when you first saw it or you might have discovered new ways to style it. Just make sure you're consciously thinking about the reasons why your mind has changed to avoid wasting your money.
3. Pair Trendy Patterns with Staple Shapes or Trendy Shapes with Staple Patterns/Colours
This is a rule I try and stick to although, of course it's completely fine to try new shapes and patterns. However it is a good way of ensuring trend pieces you spend money on aren't too out there that you're going to be scared to wear them. What I mean by this tip is, for example, if you want to buy into the leopard print trend, choose a piece that is in a shape that you're comfortable wearing (such as an A-Line skirt or a blazer). Or, alternatively, if you're buying into a trend based on style or shape, such as the silk/satin midi skirt trend, choose one in a colour that you're comfortable wearing.
I wasn't 100% sure about the animal print trend (I'm still very skeptical of the snake print trend, I don't think it's for me) but I have eventually picked up some leopard print bits that I've definitely got wear out of, such as these Primark shoes. These shoes were only £6 so they weren't much of an investment piece anyway but, even so, I don't think that's a reason to buy things without thinking about them because firstly, little things add up and, secondly, I want to own things that I love not that I just feel indifferent towards. And I knew I was going to get so much wear out of these shoes because I have them in yellow and wore them to death during summer. So I knew they were going to be a really good trend-based update to my wardrobe for autumn/winter.
4. Know What The Trends Are
This might be the most important tip because if you don't know what this season's trends are you aren't going to be able to follow the previous tips. Also, most of the time it's important to think of trend items as such so you know not to invest your money in something that's only going to be around for a season or two. By being consciously aware of the trends, you can consider when you see something you like, if you like it because it's a popular item that lots of people have been wearing if you like it because it's something you'd personally feel great in. My favourite way to keep myself up to date with the season's trends is by reading articles and watching videos about them. Megan Ellaby does great videos every season on trend pieces, here is the link to her autumn edition. Karen also did a really great video on the same topic.
I hope this post has been helpful and will inform any shopping you're planing on doing over the next couple of months. I've definitely bought into a few of this seasons' trends such as satin midi skirts, cardigans and leopard print but I'm always conscious of which pieces are going to last me a long time and which pieces aren't and I try and spend my money accordingly. Let me know in the comments or over on social media what your favourite trend of the season is!