Can You Say No to a Trend?

Can You Say No to a Trend?

Credits: Photo - Anonymous, Styling - Sarah G Schmidt, Location - Inglewood

Yes. Yes, you can. I decided to skip the suspense because we have enough surprises - often horrible - in these times. Of course, you can pass. Just like the D.A.R.E. personal service announcement posters in my school urged, you just say no.

I ascribe to the theory that dressing should be like a buffet: choose only what you want. That said, I’d be foolish to not include a few guidelines for consideration. One should keep in mind what you’ve had before – bad reactions, dislikes, and stuff that leaves a bad taste – as well as what you’ve got going on after the buffet – be it a hot date, ice skating, or a concert – and choose wisely. Pick particular items that you will enjoy on that particular day. Garlic isn’t for every situation, nor are hot pants. Some of us have wild, varying schedules, while others are more routine. Simply put, fashion friends, do you.

Easier said than done? Is it just me or is eating what we like seems to be better understood than the concept of wearing only what we like?

I get it. There’s a tonne of options. Minimalism, maximalism, borrowing from another gender, gender neutral, colour theory, dress for your day, dress for the job you want, uniform, capsule, YOLO, goth, hipster, normcore, scumbro; I could list of a zillion more. All of these options can lead to serious FOMO and general overwhelm.

Let’s think about it another way, shall we? Let’s pretend we’re having a reoccurring dream that seems random but is illuminating a part of our life that we need to consider. Say we’re in a forest and the forest is made up of clothes. You’re running around looking at at these trees trying to pick one thinking, “Which one do I pick, there’s so many options, hey what’ s up with that tree, if I pick one that means all these others are left behind, oh no, aghhhhhhhhhhh! <pivot> Ooooooh shiny.” A touch intense yet accurate? So I ask you all: are we getting lost in the trees? With so many trees to navigate, are we forgetting the forest? In case it’s a bit hazy, in this wilderness scenario I mean personal style and taste to be the forest, and the trees are clothing. Clothing articles can make up a forest of style, but alone, they’re just a single clothing item – or tree. No one thing will be everything.

My inkling is that with all these methods and approaches and messages of new, new, new, lambasting us in all our sensors, it’s hard to hear yourself think. If we can’t think straight, our feelings and may be off. It may be even harder to trust your instincts. What if you’re not even friendly with your gut? Ooftah.

Let’s push this sartorial messiness aside. Let’s cut some of the noise. I say, focus first on learning how to trust yourself. You can do this by first thinking about what you want to say with your clothes – and make sure it’s an honest representation of you – then choose your clothing to align with that vision. Stay in that lane, whatever lane you choose for a period of time. Like any reliable science experiment, you need to control the variables to trust the data of the results.

If you want to keep things simple, stay away from the super trendy brands. If you want to look tidy, stick to classics and invest wisely over time. Should you want to develop a signature look that’s only you, do that. Go YOLO.

What I am suggesting is that whatever you choose, you should also consider saying no to other things. A lot more things. Say you don’t like jeans. Perhaps you don’t feel confident wearing them. Then don’t wear them. Thank you, next. Choose something and acknowledge that it is the most glorious application of opportunity cost in our everyday lives.

There are so many things to say “nope” to. I’ve written off shorts - just for me, not for everyone else - completely. Do you know how much mental space – closet too – I have because of it? When I see cute shorts, I think to myself, “They are cute, but not for me.” And then I move on. I’m also personally not into looking sporty. For me, looking like I just came from a workout, when I haven’t worked out seems as silly as wearing a dress to the gym.

I’ve decided and remind myself that I’m not going wear some things. My “some things” may and should be different than your “some things.” Having a plan helps me stay focused. When forced with a decision, it’s getting easier to remind myself of what I love and pass on what I don’t. I’m staying in my own style lane.

Saying no to certain types or styles of doesn’t mean you’re being a grump; I think it means you know what you want and who you are. I have a clients that don’t want to wear blazers, ever. As in never ever. That’s totally cool. We can find other options that make her feel good and fit her life. I have another client that wants his same pant suit in five fabrics so that he don’t have to think so much about outfit planning. He knows he can get dressed – no muss, no fuss - and out the door and, most important, feel great. 

I think that’s the magical silver bullet we are all looking for. Assurance. Confidence. I say those amazing-sauce-feelings start with intentional choices. With each new purchase we hope we are getting closer to what’s truly us. I think the answer is often already back home in our closet. Ask yourself what you’d choose over and over and maybe stick to versions of that? Stop question the good. Enjoy the good. Then after you’ve got the good, protect it. Learn to cherish it. Schoosh away any bad.

After all, going out for a meal, forcing yourself to eat something you don’t like, and regretting your choice leaves you wanting. And don’t get me started on the tree thing again. If you’re trying to simplify your life, then do it. Just say no more often. I’d bet you’ll love your yesses even more. 

What are fashion items you’ve said no to? Tell me yours and I’ll tell you mine.

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