How to tell wheter a trend is going to last or to be outdated?

Nowadays, I’d say that fashion world is evolving in to different directions

– The industry, replacing one trend by another at a super fast pace. And those who subscribe to this system, replacing their own clothes at an equally fast pace.

– People who realize that this system is not viable and try to have a more responsible clothes consumption. And brands who aim to create pieces that are meant to last.

Since fashion became an industry, the replacement of trends keeps going faster. First there where only two collections a year: one for each season. Today we are talking minimum four collections a year: pre-fall, cruise, capsule… Nearly impossible to follow. It feels like fashion week is every week!

Not to mention the fast fashion retailers which inject new stuff in their shops every week…

As a result trends have an accelerated turnover.

Therefore, fashion designers have to come out with fashion items that stand out in order to be noticed.

No matter if actually elegant or not.

That’s how, each year, I have the feeling “street” style is getting more and more ridiculous.

Most bloggers an fashion editors have no independence anymore. They are offered the pieces of the season. And wear them.

Do not get me wrong. I think those ladies (and guys) are genuinly happy about their presents and wear it because they enjoy it and like it.

The reason why they like it may not be about esthetics though. It would more relate to belonging to a group of happy fews. A kind of fashion aristocracy. Meaning: “I got the shoes as a present, therefore I am someone important in fashion world. ”

And the crazy thing is that after seeing those crazy stuff, regular fashionista will actually begin to crave for those stuffs.

This post was inspired to me by two things:

– clients of mine asking me if stuff where going to be outdated next year or if they would be able to wear them until they die (the clothes not them, you silly)

this post on Man repeller. I kind of think the girl is crazy. Actually craziness is kind of her trademark. I even think she exagerates her crazyness as a brand statement. Anyway. She’s fun indeed. But she is a true trend junkie. Totally deconnected from real life people. And what looks crazy to me is that there are others like her out there. Loads of. Just check her comments. What also surprises me is that she positions herself as a rebel to the established “good taste” – which would be to look “man appealing”. But dressing as a “man repeller” the way she does it is actually committing to other rules. Those of fashion industry. Not sure which is best.


The man repeller

So in the above stated post, she shows that she (and I think she is a very clever girl indeed), is totally aware of the fact that following a trend means trying to “fit in” this fashion aristocracy.

But she also says that she does own the shoes. Those Gucci fur loafers. And that this is an enlighten choice of her. And not simply her being a “fashion victim”.

mocassins Gucci

Not only are they ugly, they kill baby kangaroos.

Ok. Fine with me! But my question is “for how long are you going to be in love with those shoes you just bought (maybe not, well that’s not the point)?A week? THE fashion week. Then what? Walking in them will quickly appear as overseen and they will just be a waste of money but also a waste of materials. Made of animals. And chemicals.

I am no extremist of “being responsible”. I still work in the fashion industry. Still buy leather. But when I do. I want to make sure I am going to wear the thing. Until it dies. At least I try.

And I would like my clients and readers to be able to do the same.

So here are a few tricks to help you tell if an item is going to look ridiculous before it actually gets be worn a lot.

1. Is this an atemporal?

Atemporals have simple line, cuts, nice fabrics and colors.

No superfluous details. It feels like they have always been around.

They are keepers.

If the items stands out due to shape, print, fabric: a mix of all, then you should wonder if it will get outfashioned soon or if it won’t.


Eleonore Bridge in an atemporal breton top

2. Can you tell just by its look when the item was released?

Fur Gucci loafers? Spotted!

Valentino studded heels? Last season.

Victorian blouse? Indeed.

Flare pants? Not so sure.

If your answer is yes, refer to question 7.

3. Have you seen this particular item all over the place and noticed it?

Let’s say… Stan smith?

I think they actually are an atemporal.

But the fact that they are basically everywhere make them belong to a special timeframe.

Therefore they may appear as outdated even though they look like an atemporal.

4. Is it somehow ridiculous?

Gucci fur loafers again? Kind of, admit it.

Overfringed cropped flare jeans? Probably.

Pharell’s hat? Yes sir. Even if Pharell.

The ridiculousness of an item may be hidden by a fashionable veil, but be sure you’ll never dare wear it when the veil will be fallen.

So that I recommend you pass.

