Finding Your Style Within a Trend

Jefferson Ellison

Jefferson Ellison is a stylist and creative consultant based in the United States. www.jeffersonellison.com; @jdpellison.

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There has always been a love/hate relationship between the fashion industry and trends. While it is true that fashion creates trends, those who make up the industry crave lifelong style over a 15 minute fling. However, it seems that the public is fascinated with their capacity to remain on trend. The problem is, that those less experienced in the sartorialistic arts, battle between being current and being true to themselves. While this battle is justified, it isn’t necessary. Trends don’t create obstacles, they create opportunities,  something every style enthusiast can appreciate.

The Trend:  Hipster Chic

The fashion ‘hipster’ look is portrayed by the likes of Rihanna, Mary-Kate and Ashley Olsen, Rita Ora, and male models across the board such as: River Viiperi, Andrej Pejic, and Rick Genest. Oversized ratty t shirts and sweaters, ripped jeans, beat up leather, urban inspired head pieces, sneakers and ‘ghetto gold’ are trademarks of the trend. Brands such as Rick Owen, Maison Margiela, Haider Ackerman, and Balmain are go-to’s amongst those of the higher social status when attempting to complete such a look. Overly monogrammed luxury leather goods such as Gucci, Louis Vuitton, and MCM have also played a part in adding a hint of glamour to this hobo-chic lifestyle.

As a stylish individual, it is your duty to be both approachable and inspiring to people of all backgrounds. If an outfit is grouped with a particular race, gender, or even sexual orientation, it becomes nothing more than a costume. Fashion is a collection of moments, every outfit a scrapbook of cultural relevance. While fashion is an art form, getting dressed is not. Your outfit should be direct and to the point without being obnoxious, no matter the desired look. If you want to look shy then make it known, if you want to stand out then do just that. Trends are to fashion what concentration is to your degree at university. Getting dressed shows you want to be a part of the conversation but executing a stylish trend means that you’ve got something relevant to say.

The Warning:

In the past, people have gone about dressing all wrong. There were those who purposely didn’t try- so they grabbed the first thing in their closet and left without so much as a glance in the mirror. Then you had the people who tried too hard and every outfit they could ever possibly wear was already pressed and ironed, and finally, you had the people who thought about it too much and woke up 2 hours earlier, just so they could spend an hour and a half trying to match the perfect belt to their shoes.

The Game Plan:

A true ambassador to style starts by dressing his purpose. Once the basics are covered you begin to distinguish your preferences. After that has been done, you can focus on incorporating your knowledge of fashion. For example:

Who?- a man in his early twenties, living in a major city.

What?- wants to grab coffee and visit some of the local shops on a Saturday morning in February.

Questions:

Where are you going? Who might you see? What might you do? How is the weather? When will you be back?

Preferences:

Sweater or jacket? Hat – yes or no? If yes,  beanie, snap back,or fedora? Boots or sneakers?

Fashion:

What colors are you into right now? What trends work with your personal style, and resonate with you? Who are your style icons of the day?

The Execution:

Who will you see? Strangers and friends from the neighborhood.

What? Coffee and shopping.

When? A couple of hours.

Where? Around the city.

Weather? Cold.

Preferences:

Jacket over long sleeve sweater

Yes to the hat – Fedora

Boots over sneakers

Trends:

Mixing and matching of prints and color

Accessories – arm candy. Overly monogrammed designers

 

Now that all of your questions have been answered, it’s time to go to work. You go to your closet and pick out your printed jeans from asos.com and throw on an oversized cashmere sleeveless top from Rick Owens. You then grab your Dr. Martins and MCM snapback. As you slip on a few stone rings, stud earring, that bangle from the street corner and your Hermes Collier de Chien cuff, you remember to grab that black fedora from the thrift shop on Main St. You’re already wearing your favorite necklace and as you’re on your way out the door, you grab your new quilted black leather jacket that sits right on your hips. You’re comfortable, you’re fashionable, but most importantly you’re stylish.

The key to  developing your own style within a trendy industry such as American fashion,  is that you have to know yourself, know your life, and of course, know your closet. Once you do that, your routine should take you the length of your morning shower.