Soon after I moved to New York, a good friend from San Francisco asked me to keep an eye on the latest trends and report back to her. I told her that I couldn’t. I could hear the puzzled tone in her voice. She wanted to know why. Easy. I think trends are bullshit.
Trends force people to look outward for acceptance. They are about trying to fit in and comparing yourself to others. This only makes you feel bad about yourself and creates low self-esteem. Personal style, on the other hand, is about celebrating your individuality. It’s about self-acceptance. When you feel good about yourself, it shows in the way you carry yourself. Confidence is your best accessory.
So many times I see people wearing something because it’s on trend and they look miserable. This is because it’s not the right fit for their body type or personality. You can see this is the way they carry themselves: their body language says is all. They are slouched, have rounded shoulders and are almost trying to hide. Being ‘on trend’ is not authentic acceptance. If you don’t feel good in your clothes, you’ve settled for less. You’re not dressing for you.
Trends are also about looking the same, and that’s boring. One of my favorite quotes from fashion icon, Iris Apfel, is “….they think they’re stylish, but they all wear black. That’s not really style. That’s a uniform.” Another favorite quote from another incredible stylist, Stacy London: “Style is the quickest shorthand to who you are.” To sum it up: trends are uniforms that hide who you are.
Overconsumption is also fueled by trends. Trends are always changing: this encourages people to keep up and buy more. Not only is this bad for consumers’ bank accounts, this is also poor for the planet. We are purchasing a lot of clothes then turning around and tossing them. Americans throw away 14 million tons of clothes a year (that’s 80 lbs per person). Of that, only 20% is reuse while 80% ends up in landfill or incinerated. When you purchase items that enhance your personal style and are well made (and you take good care of them), you will spend less overall and have less of an impact on the environment.
I don’t care what the latest trends are and nor shall you. Accept that you’re 1 in 7.5 billion and that’s totally awesome. Celebrate you and your individual style. It’s good for you and for the planet.