Classic or Trendy?

Aaker, Anne; Passey, Emily; Gonzalez, Emily; Wilson, Kayla

Spring has come. With warmer weather comes some interesting fashion choices, including lots of too-short skirts, which is something we just will not get into this week. Warmer weather also lets us explore some new trends. So this week, we would like to discuss something slightly more philosophical: What is the perfect ratio of trendy to classic to strive for in your wardrobe? What are the pros and cons of trendy clothes?
KW: I feel like the warmer months usually bring more temptation to hop on trend bandwagons, probably because there is a lot more room for experimentation when you don’t have to worry about dying of exposure. However, I tend to be wary of buying too many trendy items because I know there is a good chance that I will hate them in a few months and then will be sad that I spent my money on, say, a long brightly colored top to be worn with skinny jeans, rather than that really pretty dove grey cardigan. My rule is 85 percent classic, 15 percent trendy or some close approximation.
EP: I find that my summer wardrobe is usually about 50/50 in terms of classic and trendy. In terms of buying said pieces, I am always really wary of purchasing any “trendy” item that is really “out there” or is starkly different than my usual style. For example, I will buy palazzo pants this summer because they are in and are a cool vintage classic that is coming back. They also fit well with my usual slightly late 1960s inspired look. I will not, however, purchase pleated pants, ever, despite the fact that they are experiencing a surge in popularity amongst some big name designers.
KW: I think that working trends in to your wardrobe is important, but I don’t like spending a lot of money on something I know I won’t wear after a few months. Forever 21 makes me really happy, because then I don’t have to feel bad about buying a few — or a few dozen — trendy pieces. It makes no sense to shell out money on trendy clothes, especially if you don’t have any money.
AA: I love classic things, because they are reliable and will go with anything else you own. Things like dark-wash jeans, black dresses, flats and cardigans are crucial! As you all have said, these classics help to tone down the trendiness of any of-the-moment style. That helps to make trendy clothes look classic, even if they go out of style eventually.
EG: Good point. I like EP’s suggestion of fitting the trends to match your own style or “classic” look. For those who may be afraid of buying pieces that are “too” trendy, I’d suggest finding a classic item that incorporates new or trendy ideas into its design. For example, a ruffled or print blouse puts a cute spin on a classic item. I’ve also seen several shirts and boots that subtly incorporate part of the “Victorian” look that’s been popular on the runways, just by adding cool buttons or a slightly high-necked collar.
AA: So… maybe a good question to talk about now is, can you be too classic? Does sticking to classics mean you’re just being too safe? Maybe…boring? I guess another part of that question could be, do you have to invest in trends in order to be stylish?
EG: I definitely think you can be too classic — there’s a point when wearing a cardigan and straight-legged jeans everyday, sans accessories, bold colors or prints, becomes boring. It’s perfectly all right to sample from the various trends going on at the moment.
KW: I also agree with incorporating trends that suit your already-established style. I know that I get excited when a cardigan is reworked into a new shape, style, print, color. It is still a cardigan and fits in with my librarian-chic look, but it is current. I also feel like pieces that are new twists on classic pieces have more longevity and can be better incorporated into your wardrobe.
Accessories are also a great way to work in trends for those who are wary of looking too trendy. If you are a little afraid of all these bright colors, get a bright yellow bag or shoes.You heard it here first: trendy is not always chic! Just because it’s warm out does not mean it’s time to jump into too many crazy looks. Classic is always great, but classic should never mean stuffy.