How to Follow Trends Without Losing Your Personal Style

How to Follow Trends Without Losing Your Personal Style

Photography by Ami Ford.

The content of this week’s blog post is primarily style-based, which is a little bit unusual for me. However it seems very apt as I’ve been ridiculously excited about autumn/winter fashion recently and it’s all I can think about/spend my money on. Even now I’m excited at the thought of getting dressed today so I can wear my new Topshop midi skirt. Anyway, we’re one paragraph in and I’m off on a tangent. Lets get back to the point of this post, following trends without losing your personal style.

I wouldn’t really say that I’ve got my personal style down to a tee and if you asked me to summarise it, I wouldn’t know how. But I know when I’m wearing something that feels like ‘me’ and I know when I’m wearing something that doesn’t. I think that’s essentially what personal style is. But something that can get in the way of your personal style is trend pieces, especially the ones that everyone on Instagram is going crazy for. Sometimes, when seeing a piece on your favourite blogger, it’s difficult to tell whether it’s the piece they’re wearing that you like or if it’s how it looks on them that draws you to it. I’ve wasted a fair amount of money in the past on trend pieces that just weren’t for me and didn’t align with my style, mostly because of the reason above and also because sometimes seeing something so much can actually make you think you like it.

Anyway, I styled this outfit based on some of this season’s current trends while still maintaining a sense of my personal style. So, based on this outfit, I’m going to provide some tips on, in my opinion, the best ways to follow and style trends.

How to Follow Trends Without Losing Your Personal Style

1. Style Your Trend Pieces with Your Staple Pieces

I think one way that people’s personal style can become lost by trend pieces is when their entire outfit is made up from them. This is why I struggle to get on board with co-ords sometimes, such as leopard print co-ords or the matching flared pants and crop tops, because I feel like by wearing them I could lose my personal style. But if you pair your trend pieces with your staple pieces, there’s always going to be an element of ‘you’ within your outfit. Here I’ve paired 3 trend items, the cargo pants, leopard print shoes and hair clips, with 3 staple items, a simple black cami, a simple gold necklace and a classic croc print shoulder bag. Part of this tip is also ensuring you have those staple pieces in your wardrobe (mine would probably be a white t-shirt, a pair of straight leg jeans, my Vans and a leather jacket) because they are always going to make your style feel like ‘you’.

How to Follow Trends Without Losing Your Personal Style

2. Think About It and Experiment

This tip relates back to my earlier point about seeing a trend piece on someone who’s style you like and thinking you want it for yourself. Before following a direct link to buy the item, think about how it would fit into your wardrobe. Come up with at least 3 ways you would wear the item. If you can’t do this, you shouldn’t really be buying it in my opinion as it’s inevitably going to be one of the items that sits in the back of your wardrobe. I wasn’t sure how the hair clip trend was going to fit in with my personal style, as I tend to really enjoy wearing my hair loose and a little bit messy. But I thought about it for a couple of months and tried some different types of hair clips on in store before finally deciding to give it a go. I’m quite confident wearing hair clips now as I thought a lot about how I would wear them (and even dedicated a Pinterest board to them) before buying some. But I feel as though if I would have bought them as soon as seeing them on someone whose style I admire, this confidence wouldn’t have been there. 

FYI: I don’t think there’s anything necessarily wrong with not liking a trend at first and eventually allowing it to grow on you, as long as this isn’t just because you’ve seen it on so many people. Your style might have slightly changed from when you first saw it or you might have discovered new ways to style it. Just make sure you’re consciously thinking about the reasons why your mind has changed to avoid wasting your money.

How to Follow Trends Without Losing Your Personal Style

3. Pair Trendy Patterns with Staple Shapes or Trendy Shapes with Staple Patterns/Colours

This is a rule I try and stick to although, of course it’s completely fine to try new shapes and patterns. However it is a good way of ensuring trend pieces you spend money on aren’t too out there that you’re going to be scared to wear them. What I mean by this tip is, for example, if you want to buy into the leopard print trend, choose a piece that is in a shape that you’re comfortable wearing (such as an A-Line skirt or a blazer). Or, alternatively, if you’re buying into a trend based on style or shape, such as the silk/satin midi skirt trend, choose one in a colour that you’re comfortable wearing.

