By Sadhbh Hendrick
‘You can buy fashion but you must have style.’ These are the words of wisdom from my granny that ring through my ears every time I am swan through the doors of my favourite shops.
Massive sweeping side fringe, foundation lips, blue eye-shadow, Hollister yoga pants, Uggs, duck lips/peace and pout/LA sign, 734 filters with ‘My h8ers r mii Motiv8rzz’ in italics. The ensemble of dreams. An icon fashion statement. Red carpet worthy. Said no one, ever. Feeling attacked? Sorry, not sorry.
Being slaves to fashion is one of the main reasons the photographic evidence of many of our teenage discos are only fit for bonfires. If you are one of the more vintage of the NUI Galway cohort, like myself, these pictures were taken on a pink digital camera that swung around your Sally Hansen–ed wrist for the night.
Next up we have the peplum tops, skinny jeans and the heeled boot. Why did we feel the need to go out like we were playing dress up? Dress up like office workers? The list of regrettable fashion trends is endless – the high-low skirts, the low waist jeans, the hippy headbands and floral leggings (guilty as charged). Of course these outfits and items suit some people. However, they do/did not suit the thousands of people that succumbed to the trend at the time.
Fashion is a fascinating topic. It can be considered an expression of individualism or personality. It can provide a platform for expressing political or religious views. It can make you feel empowered or self-conscious. Sometimes, it’s viewed as a purely practical necessity. While I am not saying we should all aspire to be Anna Wintour or Kanye West (icons), I am saying we need to stop following trends, just because. Yes, it is easy to follow trends and, in the right shops, it can also be very affordable. However, just because it’s in, doesn’t mean it’s not a sin. I came up with that one myself.
I consider fashion to be an expression of myself to a certain extent. Not in a deeply poetic way, however. I know what I like and I think (or hope!) that I know what suits me. In saying that, I am not the hipster of trends. I don’t refuse to follow trends simply for the fact they are a trend: I love a good mom jean and hoop earring as much as the next girl. However, I do not religiously follow trends, influencers, celebs or blogs whose main job is to aggressively inform me of what I MUST HAVE FOR WINTER/SUMMER/MARCH/AUGUST/FRIDAY EVENING. Why? Because trends and whatever is considered ‘in’ just does not always suit me. And that means it won’t always suit you either.
Currently, the latest must-haves seem to be denim skirts, mom jeans, doc martins, patterned pants, 90’s style runners and fleeces. While we are blessed that these don’t seem like outfits we will regret next year, this still should not equate to everyone buying them. Figure out what suits you before succumbing to trend-driven fashion. How can you style yourself to look your finest? Please, please, please invest in a full length mirror in the process of figuring out how to do so. (Tip numero dos from my granny). Maybe mom jeans are your thing, or maybe instead you can pull off boot cut – someone has to. Cheetah print skirts might be your game, but so too might dungarees. I’m not here to tell you what will suit you or what won’t. I am going to leave you with two thoughts, though:
If you’re not comfortable in your clothing, it shows, and discomfort is worse than any Hollister yoga pant trend.
And finally: not being a slave to fashion is actually the hottest look this season, this year, and always.