Stylist writer Megan Murray has never been wedded to trends, opting for a muted palette instead. Here, as someone who considers themselves decidedly un-’fashion’, she puts the season’s biggest trends to the test then rates them on their wearability…
My style usually fits quite firmly into one theme. A lover of all things Scandi, my staple sartorial colour palette is made up of a variation of blues. And to be honest, that’s pretty much it.
From cornflower-inspired pastels that almost tickle lilac, right down to the darkest depths of navy, these hues best serve me in the form of tea dresses, jumpsuits or a cute, Peter Pan collared shirt and trouser combo.
What I absolutely don’t ever jump on board with are ‘the trends’.
I’m small with a curvy figure and big boobs, so many of the latest looks on the high street I assume won’t suit me as they’re created for towering models.
That’s always been annoying, so I decided to put that notion to the test. I wore five of a/w 2018’s biggest trends to the office, from 80s power tailoring on show to clashing green with brown, then rated them on their wearability – essentially, whether I felt out of my comfort zone or if I ended up strutting.
For someone with a near-capsule wardrobe, this sounded terrifying. Here’s how it went…
Trend 1: Clashing browns and brights
As soon as I saw what this look would consist of, I thought, ‘Oh no’.
As my friends will tell you, you wouldn’t catch me dead in brown. I have mousy blonde hair and a pale skin tone, so to me, brown is a one-track lane to washed-out-ville.
Although I was originally dubious, as I pulled on my form-fitting, deep red-brown, ribbed T-shirt, I was impressed to see the colour didn’t wash me out as much as I feared.
Added bonus: there was a slight sparkle in the thread of my top.
Teamed with the emerald green flowing maxi skirt and a chocolately blazer slung on my shoulders, it was a match made in heaven.
My initial fear of looking like a swamp monster subsided, but at lunch in the park I did feel like I fitted in with the foliage and the cute old ladies on the bench next to me (who cemented that feeling by telling me I looked nice).
I felt good in it, but I’m not sure I’d wear it again. I think you need to be slightly more fash-un than I am.
Trend 2: Seventies vibes
Now this is what I call a look.
Being a fan of all things blue, I liked the vibe of this Seventies denim jumpsuit from the moment I saw it.
The thick, structured indigo denim gives off an instant air of quality. The large tortoiseshell buttons are bang on trend (obviously) and the wide-legged flares create a silhouette not to be messed with.
I must admit, wearing it made me feel pretty damn powerful.
I donned a pair of statement white Chelsea boots to give the look an extra shot of disco magic, which not only supplied me with some much-needed inches, but made the deep blue hue pop even more.
If you’re going to strut around like a lost ABBA member all day, you should definitely do it in this jumpsuit.
Trend 3: Eighties power tailoring
Everyone knows that Eighties fashion is all about statement tailoring. To rock this trend correctly, a seriously shoulder-padded blazer is a must. My work style is relatively relaxed, so this was quite a shift.
To give it a modern twist and tone down the drama, I paired the blazer with faded wash mom jeans and trainers. To add an ultra ‘fashion’ touch, I vetoed a top and branched out into the sheer panel, soft feel bra territory.
Showing off a little décolletage paired with some chic sunnies and a chain link bag gave the look a street-style edge which gave me the confidence to wear something that would usually feel so out of place in my work wardrobe.
Trend 4: Animal print
Although I’d usually never pick out animal print for myself, this trend didn’t feel too daunting simply because of how popular an animal-print skirt and plain tee ensemble is at the moment.
I actually walked into work and saw one of my fabulously stylish colleagues wearing nearly the exact same outfit.
Instead of feeling cringed out by our inadvertent matching, I felt thrilled to be so bang on trend.
Trend 5: Heritage checks
Generally, patterns aren’t for me. Maybe the odd floral touch if it’s summer, but block tones are the way I tend to roll.
I must admit, when I heard that ‘heritage checks’ would be big for a/w 2018, my thoughts darted to memories of bad school uniforms and gaudy, tartan-like garments.
But, paired with an elongating black jean, cool statement T-shirt and a bit of heel, my pale beige blazer with navy and burgundy checks was more workable than I’d thought.
I even received some compliments in the office, so I might start investing in some more statement pieces for my own wardrobe.
While I didn’t have any issues with my usual wardrobe, trying out these trends really made me notice I’m actually a lot more confident than I realised - maybe that’s something that comes with the feeling of dressing up, but I loved playing around with my style.
What really hit home is that as long as you feel comfortable in yourself, you can rock any look and I’ll be reminding myself of that next time I embrace ‘the trends’.
Images: Courtesy of brands / Dean Martindale