Wanna Be a Trendsetter? Follow These Tips…

Trend forecasters observe cultural, economic, and social factors affecting society to determine the “next big thing”. Since fashion often reflects the mindset of a society, these factors are excellent cues to what will be in demand at your local department store. For example, the popularity of California based shows like The OC and the influence of Hollywood celebrities like Paris Hilton and Pamela Anderson  made west coast style, like the mini-skirt and Ugg boots, must have items. Snookie’s “bump” hairstyle has made the “bump-it” a popular hairstyling tools now sold at Target.  Nasty weather and the increase in the number of women commuting rather than driving to work increased  the popularity of  Wellie (rubber) boots.

How to Shop Fashion Trends

Starting your own trend, or at the very least remaining ahead of the style curve, can be a full time job. So I’ve simplified it for ya.

Turn to the Streets. Fashion Designer often turns to the streets to find inspiration for their collections. Marc Jacobs hit big in Spring 2001 with his Steven Sprouse graffiti designed bags by Louis Vuitton. Juicy Couture sweat suits, bear an eerie resemblance to the terry cloth sweat suits worn by early hip-hop artists like LL Cool J. Head to your nearest urban center and observe what the young and hip are wearing, and don your own version of the trend.

Turn to the Blogs: If it’s in a magazine, the trend is already dead (sorry mags!). Check out on the scene blogs like The Sartorialist , Bryan Boy, Refinery29 and Tommy Ton for inspiration.

Watch T.V. Shows like Gossip Girls, Jersey Shore, Glee – all have a direct impact what we’re wearing. Look at what they’re doing and then add your own spin to it. Like Blair’s preppy socialite look? Add your own spin by adding a pair of tough combat boots.

Put on Your Traveling Shoes. When traveling observe the local styles and pick-up items that are indigenous to that place and/or culture.  I’ve purchased some of my most fashion forward pieces on trips to places like India, Jamaica, and Iowa.

Observe Social and Economic Cues. Fashionable leather tote bags became popular as more women entered the work place and needed bags to transition from work to play. On that same note, “murses”, designers like Coach and Jack Spade to give men a stylish, masculine bag to carry their smart phones, wallets, and other items introduced male purses.

Do the Exact Opposite of What’s in Style. Another way to start your own trend is to observe the current trends and do the exact opposite. If pointed toed shoes are all the rage, then wear round toed shoes.  If mini-skirts are in, wear floor length skirts. At some point the trend you’re wearing will come back in style and you will be perceived as being fashion forward.

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    Catherine Brock

    As a Southern California transplant now living in the Midwest, Catherine has turned layering into an art form and accepted that UGGs actually do have a place in the stylish lady's wardrobe. She's been featured in Woman's World Magazine, DrLaura.com, Refinery29, Wellness.com and has made appearances on ABC7 Chicago, FOX2News St. Louis, KCAL9 Los Angeles, Fox19 Cincinnati, WGN TV Chicago and WCPO TV Cincinnati.

    Blog Comments


    “At some point the trend you


    I believe that I am a big trend setter in my own way. This was great advice!


    trend setting can be tough, mostly reserved for the braver portion of our society. its especially hard to try to set a trend in a midwestern city (Des Moines, IA) i noticed you wrote that you’ve “purchased some of my most fashion forward pieces on trips to places like India, Jamaica, and Iowa.” I live in Iowa. care to to tell me what kinda of pieces you purchased and where at in Iowa?



    1. I’m from Minnesota and have been to Iowa several times, so don’t try to bring any “How can you know about the Midwest” vibe to me. Sweetie, I’ve shopped Fargo. I’ve shopped Albert Lea. I’ve shopped Des Moines. I may live on the East Coast

    2. I’ve purchased vintage accessories, circa 1960/70s, like the big beaded bubble gum necklaces that were really hot about two seasons ago, that I purchased over 10 years ago at a thrift shop, on a particularly grueling family trip to Salina, KS (where I got the coolest pair of cross-color jean knock offs for 25% off thanks to my great aunt who worked at the local SEARS). The best items in Iowa are at the thrift stores, especially the local church thrift stores.

    3. Finally, it is not hard to start a trend in the midwest- Ask anyone who went to school with me at Washburn Senior High School in Minneapolis, MN. Yep, it’s hard to be different and like you said it’s tough, but the end of my senior year, lots of people were rocking what I was wearing.

    It is not my place, nor yours, to tell people who can and can not start a trend. I had a friend name Siri (beat that for a midwestern name), who you might have ben considered a “nerd”, who wore pastel cordoroy pants in high school. Fast forwward 10 years, and the Gap, Old Navy, even Marc Jacobs have featured pastel colored cords…


    In a city like LA, where the trends change overnight and celebrities and secretaries alike have “stylists”, it’s hard to predict what the next IT trend will be. I work for E! on a show that works directly with fashion and trust me, going to work some days is like being mid fashion week. That said, I find that the current fashion trends directly impact what’s going to be hot tomorrow. Fashion naturally evolves, so take something trendy, like the boho look of last summer and fall and make it edgier, tone down the colors, toughen up the look with boots, add something unexpected or bold, like white or black in place of a neutral color, or vice versa. Less is often more and makes a much larger impact. The key to fashion is being able to change it, mix it up, and recycle old ideas as new. My key to looking fashion forward? It’s all in the accessories…

    I still don’t get the rubber rain boots thing but hey, nobody said fashion had to make sense.

    I live in the rural midwest and it is possible to start a trend of sorts. I started wearing some things I saw in international blogs and magazines because I liked them. I received a few odd looks but I also noticed more people around me suddenly wearing bits of things I had been habitually wearing. I try to cultivate a style rather than being a slave to whatever is this weeks fashion. I think that helps.

    I believe that I am a big trend setter in my own way. This was great advice!www.handbags-club.com

    Snookie’s boobs look so awful.
    Can you notice the fake tan lines in her breasts? Looks like she put some make up on them… anyway.
    Thumbs up for trend setters with actually a style like Victoria Beckham and Kate Moss, but come one, seriously Snookie’s?
    Fake eye color, fake tan, fake boobs.. fake everything.
    Hope this doesn’t become a trend.


    These were great tips. I’ve started a few trends back in my day of small town America high school. The best key is to rock what you’re wearing with confidence – somebody will copy you! Like Rihanna wears the most shocking and edgy things but she has everyone following behind her b/c of her swag

    The best key is to rock what you’re wearing with confidence – somebody will copy you!

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