I remember watching CNN Style on Saturday mornings with my mom back in high school. Back then, it was tougher for the average person to keep up with the cutting edge of style. Big, glossy magazines were just about the only way to keep current. News programs would occasionally play clips of runway shows, but unless you could afford to attend Fashion Week yourself there was no way to see a designer’s complete collection.
Today, a quick trip to Getty Images will let you browse through any designer’s collection from any recent Fashion Week anywhere in the world. Fashion web sites and TV shows abound. It’s easy to get fashion overload and find it all way too confusing to bother with.
Here’s how I keep track of the current fashion zeitgeist without becoming overwhelmed.
- Utilize free resources. The web is great for this. You can see the sites I follow in my blogroll. I especially like The Sartorialist for spotting trends that people are actually wearing. I also cash in my about-to-expire frequent flyer miles for magazines. If you can’t get free magazines this way, ask a friend with a subscription you like to lend you issues when she’s done with them.
- Find your niche. As a 30-something professional, a magazine like Lucky is right up my alley. Seventeen would be too young for me and W feels too old. Likewise, What Not to Wear appeals to my practical side, while Behind the Velvet Rope seems a bit divorced from reality.
- Look around you. Take note of what people around you who look good are wearing. If you see something you particularly like, don’t be afraid to go up and say, “That’s such a beautiful dress. Where did you get it?” Most everyone likes to be complimented!
- Skim, don’t scrutinize. Look at the pretty pictures and don’t think too hard about it. After all, it’s just fashion! Let the images rattle around in your brain until you have a good sense of what’s in, what’s out, what you like, and what you don’t.