With fall comes spooky season, the annual transition from iced to hot coffee, and everyone’s favorite: sweater weather. As temperatures drop, I find myself eager to up my style game with layering and mixing fabrics. As I’m sure most of us do, I love the feeling of wearing a new outfit around campus. It makes me feel confident and, as silly as it sounds, motivated to have a good day.
Unfortunately, we live in a world where, thanks to social media, trends change so quickly that it can be difficult to continuously put together outfits that feel stylistically relevant and in season. Tiktok in particular is at the forefront of pushing out new trends, some of which don’t even last a month. For example, the shoe of last summer was Birkenstocks’ “The Boston”, and now we’re transitioning from clogs to loafers, both chunky, which feel a little trendier, and slim, a more classic style.
Because trends are changing so quickly, it is becoming extremely expensive (and unsustainable!) to keep up with what society deems fashion forward. It sounds simple enough to avoid the trends, but it’s much easier said than done when there’s always the fear of falling prey to the Christian Girl Autumn aesthetic, which has been widely mocked on the internet since that one viral photo from 2019.
So, now that I’ve aired my grievances, here’s what I do to balance the desire to dress in style for fall without giving in to the money-sucking trends society loves to push on us:
My first step is to resist buying as much as possible, which is a struggle for a girl who loves clothes. When those annoyingly well-catered Instagram ads pop up and I feel a moment of weakness approaching, I put my phone away. Avoiding what makes you want to consume is the best way to squash the urge.
When I can’t resist anymore, and I feel like I need something to revamp my wardrobe, I head to the thrift stores. This is, in my opinion, by far the best way to acquire inexpensive, unique pieces. I always find things I never would’ve found online, and they’re usually way cooler. Plus, I usually get more compliments wearing my thrifted pieces, which always makes me feel good. (One thing to note: If you are able to purchase jackets elsewhere, it is important to leave cold weather pieces for others who cannot afford to stay warm in the winter at full price!) However! It’s important not to get too carried away with the unique thrifted pieces. A few here and there will make your wardrobe pop, but too many will make it difficult to style pieces together. Another fun option is clothing swaps with friends. Everyone gets to take home something new and there is no cost or waste! A win-win.
Which brings me to my next point. BASICS. For the majority of my life, I’ve overlooked the importance of having a wardrobe consisting mostly of basics. Alas, that time has come to an end. I’m tired of feeling like I have nothing to wear, and I’ve realized that when I feel this way it’s because my pieces are not interchangeable. I would rather be able to create 10 solid outfits than three really cool ones because I have the option of swapping pieces in and out. Currently, I’m in the (Goodwill) market for a nice black turtleneck.
There is no one perfect solution for avoiding the fashion trends that constantly come up. I mean, they’re literally made to target us, so it’s not our fault for struggling to escape them. But, there are ways to lessen the consumerist urge, while also feeling comfortable in our style. If nothing else, I hope this article was a fun read and a reminder that trends are silly! And you’re not any less cool for totally ignoring them (I think you’re cooler for doing so).