When it comes to fashion and style, most people will tell you that picking one defining look and building your personal style around it is the best thing you can do – this is seen in the rise of the capsule wardrobe and the minimalist wardrobe (similar ideas but each can be realized in very different ways). While I like some of the ideas these trends produced – slimming your closet down, cutting back on what you own and therefore wasteful, useless buying, ect. – however, I don’t think I can really, truly commit to these and I don’t believe I would ever want to.
My style choices span across almost all walks of fashion – princess and casual tulle, tees and jeans, high-waist trousers and crop tops, 90’s plaid and dark lipped grunge, full on mix and matched suits (vests, ties, and jackets), to floral frocks and bohemian maxi skirts. To top it all off, I usual mix and match between these styles and switch the style quickly from day to day based on what mood I wake up in even more than what the day has in store. While this means my wardrobe might be spilling out more than I’d like (i admit I have a LOT of clothes) there is a freedom to be able to decide between grunge, princess and pantsuit without feeling like I’ve abandoned my personal brand.
Still, even with my wide range of personal style choices, there are some trends (some older than others) that have sprung up recently or have begun to nag at me more than others but are definitely considered old loves:
1. Little white dress:
Every girl knows that somewhere in their closet is meant to be one garment: the LBD (Little Black Dress). This is the dress you can grab for any occasion and by a simple dressing up or down, you’ll be ready to go at the drop of a hat. It’s a dress that is so flattering, you know it won’t let you down – you know the cut, the material, everything because it is your perfect LBD.
A few years ago, a twist happened and so many people were showing up in show stopping Little White Dresses – they did everything the black dresses did but felt more daring because we all know the white can be a dangerous color if you’re not careful (spills, sheerness in bad lighting, hides nothing, must I go on?).
While these neutral dresses are on a more level playing field know, I’m really enjoying the thrill of the LWD especially twisted into separates (as you will see). I just bought a pleated maxi skirt and am on the hunt for the perfect white top for it. Which leads us to:
2. Evening separates
I’ll admit I was totally inspired by Rent the Runway’s Waltz Dress by Bailey 44 for a fun gala event I’m going to at the end of the month, but couldn’t help thinking, how great would that be in white (See how #1 works?). The other issue with the dress above is that it only looks like separates, while in reality there is a thin sheer netting between them – I’m not sure how this should work on all skin tones.
For me the choice was clear: take my inspiration an buy pieces that I are cheaper than renting the designer dress and that I’ll be able to wear over and over again, together or apart. This is my favorite part about all separates but especially when you are buying for occasion wear – you have so many options! At a later date, I’ll be able to down plyy a nice white maxi with a t-shirt and sandals and and pair a fun gala top (once I find one that satisfies) with cropped wide-leg trousers and converse for a funky summer look.
Speaking of which:
3. Wide leg trousers
Frankly, I don’t care which point in history you attribute the style to (the silk suit 20s, newsie and musical laden 40s, or ’10 Things I Hate About You’ styling 90s) I love and rock it all. I’ve been living in my two H&M pairs (which you can’t find online) which are longist-cropped (since I’m short legged), elastic, high-waist, light-weight trousers pretty much since I bought them. I love the movement and since they are cropped, pairing these with sandals, converse, booties or heels all work to make a fun, quirky aesthetic.
The hardest park for me is fit and it’s something to really watch out for if this a trend you are looking to try out. Frankly, like most things in the fashion world, these aren’t perfectly fitted for curvy girls. You don’t want anything tight – the material should skim the widest part of you, not cling. I had to buy a size up since my widest parts are my upper thighs but this means the waist band is loose. In the end, I like this because I can choose where the pants sit but I will be adding belt loops because of this. Remember, alterations are your friend!
4. Floral skinny ties:
I’ve seen these beauties popping up in men sections left and right and I want them all!A floral skinny tie is great fro ladies and gentlemen because they give someone of any designation a touch of pretty as well as visual interest that can brighten up a piece. For me, a skinny tie is also the way to go as a woman because you don’t want to be overwhelmed or look clownish, especially if you are petite.
The key to wearing these flashier styles is knowing how to pair your pieces. look at your background colors and keep to that tone – I’ve loved seeing a navy floral paired with a navy jacket or vest but a dark charcoal works well too, rather than a black suit which mostly makes it look like you dresses in bad light and didn’t see the navy.
If you try this trend, you’re usually going to want the tie to be the main event of the outfit – too much eyeball- drawing competition is headache inducing – but floral is one pattern that is hard to pair. That being said, if you do it right…
5. Mixing and matching patterns
Again, like the beginning of the Little White Dress, mixing and matching is a daring adventure in fashion that walks a narrow line but if you don’t mind a few experiments and some critics that will never be on your side, it can be a whole lot of fun. Personally I love watching people do daring mixes of patterns, colors and styles and there are tons of online guides that can help you start to explore without making you look like you dress in the dark (see another theme).
One of my close male friends loves mixing his plaids and always gets mixed results but nothing ever looks garish. He finds the balance by pairing like colors and sticking to subtle patterns – one plaid out of two (more that this gets daunting!) has to stay really subtle almost invisible and playing off a color within your matching set – but don’t match the plaids! This is two much.
For me, stripes are almost a neutral most often paired with a plaid but a floral of a pole-a-dot does nicely too. Again, there are tons of guides on how to do it but the main factor is, even if you have more than one pattern, nothing is competing – there is an order in subtlety that allows each to meld together into a single unified picture.
As I’ve said, my style varies and, for me, settling for one style is putting yourself in a box. Sure you may always appear camera ready but where is the fun in being that clean cut and cookie-cutter all the time?