An Insider’s Guide to Being a Style Innovator vs. a Trend Conformist from one of our In Style editors, Reese Karras.
First things first. What is style? In the words of celebrity stylist and fashion designer Rachel Zoe, “style is a way to say who you are without having to speak.” It can be simple, it can be elegant, and it can be bold.
Going into 7th grade, an entirely new exciting world was unlatched for me to enter–the world of fashion. I was completely unexposed and uninterested in this spectacular world until the summer I traveled to Paris.
Until then, I never really considered what I wore as long as I thought it looked relatively good together. Nevertheless, seeing these beautiful, stylish Parisians walk down the rue de Rivoli suddenly changed the way I thought about clothes. Now, I know for certain that following college I’d like to pursue a career in the fashion industry, but until then, bringing my fashion sense to LFHS will have to do. As you probably know, there are many stylish girls who strut down the senior hallway as if it were the heralded runway at Fashion Week, but take a closer look. What is it that truly sets them apart? The way I see it, anyone can buy the latest, greatest trend, but someone with style instinct is able to master an outfit with items that aren’t in the front racks of every popular retail store.
As Elle editor and Project Runway star Nina Garcia says, “Mix Prada with H&M.” The best style is created by mixing it up.
Pair a leather jacket with a basic dress, add a scarf and some cute flats and then, at long last, you have an outfit–an innovative outfit, complete with a touch of your own style. It’s important, however, not to overthink it. Less is more for many style icons such as Kate Moss, Blake Lively, Gigi Hadid, Kendall Jenner and Cara Delevingne. A style innovator knows the cutest outfit could be as simple as a pair of ripped jeans, gym shoes and a soft old t-shirt. The essence of fashion is about making a statement and confidently owning what you wear. A trend conformist, in comparison, lacks the confidence to try something that might not fit in and prefers to own the same pieces that the majority of the population has deemed fashionable. They know what is trending and acquire the same jackets, jeans and shoes, rendering them in a sea of sameness.
My advice to you is to take the “road less traveled.” Try to get ideas from observing a style you like from magazines, movies, and blogs covering style on the streets of NYC, London and Paris. My hope is to encourage you to break out of the norm and strive to create your own personal style. The key is to pick and choose pieces that you love and that inspire you, not those uniformly agreed upon as the “it” trend of the moment. Follow that rule and your style will fall into place. It’s certainly okay to be original and it’s okay to wear what someone else may not. A different look and maybe turning a few heads is not necessarily a bad thing. Don’t be afraid to wear those cool leather pants you just got for your birthday, or that edgy necklace and graphic tee you think people might judge. You have nothing to lose. I know you have it in you, girls of LFHS, so don’t take the easy way out and wear the same items that all the other girls have. Be the style innovator and be recognized for wearing all the bold items that everyone else will soon want.