With shows kicking off in New York just a few days away, the tantamount excitement of fashion month is upon us once more - standing as a stoic reminder that the industry is always one step ahead. Though we might have only just digested the feast of Spring/Summer 2015 and settled into our style of choice, winter wardrobes will soon be exploding onto the sartorial social media scene. Instagrams, blogs and twitter accounts will be aplomb with coats, boots and knits. Newer, shinier trends will start to circle around all those lovely spring wardrobe updates you bought after pay day. Surely those culottes can't be old hat already? If you're as fickle a fashion companion as me - and believe me, you might be more so than you think - this month can prove to be a real challenge.
Before we get into this further, there's something you should understand. My interest in fashion verges on obsession which - although a significant part of my job spec - isn't so accommodating on my wallet or wardrobe space. Or sanity, for that matter. So, if you read this and think I am the personification for first world problems then, well, you might be right. But equally, it's part of my job - and believe me, the struggle I face as a consequence is very real.
What I'm talking about, is my vulnerability to Seasonal Affective Disorder: a shortcoming rooted in a magpie like attraction to trends ill-fitting of the current season, leading to regular sartorial dissatisfaction throughout the year. Yes, you heard correctly. The cycle begins over fashion month. I see the shows, I get a vibe. I start to covet the season on show, lamenting my dark heavy fabrics in September and craving them as I inspect the pastel collections in spring. However, this is reasonably short-lived and towards the end of the shows, I have come to terms with the fact I will have to wait. I will probably also go buy some new weather-appropriate clothes. Topshop 1, Hannah 0.
After the shows come the trend reports. For me, this involves delving back into the catwalks to find trends to write about. Once I've got a trend, I go hunting for the best way to wear it and, emerging from Polyvore hours later in some sort of fashion induced stupor, unsurprisingly find myself in trouble again. I want everything on the mood board. I find a problem with everything in my wardrobe. I go shopping. Topshop 2, Hannah 0.
Now, by this point, you must think there an opportunity to even the score board. In fact, often I believe there are chances too. There's always one or two opportunities a season in the form of tricky trends, labelled Not Safe for Wardrobe (NSFW). I feign disinterest, list the reasons I don't want them, won't suit them and yet... I still find myself, eventually, falling into them.
It doesn't take much. I see them styled a certain way, I spot a girl on the street really rocking them. It all ends the same way, and in fact, how I spent last weekend. A trip to the shops turned into a Mom/boyfriend jeans finding rampage. Topshop didn't have the shade I wanted. The wash on H&M was all kinds of wrong. Bizarrely even the larger sizes in Primark weren't actually boyfriend shaped. Or maybe I am just very oddly shaped? Who knows, but I came away exhausted, short-tempered and a little sweaty - all classic S.A.D symptoms.
Here's the thing: I look great in skinny jeans. Don't we all? But editors have been whispering in my ear that the shape is tired, done, caput. So what am I doing still wearing them? yet, here's the other thing: finding these jeans, won't be the end of it. For a few weeks, at most, I'll be thrilled with them, wear them with everything, credit them for completing my wardrobe. But after that? I'll be on to the next fad. The trend will be tired. I'll be over it, and quietly crawling back to my skinnies. Shameful.
I know I'm not alone in this. Though you might punish me for my continuing references to Topshop, it's these fast fashion brands that really fuel S.A.D, luring us in with regular new collections and must-haves.
If you think you or a friend might be suffering, treasure these rules I'm learning to live by...
- New collection at Topshop? Write down what you want and see if you still want them in a month. Most of them, you won't.
- Avoid shopping online - you'll avoid the trend propaganda.
- Stick to the classics. A capsule wardrobe, is a happy wardrobe.