Five Reasons to Not Follow Trends

Look anywhere online and you’ll find hundreds of sites telling you what’s trending. Trends in fashion, trends in art and music, trends in foods—there’s no end. I can’t keep up!

Awhile back, I went shopping for a blouse. Yes, I said, “blouse.” Don’t call me “grandma!” After an hour scouring the racks, it appeared that the “blouse” had gone the way of the penny farthing bicycle. Bummer. Audrey Hepburn, Grace Kelly and Katherine Hepburn wore blouses. Megan Fox wears tight, low-cut t-shirts. I guarantee you the blouse will be back. True classic style doesn’t have 15 minutes of fame and a potty mouth.

So, my top five reasons to not follow trends:

1. It’s Too Time-Consuming

As I said, I can’t keep up. I’ve got a million things to do in a day and scouring magazines and sites online to discover the latest color or pattern trend is way too time-consuming. Every minute spent reading about trendy trending trends is time I have to take away from more satisfying pursuits. Like petting my dog or felting tiny birds from lint I’ve gathered from under my sofa.

When Pantone came out with their 2017 color of the year, Greenery, I hopped on that wagon and started incorporating it into my surface pattern designs. I spent hours and hours working up color palettes around Greenery. I forced my illustrations and patterns to love Greenery. I didn’t even like Greenery that much. I like green hues, but using a trending color to inform all of your design and artwork is just slavish adoption of a fad.

2. I’ll Never Be Able to Keep Up

On average, a new trend pops up every nanosecond. Okay, that might be a slight exaggeration, but only slight. I’ve realized I’ll never ever be able to “stay on trend.” I was born outdated and I've stayed that way. I've noticed that articles about trends are so often contradictory. One says “indigo” is out, the other says it’s in. Or indigo is out but you should use navy. Arrgggh. Claire Bock over at Apartment Therapy helped me figure out the difference between indigo and navy. She says about Indigo: “It’s a stylistic reincarnation of navy blue.” I like her discussion on the topic and glad that someone took it on. But if I’m selecting a contrasting color for my pattern designs, I think about choosing a dark color without using black, and either navy or indigo will do.

I find it part relaxing and part nerve-wracking to read home decorating magazines. But here’s what happens: I get halfway into the magazine, look around my room, and then I’m up moving furniture, creating new combinations of decorative items, rehanging pictures, and switching out rugs. And then the next month, when my new decorating magazine shows up, I might do it all again. I can’t keep up and I don’t want to.

3. Trendy is Not Personal

“Trendy” is someone else’s idea about what you “should” adopt. Is that how I want to live? No. If I paint my walls the “in” color, reupholster a chair with the latest tropical pattern, or stuff my house with copper and wood tile, eventually I’ll feel like someone else has moved into my home. If all the latest trends appeal to you and reflect your personality, that’s fine. But if you’re designing your home, page by page, item by item, according to House Beautiful, you’ve lost yourself.

For example, burlap suddenly became the “in” thing this past year. Burlap. I had to ask myself, “Am I a burlap person?” No. Again, the farmhouse/cottage look is absolutely enchanting if you’ve got the interior and exterior for it. Rustic is wonderful, with its textural accents and woodsy vibe. But you have to decide, before going too far, “Is it really me?”

By the way, I love these burlap bows found on the Thistlewood Farms website.

Maria, over at Simple Nature Decor, has a helpful post on how to personalize your decor. Beautiful photos, too!

I found this oddly funny - in the same article I read that discussed what’s in and out, the author included this quote from Nate Berkus: "Trends are designed to make people feel bad about themselves and what they don’t have," he said. "It's more about what feels classic; just do what do you love."

4. It’s $$$$Wasteful

If I had a dollar for every fad I delivered to a thrift shop, I’d be able to afford health insurance.

Have you invested in a few poufs this past year? Well, sorry, the pouf is out. How about macrame? Out. Hope you can regift those items or sell them on Craigslist. Wall paint isn’t cheap, so get a part-time job so you can repaint walls that you covered in cool gray tones or indigo.

And for all of you who just shiplapped your home’s walls - shiplapping is out as are barn-door sliders. Yikes. I adore shiplapped walls and those sliders. One writer called these two trends, GASP, “tacky.” Ouch, that hurts. And it will hurt your wallet even more if you decide to redo those areas.

By the way: Thank you to Carrie at “Lovely, Etc.” for this roundup of affordable poufs. I’ve seen these items for over a thousand dollars! My feet and behind won’t be able to tell the difference between a $50 pouf vs. a $250 one. I definitely appreciate her links to poufs that won’t break your bank.

image of french pouf hairstyle

This is a Pouf, a la Paris.

photo of poufs

Pouf pics, courtesy of Jim Downing, Flickr 

5. Trends Often Aren’t Practical

I can’t remember when “bling” became popular, but when it did, it took over like gangbusters. Fashion gurus told us to “sprinkle some razzle dazzle around a room by embellishing throw pillows with old rhinestone jewelry.” The effect is sparkly! I love sparkly.

So do my dogs. After all, I do not own stuffed animals. At various times in my life, I’ve had two dogs—three, if I count my sister’s. Each one of them had picker’s disease. All I have to do is think back to the time my Stella reduced my sister’s entire Berber carpet to a pile of squiggly strands.

And don’t even get me started on white furniture, rugs and pillows.

In Conclusion

I loved reading this from Shannon over at AKA Designs in Home Decor Trends Can Go Suck It:

Seriously if you love wall-to-wall shag carpeting a la 1970's, who am I to tell you it's not cool anymore?”

You go, girl! And thank you.

And a big thank you to Christina Rodriguez at Diva by Design who said, “Your home should reflect the colors you love, the style you are drawn to, the lifestyle you lead, and what makes you truly happy.” 

I couldn’t have said it better myself.

Enjoy your home!

 My style: Contemporary Disheveled

 

Comments (2)

Margot - Oct 27, 2017

Yes! Trends are merely designed to get you to buy new things. At some point, you develop a sense of style and you stop being a slave to trends. Surround yourself with things that bring you joy, wear what you please, work with colors and materials that inspire you, and soon enough, you may find you’re a trend setter.

Jean Calomeni - Oct 27, 2017

Hi, Margot! Thank you for the comment! I find that shopping in a variety of places and even visiting art galleries can help a person define their style. Definitely thrift and consignment shops can provide a lot of inspiration and lead you into a direction that you might never have considered.

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