I wasn’t 100% sure about the animal print trend (I’m still very skeptical of the snake print trend, I don’t think it’s for me) but I have eventually picked up some leopard print bits that I’ve definitely got wear out of, such as these Primark shoes. These shoes were only £6 so they weren’t much of an investment piece anyway but, even so, I don’t think that’s a reason to buy things without thinking about them because firstly, little things add up and, secondly, I want to own things that I love not that I just feel indifferent towards. And I knew I was going to get so much wear out of these shoes because I have them in yellow and wore them to death during summer. So I knew they were going to be a really good trend-based update to my wardrobe for autumn/winter.

How to Follow Trends Without Losing Your Personal Style

4. Know What The Trends Are

This might be the most important tip because if you don’t know what this season’s trends are you aren’t going to be able to follow the previous tips. Also, most of the time it’s important to think of trend items as such so you know not to invest your money in something that’s only going to be around for a season or two. By being consciously aware of the trends, you can consider when you see something you like, if you like it because it’s a popular item that lots of people have been wearing if you like it because it’s something you’d personally feel great in. My favourite way to keep myself up to date with the season’s trends is by reading articles and watching videos about them. Megan Ellaby does great videos every season on trend pieces, here is the link to her autumn edition. Karen also did a really great video on the same topic.

I hope this post has been helpful and will inform any shopping you’re planing on doing over the next couple of months. I’ve definitely bought into a few of this seasons’ trends such as satin midi skirts, cardigans and leopard print but I’m always conscious of which pieces are going to last me a long time and which pieces aren’t and I try and spend my money accordingly. Let me know in the comments or over on social media what your favourite trend of the season is!

How to Follow Trends Without Losing Your Personal Style
How to Follow Trends Without Losing Your Personal Style
How to Follow Trends Without Losing Your Personal Style
How to Follow Trends Without Losing Your Personal Style
How to Follow Trends Without Losing Your Personal Style
How to Follow Trends Without Losing Your Personal Style

Top- Urban Outfitters (old, similar here)

Trousers- New Look via ASOS

Bag- ASOS (sold out, similar here)

Shoes- Primark 

Hairclips- Accesorize

Necklace- ASOS

Dressing For Yourself

Photography by Jenny Gavan.

I’ve always been an advocate of wearing whatever you want and it’s something I’ve *pretty much* always been comfortable doing. This doesn’t mean that I’m always dressed eccentrically and go out of my way to dress differently. But I really could not care less if someone doesn’t like what I’m wearing whether that’s friends, family or someone on Instagram. It’s possibly the only thing I’ve always been comfortable in because I really do just love clothes- buying them, styling them, talking about them. I know what I like and if I love a piece then I’m going to feel great wearing it.

I remember in high school (well, we wore uniforms but I mean during that period in my life) I would buy things that were perhaps slightly *different* to the norm that my friends and family would look at a little weirdly- never in a malicious way, always politely. The amount of times I’ve heard the phrase ‘I could never pull that off’ or ‘it suits you but I could never wear that’ as a polite way of someone telling me that they don’t like what I’m wearing is comical. But, unlike if someone commented on my physical appearance or something I’ve said, I’ve never felt embarrassed or upset about the fact that some people don’t like what I wear. It’s definitely something to do with being able to choose what I wear and using this as a sort of shield to hide the other parts of myself that I’m not so confident about. Sometimes I’ll buy a particular shape of dress to hide a bigger part of my body that I’m not totally comfortable with (usually my boobs) or I’ll wear a ‘party girl’ type of outfit for a night out to conceal the fact that I probably am not as comfortable as the people I’m with in a night club. My clothes fill the gaps within me that have formed as a result of the lack of confidence I have in some other parts of myself.

