I firmly believe that there is no reason that people should not look put-together on a daily basis (at the very least). This series is designed to outline basic steps anyone can take to improve their everyday wardrobe easily. I love clothes and am often asked for help in the style department by my friends and family. Over the years, I have developed some fairly basic principles regarding fashion that can help anyone improve their style. These are tips to help you develop your own style; they should give you the tools to assess clothing and make choices that will work best for you, whatever your income, body type, or personality.

Trends are ever present, ever changing, and hard to avoid. They are new, attractive, and fun, and can be a great addition to your wardrobe, if you are wise about incorporating them. It is never a good idea to dress head to toe in a trend-you should instead add dashes of trends into your already strong wardrobe. This makes you look more fashionable and fashion-conscious, because you are not just taking what is in the store and wearing it, but you are crafting outfits that are flattering, up-to-date, and demonstrate that you understand how to make trends work within the context of your own style. Trends (by nature) do not last long, and they can date your look very quickly. The easiest way to avoid looking out of touch with trends is to moderately engage in them. They are important to the style of the day, but you should not let them overrun your closet. They are to be dabbled in and incorporated into your existing wardrobe; they should never take a primary position in your closet.

cheal_trendy_clothesWhen dressing in a trend, there are several things you must be mindful of in order to successfully incorporate the look into your wardrobe. First, do not go overboard with trends. Keep the majority of your wardrobe (and the majority of each individual outfit) to classic pieces that more or less have a timeless quality. If too much of your outfit can be identified as one particular trend or group of trends, then the outfit will become dated very quickly and the look will not communicate your personal style; it will merely be a reflection of what is cool at that moment. Having a strong base in a classic and functional wardrobe that can be accented by pops of trends makes you to look like you are aware of the popular styles of the day, but does not trap you in that particular style beyond the life of the trend. Next, keep in mind that not every trend is for everyone. A general rule (that is by no means set in stone) is that if you did a trend the first time it was around, you should not do it again. Chances are that enough time has passed that the trend is no longer appropriate for you. You may still be able to rock an adapted version of the trend, or it may be fine, but it is definitely something to consider when shopping.

Another thing to consider when shopping for a trend is the lasting potential of the clothing you are buying. Drastic changes to the cut of clothing will not likely stay around for long, so these are trends that you may want to stay clear of (to save yourself a fleeting cost that will not work for you in the long term). Instead, look for more subtle shifts or even just trends in smaller pieces, such as jewelry. Given that jewelry is small, it is more readily incorporated into your wardrobe, whereas a pair of high-waisted pleated pants is not. Consider the scale of the trend, and from there you can roughly gauge how long it will last.

Practically thinking about your wardrobe is always essential for incorporating trends, because you want to ensure that your clothing is still wearable and fashionable. Overdoing a trend can date you easily, whereas strategically incorporating a trend more subtly will do a few things: it will keep you looking modern and fashion-conscious, but it will also show that you are not a slave to trends, that you can understand them and use them to your advantage. It will give you an ever-changing set of tools to express yourself. Again, never dress head to toe in trends, mix it up with timeless pieces, this will create a less dated look as a whole and it will show to the world that you are able to utilize a trend, not just follow it.

Remember that trends will always end, no matter what, so do not heavily invest in them. It is generally smart to buy your trendier pieces at a lower pricecheal_good_trendspoint; that way, when they are out of vogue you have not spent more money on something that is no longer relevant. Shopping for trends should never break the bank, so think through each piece you want to buy and decide if it is worth the cost versus the amount of time it will be of use in your closet. Also, when shopping for trendy clothing, ensure that the item can be worn with multiple existing pieces in your wardrobe so that you will be able to get as much use out of it as possible. If you only have one pair of pants that will go with the shirt you buy, then it is not going to get worn as much as something that can go with a few different bottoms from your wardrobe. Likewise, you should not have to buy multiple items to make one piece work for you; keep the incorporation as simple as possible and the addition of trendier pieces of clothing will be a lot more useful for you.

Not every trend is for every person, but there are elements that you can take out and turn into something that works for you. For example, maxi skirts are a great look that has been trendy lately, but unfortunately the length can be a problem for a lot people. You can cut it shorter and make the hem hit you in a flattering spot or tie it up on one side to create a whole new look. You can keep the skirt on the longer side, but if all the way to the floor doesn’t work for you, change it. Altering a trendy look to fit your body and your taste shows that you have taken the time to make a trend work for you.

The bottom line when it comes to dressing a trend is that it should never overrun your wardrobe, so be mindful and consider how any trend can fit into your existing wardrobe. Trends are important to fashion, but they are transient and should never be the center focus of a useful wardrobe. Use them to express something fun and new about yourself, but never let a trend dictate how you dress.