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Fashion Trends — Do You Need Them

| Jan 21, 2013
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howtoweartrends-styleupdateMost of us, it seems, have either too many or too few clothes so it’s important that we make the right choices about what to wear, and there’s always the pressure to look modern and not like your school marm or a church lady. We peruse the fashion magazines for the latest trends, but few trends last and how do you pick from so many.

And then so many of them are unappealing (or should be). Rather than print dresses that are not much better than wallpaper or pattern-mixing that is best viewed with sunglasses, skinny jeans so tight you don’t need shoulder pads to show a feminine figure, booties and shooties that look ridiculous on a size 15 foot, there are plenty of non-trendy stylish solutions that can ensure that you don’t feel left out of the fashion scene.

We are fortunate to live in a fashion era that is accepting and encouraging of many silhouettes and styles and items of their “own fashion moment”. In fact styles today represent many past eras from the ’50s to the ’90s, That’s what keeps the fashion industry afloat and our ever-changing fashion feet moving forward. But it doesn’t mean that you’ll be unstylish if you don’t wear them. So chin up when the current trends aren’t for you. There is more than one way to look stylish.

There is a reason the below strategies work. So with a little bit of style savy and attention to fit, you can have the best of both worlds, trendy and long-term stylish. A combination of 50/50 staples and fashion trends is the way to go if you want to look trendy without having ‘fashion victim’ glued on your forehead. Too many fancy details distract the eye and scream FAD, but a well-balanced outfit says classy and chic.

• Wear a basic outfit (plain jeans, plain tee, etc.) and sprinkle it with the latest accessories
• Wear a trendy garment such as a print dress as a focal point and tone it down with basics like a cardigan.
howtoweartrends-accessoriesThen using fashion accessories, which is the key to different looks, change the look and feel of the outfit. Wearing a trendy focal accessory creates a strong fashion statement and is a great way to draw attention to your outfit. It can Jazz up your outfit, add some *oomph* and make you look up-to-date, besides adding interest, texture and depth for many different distinctive fashion looks. And it’s cost-effective too because a few accessories can easily be combined for those many different looks.

But wait, there’s lots more to this story. You need the right dose of trends and basics in one:
• Introduce classic pieces in atypical colors. For example, you like classic pencil skirts and slacks, but only wear them in neutrals. Add one in a teal, citron, burgundy, purple or plaid to change up the landscape of your wardrobe.
modern retro-1• Go Avant-Garde: Avant-garde pieces are not associated with a particular fashion era, so they have a high degree of fashion longevity. Wear them with updated classics and you are set.
• Go Retro: Conversely, retrograde items are strongly associated with a particular fashion era, but as long as they are worn with modern classics (or ultra trendy pieces), they’ll look fab.
• Go Flirty and Feminine: Keep the waistline defined and go to town with flared skirts, tailored jackets, fit and flare dresses, pretty pumps and romantic florals.
• Go Arty: Playful and whimsical items, just like retro and avant-garde pieces have a high degree of longevity. Mix them up in fun layered ways and interesting proportions to refresh your look.
Sassy lady from R29• Find trendy pieces in tailored cuts and neutral colours: You might like more of the trendier items if you choose pieces that are structured and neutral. For example, wear boyfriend jeans in your usual size, and don’t size up. Choose a two toned jacket style in charcoal and black. Wear a leather blazer instead of a biker silhouette.
• Mix up the classics with the trends: If you do manage to find a couple of trendy items that tickle your fancy, wear them with one or more classic pieces to keep the outfit grounded. This is hands down my favorite way of dressing.

Let’s look at a couple of different looks starting with that perennial favorite, the Little Black dress. Depending on what kind of image you want to project, you can use accessories to achieve various looks to adapt to different occasions, moods, and even climate.

In the first picture, we’re playing it safe with a more or less classy look. With simple diamond stud earrings, pearl bracelet, basic black pumps and a chic clutch envelope, you won’t draw too much attention.


But if you really want to stretch your style envelope, experiment with various accessories to add bells and whistles to your black dress. See how we can use trendy accessories to turn that black dress from drab to fab?


The 50/50 Formula for Staples and Trends

A combination of 50/50 staples and fashion trends is the way to go if you want to look trendy without having ‘fashion victim’ glued on your forehead. Too many fancy details distract the eye and scream FAD, but a well-balanced outfit says classy and chic.

Tip: A rule of thumb is if your outfit seems to take the attention away from the person wearing it and you feel uncomfortable, then add basics to downplay it.

Remember, basics are much easier to combine into multiple outfits. Don’t spend too much money on trendy pieces – it leaves more money to buy the fewer, but longer-lasting quality pieces that will be with you for years and not months.

Balance is the Key

Let’s look at some examples. If you want to wear a bright print dress that you love and fits your personality, but it might come out loud or inappropriate for the occasion you want to wear it for, then consider balance. Instead of piling on trendy and busy details (left), select simpler closet basics that help balance out the loud look (right).


Notice how the classic pieces are balancing the overall look of that fun striped dress and only a few changes were required. I personally love print dresses but need to be careful not to look like a circus billboard. As you can also see, plain solid colored accessories can downplay a heavily trendy dress!

Here’s another way to tone down that bright print dress:

Trying too hard-2

For a rich but simple look: Gold hoop earrings, structured brown hobo bag and brown sandals.
For a trendy but sleek look: Pearl stud earrings, simple pink simple handbag and tan ankle boots.
For a classy-chic look: Pearl stud earrings, croc-textured handbag in dark neutral, black tights and black ankle wedge boots.
We all have a lot to learn, but the fun is in the learning. Take some of these ideas and apply them to your wardrobe. Let me know what results you have and we’ll feature you in a future article.

Resources for this article came from The Chic Fashionista and You Look Tasi can be reached at or on her Facebook page.

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Category: Style, Transgender Fashion


About the Author ()

Tasi was a transgender, married, lifelong crossdresser. She passed away in late 2018. She’s the founder of the Ladies of the Blue Ridge transgender group in Roanoke VA, a prolific writer, commentator and blogger including fashion articles for Tri-Ess, TG Reporter, Repartee, and Pretty T-Girls magazine. Tasi currently resides in Merida, (Yucatan) Mexico. Her new website, Sister House and her blog, the Fashionable TG Woman are dedicated to fashion and style for the transgendered woman. Tasi’s book, "Top Ten Fashion Mistakes By Crossdressers and How To Fix Them" is available on Amazon or on her site free to subscribers.

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