Over the last few years as I’ve really started to come into my own in terms of a personal style, I’ve realized (after many fitting room trials) that there are some trends I’ll simply never be able to wear. Chief among them are drop waists (make me look too hippy), deep v-necks (make me look too busty) and sky-high stilettos (‘scuse me, baby giraffe coming through).
While it’s incredibly important to be aware of what doesn’t work for your individual body type, age, or career, it’s also wise to step out of your comfort zone a little and embrace the trends you have prematurely discounted.
Why? Because we often dismiss a trend that honestly intrigues us before we’ve even have a chance to try it out. And really, none of us really knows how something is going to look until we try it on.
There are some trends that have emerged lately that upon seeing them, your initial reaction might have included a resounding, "Hell no! That would never look good on me!"
Not so fast, dear friends. I’m here to tell you YES, you really can wear the latest trends; read on to find out how!
I don't know why sheer scares so many people. Maybe the word “sheer” conjures up visions of a catastrophic wardrobe malfunction…but there's actually something very demure and ladylike about sheer when worn correctly. After all, an illusion neckline on a dress, a sheer cap sleeve on a blouse, or a sheer panel on a ballet flat can be incredibly chic. When you keep the fabrics luxurious-feeling and the fit sophisticated, sheer is almost always a great thing!
1. Modcloth, Celebrate Your Soul top
2. Anthropologie, Dotted Clara blouse
3. Modcloth, Isn’t Sheer Lovely top
4. Ruche, Classic Coco polka dot dress
5. Ruche, Secret to Keep embellished dress
6. Nordstrom, Nick Zoe Batiste flirt skirt
7. Forever 21, Sheer colorblocked collar shirt
8. Modcloth, Long Time Coming dress
Bright pink is one color trend that I’ve always shied away from, but I am trying to mend my ways. Being fair-skinned, I always thought that if I wore bright pink – especially too close to my face – that it would make me look red in the face. The truth is that everyone can wear bright pink; it’s just a matter of how you wear it.
9. Asos, Ted Baker Colorclock shirt
10. J. Crew, Darby leather loafers
11. Halogen, Amy mini handbag
12. Banana Republic, Geo-print shirt
13. Kohl’s, Apt. 9 pencil skirt
14. Ann Taylor, Antique Tonal Chandelier earring
15. Gap, neon belt
16. Target, high-low racerback maxi-dress
I get why colorblocking scares people – I really do. Not only is this trend kind of bold, it forces you to wear two to three bright colors all at once. But for the color novice, that’s precisely what’s so great about this trend: the designers of that piece have expertly selected those colors for you, so there’s no guesswork involved (love that!). All you have to do is throw it on with neutrals you already have in your closet, and voila! You’re done.
17. LOFT, Valyn perforated slide sandal
18. Modcloth, A Dreamboat Come True dress
19. Derek Lam for Kohl’s, colorblock dress
20. Modcloth, Colorblock Off Your Schedule dress
21. Ann Taylor, pleated colorblock skirt
22. Ann Taylor, colorblock envelope clutch
23. J. Crew, colorblock shift dress
24. Ann Taylor, colorblock maxi-dress
I haven’t really owned very much genuine leather in my lifetime, with J. Crew boots and Coach purses being the exception. Luckily, vegan and faux leather options that look incredibly real and expensive are experiencing a real moment. And what’s great about the faux options is that you can test out the trend without making a hefty monetary commitment. The only problem you might have is figuring out which piece – a skirt, jacket or pant – to buy first!
25. Forever 21, faux leather trim jacket
26. Piperlime, vegan leather skirt
27. Forever 21, paneled faux leather pencil skirt
28. Forever 21, faux leather utility jacket
29. Piperlime, vegan leather blazer
30. Bauble Bar, purple pave wrap bracelet
31. Piperlime, vegan leather legging
32. Modcloth, pastel destinations jacket
Studs and spikes have always intimidated me a little. Having never resembled a bad-ass, I equate studs and spikes with fearlessness. But one thing about this trend that's really great is how unexpected it is. Something as simple as a single spike hanging down from a long dainty chain could really amp up a classic work blouse. The same goes for a studded ballet flat - the hard and soft contrast is what makes the trend so striking.
33. Forever 21, spike dangle earrings
34. Forever 21, studded collar chiffon dress
35. Forever 21, studded straight ankle pants
36. Target, studded ankle strap sandals
37. Piperlime, pave spike necklace
38. Piperlime, studded vest
39. Asos, stud and crystal ring
40. Target, studded skinny brown belt
If there is only one of these trends that I feel it's okay to go all the way with, it's a wild print. With a beautiful vivid pattern there's really no going halfway. If you find a gorgeous print that you really love, why wear only a little bit of it? One thing I will say though, is that no matter how wild and crazy you get with a print, you need to make sure that 1) it's still a classic silhouette that suits you; 2) the fit is impeccable; and 3) that all of the other pieces you wear with it are more understated. Let the print take center stage.
41. Anthropologie, flamingo shift dress
42. Gap, printed wedge sandals
43. Piperlime, floral shift dress
44. Nordstrom, chiffon maxi-dress
45. Gap, printed cross-over dress
46. Nordstrom, cheetah print blouse
47. LOFT, floral print short
48. Modcloth, That 70s Flow pant
Much like the sheer trend we explored earlier, peek-a-boo/cut-outs can be feminine, demure and ladylike. Just because a piece has cut-outs doesn’t mean you have to have a ton of skin showing. The tiniest of cut-outs can be incredibly sophisticated, not to mention sexy. The trick with this trend is to make sure that the cut-outs are strategically placed in innocent spots on your body (meaning that they don’t suddenly make your outfit R-rated).
49. Modcloth, Slideshow and Tell dress
50. Old Navy, perforated ballet flat
51. Ann Taylor, embroidered tunic
52. Anthropologie, Sunstream eyelet dress
53. Anthropologie, masque geo sandals
54. Modcloth, Picture Book Perfection dress
55. Bauble Bar, gold cleo deco collar necklace
56. Nordstrom, cutout shoulder maxi-dress
The moral of this story is: if a trend intrigues you, try it out! There are ways to try out most trends – no matter how bold you think they are – without going overboard!