The Primary Purpose for Trends if You Are Building A Capsule Wardrobe (and four spring trends worth investing in)

May 12, 2021

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As a high school teacher, if there is a shift in sartorial preferences collectively in the culture at-large, the teenagers’ attire communicate the news en masse. 

As of late, the jean trend of looser, high-waist designs ushered out the skinny jeans style which held its grip on the popular culture for nearly 15 years if not more. However, simply because a trend arrives, doesn’t mean we want to visit our favorite online shopping store to partake. 

Before assuming I dislike the new trend in denim (the opposite is my actual sentiment even though I won’t be wearing it), the reason to note trends, while there are arguable numerous ones that can be cited, is what I would like to share with you today.

The pandemic shifted more quickly trends in fashion than I have witnessed since the beginning of TSLL (2009). Before tailored, throw-back retro feminine attire could make its way to the end of the runway in February 2020, the 2021 spring collections (the few who were able to compile enough for a reveal) were looser and geared nearly entirely to WFH (work from home) functionality and visibility. Attention to the face, brilliant blossoming shoulders, ruffled necklines and cuffs, anything that was visible on a Zoom call received the attention of the designers. 

TSLL intentionally shops and shares clothing items and capsule wardrobe accessories (shoes, handbags, jewelry, etc.) worth investing in for a few reasons rather than cheaper items which will wear out or no longer be en vogue in a year or two’s time. (1) Personally, while I love communicating with my sartorial choices, I don’t necessarily enjoy clothes shopping, partly because of time and the lack of in-person access to shops and brands found here in Bend, Oregon (REI would be our most predominant clothing company if that sheds any light on the shopping options). Online shopping has made for a much more enjoyable experience as the dressing room is now my bedroom with my lighting and my mirror (and nobody checking on me), but even online shopping takes time, and I prefer to feel confident with the choices I have hanging or folded in my closet, and not have to worry about restocking or staying on trend every six months with multiple shopping excursions and expenditures. Which means, I invest when I purchase, so I have fewer items, but high quality and keep only what I wholeheartedly love when they arrive on my porch, otherwise, I return them.

(2) Sustainability. When we buy well, similar to the materials a contractor uses for a house, the structure as well as the timelessness of the design (think the Arts & Crafts movement with Craftsman houses) remains for decades, even generations and sometimes centuries regardless of what other trends or fads come and go with the passing fancy of the world’s popular culture. Fast fashion suits a need in the present moment, but not in the long-run. Your budget may cock its head at you and wonder why you are paying a couple hundred for a handbag or pair of shoes, but if you’ve done your homework, know not only your style, but the quality of the craftsmanship behind the design, fabric, etc., you won’t be needing to buy that item for years to come, if ever, depending upon what you are purchasing. For both my capsule wardrobe and my home décor, investing requires me to look beyond today, and even beyond next year. It is knowing yourself and your lifestyle well enough to invest for not only a stylish today, but a stylish self many years to come without having to run to the store and spend more money thereby permitting you the opportunity to simply live and do so confidently in attire in which you feel your best.

“Sometimes it feels like it hurts when you make a big purchase, so I really believe that the more expensive things should be gems that you keep in your closet, not trends.”

Amber Valletta

With all of that said and wholeheartedly agreeing with Valetta, staying abreast of trends is still necessary because occasionally, a trend will update a classic and offer a refreshed cut or idea which will enable a so-called trend to be a part of your capsule wardrobe for a significantly long time. Why? Because you know what works for you. And secondly, when you know what works for you – a style of jean, a particular length of blazer or jacket, a certain hue to complement your skin tone – when that trend comes along, you pounce, and you don’t hesitate to pounce because it is something that works magnificently for you. 

Speaking of jeans, I won’t be putting away or ignoring my skinny jeans. They work well for me. I am tall, and when we know what parts of our silhouette we want to focus on and what parts we want to camouflage, we begin to learn what types of clothing, what cuts and what colors and designs work best for us. While I greatly appreciate the new on trend denim length, fit and waist height, the former two details don’t complement my figure, so I will appreciate this passing style preference, but not purchase them. 

