The Anatomy of a Trend

1. Camouflage  2. Tie dye  3. Wedge sneakers  4. Fair Isle  5. Captoe heels  6. Animal sweaters

I'm planning to try trends #1, 4 and 5 this year - which ones do you like?

"Fashion is a form of ugliness so intolerable that we have to alter it every six months." - Oscar Wilde

Today, let's talk about trends. I never used to buy trendy clothes. In fact, I am the girl who proclaimed she would never wear skinny jeans (whoops). If anything has changed about my style since blogging, being an early adopter of trends is it. It originally started because I wanted to try out trends and let you guys know if they worked in real life. But then I just started to love them. Like, a lot. Here's why:

1. Trends are different. I had a Nike Swoosh poster in high school that I hung upside down in my room because I was convinced I was the only person on the planet who had that poster hanging upside down. I was born with a very strong desire to be different, and trends help you do that.
2. Trends counteract boredom. I'm bored right now writing this! (j/k) But really, I swear that playing with accessories is just a grown-up version of building blocks, coloring, and being creative.
3. Trends push the envelope. I can be one sassy broad, and I like my clothing to reflect that. I also strongly believe that "the place you often look and feel your best is right outside your comfort zone." Trends help you push the limits.

So, what is a trend exactly? I came up with this life cycle to illustrate:

Step 1: The runways release a trend. It can be yours for just $20,000. (cue: expensive fashion magazines)
Step 2: Retail stores like Gucci and Chanel are the first ones to start mass producing the trend, and big budgets are able to try it first. (cue: expensive fashion blogs)
Step 3: Retail stores like H&M and Forever 21 start stocking the trend, so anyone can give it a whirl. (cue: budget bloggers and early adopters)
Step 4: The trend starts to catch on and before you know it everyone is wearing it. (cue: general public)
Step 5: Everyone gets bored, so the trend becomes passe and we abandon the trend for the next big thing. (cue: Oscar Wilde quote)

So when should you buy a trend? What trends should you invest in? Here's my advice:

1. The earlier, the better. I used to wait a year or two before I would adopt a trend but generally, if you like the trend, then don't wait. Be one of the first, because then you will get the most wear out of your item. Trends in the "real world" last at minimum a year or two, so you have at least that long if you adopt the trend early.
2. Your personal style. Above all, how do you feel about that trend? If "neon" has been your thing since you were five, then by all means, go for that trend! If peplum makes you uncomfortable, then don't feel any pressure to try it. The best factor for deciding whether or not you love a trend is just using your own taste, preferences and body type as a guide.
3. Evaluate longevity. The more "general" the trend is, the longer its staying power. Skinny jeans are a fit of pants, which is pretty general and they have now been in style for years, with no signs of letting up. More specific or louder trends like tie-dye or peep-toe booties are a bit tougher. They are less likely to be adopted by tons of people, and therefore less likely to be around for long.
4. Test the waters. Still unsure about a trend? Try testing the waters first, by buying an inexpensive item like a leopard blouse and giving it a test drive. If you still love it after a couple of months, then investing in a major piece like leopard shoes might be a good idea, or even in multiple leopard pieces like a skirt or another shirt.
5. There's always round two. Ever feel like you are having trend de ja vu? That's because trends cycle around and around. I read my trends post from the past three summers, and every single trend is still in style. And if "military" ever goes out of style, just wait a few years because it will be the hottest thing ever.... all over again.

How do you approach trends? Do you wait to adopt them or jump right in?