As March arrives, we’re all ready to ditch the winter coats and give our closet a little boost.
The stores are filled with beautiful spring items, and the magazines are telling you what to shop for to stay on trend. But is it really necessary to change our entire wardrobe to stay fashionable?
My answer is short and sweet – no, it isn't.
Trends come and go, and frankly it isn't really sustainable (either for your own finances or the environment) to slavishly follow them, unless you’re a fashion blogger or in any way part of the fashion world/business.
If you’ve been following me for a while, you know that I stand for style as opposed to fashion.
Don’t get me wrong, I do love beautiful clothes, and I think it’s important to invest in looking good. Yet I believe that having a defined style is much more powerful than being a carbon copy of a catwalk model or high street mannequin.
But, in order to maintain a modern look, you need to know what trends are currently “in” and incorporate them into your own style. This will keep your image fresh and authentic.
Magazines are obviously a great place to start your research, and another fantastic way to get an idea of current trends is to look at what the fashion bloggers and street style stars are wearing during the fashion months. (New York Fashion Week all the way through to Paris Fashion Week via London and Milan, in September and February every year – follow the hashtags #NYFW #LFW #MFW and #PFW for inspo).
However, note that these bloggers and Insta-stars often get paid to wear certain things or sponsored by brands, so their outfits may not be an entirely genuine reflection of “street style”. That said, they are still a good source of inspiration.
The fashion industry has been revolutionized by technology (online shopping, social media, blogging, selfies, etc.). We have access to the same information, the same products and the same services no matter where in the world we are. Fashion has become global, yet much more targeted, and trends have become less dependent on local needs. Nowadays it’s completely normal to have contradicting styles in fashion parallel to each other (e.g. masculine tailoring vs. romantic boho chic), which gives us the possibility to focus on our personal style at the same time as remaining on-trend.
Spring/Summer 2018 Trends:
Head to toe denim. Denim (even double denim!) is a permanent classic and is here to stay. It’s definitely something to invest in. Choose what works for you, whether that’s dark, white or stonewash denim in a skinny, flared or straight leg cut.
Sheer fabrics. Barely there dresses, tulle layers, capes and PVC coats & bags. Tread with caution - if you’re wearing sheer fabrics make sure you’re wearing appropriate (and pretty!) underwear, and if you’re trying out a see-through bag, carefully curate your contents (no receipts & tissues hanging about in the bottom!!).
Patterns (geometric/floral/plaid/checks/graphics). Mixing patterns can be difficult if you’re not a fashion pro, but it is in vogue. It’s not something I’d recommend experimenting with. If you are drawn to a patterned piece, wear it as part of a simpler look so that you don’t overdo it but you keep a modern edge.
Bright saturated hues vs. soft pastel. A general rule of thumb for colors is that if you have a darker complexion and hair, go for bright and bold colours and if you have lighter skin and hair, pastels will look great on you.
Monochrome looks vs. color-blocking. This season, monochrome isn’t just black & white, but strong vibrant and bright colors such as red, pink and yellow. These can be overwhelming choices, so don’t feel you have to have to go all in. Instead, try the shades out with accessories or a top with a neutral pair of jeans.
Reinvented retro vibe – ‘70s (floral patterns and bell bottoms), ‘80s and ‘90s (rock & grunge – denim & leather).
Layering and oversize pieces. If you learn to do it well, layering always works and looks great as it makes an outfit more interesting. What you layer might change, but how you layer it doesn’t. It will never really go out of style.
Some of these trends can be incorporated into any kind of look. However, others are specific to certain styles. So, first things first - you need to make sure you know what your style is. That's the foundation of everything.
Once you’re clear on your individual style, you can identify the trends that work with your style, life and budget.
Refresh your spring style without breaking the bank:
Focus on details. Give your look an ‘edge’ by investing in a statement accessory (belt, jewelry, handbag, etc.), a pattern, a color, or a statement piece (a coat, a jacket, or shoes) that goes well with your existing wardrobe. It should match your outfits and work with most of the things you usually wear (color-wise, cut-wise). The idea for this item (or theme) is that it’s interesting but still practical, as it enhances the items you already own.
Mix up the styles. If you usually dress quite classically and you love wearing smart clothes, then give your outfits a twist by switching from your usual pumps to trendy sneakers, or add a cool t-shirt under your blazer. Don't overdo it though, stick to one item.
Layer. Spring is the perfect season to play around with layering. Start with a basic shirt, add a cool sweater, spice it up with a belt, add a fun blazer, and top it off with a statement oversize coat. Sounds too much? Start with two or three layers and build your way up to more.
Play with colors. Now that bold, bright colors are as trendy as pastels, and monochrome is as fashionable as color-blocking, you can really go wild when trying out new colors! However, be sure to consider your coloring and understand which shades and tones are flattering for your complexion. Just because it’s on trend doesn’t mean that it’s going to suit you!
Invest in good quality basics. This may seem like a no-brainer, but you can never go wrong with simple evergreen pieces. Quality is always in fashion! You don’t want to be spending too much money on things that you won’t be wearing in a year’s time. However, a great pair of jeans or a classic blazer is worth the investment.
I get it – style, fashion and trends can be confusing. So let’s get you some clarity! My FREE Chic Sheet will help you align your style with who you are on the core so that you not only look stylish and put together but to actually feel beautiful.
Veronika Nemeth is the Founder and Creative Director of The Stylish Female Society. She is a seasoned Image Consultant, Personal Branding Expert and Transformational (Life)Style Coach helping heart-centered women to find their soul-aligned style and create a magnetic presence online & offline by uncovering their true essence and revealing their inner beauty through their style.
Her mission is to inspire women to step into their power, live their own truth and shine their authentic light through being the best version of them.