Am I ‘fashionable’? Musings on following trends

I’m always surprised when people think it makes sense that I work at London College of Fashion, because of the way I dress. Although I have a very distinct personal style, I wouldn’t describe myself as a ‘fashionista’ and I haven’t kept up with trends in a very long time. About the same time that I fell out of love with glossy fashion magazines for their endlessly recycled content and horrendous body snark, I decided that following fashion was not for me.

A skirt I was lusting after in H&M, March 2016After a consultation in 2009, I started to find my own personal style and haven’t looked back. Occasionally I appear to be more fashionable because certain popular trends align with what’s already in my wardrobe – e.g. the eccentric Gucci SS16 look, and the current trend for off the shoulder tops – but I don’t blindly follow what’s out there with no thought to whether I actually like it. I buy something because I love it, not because it’s this season’s ‘must have’ item.

A writer for The Pool, Marian Keyes, had a similar epiphany recently and she wrote about her decision to stop following the pack and start dressing more individually. Just because something’s featured in glossy fashion mags, is worn by a handful of achingly cool fashion bloggers with a massive Instagram following, and is in all the shops, doesn’t mean that it’ll suit you or that you need it.

One of my favourite summer outfits. (T-shirt: H&M. Skirt: Collectif. Shoes: Debenhams.)Do you actually like jumpsuits? Do culottes just make you look like your mum? Do you prefer using the same plain black handbag for everything? No one actually needs any of this stuff, so why have what you buy dictated by someone who’s not event met you?

If you see something you love that’s in your price range but are wondering when you’ll wear it, I’d recommend thinking about it overnight. If you still can’t get it out of your head then you clearly love this garment so much that you’ll find an excuse to wear it. Even if your office isn’t one where people normally wear silver shoes, chances are that your footwear will bring a smile to more than just you the first time you wear them to work.

Even if you do care enough about trends to want to refresh your wardrobe each season, there’s always a way to make a season’s trends work for you with minimal purchasing, and even with a promise to buy nothing new. Seriously, everything comes round again. So, maybe I am fashionable after all? Albeit accidentally!