5. Is it somehow ugly?

Kind of same as above actually. Did not think about this before writing the bullets.

Ugly is one of the possible reason for ridiculous.

If the reason is not point 6.

6. Does it flatter the silhouette? (at least some silhouettes)

Do you really look good (I mean REALLY good) in culottes? Yes? You like them? Then go for them girl.

But if you like them BECAUSE they are fashionable (veil on your eyes hiding you the horrible truth of you looking like you have a flat and large bottom with thick short legs) then forget about them. Next year the veil will fall and you’ll toss them away. Or will keep them into your closet forever, taking room storage.

This point is actually the trickiest. My advice? Either you hire a personal shopper who is here to tell you the truth (in a kind way I swear), or you go shop with an honest friend (lucky you) or a patient boyfriend (he may not be the most fashion forward adviser but knows for sure whether your butt looks good or not).

On this very last point.  I have to say I prefer being man appealing. Probably my celibacy speaking. More seriously, I like to be “me appealing”. Meaning I like to find myself attractive in the mirror. And attractive will always win over fashionable as far as I am concerned. I apply the same principle when it comes to my clients.

7. Have you seen this item or something similar in the past?

The fact that something is making a come-back is proof that is somehow looks cool.

Flare jeans? Yes! Ok then.

Victorian blouses? Seen that long ago. Go for it.

Gold and animal printed loafers? Not precisely but in other colors yes! You get them.

Wax printed trench? Trench I saw. Wax I saw. Looking good together. If you like, then buy.

Gucci half cut furry loafers? No. Never seen that UFO (unidentified fashion object) before.

8. Do you picture yourself wearing this item in… say 3 years?

Gucci fur loafers? Ah ah ah (hope my fashion forecasting sense is functioning because I am engraving my prediction into the internet’s stone.)

But flare jeans, victorian blouses, funky loafers and wax trench, hell yeah!

9. Does this item come from a fast fashion brand?

Great print, great price. Where is the problem?

First fast fashion is not really a realistic way of consuming fashion.

Second, ethical considerations set aside: you may find thousand ladies wearing the exact same print as you do and regret you bought it.

I experienced it with a three years old Zara scarf. Overdosed from it.

Still would love it otherwise.

Conclusion: Zara mass production is the reason I stopped wearing it.

10. Does this item get a lot of media coverage?

Editorials, streetstyle, blogs, etc.

Same as the above. You may get bored of it quickly.

Simple math: the more you wear an item, the less appealing it becomes to you (most of times).

Seing the item everywhere feels like you worn it a hundreds time already. Even if you just bought it.

And you? Do you care about how your clothes will age when you get them? 

NB: this is not a pamphlet against fun pieces. I like fun pieces. But nice fun pieces only 🙂

PS: Even more “reasonable” bloggers like Garance Doré (and team), have kind of lost track about what is realistic street style. 

33 Responses to “How to tell wheter a trend is going to last or to be outdated?”
  1. Mad Fado says:

    Coucou Alois,

    What a great piece! I have just discovered your blog few days ago and I’ve been pouring over the content eversince. it’s nice to read something substantial. This particular piece struck a chord in me because while I have a perfectly good blazer, shirts, or say black pumps from my working days (I’m a full time mom now), & nothing’s wrong with them, but they aren’t as slouchy as today’s look, or in the case of the pumps (not as pointy or d’orsay) and hence I feel outdated wearing them.

    Do you have ideas how I can keep wearing them and still look fairly fresh & stylish? I hate to succumb to my urges and update my wardrobe the affordable way (since I no longer have my own income) thinking they are going to be atemporel pieces, because that’s how I got the blazer, shirt, pumps etc at the first place. Help please!

  2. Maria says:

    Excellent article! Merci de mettre les mots justes pour ce que nous en pensons!

  3. Shawna says:

    This is why I like your blog and very quickly got bored with Man Repeller. Of course, it’s also because I am much older and cannot relate to her. I was intrigued by the term atemporal (another way of saying timeless or classic). Most of my choices are definitely in that category and although I am not a deliberate minimalist I don’t like to wear a lot of accessories or makeup and do not like big stiff over-styled hair. I almost always wear a scarf and I always wear earrings. I’m vaguely amused by what I see as the American fascination with Parisian style (I
    am Canadian) because to me it’s just normal dressing. Having seen many blogs by young American women interested in fashion and style, I can see why a more classic and subdued look seems refreshingly unusual to them.

