f there’s one thing I’ve always disliked, it’s looking like everyone else. What’s the fun in wearing your clothes if it could have been plucked out of anyone’s closet? The thing about fashion is that it allows you to express yourself — YOURself — and not anyone else.
Of course, people express themselves in different ways, and clothing may not be their first choice. Some people either don’t care about sending a message through their clothing (which, by the way, you do whether you want to or not), or don’t know how.
My friend recently said to me, “I’m not very naturally fashionable, so I try to just follow trends. But I hate looking like a clone of everyone else who is doing the same thing.” Her dilemma was that she couldn’t feel stylish without feeling mainstream.
So I figured I’d try to help her out, along with any of you who feel the same way. Here are a couple of new ways to look at the current trends:
1. Doc Martens
Don’t go classic. Instead of the black leather Docs we’ve all come to know and love, try a pair in a different color. You might even want to try moving away from the original lace-up versions. Both still offer the tough, utilitarian look.
Dress them up. Instead of going with the predictable grunge look, try combining these sturdy boots with delicate lace, or a feminine skirt or dress.
Mix trends. One of the biggest trends right now is athleisure, so pairing an athleisure look with Doc Martens can bring something entirely new to the table.
2. Plaid, flannel shirts
Similar to the Doc Martens trend, this is 90s grunge reincarnating itself. Here are some ideas for adding a twist to the plaid, flannel shirt trend.
Take a cue from Man Repeller’s Leandra Medine and layer it up. Flannels have been seen as an outer layer, but why not wear one under a jacket? If you’re a preppier type, wear it under a blazer (left). To maintain the grunge look, try it under a denim jacket (right).
Play with proportions. Juxtaposing long and short draws the eye. Try pairing an untucked flannel with a cropped sweater.Try it as something other than a shirt. The plaid print looks just as trendy in skirt form. Plaid pants are also an option.
If you really want to be unique, and get a little crafty, DIY it. Chiara Ferragni, above, wears a fringed plaid shirt.
3. Mom jeans
Your first instinct may be to pair these with a slouchy, thrift store sweater or a t-shirt. Make them formal, and pair them with a blazer and some loafers.
Try switching up the proportions and combine the high waist of mom jeans with a cropped sweater.
If you really want to embrace your true inner mom, get out your craft kit and patch em up! DIY is always a good way to make something your own.
Make them feminine. Why not wear mom jeans with heels? It’s a killer juxtaposition, and it says “I’m carefree but put-together.” You can also pair these with a silk, lingerie-inspired top for a sexier vibe.
4. Stan Smiths/Adidas
Both Stan Smiths and Adidas Originals have become very popular, for both their look and their comfort. These aren’t usually worn in a specific way, but here are some ideas that aren’t too predictable.
Once again, dressing them up is always an option. Wearing Stan Smiths with a dress or skirt creates a casual yet feminine effect.
Suit up — channel Ellen by pairing a tailored suit with practical sneakers. This combo makes for a cool and effortless look.
You could always try a different version of Adidas, and possibly start a new sneaker trend. These Adidas Gazelles with inverted colors are not something we usually see, but they hold the same appeal as the Originals and Stan Smiths.
Another trend inspired by the 80s and 90s, chokers have become the go-to accessory for many, specifically in the form of a thin, black band.
You may want to try something less traditional: How about a blingy choker? Or a fringy one?
Stray from the typical black band and wear your choker in another color. Lily Rose Depp wears a beautiful red sash that can be recreated by tying a ribbon or a neck scarf around your neck.
Typically chokers are worn with either a grunge look or a going out look. Try this trend with a clean, pristine, put-together look to create a unique combination.
On the other hand, you could pair your choker with a fun, colorful look, if it is more your taste.
Hopefully I have provided you with some idea of how to wear current trends without looking like everyone else. It must be kept in mind, though, that the most important thing is to adapt the things you see to your personal style. You should never feel obligated to wear something just because it’s “trending.” If you do decide to adopt trends, adopt ones that you genuinely like, and inject a little bit of your own personality into it. This way, you will be building a style that is completely your own.
Images courtesy of Man Repeller, The Blonde Salad, Laia Magazine, Glam Radar, Elle, Veja-Du, Collage Vintage, Front Row, Who What Wear, The I Corner, Where to Get and Song of Style