Friday, November 20, 2015

five for Friday: my favorite trends.

I’ve been writing about clothes and doing the cheap outfit posts long enough for you to know that I’m generally a late adopter when it comes to trends. I didn’t get my first pair of flare jeans  (remember when they were still called "flare jeans"?) until junior high: at least two years after my classmates had given up their tapered jeans. I didn’t own skinny jeans until I was a senior in college, and I only bought them to tuck into my new riding boots: two trends that everyone else had managed to embrace before me. It took an awfully long time for me to warm up to the idea of a maxi dress – as I didn’t want to be mistaken for a sister wife – but eventually, I came around.

The thing about trends is that they come and go so fast. Personally, I’m not willing to invest my hard-earned clothing money on a fad that I’m not sure about. I like to be sure that the particular clothing trend is not going anywhere before I accept it into my closet. And those trends I took so long to accept? They’re still fashionable today. (Flare jeans have morphed into bootcut jeans, but I’m counting them all the same.)

However, every once in a while, I’m either ahead of or right on top of the curve. When this happens – albeit rarely – it’s usually for something that I’ve loved all along. The rest of the world just had to catch up to me.

Inexplicably, there are currently five trends that I am all for. I hopped on three of these trends right away, and I was sporting the other two long before it was the thing to do.

I’ll start with the three that I got into immediately. These three trends are utilitarian, and that’s why I love them so much. Most of the time, you are forced to choose between fashion and function. For these three delightful fashions, they go hand-in-hand.

blanket cardigans/scarves – warmth
When I refer to a blanket cardigan or a blanket scarf, I’m talking about a gigantic fuzzy drapey thing that keeps you incredibly warm. As we are entering yet ANOTHER winter, it’s very important that you have enough sweaters and scarves to keep from freezing to death. Blanket cardigans are gigantic and have tons of extra material, so you can cocoon yourself into a cozy ball of warmth. The blanket scarves tend to be used as a decorative accessory, but in a pinch, you can take it off and use it as a – you guys it – blanket.

fancy sweatshirts – comfort
When you think of comfortable clothing, what is one of the first things that comes to mind? If you ask me, it’s a sweatshirt. Unfortunately for me, sweatshirts are not work appropriate… until now! Sweatshirt choices are no longer limited to the kind with sports teams and hoods. There are such a thing as embellished sweatshirts – they have patterns and embellishments and are pretty snappy. They’re dressy enough to wear on casual Friday, but comfy enough so that you still feel like you’re wearing a sweatshirt. It’s a win-win.

giant glasses – better vision
I have had glasses since I was five, and believe me when I tell you that having the vision of a bat in the daytime is not easy. My first pair of glasses was an enormous set of frames that took up half my face, but you’d better believe that I could see everything around me. As I got older, the trendy glasses got smaller. That meant that in order to look cool (or as cool as I could with thick glasses and colorful braces), I had to sacrifice some valuable lens real estate. I did get contacts when I was a junior in high school, and those helped immensely. But as you fellow contact-wearers will know, sometimes, you just really want to wear glasses. Thankfully, my salvation was imminent. Gigantic hipster glasses suddenly became cool, which meant that I could go back to having more lens to cover more of my eye, therefore giving me better peripheral vision. I am well aware that this trend won’t last forever and that my future children will someday laugh at pictures of my huge hipster glasses like we laugh at Mom’s glasses from the 80s. But I’m willing to take the risk.

The last two trends on the agenda today are two that I’d been seeking all along. And one day, BAM! They’re everywhere. Allow me to be a hipster for a second and tell you that I liked fair isle and dresses with pockets before they were cool.

dresses and skirts with pockets
This just seemed like common sense to me. Pants have pockets for you to keep your Chapstick in – why wouldn’t dresses and skirts want to do the same? I didn’t really wear dresses until college, and when I started hunting for dresses with pockets, I came up short. I would find a pocketed dress one once in a very great while, but it was a rare treasure. But just few years ago, it seemed like every dress in every store was be-pocketed. And that was a great day for me and other dress-wearing pocket-appreciating people everywhere. Now, when shopping for dresses and skirts, that’s the first thing that I look for. Does it have pockets? No? Then back it goes.

fair isle
As a Scandinavian, it’s in my DNA to be attracted to fair isle. I wanted an authentic Norwegian sweater so badly, but they always were (and still are) way out of my price range. My grandma Lorraine gave my siblings and me some of her old Norwegian sweaters, which were goofy – to say the least. Goofy enough to warrant a Christmas card. What I wanted was some respectable fair isle that I could wear without looking like I’d raided Goodwill. For the longest time, the best I could do was socks. But then – fair isle was all over the place. Sweaters, scarves, hats, mittens, you name it. I’m up to my eyeballs in fair isle, and I LOVE IT.


So those are my five trends. Chances are pretty slim that I’ll be an early adopter of  this many trends ever again, but I’ll be sure and keep you informed.

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