  4. Emmaunelle says:

    Cet article me parle à 100%, même si je ne sais pas trop où me positionner encore entre le fashion mouton et la conformiste à sang froid.
    J’ai commencé à réfléchir sur ma consommation de mode il y a déjà quelques temps, et je pense que le chemin est encore long avant que les pulsions acheteuses ne cessent complètement, avant que mes désirs mimétiques soient remplacer par le plaisir d’être soi.
    J’habite en province, dans une petite ville, et j’ai l’avantageuse de ne pas voir partout fleurir des stan Smith, et des jean boyfriend. Ici la mode va plus lentement.

  5. Alex says:

    J’avoue porter certaines vestes ou chemises épisodiquement depuis plus de vingt-ans sans l’avoir prévu quand je les ai achetées, et mes filles me les piquent quand j’ai le dos tourné 🙂 Morale de l’histoire : ayez confiance en vos choix, on le sent bien dès l’essayage, le truc qui vous rend simplement belle, à jamais (enfin on le croit), ou le petit feu de paille. N’empêche que des fois, les petits feu de paille (pas chers) vous sauvent de l’ennui quand on n’a pas des cadeaux de blogueuse 🙂 (évidemment pas les sinistres mocassins Gucci).

  6. Marina says:

    Bonjour, I really love your blog. I am wondering why I am not receiving updates e-mails anymore (it’s been a while).

  7. fabienne says:

    ah ah ah ! J’ai l’impression de vous avoir soufflé cette idée de billet avec mes sabots Gucci sur Instagram 😉
    Je comprends très bien votre propos mais si en l’espèce j’aime réellement ces ovni shoesesques.
    Pour moi, le meilleur moyen de faire de bons achats qui me vont vraiment, c’est de les montrer à mon homme. Il ne connaît rien aux tendances et son regard sans concessions valide toujours ce qui me flatte vraiment

    • Aloïs Guinut says:

      Mais si vous les aimez d’un amour sincère alors tout va bien! Vous les garderez.
      J’ai moi même des sabots de 12cm bord moumoute de chez Darel que je ressors tous les hivers depuis … 6 ans déjà ^^

  8. Sandy says:

    Love your wise advice Alois! My rule of thumb – fast inexpensive fashion for summer clothes because they get ruined so easily (light colors, thin fabrics, more sweat) and for fads I like, because as you say, they will be tossed next year anyway. Outside of this small window, buy atempral, but even then, only if you love it. (Those Italian flannel pants I bought for quality hang in my closet unworn because I didn’t really love them, but they seemed so practical at the time…..)

  9. Evelyn says:

    FINALLY someone who sees the ridiculousness and points it out! I’m so glad you wrote about this topic, Alois!
    It is so embarassing to see them wearing such ridiculous things and even stating “how madly they are in love with the item” publicly! That’s how the “victim” of fashion shows, I think. So sad.

    I do shop quite a lot, fast fashion and more expensive things, but I keep such good care of all my items I wear them for years. In fact, I’ve never given away or even tossed away an item earlier than three to five years. A few days ago, I wore a jacket I have for 12 years now. The seams are ripped, the jacket looks distressed, as it IS distressed by the heavy wear. But that goes well with my “rough” style and blends in perfectly, so everyone is (still!) asking me where to get this fabulous piece.

    I do like trends, but with me, they don’t end when they don’t appear on the streets any more. They end (for me, personally) when I’m no longer touched by, and really excited about them. I’m more than happy to wear things which you would call “soo last season/year/decade”, because it’s me, and ONLY me deceiding when I don’t feel well in them any more. To be precise, I often fall for things AFTER they’ve been trendy (and not visible any more). I then have gotten my eyes adjusted to the silhouette or colour and gotten fond of it. Still, I’m not much of a vintage wearer, but still get compliments on my “unusual looking combinations, which look so cool/interesting/harmonic” (thank you all, who have ever complimented me on that! You made me smile on the inside and out!)

    Base note: To add “fun” to your wardrobe, upcycling by altering the shape or attaching things (badges, shoulder epaulettes, things like this) can add a more current twist to old, not-so-much-loved items. And upcycling them is pretty fun, too.

