It’s hard to believe that we will soon be welcoming in the next decade! I don’t know about you, but it only seems five minutes ago that I was celebrating the dawn of the new millennium! Where on earth does the time go?!
As we are about to enter the 2020’s, BBC Radio Berkshire have asked me on to look back on the key trends of the past decade and advise their listeners on what to look out for in the sales this year. Which got me thinking. And to be honest, I don’t think there’s been a seismic change in fashion over the past ten years or so. Sure, there have been a few trends that look dated now – high-low hemlines (the sartorial equivalent of the footballer’s mullet of the 1980’s!), gladiator sandals that laced all the way up the calves and only looked good on super-slender legs, and of course who can forget the young guys wearing their jeans round their knees to show off their Calvin Klein boxers?! – but actually you can probably still wear quite a lot of what you wore in 2010, always assuming it still fits! In any event, true style never goes out of fashion. I edit my own wardrobe fairly regularly but there are plenty of pieces in there that I’ve had for the past ten years or so which I’m still wearing and being complimented on.
So, unless your aim is to be uber fashionable, my advice is to work out what suits you (your signature style) and simply freshen up your wardrobe with a few tweaks each season. This might just mean updating some accessories or styling outfits slightly differently. For example, at the moment it’s all about the “French” or half tuck whereby, rather than tuck your entire top into your skirt/trouser waistband, you just tuck in part of the front for a more casual, undone look. Similarly, pairing dresses and skirts with white sneakers rather heels is very on-trend and creates a more casual vibe.
So what should you look out for in the sales this year?
I must admit that I have a love-hate affair with sales! On the one hand, I do love a bargain but on the other, it’s all too easy to be seduced into buying stuff you just won’t wear.
I think it’s helpful to divide purchases into three categories and adjust your spending accordingly:
- Investment buys
- Fashion buys
This is about buying the best quality items you can afford in neutral colours that won’t date such as black, navy, charcoal, taupe and pine. The sales can provide an excellent opportunity to invest in brands and quality fabrics such as silk and cashmere which may not normally be within your budget.
Good investment buys:
- Trench coat
- Biker jacket
- Shift dress
- Wrap dress
- Court shoes
- Cashmere jumper
- Silk scarf
The above are all classic pieces that will easily see you through the next decade so it’s worth spending more on them.
A wardrobe full of investment neutrals can risk looking a little “safe” and uninspiring but the addition of a few fashion buys can be a good way of updating your wardrobe. Whilst you’ll certainly be able to wear them for a few seasons, they won’t have great longevity so don’t spend a fortune on them and don’t make the mistake of keeping them in your wardrobe too long! A good way of judging when an item is past it’s sell-by date is to consider whether there is currently anything similar in the shops. If not, it probably needs to go.
- Anything with an exaggerated silhouette
- Anything over-sized
- Brightly coloured faux fur or teddy coat
- Boiler suit
- Paper bag waist trousers
- Tops with slogans
- Next year’s Christmas jumper!!!
The above will add some fun and variety to your wardrobe for now.
If you feel you’re stuck in a bit of a style rut, why not use the sales to pick up something that’s a bit out of your normal comfort zone? Don’t spend a lot on it though in case you find it’s a step too far for you and find you don’t wear it. But, if you like the look of it, give it a go!
It doesn’t even have to be anything ultra fashionable, just something that’s a bit different for you. For example, I meet quite a lot of women who say they don’t “do” prints. If this is you, I would urge you to buy an inexpensive patterned top in the sales and see how you can integrate it with all those block colours you have in your wardrobe. And if you haven’t got anything in animal print yet, you could give that a go; it can add a bit of sass to your wardrobe and is remarkably versatile. Or perhaps buy a colour you’ve never worn before – you may surprise yourself with how good you look!
Whether it’s an investment, fashion or experimental buy though, don’t buy something just because it’s reduced and don’t buy anything that doesn’t fit, unless it warrants the expense of getting it altered. It’s better to go home with nothing than waste money on clothes you won’t wear. Rest assured, there will be another round of sales very soon!