When trends come along, more options, sizes and variations become available enabling us, the customer, to purchase fairly well tailored items for our capsule wardrobe and body type. Take advantage of this opportunity as it is fleeting especially in well-made, quality constructed items. Simply purchasing trends to ‘keep up’ will leave us being indistinquishable from one another. As Carolina Herrera frankly reminds, “I don’t like trends. They tend to make everybody look the same.” 

But once you know what you want for your capsule wardrobe, you won’t hesitate when out of the blue you happen across a sweater finally available in your preferred color because it happened to be the color of the year that was all-but -impossible to find in seasons prior. Case in point, I know blazers work well for my physique, my lifestyle and have been a go-to for more than 15 years in my wardrobe. So when I happened upon this denim blazer from from cinq a sept which includes a bit of the trend-of-the-moment – workplace suits, I pounced. Not because it was on trend, but it aligned with my personal style, and happened to be a trend for the spring season. The price tag won’t matter so much because you haven’t been spending money on clothes just to pass the time or stay up on trends. Your patience and clarity will pay off and now you can purchase with confidence, investing in an item you will wear, appreciate and look effortlessly chic in for years.

Ultimately, trends give us an opportunity to fine-tune our capsule wardrobes, peruse a plethora of options and stock up on items we love as they may not become available again in precisely the combination we prefer for some time once the trend fades.

As we step fully into spring and look ahead to summer, I chose four timeless items which are now available more readily in unique designs and original styles all the while still offering the classic element which will forever remain a coveted item in our capsule wardrobe.

Below are a handful of ‘trendy’ spring/summer finds which will never go out of style. Choose the color and cut and design that works for you, but purchase well so the item looks and wears as well 10 years from now as it did when you purchased it:

  • espadrilles
  • denim jacket
  • aviator sunglasses
  • straw tote

SHOP THE ITEMS SEEN ABOVE:



4 thoughts on “The Primary Purpose for Trends if You Are Building A Capsule Wardrobe (and four spring trends worth investing in)

  1. Shannon,
    I admit I don’t usually read your posts regarding clothing as closely as other topics. You are tall and lean and I am shorter and very full figured, so many of the styles that are flattering for you…well, not so much for me. However, with the exception of the skinny jeans I totally rock today’s other four suggestions. I LOVE my aviators and my jean jacket and am currently looking for the perfect pair of espradrilles and my straw bag is on route to my house as I type this. Your article makes me feel like I have passed a test I didn’t even know I was going to take.
    Thank you! Thank you ! Thank you! I am so pleased to be on pretty much the same wavelength as you this you this time.

    1. PKB,

      I greatly appreciated your comment today. Thank you for all you have shared. I have found clothing to be a tool, a mode of communication, so to dismiss its power is to let go of something we can have control over. With that said, there are far more important topics to focus out time and attention, but clothes are not to be dismissed as often once we know what works ges5 for each of us, we can utilize them for living well. Have a great day and thanks again. 😌

  2. Interesting post Shannon. What I find most distressing about trends in clothing is the aspect of waste. Cheap, disposable items glut the world. I have always been one of those quality vs. quantity type of persons in clothing, furniture, (I have finally ordered the sofa I have studied for 20 years!), etc. I have always budgeted for what I want and sometimes years are involved! The wardrobe is part of the person you present to the world. Being comfortable in appearance permits you to get on with your day, your work, your passions. The high platforms will not work for me even though I could use the height!

    1. Lucy,

      Congratulations on finding and welcoming home your sofa! That is no small feat as I recently welcomed a sofa I long dreamed about, shopped for tirelessly and then waited for patiently. Yes, smart and wise investments in furniture and clothing is a wise approach for not only feeling and looking good but contributing less waste to the planet. Thank you for stopping by. 🙂

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