My old blog was initially called ‘Style Comes From Within’ which I changed, after a couple of years, to ‘If You Like It Wear It’ (a little cringey, I know). Not to psychoanalyse my past self, but I think these names epitomise my confidence in my style. I was too embarrassed to share this blog on social media or even with my friends, due to issues I had with self-promotion and vanity plus my attempts to keep up the typical teenage ‘I don’t care about anything’ persona. Despite this, I was always proud of what I was wearing and excited to share it with people online who wouldn’t judge me for having a blog (as I assumed my peers would during my high school years). I actually think it would be interesting/hilarious to share some of my past outfits in a sort of style evolution post on my blog so let me know if this is something you’d like to see!

One of my absolute pet hates is when people (of both genders) assume that girls dress for boys. This is probably an assumption made more often when I was younger but it used to drive me absolutely insane! I mean I guess there’s nothing wrong with dressing for boys (although if we dug in to the meaning behind this I guess it could be a little problematic) but it’s genuinely something I’ve never done. Nights out used to be so much fun because finding something to wear that I loved was so exciting and the only thing that I considered when deciding what to wear was what I thought and how I felt in a certain outfit- this also meant that many of my outfits were highly, highly impractical but no one is going to get a kick out of living by practicality.

This ‘dressing for boys’ phenomenon is part of the reason why I absolutely love the blog turned extremely successful business, Man Repeller. I’m sure many of you know about Man Repeller already but in case you don’t it was founded by Leandra Medine in 2010 who realised that much of what she wore and saw within the fashion industry was ‘man repelling’ (to put it simply). The popularity of this blog and resonance it has with so many women represents, to me, the extent to which women do not dress for men, because much of what we wear they don’t like anyway. I feel like this is certainly the case for me and, honestly, this sometimes makes me like what I’m wearing more because it makes me feel like I have some sort of special sixth sense about just how cool a piece is. This is obviously extremely pretentious and I definitely do not have any sort of stylistic powers but I like to think that some of the more interesting pieces I own happen to be the ones that less people like.

I’ve been wanting to write a post about dressing for yourself for a while and when Jenny photographed this outfit for me, I knew these photos would be perfect for it. First of all, I am so happy with how they came out! Jenny is an incredible photographer and I’ve done a few other shoots with her before but these photos have to be my favourite yet. I think the outfit and the setting go so well together and I just love the colours in the photos. Definitely check out Jenny’s Instagram because she is brilliant!

Anyway, on to the outfit! I feel like it’s a little bit ‘man-repelling’ due to the mixture of very feminine and very masculine pieces. This dress is fairly new from Zara and I love it! I was on the hunt for a polka dot midi skirt for a while and this actually works great as a skirt and a dress as it’s a really thin material so looks great with a t-shirt layered over it, or layered under it as I’ve styled it here! The jacket is also new (my shopping habits are steadily increasing at the moment) from Topshop and I really feel like it might be the perfect faux leather jacket. I have a long-line one and a cropped one but this mid-crop style is ideal for somewhere in between and, although some might say that owning 3 faux leather jackets is excessive, I think it’s filled a gap in my wardrobe. Of course, I’m wearing my Zara woven bucket bag because it’s my absolute favourite and I think it looks great with the colours of the pinewoods. The dress and the bag are obviously the feminine aspects of the outfit and clashed with my docs- which I enjoyed styling for spring/summer here as they’re more of a winter piece normally- and the leather jacket, I think is such a cool outfit, if a little bit Marmite. I’ve linked everything I’m wearing at the bottom of this post!

I’d love to know if you feel the same way about dressing for yourself and your views on ‘man-repelling’ styling. Do you have a favourite man-repelling outfit or piece? Let me know in the comments!

Dress- Zara (for some reason, I can’t find this dress on the Zara website but I only bought it a few weeks ago so it should 100% still be in store!)

Jacket- Topshop

Shoes- Dr Marten

Sunglasses- Mango

Bag- Zara