  10. Cécile says:

    Je te rejoins complètement. On sent que le sujet te touche. Merci de montrer qu’on peut aimer la mode et rester sensé, parce que parfois ce monde fou fait un peu peur (en fait, carrément flipper).

    • Aloïs Guinut says:

      Flippant c’est le mot. Et on est dedans et il est difficile de ne pas y prendre partie et il est difficile de rester de glace face à tant de tentations… Alors bon, au moins y réfléchir un peu…

  11. C says:

    Aloïs, je vous suis depuis un an et j’aime vos conseils et votre style.
    Très bien ce billet !
    Je suis ravie que vous donniez ce genre de conseils et ayez ce type de position.
    Merci beaucoup pour tous les kangourous et les ouvriers surexploités de la planète !
    Et pour nos yeux aussi 😉 , agressés par beaucoup trop de trucs moches dans la rue…
    Bonne continuation
    PS : et publiez plus souvent… 😉

  12. Julie says:

    Et voilà, je viens de découvrir ton site via un commentaire d’article sur tendances-de-mode… Jolie découverte, et jolie plume décomplexée 🙂

    Concernant l’article, je suis d’accord avec toi… Même si j’avoue qu’il est parfois difficile de résister aux coups de coeur ridicules/moches !

    • Aloïs Guinut says:

      Merci Julie! Si on aime vraiment et sincèrement un objet alors il n’est pas moche. Le truc qui m’énerve c’est d’aimer un truc un jour et de le disgracier dès le lendemain au seul prétexte qu’il n’est plus tendance 🙂

  13. Meghan says:

    I absolutely love this blog post! I was just thinking about this topic when I was shopping for ankle boots, realizing I already had 8 pairs… and hoping the ankle boot trend wouldn’t go out of style soon as I bought pair #9! And now I’m kicking myself for getting rid of the flare jeans I had a few years ago. I have to agree that lots of street style stars are definitely ridiculous, but some I take inspiration from. The fun part of fashion for me is to observe the trends and take from it what’s practical for my style and my life– getting atemporals and of course, the occasional funky piece that I just absolutely fall in love with (ahem, the gold glitter and plaid color block ankle boots I just bought 😉 And seriously, seeing the Chanel 2.55 bag and Valentino rockstud heels on EVERY fashion blogger make me NOT want to buy those pieces. My shopping motto is if I don’t truly LOVE everything about something, I won’t buy it.

    • Aloïs Guinut says:

      I also take inspiration from them. Lots are talented stylists. Elisa Nalin is color queen, Giovanna Battaglia, pure elegance, and Leandra Medine sometimes chooses great pieces (often separately though ahah).
      And I am not against fun. I think a glitter ankle boot is really an outfit booster and won’t go out of fashion too quickly. If you answer the question, they pass the test. They are neither ugly or ridiculous, they flatter some silhouettes, they have not been seen too much, they are coming back from the sixties and I (personally) would picture myself wearing them in 3 years.
      And your motto is great. You have to truly love thing yourself and not because they are fashionable.

  14. Lisa says:

    I read an article, in Vogue maybe, talking about the effect of Instagram on fashion week. How everyone wants to show up in a feed, so their clothes get more and more outrageous. I am all for creativity, but a contest to be seen isn’t one I’d want to participate in.

    I love the outfits you show here, creative, original, and wearable.

  15. Great post, I totally agree that so many bloggers are completely out of touch with what is actually wearable / worn. Those Gucci loafers are so hideous!

  16. Stine Friis says:

    to buy stuff I can wear for a long time, and slowly I want to replace my high street clothes with more durable and lasting clothes. But I’m still working on what exact fits suit me the bests, and how to wear different pieces. And being a student you sometimes have to make compromises on the price. But every now and then I’ll buy a fun piece, like this summer when I bought a shirt with palms all over it. So fun!

    • Aloïs Guinut says:

      I agree as a student or someone who earns a little it is more difficult to pass on fast fashion. I think you should invest in the pieces that are going to be worn a lot (coat, shoes) and wisely buy fast fashion for the rest.
      And I am not against fun 🙂 On the opposite.
      But no ridiculous fashion victim fun.

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