Tuesday, October 2, 2007

Hot or Not?

Affordable trendy clothing (sometimes called "fast fashion") is a double-edged sword: it makes fashionable looks accessible to those of us on real-life budgets, but when the market is totally saturated with a look a trend loses its appeal. (that's an understatement - it SUCKS when every woman on the train next to you is sporting the same look) This basically helps to kill the trend quicker. So how do you know how long a trend will last? (you know I'm gonna tell you so calm down) Here are a few general guidelines:

Generally speaking, most fashion trends stick around for at least a year. Some trends, usually the most understandable ones, last longer. For example, the personalization or initial craze started with Sarah Jessica Parker's "Carrie" necklace during season two of "Sex and the City" in 1998. The look saturated the mass market in the fall 2003 with initial handbags, sweaters -- you name it -- a full five years after it started.
One school of thought says that fashion cycles about every 20 years.

A big part of deciding on how long a trend is viable depends on where in the fashion cycle you bought the trend. If you bought it as a knock-off or at a discount store, then you should count on it being in for just one or two seasons. Because the fashion industry often lumps together Spring and Summer, Fall and Winter, that gives you approximately six months of wear out of a look before it looks dated.

Although there is no hard-and-fast rule about how long a fashion trend will stick around, you can bet that the more-difficult-to-pull-off looks are just fads that will fade. That doesn't mean you shouldn't have fun buying them, just know that they aren't looks that will be fresh this time next year. (so, this is the time to find inexpensive pieces instead of designer pieces that break the bank)

Buying power can keep a trend on life support. Sometimes consumers love a look so much they just won't let it die. Capris, crops, tank tops and flip flops are all examples of former trends which actually became wardrobe staples. The higher the profile -- boho chic and mod are recent examples -- the more likely it is that the trend will look dated by the same next year. Likewise, the more radical the cut, color, or print -- microminis, army jackets, mod graphics -- the more certain that the trend will be long over by the same time next year.

The best defense against quickly changing trends is to have a wardrobe stocked with mostly classic looks: well-fitted jeans, white oxford shirts, blazers, little black dresses. Use trendy items as an addition to a core wardrobe to give it some fabulosity (is this a word? well you know what I mean).

Until tomorrow - Smooches, Quick Claps, and Much Love- Erin

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