My mission when starting ANM wasn’t just to talk about style, but to encourage all of your to come into your own style-wise and to cultivate your own signature style, one that puts your creativity to the test and makes you feel truly amazing from the inside out.
I am not a fan of ‘trends’ in the conventional sense. I believe that mindlessly hopping onto any trend band-wagon negates what fashion is all about- expressing yourself and showcasing your individuality. Now if you legit love something, notwithstanding its ‘trend’ status, then I am all for wearing it. However, I will never advocate buying and wearing something just because it’s hot and then sending it to the back of your closet when it’s not.
Look at Chloe Sevigny, Mary Kate Olsen, Kate Moss, Agyness Deyn, and Rihanna– all ladies who don’t ever follow the trends, they dictate them. These gals don’t seem to care what other people are doing or what other people will think of what they are wearing. They wear what they love, they take risks, they break rules, and they OWN it. While all of them have very different and distinct styles, all are widely renowned and emulated for their unique styles.
So what separates the fashion-forwards from the fashion-victims? I have thought long and hard on the subject throughout my career in fashion and have uncovered some tips that will help you on your trend-setting way.
Read on to check them out!
Don’t not wear it because no one else is wearing it.
The biggest mistake you can make is to decide against a particular trend because no one else is wearing it. I mean, trend-setters, by virtue, never wear what anyone else is wearing because they’re always a few steps ahead of the curve! If you like something, then go for it. That truly is the best advice I can ever offer.
A little while back, when I was far less adventurous with fashion, I got the sudden urge to wear thigh-high socks with a body-con dress. I really wanted to do it and I’m ashamed to admit that my only hesitation was the fact that I had yet to see a single person wearing thigh-high socks. I was able to persevere past the feeling that everyone would be staring at me or talking about that poor fashion victim who thought she looked cool. So I rocked the look I wanted to and I did get stared at, but in a good way. I also got flooded with compliments from strangers and inspired all my friends to go out and buy some thigh-highs! After that, I started wearing thigh-high socks with any skirt or dress that would allow.
I have a friend who was wearing harem pants years before they dominated the runways. Friends of ours would tease her MERCILESSLY about her ‘genie’ pants. She didn’t care, however. She claimed they were comfortable and she loved them so she continued to wear them and people continued to make fun of her. Well, now harem pants are HUGE. Some people may love this look and some may hate it, but the moral of the story is that you shouldn’t let what’s ‘trendy’ dictate the things you wear. You should let your personal taste and preference be your guide no matter what.
Scout for unknown designers.
We all know who the big designers are, the ones that are in every magazine and attract a bevy of A-listers to their runway shows. It’s very easy to go with the flow and buy the brands everyone else is buying and note the same designers that everyone else is citing. However, if you really wanna be on the cutting edge, then you gotta branch out and give some of the unknowns a chance, that way, when the next Alexander Wang emerges, you’ll be the cool girl who was wearing his stuff long before anyone knew who he was. Just because a certain brand isn’t on the tip of everyones tongue does not mean their stuff isn’t phenomenal, they just haven’t had their moment yet. Look at indie brands (shopflick has an amazing selection) or look through the runway images of designers you’ve never heard of. You are guaranteed to come across a new brand to covet.
Stock up on vintage goods.
We have all been well-schooled on the merits of adding a bit of vintage into your wardrobe and I am going to emphasize this one once again! Vintage and thrift stores are chock full of buried treasures and you will never have to worry about showing up somewhere with the same outfit as someone else. There really is no greater way to be utterly unique than to own a little gem that absolutely no one else has. Vintage pieces also encourage you to stretch your creativity legs. Some pieces, the really old ones, can look almost like costumes and it really puts your style savvy to the test to take these pieces and update them. When vintage shopping, go for the really strong, unique, and distinctive pieces. Making it even easier is the fact that some of our favorite contemporary online shopping sites like shopbop and chickdowntown now carry an amazing selection of vintage finds. There are also tons of online sites devoted exclusively to vintage fashion, just do some googling and shop your heart out!
Stop thinking so much!
Some of the most dominant and most celebrated styles from the past few years have included boho, hippie, indie, and model-off-duty. The common thread here is the whole thrown-together, fuss-free effortless glam. Creating a unique, fashion-forward style is really quite easy, just stop thinking and start throwing things together. I’ve noticed that some of my best outfits have emerged from thoughtlessness- the times when I was in a hurry and needed to look fabulous and just grabbed things at random. There are no rules when it comes to mixing, matching, clashing and contrasting. And even if there were I would encourage all of you to ignore them. Mix your stripes and plaid, your polka dots and florals, your navys and blacks, your summer pieces with your heavy winter ones. You will never be a trendsetter by playing it safe so instead, play around and see what you come up with!
This is perhaps the most valuable piece of advice I have to offer. Fashion is supposed to make you feel confident and amazing not self-conscious and insecure. There is nothing worse than doubting yourself and feeling stifled by what other people may think, so stop doing it! It really, truly doesn’t matter what you’re wearing, it’s how you wear it that makes all the difference. Whether you’re playing it safe or taking a risk, keep your head high, shoulders back, and always. always maintain staunch, unwavering confidence in yourself and in what you’re wearing.
– SABRINA ALEXIS
Splash image by Meagan Aguayo